Review: 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars may not be at the top of your list of products to break for this NFL season, but it appears to be better than you may think. It returns this year with 4 autographs or memorabilia cards per box with at least one of them being an autograph. You can find patches, jumbo jerseys, prime jerseys, just about anything in a box of this product. It features a 100 card base set with 50 base rookies which are only inserted 1 per pack.

The inserts are plentiful too with a homage to Donruss Studio with Studio Rookies, Longevity, and Freshmen Orientation amongst other insert sets. With a bunch of parallels and so low numbered cards, it’s definitely worth the time to check out this review and decide what you think about the product.





The base design on this product is better than many other Panini designs. It features an action shot of the players on the front with a little bit of the background faded into a solid white background. This is a very clean base design with clean lettering along the sides. I believe this clean base design is great and should be in more products. The inserts look great too. Freshmen Orientation is great with the memorabilia embedded and Longevity looks much better in person then on scans that I’ve seen. Impressive. Now I do not like manufactured patch autographs with the autograph on the cloth…I would much rather have a sticker or on-card autograph as it’s cleaner looking. Also, the way some inserts look when they don’t have memorabilia embedded look really weird, like the one I have pictured. It’s just a weird shape with a symbol inside? That just looks lazy.


The checklist features 100 veteran base cards and 50 rookie base cards. You can pull rookies and stars hence the title of the product. But I find there are more rookies than stars when it comes to memorabilia and autographs. With the abundance of rookies, it may seem like it cheapens the product a bit as it’s harder to pull veterans of the game. Other than that, you can find all the top rookies of the game from the draft for this season so there is no complaints there. The base set and rookie set is reasonable as you just about get a full set in a box. So the checklist of players is pretty solid overall. I think it could use a few more stars.


Overall, the value appears to be there. It looks to be a mostly rookie driven product, as I don’t see much in the way of stars as far as the real value, game used and autographs, goes. But a good job is done with the rookies here as there are plenty of autographs and memorabilia cards to go around and you may get to pull a nice veteran as well. The patches are nice, there are nice jumbo swatches, and autographs from all the rookies you could want. The only problem I have is the lack of veterans but also a bit of a collation issue. There are 100 cards in a the base veteran set, I’m missing two from completing it and I have like 8 dupes. Just throw in the extra 2 next time, seriously, that’s a bit tacky. Other than that, this is a decent mid-range product.


Overall, as I said above this is a very solid mid-range product. The base design is nice but there are still a couple of issues with insert designs and I still don’t like manufactured patch autographs with the way they are done now. The checklist is full of rookies but I feel like it could use more stars in the product to fill the stars void. The value is there, but mentioned with the above issues it could be a little bit better and get 5 stars across many of the areas. But overall, it’s definitely worth looking into as your next box of cards.

I’d like to thank Panini America once again for providing this box for me to review. Check out their new Facebook page here.

The contest for the manufactured patch autograph, my base doubles, and some inserts/rookies will be to tell me what you think of this product and tell me your honest opinion on manufactured patch autographs that Panini makes. I will pick a winner from a randomizer. One per person please!

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17 Responses to Review: 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football

  1. Rj says:

    Panini has made a few manufactured patches in their products. In Gold Standard(the logoman and team logos) the patches make sense. Here I personally would rather have a GU patch auto, or maybe just a logo patch. I think the manu patches look like cut up wristbands. I have liked this set in the past, and probably will break a couple boxes. I don’t see any insert sets I’d be interested in collecting though.

  2. MV says:

    In my opinion, I think this set as a pretty nice base card design, but I don’t like the player’s name on the bottom left going down. The inserts need a huge redo next year. They look very very ugly. I think the manufactured patches are neat, but I would also just prefer an on card autograph or a sticker autograph. Those look a lot nicer and just look amazing compared to the manufactured patches that they have now.

  3. Weirdmaniac says:

    I personally like the concept of the manufactured patch autographs. I think they provide a nice twist to pulling you’re everyday average autograph card. I think they would be better if they weren’t quite so big like maybe if the manufactured patch only was half the card instead of basically consuming the whole card would be better. I also like the R&S checklist a lot this year because I mainly collect just rookie cards and base sets. I agree that this set is very rookie oriented and I like that

    • Charlie says:

      I agree, I like the manu patches, but they get old real quick. They definitely take up to much space of the card however.

  4. lzuperku says:

    I like the Auto patches with the auto on cloth. What i do wish is the manufactured patch be centered more to the top center of the card with the auto underneath. Thats the only thing I would change. Other than that, i think the cards look good. collation seems to be real good if you nearly get a set per box..2 cards short of a set is not really that bad.

    Nice product & nice review. Thanks K &Thanks Panini

  5. Daddyoho says:

    I like the set. Normally I don’t like the fake patches but they look good with the auto.

  6. Al K says:

    auto manufactured patches look great

  7. I really like the patch cards. The jerseys cards from football products look better than most of the ones from baseball products. I like the concept of the jumbo jersey card. They look sweet with an auto on there.

  8. Anthony says:

    I’ve never liked Rookies & Stars’ base design, and I think this year is slightly better but still uninteresting. There’s too much empty space and I like keeping the background in pictures. However, I think the value in the hits is really good this year and I rarely have a problem with manupatches.

  9. Jesse says:

    I actually like the manu patch autographs! Especially in a product like this as apposed to the higher end stuff like “Gold Standard” I do agree with you about the funny shaped window though. I also agree with you on the fact that it needs more star auto’s in it!! This draft class wasn’t as strong as 2010 so I think they should of tossed in a few more stars!!

  10. Adam Horner says:

    I absolutely despise the manufactured patches in products such as these. I really don’t even see the point. What’s the difference in having them sign a piece of fabric against signing the card? If the fabric means something (i.e. game used jersey) then I can understand, but the patch doesn’t make much sense to me. Perhaps I’m just too cynical and critical, but I’d rather just have a signature on the card. This offering definitely has its place, but it’s not my favorite.

  11. Sean Woods says:

    This product looks ok. I’d rather have a GU patch than a manufactured patch. If the focus is a rookie with no game experience, then make it an auto on-card!

  12. Always liked this type of design for a base set, but never been a big fan of manufactured patches and the card above only reinforces that point of view. The amount of white space on that patch card is just awful, a complete waste.

  13. Eric L says:

    I may be a bit biased (since I put “Manupatches” in my blog title) but I love the team logo manupatches. I think it looks way better than that giant slab of blue jersey. That thing is not very appealing to these eyes. I know I’m in the minority, which is fine with me because it allows the prices for manupatches to come down into my budget.
    As for the rest of the set, the base cards are a tad boring, but I like the look of the inserts.

  14. Nathan says:

    The base design is really nice, but I can’t say the same for most of the inserts. Also, when players sign any type of patch/fabric the auto almost always looks terrible and from what I’ve seen usually fades. I would much rather just see an on card auto with the patch on a separate part of the card.

  15. I enjoy the manufactured patches,as they are pretty much as close to being an on-card auto as you can get without being a true “on-card auto”

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