Review: 2011 Panini Certified Football

Okay, I lied in the video. Just making that clear to start. This is not the Certified product with the HRX video cards. I got too excited and ahead of myself for the possibility of an autographed video card from Panini. It’s not this one. That is Totally Certified. Oops. I’m sure I’m not the only one who made that mistake already.

Anyways, this is a break and review of 2011 Panini Certified football, the regular Certified football. The product of choice for a lot of football collectors who collect Panini products. You get 4 hits per box with some mirrored parallels as well. Want to know what we got? Me too. Check it out. More slideshow goodness.

Design:

I give the design this score for a few reasons. There is a lot to like about the design of the cards and a lot that I couldn’t care for. Let’s start with the negatives just to get those out of the way. I think the label at the bottom of the base cards is just big. I think it would look great slimmed down a notch which would give more room for the full bleed photos which are good. FOTG and Certified Potential are meh. But I love the Hometown Heroes insert set. The design is kind of an enigma to me. Maybe it’s just me.

Checklist:

Okay, so you have a ton of rookies like every other Panini product this season. I’m still not a huge fan of the 100 rookies in the base set. There are a ton of no name rookie autographs as well which isn’t that good either. But you can find veterans, rookies, and legend players in this checklist which I think is a definite plus. There are some sweet veteran and legends cards that you can pull and Panini always does a great job including enough of those into a product so I always give them kudos for that.

Value:

The current price being just south of $100 might be a little much for me with this product. Sure, you get 4 hits in a box and some mirrored cards but as I stated above, there is just too much filler in terms of the base rookie autographs. You may get lucky and hit one of the Freshmen Fabrics or something along those lines and pull a nice autograph from there, but I’m not sure how often those are falling. After checking other box breaks, it appears that I just got a “meh” box compared to others. There are a ton of nice on-card autographs to be found with some nice subsets, so don’t let this particular box break scare you away. The low numbered mirror parallels always sell decent too so don’t forget about those.

Overall:

While I’m not a huge fan of some of the designs this year, I am a huge fan of a some of the other designs this year. Take that for what it is and see what you like about it. The checklist is solid but again, the over abundance of rookies is something I’m not a huge fan of. But you can always find some nice veterans and legends in Panini products and they are always included in just about every set. So if you’re lucky, you’ll hit one of those. You may even pull some of the nicer rookies in autographed form as well. I seemed to have hit just a bad box as I’ve seen a lot more breaks nicer than this then on par or worse then this so don’t let this particular box scare you away. As always, do your research.

And as always, a big thank you goes out to Panini America for providing this product to review!

Video coming soon. I’ll be uploading a ton of stuff over the next couple days as I have the time off from work.

Review: 2011 Panini Gold Standard Football

Panini’s Gold Standard line is moving to football from the basketball arena and it looks just as good, if not better, then it’s basketball counterpart. While I kind of liked the entrapped autographs, when they weren’t cutting off the signatures, they seemed to have done away with those types of autographs in football and changed things up a bit.

Our box is in for review and here are some images of what we pulled. Remember, we have just started to try out this little slideshow feature, so if you don’t like it please let me know so I can try something else. If you love it, well tell me that too. Just trying to get less clutter on the review posts.

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Patch Auto #/325

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Design:

As Beckett’s Chris Olds said in a Twitter post, this is probably the best use of foil board to date. And it rings true. I really like the design of this product with the gold foil board and the designs put forth on the cardboard. It really has an elegant and gold feel from opening up the gold bar shaped box to shuffling through the gold colored cards to see what you pulled. A couple of things I didn’t like though starts with the big white boxes for rookie autograph stickers. Okay, I get that these might stay around for awhile until something is figured out so here is a new idea. A white rectangle the size and shape of a sticker where you just place the sticker on top of it. It wouldn’t take away from the entire bottom part of the card. I’m also still not huge on the layout of the non-memorabilia inserts with the team logo. Sometimes it looks okay, but it just doesn’t look incorporated well in inserts like the Rivers.

Checklist:

For $200 you better have the checklist to back it up and Panini provides a great checklist for you to chase after. From the great looking rookie autographs in the silver pen to even some cards embedded with diamonds from super bowl winners, you can pull the hottest rookies and the greatest to ever take the field. You can really just pull about anyone in this product which I really like. I do think there may be too many rookies in this product however and that would be really my only complaint.

Value:

$200 for a box is a tough sell when you have plain jersey cards of rookies in the product. There is a huge potential for hit or miss in this product and having the plain rookie jerseys in it really puts a damper on the value. At least patch these bad boys up in your second highest priced product of the year. I got a total of one patch, on the Locker, and it’s not only numbered to 325, it’s a single color patch. Oy vey. It’s a little rough, but at least it’s of a top rookie. I can’t imagine if I pulled a Jerrel Jernigan or Bilal Powell as my rookie patch autograph and the rest of the cards I pulled. Discounting maybe some bad luck for some, there is the potential for huge hits as well with diamond embedded Super Bowl autographed cards and NFL Shields that could bring in quite a bit of money, as well as autographs from the top rookies of the year. Products like this are always hit or miss so you’ll have a lot of complaints.

Overall:

Overall, this product has a solid design with a great use of foil board and the gold shines beautifully on these cards. With a few tweaks here and there I think it could look even better. But what would look better then some of the diamond embedded Super Bowl ring cards this product delivers featuring a great checklist of Super Bowl legends. Or maybe even a nice silver inked rookie autographed patch from a hot rookie. But you better hope you get lucky and pull a popular name as the other hits with plain jerseys and high numbered hits may drag down the value a little bit. $200 is a bit rough of a price to start out with, but if you wait it out a month or two, prices should drop a bit and you might find some better value. But if you’re up for a gamble, this is a very fun product to rip open.

As always, a big thank you goes out to Panini America for providing this product for review.

Review: 2011 Topps Finest Football

Yes, I’m a little late with this one too but I really wanted to try the product. The one patch autograph and one patch jersey card per master box really caught my eyes. Plus with the addition of a ton of different refractors and the possibility for some veteran autographs was right up my alley along with the solid rookie checklist. I put down a little bit of cash on this and here is what I pulled.

Base:

Parallels:

Inserts:

Autographs:

Design:

There is really only one reason I dinged this down a little bit and that is the autographs. I’m not a huge fan of entrapped autographs that are embedded into the card. Sure it makes it look less stickery, but if you end up cutting off part of the persons signature, as seen with the Stevan Ridley…though only partially, it just takes away from the autograph. Maybe it’s just me. But also, why no on-card autographs here? You were able to get on-cards for Inception, why not here? I know it’s probably part of your process, but Panini was able to get a ton of rookies done on card. That Cam would of looked so much better on-card then it already does. But I love everything else, the die-cuts, the refractors, the dotted design in the background, thumbs up.

Checklist:

Again, a great showing here. With the rookies AND veterans, this product would please just about everyone on the map, besides those who want legend possibilities in their product too. I dinged it a half star because I would of liked to see a little more depth with the veteran autographs and a little more with the Finest Moments cards. The non-autoed Finest Moments are probably the only thing I don’t like alot about this product. I know it’s been around awhile, I don’t mind it, but compared to everything else it’s just there.

Value:

Value, value, value. I got great value. Others may not have done too hot. I also spent more because the prices with this product have gone up as well. But overall, this has more value then most of Topps football products this season. With the inclusion of the veteran hits and the patch autographs, this rivals Topps Chrome as Topps’ best full product of the year. (Inception is a different type of product with it’s few cards) Not only are you guaranteed a patch auto and jersey auto, you may get a bonus hit…like mine. I just wish the patch autographs weren’t all numbered so high, but when every box has one, I guess that should be expected.

Overall:

Overall, there really isn’t much bad to say about this product. It is as close to perfection as you can get, in my eyes. You have a great looking design all the way around. You have a checklist with rookies and veterans and possible hits for both. You also have a solid value because of the nice rookie class and the inclusion of those veteran hits and rookie patch autographs. I thoroughly enjoyed opening this product and if I had the cash, I would probably put down enough for a case of it. I had that much fun. This is my kind of product.

Funny how my first Cam Newton card of the season is an autograph numbered to 25!

Review: 2011 Topps Chrome Football

Well, I broke down and decided to try my luck with some 2011 Topps Chrome football. I saw all the great things that a ton of people had to say about the product and I decided that I wanted to try and review it myself. So I ordered a box with some money I put together and have a review for you guys. I picked this up for about $100 bucks so let’s see what we got.

Base:

Parallels:

Inserts:

Autograph:

Design:

I really can’t say enough about the design. Again, Topps has put out a product that looks really great. They have done that alot with this year’s products which is a good thing. The things Topps needs to work on, in general, is content. But that’s besides the point. This product looks fantastic. Very clean design, nice borders, nice photos, and the refractors look really good. I love the look of the sepia tone refractors myself. The inserts are solid and I enjoy the Bowman Chrome design as well. Oh yeah, everyone knows I love die-cuts so the atomic refractors are great too. Nice and sparkly as well! Pretty. Not that I’m taking points off this, but I opened this up last night and I swear I can still smell the Chrome finish on my hands…ew. Can’t we get strawberry scented Chrome finish?

Checklist:

The checklist is solid. There are a ton of nice autographs to be had in either regular or paralleled form. But the thing for me is that they are rookie autographs. I would like to see at least a better possibility of pulling a bonus autograph and having it be a nice veteran autograph. Why can’t we see a few other autographs thrown in there? I mean, it’s already up to over $100 a box…I know the rookie class is good but that changes the decision on whether buying this is a good idea or not.

Value:

That leads us here to value. The prices has rocketed up on this product, but for good reason. The rookie class is doing great this year and people want to find rare cards of these rookies. This is a great product to find it, but it suffers from the same problem we find in baseball. So many parallels. These parallels effect the value in a negative light, especially if you start pulling parallels of rookies no one cares about or ride the pine. A nice cut down on the number of parallels would be nice and I go back to wanting a chance at a veteran autograph as well. The rookie patch autographs are nice and rare, but again, I don’t want a product where the only hits are rookies when there are veteran base and parallels as well. Oh, don’t get rid of the superfractor though, they are beautiful and are worth a pretty penny.

Overall:

Overall though, I had a ton of fun opening this product. It just leaves a little tiny bit to be desired in the checklist and value portions. Otherwise, this is a great product which I can see being the rookie card everyone wants to get every season like Bowman Chrome is to baseball. The cards look sharp in all their parallel forms, but maybe try and get a few more on-card signatures. If Panini can do it, anyone can. I would like to see a little more work put in the value, but there already is some great value if you pull the right players and they seem to hold value pretty well. I’m going to harp on this again though, I would like to see some veteran hits. Good work Topps.

The video will be here when I get a chance to upload it.

Still looking for my first Cam Newton card of the year…

 

Review: 2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football

One of the higher end staples from Panini is back on the table this year with some nice improvements to the quality of the product. This year, all the 36 rookies who attended the Rookie Premier have on-card autographs in this product which results in some great looking cards. But how will the rest of the product hold up?

We have been given a box to review once again by Panini and we will check out some the great hits that you can pull from this product. And by great, I mean great, because we ended up pulling a great looking card below.

Base:

Inserts:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Not shown: Greg McElroy Rookie Spectrum Auto GOLD (Redemption)

Design:

The overall base design is very solid in foil with a great action shot and a great layout for name and position. To me, it seems like they got confused and put the team logo where the brand logo should be. But that’s not a big deal at all. Even the Spectrum layouts are solid as well. The inserts are very…”Panini-like” as they have the same feel as other products. Player off-centered, team logo where memorabilia goes, and then the other information. It’s been that way as far back as I can remember since I got back into the hobby in 2005 so no change there. I’m not a huge fan of the design of the RPM cards, I mean look at that Steven Ridley card. That Patriots logo is HUGE! I’m guessing that’s where an autograph would go if it was an autographed version? Just not a fan. But that Ingram looks great with everything filled up (as well as the Tony Gonzalez patch).

Checklist:

A great bunch of rookies that you will find in every product, but the paralleled RPM materials help make the rookies pulled that much better. The jumbo patch autograph really added the needed value to the box and having future Hall of Famers like Tony Gonzalez on the checklist is a solid addition. You can pull just about anything from this product, but you’ll more than likely hit mostly rookies, which can be good or terrible. But they make the rookies well worth it if you hit a nice card like that Ingram. But again, this product suffers from too large of a base set of veterans and rookies and needs to be cut down a bit.

Value:

I really didn’t hit any plain jerseys in this box which is a great start to a product that costs over $150 for four packs of cards and a hit per pack product. The RPM you could consider a plain jersey, but you’re bound to find them in every product like this. The other hits were great with the Tony Gonzalez two color patch, the Mark Ingram jumbo patch autograph, and even a solid rookie autograph redemption. I still have faith in Greg McElroy. I’ve seen a lot of great boxes of this product, more then a lot of products out there by any manufacturer and more “good boxes” then “bad boxes”.

Overall:

Overall, Absolute is a fun break at a hit per pack but it’s also an expensive break. If I bought one pack and got that Steven Ridley as my hit, I wouldn’t be a happy camper. This is definitely best bought by the box. The design is solid and I think they did a good job with the traditional Absolute foil on the base and inserts. The design on the hits are okay but that doesn’t matter as much when you get some solid hits like this box provided. The checklist is too large for this type of product for the base veteran and rookie set, but the hit checklist is pretty solid and the rookie on-card autographs are great. I mean, the Ingram wouldn’t look half as good if that was a sticker. The product is going to be hit or miss, but it looks like there are more hits and then misses this time around from the number of box breaks I’ve seen which is a good thing.

Again, I’d love to thank Panini for providing this box for me to review. You can visit their official site or their official blog to find out more information on great cards like the ones pulled above.