Review: 2011-12 Panini Score Hockey

The best value in sports cards is back, this time hot off the ice. Panini Score hockey brings you pack after pack for only $1 each, filled with inserts, die-cuts, rookies, and even the occasional autograph. You can see my preview of the product here with more information. But here is my box of 2011-12 Panini Score hockey, brought to you by my future mother in-law as a Christmas present.

And here’s our pulls (one example of each):

Design:

The design of Score is always solid all around. This year, the design brings me back to the 70s or 80s. Back in a year where I was probably not even born. But the design still looks good to me with the colors designed to match the team colors. As always, I love those little additions that make designs merge better into the card. The inserts are all beautiful as well. My favorites being the die-cuts, Making an Entrance, and the Net Cam inserts. This whole product is very solid in the design department and for a $1 per pack product, that’s great.

Checklist:

As with all of Panini Score products, the checklist is always great. This product is full of all the stars of the league, a ton of veterans, and a good number of rookies. Some may dislike some of the better known rookies being short prints, but I think it’s a great idea to add some extra value, which will be discussed below. The only thing that some people may not like is some of the game’s greatest players in history. Personally, I believe that every product does not need to contain those facets. Just like I believe that every product doesn’t need to be a ton of rookies. But the checklist of veterans and rookies in a 500 card checklist is great for set collectors, especially with it being $1.

Value:

The value of this product is some of the best in the industry. $1 per pack of trading cards. How does it get better then that? There are short printed rookies of the top rookies, a ton of base cards, a great number of inserts and limited inserts, and the occasional autograph thrown in there at a better rate then other company’s low end products. As I stated earlier, the best value in sports trading cards is Panini’s Score brand and they don’t disappoint once again.

Overall:

Overall, the Score brand has been a staple of quality low-end products of Panini since they brought it back to sports. The design is always solid in all facets of the product. The checklist is always filled with what seems like every player in the league so you will be able to find your favorite team or players in every box. And when you are buying those boxes, it won’t hurt your wallet and you might get some decent value cards from the box. Say you pull a rookie short print and an autograph in the same box? You are doing well for yourself there. Overall, it’s a great product that gets you in the hockey collecting mood for the entire season.

No video this time around, couldn’t set it up while opening the box by the Christmas tree.

Review: 2011-12 Panini Certified Hockey

The Certified hockey is back bringing you some of the first rookie autographs of the season from your favorite rookies and stars. Couple that with some other great memorabilia cards and the popular mirror parallels, this is usually an early season hit with the hockey collectors out there trying to grab this year’s earlier cards. Let’s see what I pulled and you won’t believe it.

Oh, and while I am typing this, why don’t you test out my new slideshow plugin I installed. All you have to do is click the image or the next button to go on to the next card. Tell me if you like it or not as I’m trying to reduce clutter on my review pages.

And oh, this is definitely a hot box so it’s hard to review.

jeffskinnercert
PatrickRoyImmortals
franzenpatch

#/25

gustavssonsig
johnnytpatch

#/25

karlssonjersey
kovalchukjersey

#/25

marcafmarvels
markstromjersey

#/399

ryansmythcert

Ryan Smyth Mirror #/10

(Not pictured: Brandon Saad Freshmen Signatures Redemption)

Design:

I really like the design of the product this year with the starburst effect. The foil board really makes it stand out and I think it’s one of Panini’s better hockey designs, so I hope this is a new trend going into hockey this year as Panini’s designs are usually easily identifiable and get kind of redundant after awhile. I like this change of pace and think they did a great job with this product’s design. The base, the inserts I did get, all looked great. It’s hard to grade design when you get mostly hits in this hot box, but these cards did look good.

Checklist:

While the checklist is above average because of all the rookie autographs put into the product this early in the season, it’s not great. The lack of legends you might find is kinda low. This may have to do with some exclusivity issues with other companies, but I do understand it’s hard to compete when there are exclusive autograph contracts done. I’m sure there are a few legends out there who don’t sign much you can add to a few of your products like Certified. I just find it lacks the star power in the legends arena.

Value:

This one is too hard for me to do myself with the hot box, so I relied more at a number of breaks online. With what I’ve seen, it looks like you can get some pretty decent hits in this product, but we don’t have as many hot rookies as last year. The Nuge is selling for a ton, but others aren’t so lucky in that regard. My rookies aren’t great and I didn’t pull one of the rookie jerseys, but the low numbered patches, jerseys, and parallels would do well on the secondary market. Oh, and got to love the on-card autograph I received.

Overall:

Overall, this is a solid early season offering from Panini. The new designs look great and I hope it is a sign of great things to come this season. The checklist could use a little more star power in the legends front especially in the autograph selection, but there are a ton of nice veteran autographs to be found. The value is there in most boxes, but the rookies really aren’t helping this season as only RNH is putting up big numbers, but we might see those rise with the breakout of a couple more rookies throughout this season or next. It’s just hard to review a few things with a hot box. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all and it was a blast.

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

Video to come up soon, writing this too late tonight.

Review: 2011-12 Upper Deck Series I Hockey

Series I hockey. Upper Deck’s flagship product. What other flagship product out there has base rookie cards that go for the amount of money Upper Deck’s Young Guns go for? What other product period has something like that? Right now, the “Nuge” Young Guns are hitting $80-$100. Did I pull one? Did I pull another great rookie? Time to find out.

Base:

Inserts:

Game Used:

Young Guns:

Design:

I don’t know what it is this year Upper Deck has done differently, but I’m not huge on the design. I do love the full bleed pictures and love the photography. But the oval design with the abstract lines across the bottom kind of turn me off. The Young Guns don’t look as good as year’s past, but I find them pretty average in general. That doesn’t change the value though! Oh, and the UD Canvas cards are very, very nice looking and I like that it was made an insert set. That Lundy is just a gorgeous picture of MSG.

Checklist:

The checklist is very nice as well. A huge base set for a flagship brand is great. Tons of Young Gun rookies for you to get your hands on of some of the best rookies in the league. There is also a solid checklist of game used jerseys that are found in every box. My only gripes are the checklist on the Hockey Heroes insert set and the rare to find autograph checklist. Not bad though, not bad at all.

Value:

A ton of packs for about $60. A bunch of possibly extremely valuable rookies and the potential for some rare autographs of some great players and just as rare patches and other case hits. It’s exactly what you want in a flagship product and I think it has pretty good value. I would love to have an increased odds of an autograph by subtracting the jersey cards, but that’s just me. Otherwise, solid all around as far as value goes.

Overall:

Overall, this is probably the best flagship product out there covering any sport. While the design has been better in recent years, it still looks great with the great photography and full bleed photos.¬† The checklist is always full of your favorite veterans along with some of the best rookies of the year. Speaking of those rookies, they hold more value then any other base rookie out there in a similar product and that’s a great thing. While you also get two jerseys a box with a rare autograph here and there, I’d like to see maybe a jersey phased out and throw in a higher chance at an autograph. We all know that game used jerseys are overdone nowadays and autographs are really where it’s at now.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Bma_gYyEHJI]

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey

I know it’s a little late and this product has been out awhile now, but I have been wanting to bust open a box/pack of this for awhile. With all the great rookies last year and some of the big hits that come out of this product, why not give it a shot? Well I did, with a little Black Friday help from DA Card World.

This Upper Deck product features one pack in a box with a base, rookie, a game used, and an autograph. Let’s see what we pulled:

Base:

Game Used:

Autograph:

 Design:

Overall, I really enjoy the design of these cards. The design is very clean as it is with most Upper Deck products. I also like the photo and color designs with this product, especially the base card that I pulled. I even notice some of the little subtleties in the design, like on the Crosby game used card that I really like, for example where they placed Sid’s number is different, but looks really good. Even though the background is similar to other Upper Deck high end releases, it is always just enough tweaking to look fresh and clean.

Checklist:

Upper Deck usually seems to put out a quality checklist with their high end offerings and this is no different. Not only can you pull some unbelievable cards from some of the season’s top rookies, the veteran presence in this product is great. With Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and other stars, combined with Upper Deck exclusives Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, and Bobby Orr, there is always a chance for a nice hit. While some may complain it dilutes the market or they want more of a variety, I like having those possibilities when I buy a box. But I would like to see more veteran/retired variety every once and awhile.

Value:

Value is a tough one with a product like this. It’s a single pack product with two hits. It’s going to be extremely hit or miss with a product like this. But when you do hit it good, it’s a big hit that will hold some value, especially if you hit a big name rookie. My rookie auto isn’t the greatest, but it was made up for by the Sidney Crosby dual game used. While there are a ton of big hits, there are even more of hits like my Brandon Yip rookie autograph. The Sid is a good hit though for a game used card. Combining the checklist with value gives me a pretty good idea where to rate value in a product like this.

Overall:

Overall, I do really like this product. It’s definitely a lesser gamble than say, my break of The Cup. But you still have the possibility for some huge hits like great rookie autograph patches or shields, or some legends autographs. Single packs products are a gamble and you need to recognize that when purchasing a product like this. But with a solid design and checklist like I found here, even if you don’t pull something extremely valuable, you have some good looking cards that do hold some value while giving you some pretty nice trade bait.

What did you think of this product? Let me know!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV3k-yeJ18k]

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey

After having a dual review of both 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup hockey and Panini Dominion and writing my full review of Panini Dominion, it’s time to fully review this year’s The Cup hockey from Upper Deck. Upper Deck The Cup is a single pack product with a current price at $420. Every box should have 6 cards, although I have seen several with only 5.

2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup has always been a hit amongst collectors as one of the must get products of the season. People often break this product by the case, however I could not afford a case of The Cup and found a box on sale at DA Card World with my Premier Account. So I saved a bit of money and made sure I got the really thick toploaders you’ll need for the cards in this product. Here’s what I pulled.

Base:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Design:

The design on this product is always top notch and always one of Upper Deck’s best designed products year after year. The design is extremely clean with some great accents in the back but it features the player fully and completely. While I think some designs could use some work, like the Quad jersey above, most everything else is absolutely beautiful to look at and really it should appeal to everyone. Really, there isn’t much left to say about that.

Checklist:

Sure, Upper Deck has the reigns when it comes to the greatest hockey players of all time. They have an exclusive contract with Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Gordie Howe. This product features a ton (I think too much) of the hottest rookies of the last year. I did a count of Taylor Hall autographs and counted around 600. I was in shock and surprise at this number. Sure, it’s good for some people, but what this product lacks is variety. It could use a lot more in terms of other players. I understand that the players they choose help keep the value of the product high, and I respect that. However, I know some people would like a great looking high end card of their favorite player of the past or present that just may not make the cut for this product. Compared to the other product, The Cup has less of a player selection.

Value:

If I gave Dominion a 5 star rating here, certainly The Cup deserves it as well. I am going to mention this here as well, I have seen a lot of The Cup boxes be absolutely terrible when it comes to value. Moreso than the other offering. However, this is a great product to open by the case with awesome case hits that make great money. Even some of the standard hits are selling very well on the secondary market. I’ve already checked prices on my pulls and I can see I didn’t do too bad myself. I like the value that this product brings, but if I got one of those terrible boxes, I would have been pissed. Maybe some better hand collating could be done.

Overall:

Overall, Upper Deck The Cup is a great product that should be high on your list of products to purchase if you can afford it. The designs are always sleek and clean, featuring your favorite hockey players completely and fully. While the checklist could use some more variety, you can’t complain with some of the possible names in this product from the hottest rookies to some of the greatest hockey players of all time. The value is definitely there, but be careful on single boxes as you do have a chance for a really terrible box. But if you open this by the case, you will find some awesome hits.

Make sure you check my dual box break review for the video of the break.