Review: 2013 Panini USA Champions Baseball

Happy Independance Day to all of the Americans out there who read this blog. (And belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends as well!) But waiting to post the review of this product on this day was important to me. USA Baseball from Panini! Bringing the most comprehensive product in the history of USA Baseball you will get to learn the history of the program from the players that played for the country. So want to see what is in the box of this star striped product? Check it out. And let me know if this review style works better for you guys. A little more organized.

Design:4 stars blue

The Pros: The stars and stripes theme is perfect and any other way wouldn’t have been good. Great looking, patriotic inserts like Game Gear, Stars and Stripes, and Pride.

The Cons: Certified parallels don’t fit in this product for me. Same goes with Diamond Kings. First, I love the thought to bring back DK, but not in this product. At least the color scheme on the parallels is spot on.

The Ideas: Get rid of the shiny Certified parallels. Build a new parallel set that fits with the product.

Checklist:4 and half stars blue

The Pros: Everyone from the old school USA players to the 15U players. Variety of different “hit” cards from jerseys to bat knobs. Rather large checklist.

The Cons: The 15U players. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t pay attention to the want for 15U USA baseball cardboard.

The Ideas: If you want to keep the 15U players, I would limit them a bit and include more of the older teams and veterans that helped make USA baseball.

Value:4 and half stars blue

The Pros: $62 a box over at DA Card World. Multiple autographs. Multiple memorabilia cards. Parallels. One low price. And the chance to hit something REALLY nice.

The Cons: Mostly checklist issues with names you might never see again. But that is expected.

The Ideas: Don’t change too much. Great price for the content.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

Overall, Panini USA Champions baseball delivers what it promises. A history of the USA baseball national team as well as current players that will be making their way through the ranks of the national team, through collegiate, and hopefully pro ball someday. Whether or not the value will continue is up in the air, but if any of these players end up being the next big thing, we saw what happened with Bryce Harper USA cards.

Thanks to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, or Twitter accounts.

Check out Cardbord Connection for the full product checklist.

Subscribe to us on YouTube and you can watch the break!

Or check out some pics below:

 

Review: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball

Panini Prizm has been a hit across the board from it’s origins in basketball, through football, and now making its debut in baseball. The product is most similar to the “Chrome” style cards put out by Topps but it has its own Panini twist to them. With the product being a big hit every time it has been released, it will surely be a Panini staple for years to come. Want to see what is in your typical box this year? Check out this review.

Design: 4 and half stars blue

 The design on this product is a design style that will last a long time for this product. The look of the etchings throughout the cards is something you normally only see in another specific product that is a bit similar. The same with the coating, although I much prefer this coating than that of the competitors. It doesn’t smell, it doesn’t warp the cards to bending (at least not yet) and it has a much smoother, almost glass like feel to them. The design is practically flawless. My only issue is that it is possibly TOO shiny or reflective. It’s really a spectacular level of reflectiveness on the product. But the “Prizms” as they call it, “Prizmatics” for myself, are beautiful all the way from the regulars to the golds. Bravo. I also love the insertion of Elite Extra Edition and that design looks great as well.

Checklist: 4 and half stars blue

 Sets like this, with a large base set, a product with many base cards per box, all have the same things in common. They always feature rookies, stars, and Hall of Famers. When it comes to Panini, they usually find room for everyone a collector would want in a set. This is no different. It is full of your top rookies from 2012 along with your top players in the game today and Hall of Famers. I also love the addition of the Team USA license which doesn’t need to be airbrushed. The autograph checklist is actually pretty decent too. Overall, fantastic.

Value: 4 stars blue

 Right now, you can buy a box of this product for $82 at DA Card World. That is actually a pretty good deal for what you get in the product. A couple autographs, some “prizms” and the possibility for a gold/black prizm. There is one thing I keep recommending for this product, and that is to add one or two more levels of “prizms” numbered a little higher. Maybe something numbered to 50 and something numbered to 100. That’s it. I find Topps has too many levels, and I think collectors would like a couple other levels (hobby) that are a bit easier to attain, but not overwhelming for player collectors. And keep a retail version like is out now.

