Review: 2012 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football

2012 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football is in stores just in time for the end of the 2012 football season. That means you’ve had time to see the rookies and breakout stars of the season and find your favorite players in this product. Absolute Memorabilia is a four pack per box product that features 4 autographs/memorabilia cards, an insert and a few base cards as well. It often features some of the nicer rookie cards of the season where you can find some big hits like the popular NFL shield memorabilia cards, laundry tags, and jumbo patches. The popular subsets return as well with the favorite Tools of the Trade insert returning. Want to see what’s in a box? Check it out below.

Design:4 stars blue

The design of the product you can see resembles that of previous years as far as the base design goes. With just enough tweaking, I think it is a solid base to go off of and Panini does a pretty good job in that department. My only issue remains to be the color/usage of the foil on the cards. The lettering doesn’t really match with the flow of the rest of the card causing it to look a little out of place. The color fung-shui is just a little off to me. The updates to the insert sets are interesting and do take a little getting used to, while the autographed rookie cards look fantastic this year. Not to mention, the on-card autographs on the rookie cards look fantastic on the foilboard. I wasn’t sure how they would look, but the thin pen actually stands out really well.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist for Absolute continues to be solid, although I don’t see that much has changed since last year as far as the rookie odds compared to the veteran odds. It was very nice to pull a great veteran prime memorabilia card in Hakeem Nicks, but the odds for just rookie autographs again appears higher. I do rate the checklist a half star higher than last year however, due to the quality of the rookies and some of the bigger hits you can find this year.

Value:4 stars blue

Again, value is a tough indicator in a box like this because it is extremely hit or miss. Just as well, this product is much better bought by the box than bought by the pack because of the one hit per pack odds and the price of the single pack. Currently, the product sits at $155 per box at DA Card World which is around where you would expect it to fall after all these years and the solid rookie class. However, it is still a tough break as it is a hit or miss product at that price, especially if you purchase by the pack. I think this year, you may find more hits than misses with the class of rookies and the checklist.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, the product isn’t much changed from last season. You still get the rookie autographs and the occassional veteran autograph. The design is somewhat changed, even a bit in a better direction. The checklist is what you’ve come to expect as well. And the price hasn’t changed. So without much of a change this year, you are generally going to get the same score as last year. I do admit, the rookie autographs still look much better than in years past and I like the autograph on the foilboard. It’s definitely worthy of your penny, but only purchasing by the box.

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

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

To see the video break, make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube. Here are the cards…

Review: 2012 Panini Black Football

Panini has brought out the big guns in the creation of 2012 Panini Black football. A set with a black theme to do it has been done dozens of times, however Panini puts their own spin on the concept with some interesting results. At one pack per box and 12 cards per pack, you do get quite a few cards for a one pack box. Each box is guaranteed a couple autographs and a couple memorabilia cards, with the prized cards being autographed (gold ink) patch autographs from some of the top young rookies in the game. Let’s see what your typical box will bring you:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design is nothing ground breaking. That said, it was extremely well done without too much going on in the background. An all black design is hard to design because the absence of color is what makes the cards bold and attractive. Plus, how can you call yourself “Black” with a ton of other colors and designs? The design stays with the theme with a few accents in the background to make the players pop and the background distinguished. The lettering on the cards is actually pretty neat with a futuristic font and the use of letter foiling is subtle enough to not overpower the card either. Overall, a great effort.

Checklist:4 stars blue

Panini Black is sort of like the product you go to if you want to get rookie autographs. I pulled three of them in my box, however, one autograph was an undrafted rookie for the Dolphins who I don’t believe is even on the roster currently. The other was not a skill player, but the patch autograph was decent, although he sits behind Ray Rice in the depth chart. That is the issue when you have a product that mainly consists of rookie autographs in that you often will pull nobodies when you’re spending big money on a product. With the low chances of pulling veteran content, it’s going to be hit or miss on the content.

