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Future Force: pass or fail?

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Future Force: pass or fail?

Postby Nightwatchman » 30 Oct 2015, 20:25

With the new Future Force nearly upon us and the recent player trade movement, I thought I’d take a look at each release to date and try, with the benefit of hindsight, to rate them according to collectability.

2012
Description: 5,200 boxes @ $3 per pack. Base set of 86 cards; 22 AAs (1:4 packs); 30x green signatures (5:6 boxes) numbered to #150 and 30x gold signatures (1:6 boxes) numbered to #30. Boxes are hard to come by (~$150 each) and cases are rarely seen.

Assessment: Despite collector misgivings at the time, mainly due to the series perhaps being short an insert series, the inaugural FF sold like hot cakes and generated a lot of excitement upon release. I even recall sitting in my car one afternoon, frantically calling newsagents in a 20km radius on the hunt for boxes. Select was kissed on the bum with the quality of the players whose signatures were featured; Grundy, Daniher, Vlaustin, Wines, Stringer, Vines, Whitfield and Menzel to name a few. Most are still in the system. Nice design and a great per pack price given the value inside.

Hit: Joe Daniher gold
Miss: Jason Pongracic green

Collectability: 8/10. Being the first series will continue to hold the 2012 issue in good stead, and the player quality means signatures will maintain their value at least, especially the golds. My only reservation with this series is that, long term, it could be affected by the lacklustre series that followed.

2013
Description: The base set was expanded to 100 cards, while there were the 22 AAs again (1:4 packs). 7,000 boxes @ $3 per pack with 30x black signatures (5:6 boxes) numbered to #200 and 30x gold signatures (1:6 boxes) numbered to #40. Neither boxes nor cases are hard to come by, with cases realising a slight increase in value. Boxes available at cost price or less.

Assessment: The rot set in quickly. An uninspiring follow up to the 2012 release with a disappointing design, poor selection of signatures and bog-standard subsets. Not to mention the reduced collectability caused by an increase in boxes and signatures. Saved by Scharenberg, Lennon, Bontempelli, Aish and Hartung, the release featured a stack of non-draftees including Tsitas, Wilson, Wasley-Black and Tickner.

Hit: Marcus Bontempelli gold
Miss: Cameron Conlon black

Collectability: 3/10. With boxes regularly selling for comfortably under cost price (admittedly from searched cases most likely) and a terrible group of signatures, the 2013 issue has proved to be a dead-set stinker.

2014
Description: Roughly 7,000 boxes were released but the series is far from a sell out. $3.50 per pack or $63 for a box was the new price. Signatures were relatively unchanged, with 31x black and green sigs in the same quantities and ratios as the previous year. AAs unchanged.

Assessment: The fact that 2013 was such a poor release has likely reflected in the fact 2014 has not sold out and boxes can be bought well under cost price (as low as $25), but the release wasn’t helped by a lack of star value in the signatures for the second year running. Signatures of non-draftees can be picked up for less than $15, making the original $63 outlay for a box look pretty ordinary. If anything, this is a worse set of signatures than 2013 and is notable for most players going to less-than-collectable clubs (e.g. Petracca, Wright, McCartin, Brayshaw, Heeney, Goddard).

Hit: Nakia Cockatoo gold
Miss: Duom Dawam black

Collectability: 2/10. Hard to believe things could get worse than 2013 but the 2014 release is just horrible. Nothing new and a strikingly poor set of feature players has conspired to make this release a massive disappointment. Unlikely to recover and ever gain any traction.

2015?
What we know: It’s fair to say Select would have been shaken with the drop off in sales and interest in FF since the inaugural release. So in 2015 we get not one but two new subsets including the coup de grace – redemption cards! It’s a huge step in the right direction, with two of these cards in every case. The second new subset is team captains, a nice addition at one per box. Numbering of these cards would have been nice.