Overall: 4 and half stars blue

Overall, this is a well deserved score for this product. Collectors don’t really care too much about the lack of logos when a product is built this well. I think the design is great, but a few minor tweaks could make it superb and perfect. The checklist is fantastic as well with current players, future players, and former players. The value is pretty decent right now as well, but I think with a couple suggestions could put it over the top as one of the better “base” based products out there.

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

You can also find the full checklist of this product on Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube to see the break.

Want to see the cards? Here you go:

Review: 2012 Panini Golden Age Baseball

Panini’s answer to Allen & Ginter and Champions is here with Golden Age. Like those other products, this isn’t necessarily a baseball product per se, as it does have several non-baseball cards in it, but the majority of cards do have baseball subjects. Each box contains one autograph and one memorabilia card, with autographs and memorabilia spanning the entire spectrum of the product. From baseball players to celebrities and historical events, this product has a lot of features that pay homage to the Golden Age of baseball and history. Let’s see what we got:

 Design:

4 and half stars blue

Panini has showcased that they are very creative when it comes to creating designs that look like they came from the early part of the 20th century. Cooperstown was a great example and now Golden Age continues that trend. The cards look like they came from an age long ago, perhaps a Golden Age. The card design does utilize light colors which adds to the look of an old time set. Paying homage to earlier sets as well, you can find stand ups in the product at a couple per box. Really, the only thing that I didn’t care too much about were the box toppers. Now I love box toppers and pennants are a cool idea, but they just look and feel cheap. I know they were based off a product from 1916, but they don’t feel like it. Eh, could of been better.

Checklist:

4 stars blueBeing a Ginter/Champions like product, you can find a ton of different celebrities of the past and players from multiple sports in this product. There is more baseball than the rest which is good. But the real issue I have is the lack of actual sports memorabilia and autographs. I know you can find celebrity items in other products, but Panini also has their Americana line for those types of cards. I would have like to have had at least one baseball related hit in my review box, which I didn’t get. It’s a bit too much like Americana with baseball cards added. Oh, and don’t forget all the beautiful ON CARD autographs found in this product. Makes them look that much better.

Value:

4 and half stars blue DA Card World is currently selling this product for $72 a box. Actually, that is not a terrible deal at all compared with the rest of the products out there. It actually runs about the same price as Americana with baseball cards. With two hits in a box, it’s not a terrible price and I think it has some value if you can get some of the bigger celebrity, historical, or baseball hits. My hits weren’t fabulous, but female celebrities tend to do better on the secondary market in trading card products so I wouldn’t be surprised if these did well. At a price of $72, you can afford to give this product a shot and try and build a pretty robust set at the same time.

Overall:

4 and half stars blue

Overall, this product is exactly what you would imagine it to be. Panini’s twist on Ginter or Champions with a little bit of Americana in it. If you aren’t into those types of baseball products put out, than this product isn’t for you. I wasn’t even able to pull a baseball player related hit from the product so if that is what you are looking for, it’s not for you either. However, it is a product that is filled with multiple sports figures and major American personalities from the early to mid 1900s. It is a great look at the past and pays homage to the celebrities and trading card industry. Worth the money for a box? If you’re into it, definitely go for it.

A big thank you goes out to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can find the full checklist including all the SP (short print) information over at Cardboard Connection.

And here’s what we pulled from the box…

Review: 2012 Panini Playoff Prime Cuts Baseball

2012 Prime Cuts has arrived, shortly after 2011 Prime Cuts, and features some of the best cards you can find of the old-timers of the game. With game used jersey swatches from legends and Hall of Famers, to cut signatures, and everything in between, there is the chance to hit something big in every pack/box. Each pack/box provides 2 cards with at least one of them being an autograph. Mine had 3 cards, so I’m not sure exactly what happened there. No complaints on the bonus. So let’s see what we pulled.

Design:

I enjoyed the design of last year’s product and this year provides little change to the successful formula from last season. One of the greatest parts about the design of the product is you often can not tell that the photos are lacking MLB logos. Panini has done a great job in this department since acquiring the MLBPA license and this product is no different. Through all the various designs, they do a good job. I even really like the design of the Team USA autographs, but we’ll have to go more into that later…

Checklist:

The checklist of names in this product is actually pretty decent. You can find everyone from Lou Gehrig to Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, and today’s stars like Albert Pujols and young stars like Yu Darvish. It really is a wide variety of players in this product. One of the highlights is always the old-timers and it is a reason people love to try their hand at this product. Pulling a Cobb or a Gehrig is always a thrill for those lucky enough to pull those cards. The only real issue I have with the checklist is the Team USA cards. Why are they in this product? But that is also a big issue with the…

Value:

Man, a file I don’t use too often. But right now this product is at $150 at DA Card World. For two cards and the possibility of some really weak autographs, like the Team USA autographs, it’s overpriced. Not even really a bit overpriced, but very overpriced. My break wasn’t terrible because I hit that low numbered patch of a superstar. However, I’ve seen some absolutely brutal breaks. If there is a definition for a truly hit or miss product, I think this would fall into it. If you hit a nice signature or a nice memorabilia piece you’ll be happy, but otherwise this product is a tough sell at that price. Good luck if you try it.

Overall:

Somehow this product averaged out to 4 stars. It makes me wonder if I should hold more weight to the actual value of the product you are buying. Do I add in a rating or re-buy value?  The design of the product is pretty well done and that deserves the applause. A non-licensed product is tough to design so they did a good job with that. The checklist while solid as usual for this product, does have it’s serious issues that cause it not to live up to the $150 price tag for two cards. It’s a tough sell at that price, but there is the opportunity for some huge cards.

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

You can find the full checklist and other information at the Cardboard Connection.

Check out this short video, but one sweet card of a superstar pulled:

 

 

Review: 2012 Panini Signatures Series Baseball

2012 Panini Signature Series baseball is out as one of Panini’s premier products that produces penmanship from prospects and pros. All alliteration aside, it’s a product with a three autographs per pack/box along with three parallels. Without the use of the MLB logos, this product is still a great looking set with an old-school Donruss Studio look to it. Let’s see what you can find in a product like this…

Design:

As stated in the introduction, the design is sort of a license-less homage to the former Donruss Studio products. A studio setting face shot, dark background, with a slight appearance of the hat that is cropped out just enough so you know it’s a baseball player. Great use of cropping in the product to give it a great feel. Now most know about my feeling toward manufactured patch autographs, and this product is full of them. If they came up with a different design for that portion of the product, I easily would have given this at least another half star. But we also have the inclusion of faux baseball leather autographs on the Sweet Spot, which I have always loved. I’m glad to see those brought back again in baseball products.

Checklist:

The checklist is heavy on the rookies and short on the veterans. There really isn’t much else to say about that. If you pull one of the stars or legends of the game you’ve got some luck on your side. While the selection of rookies is large, it is still larger than the selection of veterans/legends in terms of variety and numbering. For instance, most of all rookies are numbered to 299…veterans and legends? 25 or less.

Value:

I was actually shocked when while doing my research I saw the original and current price for this product. Right now you can find the product for $97 at DA Card World. I thought that was still too high, but it originally came out at $120. For a product that leans heavy on the rookies, despite the three autographs per box, it feels very overpriced. Even at $97 it feels overpriced. I’ve seen this and other breaks of the product and I can’t justify $120, let alone $100 for this product. I’m not sure why it was priced so highly, but it could definitely use a price drop if Panini wanted to sell more product earlier in the cycle. My one issue with the MAPP is that I shouldn’t have to wait until after it expires to get a price that is accurate.

Overall:

It’s weird going from a huge success in Panini Cooperstown to a semi-fail in this product. The product design is nice, despite not being a huge fan of manufactured patch autographs. The Sweet Spot autographs was a nice addition to the product as it has always had a solid backing in a lot of previous sports card products. The checklist is sort of disappointing, but there are still some really nice autographs to be found in the product. At the price of $120, it’s definitely a no-go. Even at the newly lowered price, it is still a tough break.

Thanks to Panini for providing this product for review. You can visit them on their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can find the full checklist and other information at the Cardboard Connection website.

Video is below, it’s short and sweet.