Value:3 and half stars blue

Again, the checklist makes the value suffer. You can find this product for $200 at DA Card World. I mean, this product is extremely hit or miss. You have your random rookie autographs from people you haven’t heard of, but then you find beautiful on card content from players who attended the rookie premiere who get some playing time. At the same time, you find a whole bunch of single color swatches in the product (some even in the patch autographs) but you can also find some pretty sweet and rare pieces as well. Again, I’m offering the suggestion of cutting out the no name rookies, perhaps even the ones who aren’t skill players, in a product with this high of a price tag and find veterans out there who at least you recognize their names and they get some playing time. The price tag plus the content can lead to some extremely disappointed customers.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this product has the looks as if it could start a tradition over at Panini. However, the content needs an overall better product for it to succeed as that. The strong rookie class this year has probably really helped the product this year, but what about when the rookies are weak? The design is great for this product and I applaud the design team for not over-doing it, but the content in this product needs a bit of a step up. When will we start seeing higher end products contain content where you can recognize the player? $200 should not get me two autographs from people I’ve never heard of nor should I get 3 single colored swatches.

Thanks to Panini 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 of this product over at Cardboard Connection.

And here are the hits…


Review: Keepr Media Johnny Unitas Keepr

Video cards are part of the future of the trading card industry. Whether you are a purist or not, they have made many strides throughout the years. From Upper Deck’s card that was a mini CD-Rom to the videos built right into the card, they have evolved quite a bit. However, here is something new that hasn’t been produced yet and it comes from Keepr Media.


I received an email from Tom Matte, former halfback of the Baltimore Colts for the opportunity to review such a product. I jumped at the chance. Tom described the product to me like this, “This is a special collectible that aids former NFL pro football players via the Player Care Foundation (PCF). Not only does a portion of the proceeds go to former NFL players, but all NFL licensing fees go to the PCF as well. This product, called the Keepr, is a unique collectible that pays tribute to legends of the NFL. The Keepr offers a special experience on the owner’s computer featuring rare footage from the NFL Films’ vault, along with iconic photos from the associated press and career stats of the player.”


The product works as if it were a USB drive built into the card. It has a little chip that slides out and you put it into the USB port. From there, it opens and features a number of videos, photographs, and stats from the player. There are pictures and videos from Super Bowls and some of the greatest games that Unitas ever played, as well as some rare interview footage. Everything is licensed by the NFL and NFL Films, so you know you are getting some quality images and footage.


The technology works fantastically. The only improvement I would really like to see would be to have the videos pop up directly inside the flash based program instead of a separate window. That would make the experience that much better. Other than that, it is a fantastic archive of photos, videos, and stats of your favorite legend of the game.

You can find Unitas, amongst other legends, currently for sale on the Keepr Media website. The product currently retails for $60. While I think it is a great collectible for card collectors and fans of the game, I think the price tag is a little high. I understand the benefit for the Player Care Foundation and the price of creating the card, I think it would be more marketable at a lower price. It also doesn’t work on Macs unless you have boot camp installed, which I don’t.

You can find more about Johnny Unitas and his upcoming documentary movie about his life at Unitas We Stand.

Review: 2012 Topps Chrome Football

Yeah, it’s a little late to be reviewing this product. Especially since I bought it on Black Friday. But late is better than never. I’ve had to catch up on all of the other (sponsored) breaks and those definitely get first priority. But now we can check out Topps Chrome football, one of the hottest products of the year from Topps. With their Chrome technology, on-card autographs, and sweet refractors, it is always a hit season after season. Want to see how this season fares? Check out the review:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design this year is clean, organized, and has a great look to it. One of the best parts about most Topps products is that the designs always have great order to them. They may not be crazy fancy, but everything is neat, in order, and appealing to the eyes. This is one of those sets that looks great even without the Chrome finish. And of course, the Chrome finish itself is always the same. Good part though is the less bend in the cards this year. The inserts are very nice too and Topps has taken hold of the die-cut resurgence with more great offerings. Overall, a very well designed product for one of their biggest products of the season.

Checklist:4 and half stars blue

Flagship Topps has always been about two things. Current players and rookies. That’s what it does well and that’s what everyone expects. That is exactly what it does as well. It features all of your favorite players of the game and the rookies from the incoming draft. The checklist also features a couple of insert sets that are pretty sweet as well including the rookies like the Tall Boys and the 1957 replica cards. Very well put together set by Topps. (Don’t forget the refractors as well, but were there too many colors?)

