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 Panini Luxury Suite Hockey

Happy Canada Day to all you Canadians who read this blog. I know there are a ton of you and have I got a great break for you guys. Being a quarter Canadian myself and having a fiancee who is 100% authentic Canadian, we celebrate Canada Day in our household in the States. I am celebrating it this year by opening and reviewing a box of 2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite hockey!

Luxury Suite hockey is in it’s first year of production. What makes this product interesting is that it features a checklist of zero base cards. Every card is either a rookie, game used memorabilia, or autograph. Pretty cool concept if you ask me to have a product with no base cards. So with 4 packs a box and 3 or 4 cards in a pack (it seems like it couldn’t decide) and 8 total game used/autographs per box, I bring you my break and review of this product from Panini.

Rookies:

Game Used:

Autographs:

Design:

As I have stated in my preview on this product and on the official Panini America blog, I think this is one of Panini’s best designs of the year. While we weren’t able to see the beautiful rookie patch autographs in this break, you can see the good designing in these other cards. I would compare it to the design quality of SP Authentic mixed with Pinnacle. It shares very common characteristics and I think overall it’s a good design. On card autographs galore, great use of memorabilia, and I absolutely love the Private Signings set with the gold foil lettering. That looks great.

Checklist:

Everyone loves rookies, we get that. This product is full of a billion of them. Okay, not a billion but 125 rookies are in this product. There are a ton of star common jersey cards which is great too so you can pull some of the games best current players there. I’ll even say that the retired signatures checklist is okay with names like Gilmour, Roenick, and Dionne. The only thing lacking is the quality of star autographs in the Private Signings set. This is considered to be a high end product by most people. You can find this product at most places for about $170 right now. With a price point this high you should expect at least a few huge names in that list. Johnny T is the biggest name on that list. No Crosby, no Ovechkin, no Brodeur or Thomas…the star power on that portion is really lacking. Sure you have a chance to pull some absolutely awesome rookies in this product, but there should be at least a little bit of star power in your veteran players checklist at this price. If there were a chance for a Sidney and maybe Brodeur that subset would have been easier to swallow.

Value:

So the odds state you should get 8 autographs or memorabilia cards in your box. I received 9 so that is a good start. Including the rookies that breaks down to about $10 per card in this box. At the same price point as something like Absolute Memorabilia, you get a lot more hits for your money. The plain jerseys are high numbered and nothing special but the patches, sticks (which I didn’t pull), and autographs you can pull definitely make up for that. If there was a little more star power in these boxes as far as veteran players went, I think we could of moved closer to a 5 here. This is closer to 3 stars than it is to 5 stars as it stands. I didn’t receive a redemption which is nice and the autographs I pulled were on card autographs as well. Include the multi-colored swatches you can pull and the multi-colored stick pieces and this product definitely has value. But it’s hit or miss for the most part. Still, pretty solid.

Overall:

The design is one of Panini’s best in the hockey arena this year. I think the only product that can outdo it will be Dominion later this month. The swatches and sticks are very nice and the autographs are on card so that makes these cards look even better. While the veterans names on the checklist for autographs are kinda so-so, the rookies you have the possibility to pull amazing cards of are endless and rare so they hold great value. You get a ton of hits, including rookies, for your money and that beats other Panini products and even Upper Deck products at a similar price point. Just some of the selection could be improved in the veteran area. Overall, it is hit or miss but definitely a fun box to open as you know you are getting a couple of hits per pack.

I’d like to thank Panini America for providing this box for me to sponsor, please check out the various links I have posted around the site and visit them. I will be giving away a few cards from this break. Not sure which ones yet but I will give some away nonetheless. View the video below to find out how.

Okay, I’ll be nice for all those who don’t want to see my ugly mug. I’ll be giving away something to a random viewer who posts their comments on Luxury Suite in the comment area. Leave a comment about Luxury Suite, get your chance to win a random card or two from the break. Simple as that.

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:

Review: 2010-11 Panini Contenders Hockey

2010-11 Panini Contenders, after delay, is finally here.

2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey marks the first time that Contenders has ventured over into the hockey area. Overall, I would call it a success. With every rookie autograph signed on-card, this is going to be Panini’s best product for rookie autographs for years to come.

Panini Contenders comes with 4 autographs in a hobby box, at least 3 of them are those hard signed rookie autographs. There is no game used relics in this product as it is strictly an autograph only product, which I enjoy. Game used relics have become too common in this hobby. A lot of people like to see some, especially patches, but I don’t think this product would be any better with game used relics. It’s great the way it is.

Base:

Some of the cool inserts:

Autographs:

Design:

The base design of this set is fabulous. As I stated in my review video, I love the ticket design on base cards. It’s nothing revolutionary by no means and has been used by several companies for years. But it looks clean and it works. Another great aspect is the room for on card autographs. On card autographs are the way to go with the rookie autographs and I would like to have seen the whole set as on card autographs but this is a step in the right direction. I’m not a huge fan of the foilboard insert sets (except the base parallel) but the cards look solid and would look okay with sticker autographs. I want to say I love the acetate Behind the Glass insert set and the Leather Larceny set is something new as well. Both insert sets are great. If I could recommend something else, I would make the frame on the Winter Classic insert set smaller to really show the great photography those cards bring to the table. Overall, it deserves a high grade.

Checklist:

I think the checklist is solid. A large amount of rookies are found in this product as well as the 100 card base set featuring the stars of all your favorite teams. I like a smaller base set as it makes completing a set a little easier for those who may only be able to afford one box of a product. I only missed 2 cards to complete the 100 card base set in my box, which is a good sign. I did have 5 dupes, but that is understandable with a smaller set. I didn’t have any collation issues that other have been reporting so I can’t hold that against them in my review of this one box. I think the Legendary Ticket set may be a little too big since you only get about 1 of those a box. I like inserts and this set is loaded with them. You have your hard hitters in Behind the Glass, your stars with the Award Contenders, and more rookies with your Rookie Contenders. Plus, who doesn’t want a little goalie set to support the men who have pucks shot at them? Overall, there is something for everybody.

Value:

The value of this box is obviously hit or miss. But I’ve seen a lot more misses then hits. You get four autographs a box which is nice. I would put this product on par with what Upper Deck brings with SP Authentic. However, this box is $30-$40 more then that product. I think this product is over priced for what it is. If they throw in an extra autograph of one of the insert sets I would think the price was about right, but with a product containing at least 3 rookies, sometimes 4, I think the value should be a little bit lower as you may not hit an established player. I understand that some of these rookie tickets will be short printed as well, but not knowing that when the product is released doesn’t help the value. I also believe that all inserts should be serial numbered, but they will still probably fall into the same range as price is concerned on the secondary market. Drop the price down a bit, put it on par with SP Authentic, and the value will be perfect for this product.

Overall:

Finally a product that is on par with SP Authentic. You may not be able to pull any autographed patches in this product, but the autographs are a plenty and the insert sets are definitely better then SP Authentic. The design is solid, although has been used for a long time. It works though, which is a positive. The checklist is chock full of stars, rookies, and retired players so I think just about everyone will be happy with the possibilities they could pull. I love the 14 karat gold card promotion, although I didn’t get one this time around. There are only 20 but they are definitely great chase cards. This is a great start for Panini using the Contenders brand. I really hope they decide to keep this in their product run for the next season as it was a lot of fun to break, just lower the price a tad or add another autograph.

Here is the video break so you can see everything. Make sure to subscribe to our channel.