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.

Review: 2012 Panini Prestige Football

The first real football product of the season has been released and made its way to the masses. No disrespect to the unlicensed companies or Topps’ release of Bowman Signatures, but this is the first product where everyone is featured in their NFL jerseys, including the rookies.

Prestige has a brand new look after sharp criticisms from last year, along with a brand new style, and some great new photography. From the previews, it looked like Panini has taken a huge step forward with this product, and you will see just how much of a step forward it has taken in the review. So let’s see what we got and how it fares.

Design:

I may have given this only four stars, but it’s a high four stars. First, it’s a huge improvement over last year’s product and is more of something you would want to expect product after product from Panini. It’s not phenomenal by any means, but it’s a great start to the season and the new direction Panini is going with their designs. I especially love the Stars of the NFL insert set as well as the memorabilia versions. It’s a very clean and slick looking card that could be made for a foundation for any set out there and look good. But it doesn’t come without the drawbacks. The rookie inserts like the Passports and Draft Tickets are kind of redundant styles and are getting kind of…well for lack of better words, annoying. I love the idea and have always been fond of it, but too much of a good thing is bad. In addition, I’m not a huge fan of the Rookie Premiere photography and how it’s utilized. The bare stands in the background detract from the photo used and it either needs to be filled in digitally, cropped out, or filled with real people. Oh, did I forget to mention the Tim Tebow set in Prestige is gorgeous?

Checklist:

Besides retired players, this product has everyone you could want in the NFL. Retired players generally aren’t in early season products as they should revolve mostly rookies and current players. Panini does just that with all the great rookies and veteran talent in this product. As most collectors know, Prestige is mostly about the rookies and getting their first autographs and cards out there on the market. With on-card autographs from some of the top rookies and other great rookie autographs, it’s a great start to the season to get those in your collection before they explode. We were also able to pull a couple of veteran memorabilia cards as well with a triple game used card and a single color patch card of great players in the league. While we didn’t pull any veteran autographs, you can still find them in the product, although they are more rare than finding rookies.

Value:

At a little less than $100 a box, it’s not a terrible value for the product, although with the larger amount of rookie autographs, I would kind of price it a little lower to be better value in terms of price per box. However, the inside of the product isn’t terrible either. With a rookie class that is as hyped up as this class is, you’re going to find some good value, especially if you pull one of the top picks. We were lucky enough to pull a Trent Richardson autograph numbered to 299 in our box, which would give you a good chunk of your money back in just that one card. The patch card was a nice touch in this product and Jamaal Charles is a stud despite his injury last season, so that was a nice surprise as well. Finally, with this year’s Rookie Premiere having all skill positions invited, it provides the opportunity for any of these rookie autographs to explode at any moment with a big game or even a big season. And the base rookie parallels don’t hurt either.

Overall:

Overall, this is a huge step forward for Panini in their opening product of the season. It really sets the table for the rest of the season and I hope the successful changes in this product permeates through the rest of the products for the season. The design changes are a huge plus for collectors out there, and despite it only being visual, it definitely increases value a bit. The checklist is great for the first product of year featuring top rookies and veteran talent, even short printed cards featuring players in their new uniforms. Finally, the value is a little above average with the great looking rookie class and the autographs obtained, but it’s nothing spectacular with the price tag at $100 for a box of cards. Who knows though, you might get “lucky” with Mr. Luck or RG3, the big sellers of the product.

Thanks again goes out to Panini for providing this box for review. You can find them on their official site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else on the net.

Now check out the rest of the haul.

Review: 2011 Panini Prime Signatures Football

2011 Panini Prime Signatures was released recently and we were about to snag a box to review for you guys as I know you love the reviews. 2011 Panini Prime Signatures is the revitalization of a older Panini product brought back in the football arena.

It features 4 cards per pack and is a single pack product. Each box is guaranteed to have an autograph and every card is numbered. There really isn’t much else to the product besides the 200+ card base set, but we’ll discuss that in the review.

Design:

While it sort of looks like a Rookies & Stars knockoff, the design is still extremely clean and solid. The solid white background with the colorful player and faded design looks extremely well done. The thick card stock is extremely nice as well which makes it feel like a premium product when it isn’t exactly a premium product. Although you may argue it is just based on the number of cards in a pack. The different colored foil for the different parallels is a Panini staple and something I don’t mind either. This is a great looking product all around. Although in this review, I can’t say anything about the autographs.

Checklist:

The thing I don’t like the most about this product is kind of the set up and collation of the product. Over 200+ base cards in a product where you get 2 base cards per box? That’s a little…crazy. This product is nice enough looking all around where you would want to put a base set together. The large checklist makes this virtually impossible to do. There is alot a large number of rookie autographs which in itself isn’t bad as you can find a ton of different rookies. But it also takes a hit on the…

Value:

For $55 you will get a box of this product. However, the 86 different rookie autographs and the smaller number of veteran autographs are really where the value lies. And the large number of players you can possibly pull makes this one extreme gamble. A gamble that would have gone terrible in my box break. I received a redemption of Nathan Enderle, backup QB for the Bears. Recent sales of this redemption have not hit $2. So this is definitely going to be hit or miss as it seems like that kind of product. I would almost recommend either making this a bigger product with say 3 autographs a pack and raise the price or make this a rookie only product and market it similar to Topps Magic football.

Overall:

This overall is rounded up from 3.8. As I stated in my preview, it’s like a mix of Topps Inception and Panini Limited. If you want to take the gamble, go for it. But you may hit big with a great rookie or veteran autograph, or end up like me. While it’s a cheaper gamble than other products out there, the one autograph from a large number of possibilities makes it that gamble. But there is no way anyone should really complain about the design, it’s clear and actually quite good. The thick card stock just makes it that much nicer. But if you pull a top rookie or veteran, you’re pretty good in all aspects.

