Review: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey

Well I flipped a coin between doing a full review for 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey or Upper Deck The Cup and Panini won. But don’t worry, I’ll have the other review up for you guys tomorrow. Right now, it’s Panini’s time.

After my head to head dual box break and review of both products, I am now featuring a full review of Panini Dominion. I will not have a video at the bottom as I opened both products at the same time, so if you wish to watch my ugly mug open either product, click the link above. Other than that, it’s just a typical review, but of the $390 per pack nature.

Base:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Design:

In the design area, there are things that I think look beautiful and things that I think are just average. Some of the more beautiful cards I didn’t exactly pull like the rookie patch autographs and the stick cards, but the Nifty 50 set and the rookie autographs are beautiful themselves. They are very clean looking and have a great big area for players to sign their names. I mean, look at that Bobby Hull autograph, it’s gorgeous. Some of the things I don’t like are that dual game used card I pulled and I’m not a huge fan of the different foil colors on the parallels. The black parallel above is a 1/1, but you can’t really read it while some of the other foils just don’t look right with the colors chosen on the layout.

Checklist:

I give the checklist 5 stars because of the wide variety of players from today and yesterday. Some of these players on the checklist you can’t really find anywhere else in any hockey product out today. I pulled a Johnny Bower autograph, which is a player that doesn’t have many autographs out there so that was kinda cool. I’m not a huge historian of the game, but it’s nice to see some older players get some recognition today. I also like that Dominion does not overload it’s product full of top rookie autographs and keeps the patch autographs to a minimum. Some may not like that they may not get a patch autograph, but keeping them rare is really a good thing for the hobby, even if you may not like it as a collector.

Value:

As I’ve said in the past, sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether to give a product one star or another. I don’t use half points, so I tend to always round up unless I have sufficient reasons not to. If I could, I would give the value a 4 1/2. One of the reasons behind wanting to deduct that little bit of a point is the use of plain jerseys. The dual jersey and the plain jersey aren’t really my favorites and really should be limited in a product of this price. However, Panini did raise the original number of cards per box from 8 to 10, so I can consider these plain jerseys just to be like free extras. The patches are very nice with a 3 color of Anze Kopitar and a 2 color of Patrick Kane. The autographs are very nice as well with great on-card goodness including a great Bobby Hull. I also had the luxury of pulling a 1/1 (the black base) so that was a pleasant surprise as well.

Overall:

Overall, 2010-11 Panini Dominion is a great product to open. If you are a high end collector and can afford the $390 price tag, you are in for a treat. While the design could of been a little bit better when differentiating between parallels, overall the design is pretty good. The checklist has a wide number of players from today and yesterday which makes every hit you pull a surprise. I know I was definitely surprised to see the autographs I pulled and even the memorabilia. The value is there and there are some pretty huge hits in this product. Collectors seem to be a bit wary on the secondary market for some reason, probably because this product is new to the scene, but it should be given the same weight as The Cup.

As always, I would like to thank Panini America for sponsoring this product for me to open and review. I always thank them but I wanted to be sure to thank them a bit extra this time around because you don’t often get to review a $390 product and for that I am extremely thankful. Make sure you visit Panini’s official blog and their official facebook page.

I will be giving away a couple cards from this break in the future, as I am currently running the Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion.

 

 

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup vs. Panini Dominion Hockey

I decided that I will do an informal “vs.” review and a formal review of each product. With Upper Deck The Cup finally having some competition, I was able to secure a box of each product for a head to head review. As you will see below (when I upload the video) in the first ever Upper Deck The Cup – Panini Dominion box break dual video, the cards from both sets are absolutely beautiful.

But which product is superior? Some people have to make a choice between buying one product or the other and this will serve as the best review guide in terms of picking the product which is right for you.

As always, let’s start with design.

On the left we have The Cup and on the right we have Dominion. The Cup base design is extremely clean with the vertical layout showcasing the player and the information on the bottom. The Dominion base design is also pretty clean, using a horizontal layout which has all the information going vertically on the left (except the player number on the top right). This allows Panini to build from the base card some subsets to put memorabilia and autographs. Upper Deck does not have this luxury and must create new designs for their subsets as you can see below.

The only thing I’m not a huge fan of with this is the foil Panini uses to denote the parallel for the patch. Sometimes, it just makes the card look a little bit off. Upper Deck also has parallels of their base cards, however they are just paralleled to 25 and 1 with basic colors that work with the design. I did not pull either of those in The Cup, but I did pull one in my box of Dominion below.

This is the black 1/1 base parallel from Dominion. The Cup is similar, as I’ve seen, but the black foil just looks a little off as a main component of the card. I don’t hate it, I just don’t like it as much as the way Upper Deck does parallels. Based on the design factor, I would give the design nod to Upper Deck.

Next, I will go to the checklist.

