Review: 2012 Panini Certified Football

2012 Panini Certified football is out and ready for release. One of the most popular early season products arrives as it is often filled with on-card signatures from the hottest rookies and some sweet memorabilia as well. With it coming out right in the middle of the football season, it’s perfect timing for football fans as well. We got our box in for review, so let’s check it out.

Design:

I really enjoyed the design of this product. It sort of reminds me of the old Flair designs with the use of foil board and the cursive lettering. The only wish with that was that the letters were a slightly different color as they really blend into the background of the card. Maybe a different background? Speaking of the background, the parallels are pretty nice looking with the color fading into the background. It sort of reminds me of 2005 Reflections baseball, one of my favorite products of all time. The jersey swatches are nice and large on the cards which is nice as well. Overall, I think it is a well designed product.

Checklist:

The checklist for Certified football over the years has always included the top rookies veterans, and legends of the game and this hasn’t changed. Once again, all of these are included in this product. From your top rookies like Andrew Luck to your veterans like Arian Foster and legends like…Andre Rison…the product continues to start and keep legacies alive. The product isn’t over done with rookies and contains a limited amount of parallels as well. There are a ton of rookie jersey cards, which I pulled a couple, and a nice list of veteran autos, which I pulled one of as well.

Value:

The one thing I am disappointed with is the continuation of 1 autograph and 3 jersey cards in a $100+ box. The jersey cards are more or less useless nowadays and they will continue to find themselves in the $1-$2 bins. I do like that the veteran jersey card was limited to just 99 copies, however, I still find it to be an issue. I still believe it should be 2 or 3 autographs with the rest being memorabilia. I see Panini has done that in its basketball products, why are we still lagging behind in football? Besides that, I was happy to have pulled a veteran autograph which have been seemingly difficult to pull. Not to mention it is my favorite team, can’t complain about that. But the 3 plain jerseys are just disappointing.

Overall:

Overall, it is a solid product from Panini. With the improved design of the base cards and the solid checklist, it looks and feels great. The only part of the product that may not look and feel great may be when you reach into your wallet and get three plain jersey cards and possibly a scrub rookie. That wouldn’t make you feel too good about the product. At least another autograph and one less jersey would make you feel better or even 3 and 1 respectively. The product is one of Panini’s best, but it definitely needs a new set up in order to find value. The current set up isn’t beneficial for collectors who are looking for value in their purchase. For regular collectors like me, I like it as the money part is just a necessary part of collecting. But others may not be so happy, especially resellers.

Thanks again 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 find out the full checklist of this product at Cardboard Connection.

Or you can buy this product over at Dave & Adam’s Card World.

Review: 2012 Panini Prominence Football

2012 Panini Prominence football is a new product put out by the folks at Panini America which is rookie focused and indulges collectors with the “hits” that they desire. With 3 hit cards per box (usually two autographs and one memorabilia card) the product can satisfy collectors, especially in a solid rookie draft like this past season. Does it make the grade for us though? Let’s take a look at what we pulled.

Design:

Panini has really been stepping it up in the design department with most products this season, and this product is another piece of evidence of that. With a design that focuses mostly on the player and the lightly colored background, it plays a great effect of the player popping from the card. Although I’m not sure what the difference is between the gold and silver foiled cards that are numbered to same print run. The die-cut autograph looks good as well. I can’t see what the patch autos look like from the redemption pulled, but similar results on eBay aren’t bad with pretty big swatches. The issues I have are with the dual memorabilia cards, which I don’t really find appealing at all. For this product, I would have liked to see something different. Maybe go back to the two sided memorabilia cards to change it up. The current design is just bland compared to the rest of the product.

Checklist:

Yes, the checklist is rookie heavy. 100 rookies made the cut. With 2/3 of them being so called “scrub” rookies, if you are looking for value…you get it 1/3 of the time.¬†Or however that math goes with 2 autographs each at 1/3 the chance. I was never good at that stuff. But overall, it’s a well rounded checklist as far as selection goes. There is a great selection of base cards of both current players and legends of the game, which is always welcome. That large number of rookies though, despite it being a rookie centered product, can lead to disappointment if you’re looking for…

Value:

$100 a box, it sort of feels like you are opening Limited football. The only difference is that you have 0% chance of pulling a Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, etc. autograph. I know the math on that one. Even Inception doesn’t have this high of a price tag, and if you’re comparing rookie centered product, you want to look at the more successful ones like that product. The three hits are nice, but also the single colored jerseys from the Rookie Premiere aren’t worth the $33 per hit in this product. Make it three autographs for all boxes, and you got a better product. Limited with rookies just doesn’t work in my book.

