2006/07 Fleer Hot Prospects
This 99 card jersey set boasts a horizontal card design (something that we have all associated with Upper Deck's flagship product), but that alone doesn't make for a successful set.
Right off the bat when I take a look at this 9-page sheet, I see two things glaring out at me.
First, every single one of the jersey patch windows covers up the logo on the jersey the player is wearing in the pic. Scrape some points off right there.
Second, the backgrounds are inconsistent from card to card. Some utilize the background shot while others go with a solid color. That change up really doesn't look good when looking at a group of cards from the product (as we are in this sheet).
Now, on to a more focused look at the card front (it's gotta get better.....right?)
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a horizontal card design. Unfortunately, I feel the placement of the various elements do more clashing as opposed to building.
The 'funnel' effect that the side edges give subtract too much card space from the design. It would have almost fared better as a die cut card. It feels like the design is in some way incomplete.
The 'Hot Materials' title at the top of the card isn't too bad (decent font and decent spacing) and the team color aspect is a nice touch. But again, it feels like it's taking up a little too much space (that photo is getting smaller and smaller).
The jersey swatch area is small in size, but somehow manages to impede on the photo way too much. The flaming wings on either side don't help with that either.
The team logo on the left hand side feels out of place and plunked into position. Big swing and a miss there.
The Hot Prospects logo and title are a little tough to read against the grey (same with the 'Authentic Jersey' title at the bottom of the card). The player name has a nice font style and feels somewhat proportional. It looks better against the black backgrounds as opposed to the colored ones (especially the lighter... like the Kolzig).
The wings on the bottom of the card at the sides are simple and uninspired (same too with the 'smoke' effect surrounding the photo).
On to the photo (or what's left of it). It's such a small space (even with the cutout of the player). The types of photos that can be used in this look are very limited and again are quite bland. A lot of blank stares.
The tinted color background is nice, but only when there is some photo element in the back. The solid color look just creates more boredom.
The back of the card doesn't make amends for the front. There's some good, some bad and yes... some ugly.
The 'Hot Materials' title gives some instant consistency. Yaaay! Sadly, that consistency is borrowed by the photo (which was bad enough to begin with). Why use it a second time?
The card number is so tiny that it looks like a little bug in the upper left. The player name is nice, simple and legible. Where was that on the front of the card?
The smoke effect behind the player tidbit makes the text harder to read (obviously two different people were working on the fonts).
The funnel effect is again prevalent but this time the extra white space is filled by a gradient color. Where did that come from?
Room enough for just one year's worth of stats. Terrible.
Not quite as terrible as some of the text below it though. Check it out on the Loui Eriksson.
"On the front of this card is a piece of memorabilia that has been certified to us as having been used in a photo shoot."
You're kidding me right? Can't even manage a game used piece 'eh?
Fortunately, not all of the cards 'reward' you with a photo shoot jersey. Still, even half or three-quarters is just not good enough. Not in this day and age of memorabilia swarming.
The ever-present logos lace the bottom of the card which is pinstriped and uninspired.
Overall, this card design is not an impressive one. Add to that the almost 100 card checklist (and not really an impressive one...Crosby is the big card booking at $50 while Lemieux and Roy come next at $25) and I would recommend staying away from this set.
Hot materials these are not.
2 out of 5