Over the last few months, I’ve reviewed a few different kinds of sports cards issued from Topps—cards ranging from football to the Olympics to all manner of baseball. In all of those sets of cards, the company has offered special pack-ins meant to get fans excited about the hunt.
Sure, there are the now-standard autograph cards. But many of those little bonuses have been in the form of little bits of fabric from game-worn jerseys, embedded right into cards, while others have been slivers of wood from game-used bats. In some sets, it’s even been a commemorative pin or badge, embedded into a thicker card. In short, I thought that Topps had found nearly every THING to put into its cards.
Then a friend forwarded me this story from the ESPN Go blog. Apparently, in Topps’s forthcoming set of cards for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, they’re including a card that can be redeemed online for what’s known as a Grill Gear Relic—which is basically an actual, game-used mouth guard encased in plastic.
That’s kind of gross.
Topps vice president Mark Sapir offered this view on the unique collectible:
“It’s just an ongoing effort by our company to be innovative, to push the bounds, to do our best to give our collectors great content and to connect them with their favorite fighters. We are all about bringing the game, the fight, etc., to our collectors and this is just another special way we plan to do this. […] UFC fighters really want to partner with us, really want to give their fans something special. [They are] more open to creative unique ideas and offerings, they truly are all about giving to their fans and as a result are more open to our ideas.”
I’m not sure why (who am I kidding, I’m VERY SURE why), but the idea of the thing itself that’s been in someone’s mouth…that does not sound too appealing to me. At the same time, I have to admit that there is a sick, twisted part of me that sees the weirdness…and I must have one. I am torn. Should I hunt down a few packs to see if I can get a grill? Would you want a Grill Gear Relic sitting on your desk?
[Via ESPN Go]