Thanks again to Panini America for providing this box for review. You can check them out on their official website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else on the internet.

Not shown: Redemption for Nathan Enderle Rookie Signatures Gold

Review: 2011 Panini Contenders Football

2011 Contenders football is out and it is once again one of the top products for NFL rookie autographs to buy for that season. With at least 4 autographs per hobby box, Panini packs in the rookie autographs in such a way that promotes value season after season. Even this season, there are the regular SPs as well as the variants with the hard signed, on card autographs. These hard signed variants (another link to more variants) are slightly edited in such a way where it is like a little game, trying to figure out if yours is the one with something edited off the original photo. Just more to chase after for you rookie collectors.

Besides the autographs, you still have a decent sized base set and some nice inserts to go after including the paralleled tickets and several rookie inserts. With the ticket design still in full effect, you get a recognized brand once again this year. Check out the bottom of the review for our gallery of hits and make sure you let us know what you think of this product by Panini.

Design:

The design isn’t one of the best of recent years, but it’s definitely not one of the worst. A positive that I take out of the design is the fact that the dreaded “white autograph box of death” is better built into the card so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. I also really like the way the on-card autographs stand out above the stickers, so we definitely need to work on getting more players on-card in this product. But I’m not a huge fan of the layout in general and how the team colors dominate the card as they do. I would like to see more of an accent of those colors with a better design in place. Not terrible, but definitely not the best in recent memory.

Checklist:

I understand the aim of this product and what it’s supposed to be. This product is meant to be a prospecting product of sorts in football. It’s also all about the rookie autographs. So with the veteran base set, the legends in the inserts, and the rookie autographs and in inserts, it does what it’s supposed to do. I like the rookie choices as you have all your top rookies available. I would, however, like to see maybe one veteran autograph per box. That’s just me. I think it may reach more collectors like that, but this is a product based off of the rookie autographs. I just like variety in my boxes.

Value:

I actually find this to be one of Panini’s more higher value per box products. It’s easy to add value by adding in some great rookie autographs like Panini has done. But it’s harder to have a product succeed at making what seems like could be worthless rookie autographs valuable. With the way Panini short prints certain rookie autographs, it makes them more valuable because people need them to complete sets or just want that player. It drives the secondary market even more because people know that this product contains some of the more valuable rookie autographs of the year, and it’s more obtainable to the masses. Prices may drop on the product in a month or so, but it’s a worthy break if you want to spend the cash.

Overall:

Overall, this could of been one of the football products of the year if I liked the design more. Design is always pretty subjective, so you may like it just because it looks better to you. That shouldn’t stop you from buying this product. The checklist is full of great rookies that hold some great value. Speaking of value, there are no game used memorabilia pieces in this product, which to me, is great. All autographs in this product, and that makes it one of the best of the year and why everyone looks forward to it. Improve the design, and it’s back to being a winner once again. I’d love to see a patch autograph per box added as well, but that’s just a dream.

Thank you Panini for providing this box to review. I will be adding a couple autographs towards the Blogoversary party coming up all April long, so stay tuned for that. Until then, check out the gallery below.

Not shown: Kyle Rudolph Autograph Redemption

Review: 2011 Panini Limited Football

2011 Panini Limited football is here and it’s once again a product that can deliver some extremely rare and high end cards or be a complete dud. It’s the nature of the beast with this type of product that is only one pack per box and delivers either a single autograph and a couple game used pieces or a couple of autographs and a game used piece. It’s a gamble of a break at $100 but if you hit it good, you really hit it good.

Again, let me know what you think of putting all of the hits at the bottom of the review instead of near the top with this new gallery function instead of my little manual slideshow I had before.

Now, let’s take a look at this product by opening it!

Design:

Much better design over last year’s Limited product and I really like the use of the foil board here. You have the player cut out with a foil board background and just enough transparency to see the action in the background. It looks pretty good with the smaller name labels on the bottom and gives more attention to the player on the card. Even the Legend and Phenoms look great with the lettering placement. Again, I’m not a huge fan of the “white box” for autographs and really am pleading for just a lighter background in that area. As for the game used pieces, they look solid and Panini always does a great job die-cutting their products with useful information. *cough Topps*

Checklist:

I never see a real issue with Panini’s checklists most of the time. I don’t have a problem here either. They are always filled with top rookies, top veterans, decent retired players, and names people like. It was really cool pulling a Bo Jackson cards in this set as a Legend card so I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed pulling a top rookie autograph in Demarco Murray. Jared Allen is almost as good as a defensive player hit you can get, but probably not great in terms of…

Value:

This product is just so hit or miss the value has to be right down the middle. For $100 you get a break similar to this. One autograph and a couple of game used pieces while some boxes will contain two autographs. I do like that I received a nice patch, however, I would argue that this product would be much better if you were guaranteed two autographs and one game used piece. It’s just come to the point where game used cards (besides nice patches like the one I pulled) are becoming so common it’s not adding value anymore unless it’s low numbered or a patch. At $75 this would be a better break, $100 is just too much for what it is.

Overall:

Overall, what I’ve repeatedly stated about Panini Limited as a product is still true. It’s a very hit or miss product. The design is much better then past years and it looks like a much higher end looking product. It could use some work in the insert department and the white box is starting to get annoying but it still looks good. Panini’s checklists are always solid and fruitful so no issue there. However, the value is where the issue with this product is. It needs a little bit more or the price needs to be lowered to where it used to be a few years ago where it was $75ish a box at release.

Again, thanks to Panini for providing this box for review. Make sure you check out their blog for all the Panini information you need…after you check mine :)

Here are the cards: