Review: 2012 Panini Gridiron Football

It’s no longer the “Gear” it is just “Gridiron”. 2012 Gridiron football made its…sorta debut with the same things you loved about Gridiron Gear but just under a different moniker. Don’t get confused, your favorite cards are still there with some added new surprises from the people at Panini. With 2/3 autographs per box and some memorabilia action too, it’s a fun break. Add in the dynamic photography and inserts and you will see what you can get below in the review…check it out:


There is a lot to like about 2012 Gridiron from Panini in terms of design. The first is obviously the beautiful photography that you can find in the product. With action shots from just about every possible angle and full bleed photos, the NFL action is really the first thing you notice about the product. The second is I really like the insert designs this year, I’m not digging the foil so much, but the concepts behind them are solid. The only issues I seem to have are the X’s and O’s designs. They make the autographs look a little better, but I just feel like it’s missing something to complete it. Maybe it would have looked better die-cut, but the background is kinda bland to me. But as always, design is always according to the eyes of the beholder.


Of my three autographs, all three of them were rookies. Two of them I had never heard from. We understand that not every player can be a first rounder but when you are pulling defensive ends and safeties you’ve never heard of, it’s probably gonna be a bad day. At least I heard of Alshon Jeffrey. I understand the price of getting these rookie autographs and getting them into sets, but there has got to be some veterans out there that you’ve heard of that play those positions that would make better replacements. Is Logan Mankins cheap? Probably. Do more than Patriots fans know who he is? Probably. Wilfork? Of course. Better names, cheaper veterans, better options.


At $100 bucks a pop, again my ongoing issue with Panini is their starting price for everything. I still feel like everything they put out is overpriced during their MAPP program. People still buy it, but it never feels like the value is equal to where it should be. When your hits consist of those types of rookies I described above, as stated, it’s not a good time. Although I do have to admit, there are some amazing patches on that Nick Toon patch card, it still doesn’t equate to what I would find to be a box worth the $100. How about a product where you are guaranteed one/two rookie autos, one veteran auto, and a mem card?


Overall, Panini Gridiron looks good on the eyes, but the product itself may be a bit deceiving. The product is a little weak when it comes to the autograph checklist and when you are getting 2/3 of those in a box, you want to at least hope you know of one or two of them. I knew Alshon Jeffrey but the others are just your typical later round defensive players that half of the collectors don’t know anything about. They make great filler, but it shouldn’t be 50% of your total hits. Just your typical 3+ rounder defensive players. That really takes away some of the value when you’re paying $100 a box, a price that I feel is a bit too much for the product. I know it’s weird to say this, but I find the base and inserts more appealing than the hits…and you don’t spend $100 a box on just base cards.

Thanks to Panini America for supplying this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, Twitter, Facebook, and blog.

Check out the full checklist of the product over at Cardboard Connection.

Now here are photos of some of the beauties and the beasts…after Photobucket starts working. Working on the image issue. Until then, check out the video!

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