Prediction: I have a good feeling about this release. The redemption cards are a massive shot in the arm, especially as the price per pack has not changed. The signature card players look to be promising based on phantom drafts I’m seeing. If I were to be hyper-critical, it’s a shame the redemptions are for the top 10 draft picks, which means there will be 2x Carlton, 2x Melbourne, 2x Essendon and 1x Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and GWS players… not a great list and not a great spread. And 8,160 boxes is a hell of a lot of product!

Collectability guess: 6.5/10
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Re: Future Force: pass or fail?

Postby Richo » 30 Oct 2015, 21:32

Good read, don't agree with all of your assessment but I'd agree with 95% of it!
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Re: Future Force: pass or fail?

Postby BLOWN8 » 31 Oct 2015, 14:37

Really good write up there, and pretty close to the mark. I remember doing the ring around in 2012 chasing boxes at all the local newsagencies too, scored a few when pretty much the product was all but gone, simply because here in Tassie kids didn't want them and no-one who wasn't totally involved in forums or the internet knew what the product was all about. Even though 2013 and 2014 were a let down after 2012, I still buy boxes and complete my sets in albums as I like the concept. Hitting one of the harder to get sigs was always nice but a bit of a let down when your man didn't get drafted, but all part of it. Select had to revamp the release after 2 consecutive disappointing releases, either they dropped the concept or gave it a bit of a working over, which I think they have done nicely. I suggested the captain card idea a year or two ago, but my idea was to do captain golds and vice-captain silver numbered and unsigned, also one per box. Would be better if these captain cards were numbered but the more we want these things the more the price would go up, so lets see how they go this year and maybe next year they might number them. Personally think the all Australian cards are getting better, liked the 2013 and 2014 much more than the 2012 ones, 2012 was just a little plain, 2015 look pretty good too. Like the look of the sigs too and I know some people don't like the green sigs but I do. Sure the golds from 2012 and 2013 look great, but I understand there were a few smudging issues with the gold pens. The redemption cards look classy this year, will be interesting to see if the 1-10 draft picks they redeem look the same as the other signatures of different. Id say they will be slightly different with a 'draft pick 1 or 2 or 3' for example added to it somewhere. Looking forward to this release. As a Hawks supporter wish we had a pick inside 10 but not to be.
Just a little reminder that this set wouldn't even have been released way back in 2012 if it wasn't for Dave from Footycards and the original Draft Prospects which I still love. It wasn't a fresh idea from Select, just a stolen concept which they jumped on due to the popularity of Draft Prospects.
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Re: Future Force: pass or fail?

Postby Nightwatchman » 01 Nov 2015, 17:12

Thanks, Richo. On reflection I may have been a bit hard on 2013, which, after all, does contain some excellent signatures. I have marked it hard in part because it struggles to compete with the inaugural release. I'm upgrading the collectibility mark of the 2013 series to 4/10.

Darren, the captain card is well overdue and like you I'm glad to see it there. A numbered card would have made the stripping of cases that much harder. I'd strongly encourage Select to make this one tweak next year and I think they would hit the mark. I also reckon the new sigs look pretty good! As a footnote, I pulled a Jason Pongracic gold in 2012 that had an awful signature, and Select was good enough to replace it. Funny thing was -- while all gold cards had a three-digit numbering system (i.e. 013), mine came back with just two digits (i.e. 13). Bit of an oddity, I guess.

Your comment about Draft Prospects reminds me that a super premium AFL series would be awesome. I think it's an untapped market. Not sure why Select nicked the idea then made it basically a kid-friendly price/concept.
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Re: Future Force: pass or fail?

Postby BLOWN8 » 01 Nov 2015, 18:30

The closest thing we have seen to a high end limited release was Draft Prospects. Imagine Select doing something similar with the stars of the AFL, pretty sure it would be a case of shut up and take my money.
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Re: Future Force: pass or fail?

Postby Nightwatchman » 03 Dec 2015, 09:31

Foil signatures on the redemption cards? Oh, dear.

Given hand signatures are the thing Select built its reputation on, that's a big disappointment.

Collectability re-rating for FF15: 5.5/10
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