Everyone will immediately think the answer for this one is easy and go with Upper Deck because of their exclusive deals with Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Orr. However, Panini has rounded out their checklist with quite a few Hall of Famers and stars of today and yesterday with a greater number of possibilities than Upper Deck. For instance, I pulled these two legendary player autographs from Dominion.

Not too shabby. But the real issue I have with the checklist is with Upper Deck’s usage of rookie players. There seems like there are a billion different subsets that include autographs from the best rookies of the past year. Lots of Taylor Hall, lots of PK Subban, etc. With all the different versions of these hot players, they are diluting the market with first year autographs that aren’t really rookies. A lot of them look very nice, but the relative ease to pull these players in their rookie year is just well…easier. Easier is not better. Panini did a great job limiting the amount of rookie autographs from those top rookies, and top rookies in general. You may not be guaranteed one of these autograph rookie patches, like I got in The Cup, in Dominion, however this keeps the value high for those rookie patches. They are even numbered lower in Dominion.

But at least they are pretty rookie patch autographs. Some people are going to be pissed about this, but I’m giving the checklist nod to Panini. The variety, the rarity, and the selection is just better. I’m sure everyone who hasn’t pulled a Gretzky, Orr, or Howe would love to pull one, but they seem to be in every Upper Deck product now and are getting diluted by the year. Sometimes you don’t need the best names to sell a product. I’m not saying I hate The Cup checklist, I just think variety is better.

Finally, I will hit the value button. This area is tough. Going by current prices, The Cup is $420 at DACW and Dominion is $390 at the same shop. A $30 difference. You get 6 cards (sometimes 5) per pack/box of The Cup and 10 cards per pack/box of Dominion. Based on sheer numbers which we can turn into possibilities for a big hit, Dominion gives you more bang for your buck. You get almost double the amount of premium cards for $30 less then The Cup.

However, based on eBay sales, The Cup seems to hold a little bit of a higher value then Dominion, and also doesn’t have as many plain jerseys. Although I did pull some plain jerseys from each product as seen below.

And I know some of you are going to mention the players on the card, however as a collector, I am happier to pull the Cogliano jersey because he plays for the Oilers and I collect the Oilers. I’m probably just going to sell the Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin/Stamkos quad to the left. So I’m happy the product with the better aftermarket prices I hit the higher end sale card, but it’s just not a card I’d want for my collection. Again, I like the variety in Dominion. It may dilute the value a bit, but you get players you may not find in Dominion.

I’m adding this just so collectors have the information, it seems you have more of a chance to get less value from a box of The Cup versus a box of Dominion based off of a number of case breaks I have seen. However, it appears the case hits may be worth a little more if you hit one in The Cup.

Based on all of this information, I am going to give the value selection to both products. You really can’t go wrong purchasing either product. Personally, if you are opening the product by the case, I would go with Upper Deck The Cup. If you just wanted to get a single box of either one, I would go with Dominion.

So basically it is a toss up to which product I would deem the most superior. It also really depends on what type of collector you are as well. If you are more casual you will probably be better off with Dominion because of the additional cards and less price. But if you are hardcore and just care about hits and resale, The Cup would be a better gamble, especially if opening by the case.

I, of course, have other goodies from both products that I didn’t show, but I’ll save those for the official reviews. So stay tuned for official reviews from both products.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey

2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey marks the return of one of the most favorite brands of all time amongst collectors. Donruss revived it in the mid 2000s after it was a staple of the industry in the 90s. It disappeared again for a short period only to be revived once again with 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey. It brings back all your favorite parts of the product from the past, red and white hot parallels, Dufex which is now called Nufex technology, and of course the Dare to Tear rip card!

So with that introduction I would like to bring to you the official review of 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey brought to you by Sports Card Blog. A big thanks and shout out goes out to Panini once again for providing this to review. I can’t ever do it without them, so I hope this helps you decide to want to buy a box!

Base:

Inserts:

Game Used:

Autographs:

Design:

The design leaves more to be desired. As I sit here in look at the base design of the product I feel like it is something that I have seen before, which I have. It looks almost exactly like 2005 Donruss Zenith baseball which I had the pleasure of opening at that time. The design is just too plain and abstract in my opinion. I see some differences from the older product but the basis is pretty much the same. I was hoping with the revival of the product maybe the design could be updated a little bit. I don’t hate the design but it’s nothing real new and nothing appealing about the base set. While most of the inserts are sharp, especially the ones using Nufex technology, a couple look kinda similar to other products.

Checklist:

The checklist is massive with inserts and has a nice combination of both young and old inside the packs. There are a ton of rookies you can collect from the checklist itself, plus even more rookies if you Dare to Tear your rip card. They put in some very nice stuff inside the rip card which would pretty much make you want to rip the rip card no matter what. It’s almost not even worth it to keep the jumbo card unless you collect the player. The game used and autographs you can pull from this product is laden with stars, I would even say you have a better chance at pulling a star hit in this product than Luxury Suite. Overall, a very solid checklist.