Overall:

Overall, this is one of the better designed products from Panini. I enjoy most of the designs of this product, although I don’t care for the memorabilia cards all too much. From eBay on my redemption, it looks like the patch cards have pretty big windows, so that’s a big plus as well. The checklist is solid overall as well featuring veterans, legends, but way too many non-skill rookies. I know this is a rookie themed product, I know you want to fill in the gaps, but the autographs from offensive/defensive lineman no one has heard of isn’t the best. Especially when it comes to value. When you’re getting 2 rookie autographs in a box and one of them is almost guaranteed to be a non-skill player…it can get a little disheartening when you’re putting down a Benjamin for it.

Thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Make sure you check out the current Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion.

For the full checklist and more information, check out 2012 Panini Prominence on Cardboard Connection.

Not shown: Ryan Tannehill Patch/Auto Redemption

Review: 2012 Panini Rookies & Stars Football

A product that I didn’t get a chance to preview, 2012 Rookies & Stars is a product that’s been coming out for years that features just as the product states, Rookies & Stars. The product features at least 2 autographs per box with 4 hits total. It also features a rookie card per pack and a bunch of numbered inserts and some parallels. The box itself boasts “find rookie material signatures featuring autographs and oversized swatches of event worn jerseys from the 35 rookies who participated in the 2012 NFLPA rookie premiere!” At 8 cards per pack and 24 packs per box, you get a ton of cards in the box. How about we see what we found in our box?

 

 

 

Design:

I have a love-hate relationship with the design of this product, but ultimately, my better side won the argument on whether I liked the design or really didn’t care for it. When I opened the product, the first thing I thought of was this product reminds me of the 2011 Threads design from last year. The top of the card features a stripe of the team colors, sort of like Threads from last year which featured the team colors on the side. Every time I looked at the stripe I thought of last year’s product, which kind of bothered me a bit. But the bottom half of the card looks great with a great use of foil on the letters and a cleaner design. There are some fantastic inserts as well like the die-cut pennants, Crusade and Greatest Hits insert set. Again, inserts like Statistical Standouts looks like it came from Prestige this year or Contenders last year. This product feels like it’s elements are just taken from other products which kind of annoys me. But in all, it’s not a terrible looking product at all and I actually like most of it.

Checklist:

This year, I make the same point as I made last year. This product should be called Panini Rookies. Just take out the “Stars” part of it. I received my four hits with all but the one jersey card being rookie autographs. This product seems to be filled with more rookies than anything else, and I like more of a mix of rookies and veterans, especially when this product’s title also mentions stars. I was lucky enough to receive 3 autographs in my box with product guaranteeing at least two. That’s great and all, but I would think if you were to hit 3 autographs at least one would be a veteran. Here’s a recommendation for the product, if you’re lucky enough to receive a 3 autograph box, have at least one of them be a veteran. Just saying. I’m usually critical of the rookie per pack thing, but in a product that has “rookies” in it’s name, I can accept that.

Value:

The breakdown of four hits for around $100 isn’t so bad. As I stated above in the checklist area, I’d love to have the extra third autograph in the 3 auto boxes to be a veteran autograph. Rookies come and rookies go, sure one of these could be worth a lot one day, but having the majority of your hits being rookies makes you feel like you aren’t getting anything bad. Unless of course it’s a top rookie, but those are harder to come by in general. A veteran autograph would really even things out a little bit here. Most of the inserts aren’t numbered either and I think that effects value a bit as well, but it’s not something huge. There are some sweet patch autographs in this product which should add some great value for some of the upper tier rookies, but I wasn’t lucky enough to pull them. Trying to find value in sports cards is usually a gamble, so I’m sure there are much better boxes out there than this one.

Overall:

Overall, it’s an average to very slightly above average product based on those factors. The design is solid, but it brings back too many memories of products from last season. Some may call that a bit lazy or uncreative, but there are inserts and elements I really do like. The checklist is generally solid as usual, but the product feels like it’s more rookie centered than a “Rookies & Stars” as the product describes itself. The value is a bit lower because of the large rookie population of cards, and although we didn’t hit a big rookie, getting 3 rookie autographs is a bit of a letdown. It would of been nice to have that bonus autograph be a veteran autograph to really showcase the “Stars” in the set. You can’t just have the only focus of the Stars in the product be in the plain jane inserts and plain jersey cards. I’d like to see more Stars content in this Rookie focused product.

As always, a big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, or Facebook pages.

And here’s what may be in the typical box…

(Not shown: Rookie Material Autographs Dwayne Allen)

Review: 2012 Panini Score Football

A low end hit from last year, according to this blog, is back again this year bringing one of the best values in sports cards. The $1 per pack product is back again for the 2012 season with a new design and some of the first rookie cards on the market for the new season as well as some of the easiest to collect. You get at least 1 rookie card per pack and at 36 packs per box, you get a ton of rookies. It is a product for all ages and collector types. Want to see how this product stacks up this year and what we pulled from our box…well, here it comes.

Design:

I’m not huge on the design of this product this year. It’s kind of boring and looks like a few 2011 products from Panini with the regular base design. The rookie design I just can’t stand. If they were closer to the hockey designs, I would have felt a bit better, but the rookie cards really need some color. The grey lines really don’t stand out at all and are kind of boring. There is nothing else that really stands out in the product either. I mean, it’s all decent looking but what the product is really missing is some color. It’s missing some vibrant color as the colors are just plain. In the Zone and Hot Rookies are very good looking cards, but everything else is just average. It was kind of a letdown. Also, I thought Panini was numbering the parallels this year? And what happened to all the other parallels?

Checklist:

You know what to expect with this checklist. There really isn’t any surprises. All the rookies you could want. All the veterans you could want. Even a few autographs you have the possibility of pulling. The insert ideas this year are pretty good, but I was holding out hope they would use my insert idea of touchdown dances. That’s just me though. If they used my idea, I would of snuck in an extra star. :) But again, another great product for set collectors, hit collectors, and everyone in between with the huge checklist.

Value:

Again, with the basic formula not changing, the value of this product is great. $1 per pack with rookies and the chance for autographs. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but Panini really knows how to do low end products. I can pretty much copy and paste this area for every Score product as they all follow the same formula. How can you ever be disappointed with the price of this product? If you are, you need to re-evaluate collecting cards.

Overall:

Overall, of course this is another very good lower end product from Panini. The design was kind of boring to me this year, but I must admit I do like a few things about it. It reminded me too much of products from last season and the regular rookie cards are just a bore. The checklist is fantastic as always. With such a large checklist, it’s the perfect product for every type of collector out there. And every type of collector could afford it too. It’s $1 per pack which means how can you complain about it? Good work again by Panini on putting together and extremely affordable and fun product for all ages.

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

Let’s see what the cards look like, shall we…beauty is in the eyes of the beholder:

Review: 2012 Panini Elite Football

One of the staples of the Panini football season is long since released in 2012 Panini Elite football and I’m finally available to give you the review it deserves. Yeah, I’ve been away from the world for awhile touring in Europe for my honeymoon, but I’ve been wanting to write this review for quite awhile now. When I opened the box before I left, I had really hoped to be able to provide a review sooner. Weddings and honeymoons really get in the way of other plans sometimes. But needless to say, I have the review ready for everyone. It’s a bit late in the game with other products about to come out, but it’s still worthy to check it out. Let’s see what we got here…

 

 

 

 

Design:

To say Panini improved upon the design this year after last year’s product is an understatement. In fact, you could say Panini annihilated last year’s product and the product looks completely different. This looks fantastic and is something to build upon for the season. I enjoyed just about every facet of this year’s product from the awesome acetate cards that I’ve been bugging the industry about for the last year, to the Prime Numbers with little holes cut into the card, to even the solid base set. I’m not sure exactly what Panini did over there to get all these improvements done so fast, but I like it. I knew it was going to be looking good from previews, but I was still surprised even after opening the box. Good work.

Checklist:

A strong rookie class is always extra points for any checklist. And Panini’s usual supporting class in every product always helps as well. But something I’m not a huge fan of in this product is the amount of defensive players like linemen who are included in the autograph checklist. A card in which that I did pull. I’m also not a huge fan of the number of rookies in this product with 100 rookies available to pull. But that’s more of a personal preference. Other than that, you have your rookie talent which is plentiful, your veterans, and a few retired stars thrown in there as well. There’s always something for everybody.

Value:

In general I find most of Panini’s products to be overpriced a bit, so this being 4 stars is nothing new to my reviews. It’s a solid product value wise, but I think that has more to do with the awesome rookie class and an improved product in general. If it was priced a little lower it would easily be 4.5-5 stars so I’d definitely wait for the price to come down a bit. The big hang up for me is just some of the autographs on the checklist. See, I don’t mind if I get a 8th round quarterback autograph. At least it has the chance to rise in value someday. 2nd round defensive ends? They’re probably cost effective for the company, but the consumer isn’t always happy with it. It’s a thin line the companies toy with when it comes to rookie autographs. They include them for the fans, but a lot of collectors want some value in their purchases as well. It’s tough.

Overall:

Overall, it feels like a new direction for Panini football products. The design is one of the best for this product in recent memory and provides the kind of momentum they can bring to future products this season. The checklist is usually what you would expect, nothing surprising about it, but it always provides something for everyone whether you are picking up singles or opening single boxes and packs. The value is what you’d really expect at this point as well, but there are some issues that I think could be worked on. Overall though, Panini should be happy with how the product turned out this year. Last year was a wreck and they needed a big boost this year to prove to some of the doubters out there that they can make nice looking products. They did that this year.

A big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this box for review. You can find them on their official site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else.

Oh, and here are some of what you might find in your own box. Let me know what you think.