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