Value:

If I were to price this product over what I believe its worth to be, I would put it at around $70-$80 based off what you get from opening it. That is exactly where this product sits right now, so I believe it’s at a good price. The name on the checklist are pretty good and the rookies being numbered to 999 or below keep the value in the rookies. The only problem that may hurt the value is just the sheer number of products that have come out this year. Product after product has these rookies in them and it’s hurting the value a little bit. I believe Panini tried to fix this by putting in a billion rookies in every product. But still, there are a ton of rookies out there if you wanted a specific one. Otherwise, Panini does a great job on patches and a lot of on card autographs in this product. For what the box sells at, it’s worth a purchase.

Overall:

Overall, this is a pretty average product by Panini. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it has some value to it with the great checklist and the current great price you can find it for. The design leaves more to the imagination as a whole, but the Nufex technology is fantastic. The Dare to Tear rip card is awesome and Panini, I’m leaving it to you to bring back the box toppers. Box toppers add such great value to boxes because you could do anything with them. Put in short prints, Dare to Tear, jumbo autographs, game used, or parallels, anything you want. If every product had a box topper I would be a happy man. The value as it stands is solid so I would definitely consider picking up a box.

Now, it’s time for some hot pack ripping action.

Oh, by the way. The best part of the Dare to Tear rip cards is that it makes a great puzzle afterwards! Sorry Sidney Crosby, you are torn up.

Oh yeah, want a contest too? We’ll do another guess the serial number. This time you are guessing the serial number from the Jacob Josefson rookie that is numbered to 199. I hope I didn’t say it in the video, lol. Closest to the number without going over wins a prize pack from this product including the Gifted Grinders Jersey and insert, along with another insert or two from this product at my disposal. Any comments about the review will help your chances! (Not really, but it’s preferred!)

Review: 2010-11 Panini All-Goalies Hockey

Panini branches out of the box this year with their hockey license and tries something a little bit different that we haven’t seen from a NHL licensed product. 2010-11 Panini All-Goalies hockey is just that, 100% pure masked men who guard the twine. Without goalies in hockey, well, it would be lacrosse on ice. Just kidding. With a great goalie, you can beat just about anyone despite your other significant flaws, just ask the Boston Bruins.

The Panini All-Goalies boxed set is 100 cards of goalies. From every goalie that suited up under contract this season to legends of the crease, this boxed set has everything. It even includes 5 parallels and 1 game used memorabilia card. Pretty cool right? You know what makes this more than cool, in fact icy? The price tag is a cold, hard, $20 bill. That’s it. 106 cards for $20 with a guaranteed memorabilia card with randomly inserted patch cards.

Base:

Parallel:

Turco Rules!

Game Used:

Design:

Overall, the design gets an A from me. The goalie is the main subject on a faded out white background where you can still see a little bit of the ice and the arena. That’s the way it should be. The names and lettering are great and I love the All-Goalies symbol with the old style masks. The parallels are easily identifiable by the faded white background being a close up of the goalie behind the mask, which looks almost like it was drawn by an artist. Very nice there. Finally the memorabilia is solid as well. If there is one negative thing I have to say is what is with you guys and your memorabilia cards having the player’s name sideways? If you want sideways lettering, at least use the insert name going sideways instead of the player name. It may be just a preference, but I like my team and name always the same direction as the card itself.

Checklist:

The checklist shouldn’t be any less than 5 stars. I would be just picky if I didn’t give it 5 stars. This has every freakin’ goalie that was available this season it seems. Plus, it has about 10 legends inserted into the base set as well. I mean, that’s practically 3 goalies a team! If I gave it a lower grade, what would my reasoning be? Well I do have one thing I’d like to see as an improvement. There are 18 total game used memorabilia cards. There are two things I would do. I would either have one memorabilia card for every team or add in a couple of those legends to that subset. That’s it. That would make the checklist absolutely perfect. Right now it’s like a 4.7 stars, but I just round to the closest whole number. I don’t like decimals.

Value:

I’m sure everyone out there is wondering why the hell did he give this product 4 stars on value. It’s only 20 bucks! You get 106 cards including 5 parallels and a game used jersey! What more could he want?! It’s a box set! ARGHGHGH! Okay, I get your point. Every one of them and honestly, sometimes I am a little crazy. Maybe I’m afraid to give this product a perfect score. But I’m going to point out secondary value. With this product being as cheap as it is, it is strictly a collector’s item. Nothing more, nothing less. It will hold very little value unless you pull a Brodeur or Price patch as your memorabilia card. To remedy that, I ask for one thing. Every (x) amount of this product, remove the inserts and throw in an autograph. It could be any goalie in the set, I don’t care. It could be on 5 stickers at once, it doesn’t matter. I know retail products have hobby products to help justify throwing in top cards, but throw in a cheap goalie autograph every now and then. You do it with Score, which is 99 cent per pack. 20 packs of Score is 140 total cards which equals 20 bucks. There’s really no difference between the products. Throw us collectors a bone and just add one more thing every (x) amount of boxes. 1 or 2 a case is fine with me. Just a chance, all I’m asking is a chance.

Overall:

If I did not give this product a full 5 stars it would be a travesty. Great design work, every goalie you could possibly imagine, and great value. I know some of you might still be seething about the 4 stars in the value area, but I didn’t feel like it was the absolutely perfect product. There, I said it. It’s not the absolutely perfect 20/20 stars product. Maybe I need to start using decimals. But whatever my total score is, if you’re a hockey fan and love the work of the goalies, you absolutely need to buy this product. If you don’t, you are missing out on a great set to collect and the possibility of some pretty cool memorabilia pieces from top goaltenders. I’m pretty sure I got the worst goalie on the list, so there is one less of Brian Elliott for you to pull. No offense to Brian Elliott, but with Brodeur, Rinne, Ward, Thomas, Price, etc. on the list you are just peanuts my friend. Go buy it. For the record, I really hope this turns into something bigger for Panini next year. Something like BTP maybe?

I’d like to thank Panini America for sending me this box to review for them. As always, it is an honor and a privilege. Go buy their stuff and click on the links to their official site and their blog. Both solid choices when searching the internet for product information (after Sports Card Blog of course!)

If you want to see what these cards look like when the box set is being opened, go ahead and check out the video. I make it known that I will sign a contract with any NHL team for one game so I can be part of All-Goalies hockey next season. Need a 3rd string goalie? I’m your man. I’d probably be a butterfly since I’m so tall. Long legs to guard the posts, solid frame, imagine putting Zdeno Chara in goal. That would be me. All for me being on a trading card. Think about it!

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

I am posting this 1 minute before the supposed end of the world. That way, when I’m raptored, eaten by a raptor, my work will live on. Especially the awesome beginning to video break.

Anyway, 2010-11 SP Authentic hockey brings you the clean, slick, design Upper Deck brings year after year to the SP Authentic series. This year’s rookie crop in hockey is the best since 2005-06 so the fun in this break could be endless. Each box has 24 packs per box with 6 cards per back. You are guaranteed at least 3 autographs, with at least 1 being a Future Watch autograph. Some autographs may be accompanied by a patch. You can pull rookies, veterans, or legends. As always, SP Authentic is a fun product to break and here’s the results.

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs:

Design:

Honestly, although the design is crisp and clean as I mentioned earlier, the more I look at it, the more it bores me. The white background and just a sliver on the side with the player’s name isn’t enough for me. I want to see something that I can’t do in PhotoShop. The Holo FX looks great. The colors correspond with the player’s team and it looks awesome when triggering the hologram. The SP Essentials is essentially black and white with some ice blue. Sure there is a little head on the open part of the card but you can barely see it, it looks like just a wide open space. Maybe that’s it with this set, too much wide open spaces. It’s good for the autographs but if there isn’t an autograph it’s boring. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve seen SP Authentic sets in the past do better and I was expecting something along those lines.

Checklist:

You can’t beat the checklist. Do you want the best rookies or just some rookies from your favorite team? Got it. Do you want you favorite players or just some regular players from your favorite team? Got those too. Do you want legends like Gretzky, Orr, and Howe? Got it. Patches and autographs of all of the above? Got all of that. What more could you possibly want from a checklist? Upper Deck has the best exclusives which makes their checklists amazing and filled with future, current, and past stars. You just can’t beat that.

Value:

The box goes for around $90 right now. For 3 or 4 autos that isn’t a bad price. Especially when you can pull a Gretzky, Crosby, Ovechkin, or any of the fabulous rookies this year. I would of given this 5 stars if it weren’t for some of the filler autos. Some of the autographs make me shake my head, but in the end someone will want them somewhere. Plus I gave the checklist a perfect score so I shouldn’t be complaining. SP Authentic is always the best place to find rookie autographs at a reasonable price in which the cards maintain their value. That’s the best part about this set. You get value almost every time you open a box.

Overall:

Imagine where this product would of been if the design was amazing? That’s the only thing really holding this back from getting an overall 5 stars. The design is lacking this time around. Yes it’s crisp and clean and really features the player but the plain white background isn’t enough for me. The checklist is amazing as Upper Deck has the best exclusives so you can’t go wrong at all with what you could possibly hit, and I’ve seen some amazing ones. Value is always top notch as it is the best product for rookie cards season in and season out. I’m disappointed I couldn’t give a perfect score, but I guess there is always next year.

And here is the box break video with an EPIC opening scene. I really enjoyed creating this one so I hope you like it: