Take a look at a box of Topps newest Football product, Gridiron Legends and you will see a picture of Joe Montana, a proud statement of 4 hits per box all done in a somewhat retro feel. So you can pretty much expect the bulk of Gridiron Legends to be about legendary players, those with track records that have withstood the test of time. Unfortunately, when you start to bust packs you notice that this product does not live up to its name and, by percentage, should be considered more for rookie prospecting than the legends of Football.
2011 Topps Gridiron Legends falls under our classification of trading cards. Our hobby box contained 18 packs with 18 cards per pack and each box yields 4 hits that are either autograph or relic cards.
Here is a look at some of the cards we found in our box.
Joe Namath, Front and Back
Roger Staubach, Y.A. Tittle, John Elway
Dan Marino, Jim Brown, Franco Harris
Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Emmitt Smith
Matt Hasselbeck, Darren McFadden, Mark Sanchez
Philip Rivers, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald
Tony Romo, Ray Rice, Drew Brees
Cam Newton, Ricky Stanzi, Julio Jones
Randall Cobb, Von Miller, Luke Stocker
J.J. Watt, A.J. Green, Andy Dalton
Blue Base Parallels
Joe Montana, Percy Harvin, Peyton Manning
Tony Gonzalez x2 (Doubles) Mark Sanchez
Matt Forte, Thomas Jones, Tom Brady
Roddy White, Eric Dickerson, Kellen Winslow
Charles Woodson, Ndamukong Suh, Brandon Marshall
Numbered Base Parallels
Eric Dickerson Red #/75, Steven Jackson Gold #/99
Kendall Hunter, Vincent Brown
Tim Brown, Brett Favre
Michael Vick, Matt Forte
Calvin Johnson and Titus Young
The Hits - 3 relics and 1 auto
Aspiring Legacies Swatch Cards - Not Numbered
A.J. Green, Christian Ponder
Terrence Toliver auto #/99
The base cards are simple in design, perhaps a little too simple. Topps was able to get certain players in updated uniforms, but is still using photos from the Combine for some rookies.
Quality and Variety of Players and Subsets.
Bottom line – when there are close to twice as many rookies as their are legends in a set, you probably shouldn’t call it Gridiron Legends. Having the majority of autograph and inserts concentrated on “Future Legends” doesn’t help either. Having a veteran and a rookie on the same card while calling them a "Legendary Combo" is silly at best. The only thing worse is having two rookies on a "Legendary Combos" card who still don't have a regular season stat or two rookies, one of which that has been waived and put on the practice squad. Both of those cards exist in this set in insert and relic form.
Do the hits hold up?
There are some nice hits, rare to find, but nice. Our lone auto was of Terrence Toliver, an undrafted rookie who eventually signed with the Texans and was released from the team before the season started. All the rest of our hits were of Rookies. This is not worthy of the Legends name.
Will you want to collect them all?
The base set is small enough to want to complete it.
2011 Topps Gridiron Legends should have been about the greats of the game, but is really more of a rookie-prospecting product. With a name change this would have received a better rating, but as it stands, the name of the product and box design leads to different expectations.