Value:4 stars blue

I was able to grab my box for $80 during a Black Friday special at DA Card World, but you can now find it there for $113. The price keep continuing to rise with the hot play of the rookie in the product and the value of those different rookies autographs and paralleled cards. It really is a product that is full of value with the autographs and refractors. If it wasn’t for the refractor parallels, I would be going off on how high the price is for essentially one autograph, but these cards always hold value. These are really the best rookie cards to have on the season. I just give the product 4 stars in value as the autograph hit and refractors may not line up to be too good, sort of like my box, and especially at a price as high as the current price. And the inclusion of memorabilia cards, are they just an added hit? If so, that’s fine, but the autographs are what makes this product. At $80, it’s a great break. $113? Not so much. But that’s the market for you.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

Overall, 2012 Topps Chrome football is one of the best product of the football season once again, and possibly the best product for rookies and autographs that is easily available to the masses. The design once again is top notch, although the “camo” refractor would look alot nicer if it was a camoflauge like x-fractor. That’s just nit-picking though. I mean, the product is what we thought it was. IT IS WHAT WE THOUGHT IT WAS! That’s a good thing as the product has enough legs to keep the set up the same year after year. The value holds up, although the market has really played with it alot with everyone purchasing it. Topps, please don’t release more cases next year.

Check out the full checklist over at Cardboard Connection.

Check out the video, I recorded it awhile back when camera was down…


Review: 2012 Panini Prime Signatures Football

Panini Prime Signatures football is back for another season in the football realm, with noticeable improvements over last year’s installation. With the addition of patch autographs and what looks like an increase in veteran content, the product becomes much less of a gamble than it may have been last season. With only three cards per box, it is going to be a gamble no matter what, but at least this year the odds are slightly more in your favor. And we as collectors always appreciate that when purchasing products. Let’s see what we pulled…


The design more or less hasn’t changed since last season. This is both good and bad, but I am going to err towards the good this time around. It’s a clean and solid design with the white background with the accents behind the players. The thick card stock adds a premium feel to the product. The different color foil returns to differentiate the paralleled cards in the product and the addition of rookie memorabilia cards looks fantastic as well. Only issue is that the changes are so insignificant, it doesn’t have a differential factor. I can say that it does look more pleasing to the eye though this year.


The checklist this year is slightly improved with both veteran content, the strong rookie class, and the addition of different types of hit cards that you can pull. There seems to be a stronger amount of veteran content this year, which definitely improves the checklist. The strong rookie class will always help as well, but even a decent class last year made this product a difficult choice on whether to buy or not. Finally, the additional types of hit cards really adds another dimension to the product. You know you’re going to get an autograph…will it be veteran, rookie, rookie memorabilia? What type of memorabilia? More options will equal a better checklist and a better…


…value in a product like this. Value in a product with these standards is always a correlation between checklist and hits compared to selling price. The selling price of the product hasn’t really changed, $60 a box over at DA Card World, so it really depends on what you find inside. Again, it’s back to those additional styles of hits that really make this product more valuable. Collectors love the autographed memorabilia and patch cards, and this product finally provides them after a kind of boring product last season. As you can see, we pulled one of those cards which is a great example to the great additions made by the Panini football team.


Overall, this product has a great improvement over last year’s version. While the design hasn’t changed much, it has kept the core components that made it a great looking card to the eyes. A type of card that you would consider building a set of if it wasn’t for the price and difficulty. The checklist is a little improved as well with some of the veteran content as well as the stronger rookie class. And finally, the price of the product hasn’t changed, but the hits have changed for the better with different style autographs from the regular, to patch autograph hits. Good work with the improvements this year Panini.

As always, thanks to Panini for providing this product for review. You can find them online at their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can find the full checklist over at the Cardboard Connection.

I’ve almost resolved the picture issue, so this might be the last one where I am practically forcing you to see my face. Sorry.