Review: 2011 Score Football

Happy Independence Day to every American out there!

Panini is bringing you the best value in football cards this season with 2011 Score football. Why is this product the best value? Well wouldn’t you consider anything nowadays that is 99 cents a very good value? That’s right, this product is 99 cents per pack. It is less than one dollar. Now that’s value.

Every box comes with 36 packs if you choose to buy a box. You get 7 cards per pack. Every pack has at least one rookie in it and one glossy card in it. You can find tons of inserts like Millennium Men, In the Zone, Hot Rookies, and Complete Players. Among those you could also pull parallel versions including a glossy version, End Zone, Scorecard, Red Zone, or Gold Zone. The rookies even have an SP version with a different picture. You can pull tons of great cards and parallels in this box. Also, you can find autographs in a box at a rate of 5 per case. Not bad at all for 99 cents.

Base:

Rookies:

Gold Zone paralleled rookie

Inserts:

Autographs:

Design:

I actually really enjoy this retro design from Score. I can’t quite put a year on when this design was used or something very similar was done, but it just reminds me of the good times in the 1990s when I first started collecting cards. I love the design of all the inserts as well as the parallels as well. The Complete Players insert is my least favorite as it just doesn’t seem as colorful as the others and kind of feels out of place. I’m not sure it would look better with colors either, but with the rest of the product having some life, it just feels off. But that’s not why I’m docking the star, only a very small part. The reason I am docking the star is that huge white empty space on the top left of the card. I don’t like empty spaces on cards, but especially just plain white empty spaces. I understand that it is used to show you if you have a parallel or not, but couldn’t there just be some sort of placeholder there instead of a plain white spot? And finally, the only other things I don’t like is not being able to tell the SP rookies from the non-SP rookies besides the photo. So there is a different photo…how do we know which one the SP is?And the other is the lack of numbering on the parallels. Last year there was numbering on these same parallels, what changed? Are they still the same as terms of rarity goes?

Checklist:

Well this one is a no brainer. All the rookies you could want? Check. All the veterans you could want? Check. And yeah, some people might want legends in their product. But I could care less sometimes. Sometimes you need to step back and just create a product featuring today’s great players. I love it. There is also a rookie and veteran checklist which is solid as well. I mean, what 99 cent per pack product can you find the possibility of pulling a Tom Brady autograph in it? If I could give it 6 stars for the checklist, I would.

Value:

For 99 cents a pack you get 7 cards. At least one rookie, one glossy, and some other cards. If you look at my videos of me opening the packs you will see I’ve even opened packs that had 3 rookies in them. One glossy rookie, one base rookie, and a rookie insert. Include the other veteran cards from just about anyone in the NFL and you have great value to set collectors, team collectors, kids, player collectors, just about everyone. Secondary values on this product won’t be great, but can you expect a 99 cent per pack product to have high secondary values with everything else on the market? But I’d imagine if you pulled a top rookie autograph or one of the top veteran autographs you would easily pay for your box, which is cheap in price itself. This is great value for your money, just not the greatest if you’re investing or prospecting. It’s a little too low end for that. Everyone else should be buying this up.

Overall:

Overall, this is another low end winner for Panini. I have to say that Panini has been doing a phenomenal job on their lower end products. The last few I have reviewed have been great. This is just another great lower end product to add to that list. The design is great despite the few very small things I had a problem with. Those small things could be fixed in a snap so I couldn’t take off a lot for them. The overall design was great. The checklist has just about anyone currently in the NFL that you could possibly want. I’m just waiting for a few of my favorite rookies, but that’s the lockout’s fault, not Panini. If you’re looking for value in a product this is it. With a ton of inserts and rookies for 99 cents a PACK this is right up your alley.

A huge thank you goes out to Panini for providing this box for me to review. Honestly, I probably had the most fun opening this product than I have opening other products from any manufacturer. You can probably see it in my video that I was having fun with it. I hope the people reading the review see that as well and have their own fun opening it because it is definitely worth it.

To see that video please look below! Sorry that it took two videos, but opening up 36 packs of cards and showing off cards takes awhile.

Let me know what you think of 2011 Score in the  comments below and I’ll draw a name for a prize from the break. Not sure what I’ll be giving away, but it’ll be something. Might save the auto for the Wheel O’ Prizes, not sure yet!

(SCB Note: Panini has posted all the SP rookie variations so you know if  you pulled one on their official blog)

Happy Independence Day!

July 4th, 2011: Happy Independence Day out there to all the Americans! Living in America is awesome. Not only do we have freedom, we have freedom AND hot chicks.

Spencer Scott of Benchwarmer says Happy 4th of July!

Oh, and about that freedom. We can say what we want!

Ladies and gentlemen, my favorite comedian, Stephen Lynch and his song “America” off his album “3 Balloons”. CAUTION: Stephen Lynch likes to use dirty, filthy, language. I love it.

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!

2011 Allen & Ginter Code

Just posting this now before the release of Allen & Ginter that I may attempt to break the code. But I know I can not do it alone. If anyone else is thinking about going for it and serious about figuring it out, let me know.

It has been a lifelong dream to get my ugly mug on a trading card. I don’t know why, but it has. I’m sure it’s a dream for other people out there too. So let’s do it together!

You may now continue with your regularly scheduled programs. My next review should be up in a little less than 3 hours, it’s set to auto-post. See you then!

Review: 2011 Donruss Elite Football

2011 Donruss Elite football produced by Panini is back this season with all the die-cuts, autographs, and memorabilia you have come to expect from the brand since it was created. Also returning is the foil board design that has made this product stand out from the beginning as well. This product will bring you all the rookies from the recent draft as well as the veterans that you have always love and delivers in that department. It definitely has it’s positives and negatives, but with the right adjustments next year I believe that this product will be capable of returning to it’s former glory.

2011 Donruss Elite football comes with 5 card per pack and 20 packs per hobby box. On average you will find four hits in your box. There are autographs, game used jerseys, and patches available including Panini’s new booklet cards. At a little less than $100, this is now about average for this type of product. Let’s see what we got.

Base:

Inserts:

Rookies:

Game Used/Autos:

Design:

First we are going to talk about the design and I have a few things to say about that. First, I understand the lack of images because of the lockout. I will not take points off for that, it’s not your fault. Also, Elite has always been a foil board brand so I won’t take points off for that. I’ll start with the rookies. The horizontal rookies just don’t look right. Why the change from a vertical layout I don’t understand. And putting the serial numbering on top of the words on the left? There is so much other room on the card not used you could of put those anywhere else. It’s terrible to try and read. Finally, the huge white box where the autograph stickers go on the rookie could of been made smaller. I know that’s where the die-cut goes but the sticker won’t be on the die-cut anyway as there is plenty of room. Speaking of the die-cuts, a little boring there, but it does allow less of a possibility for damage to be honest so I don’t mind it that much. The inserts are awesome and I actually like the NFL Shield and helmet rookies. The base is boring to me, which means the rookies are also boring to me on the whole. I think those should start again from scratch, but I enjoyed everything else.

Checklist:

If there is one problem I have with the checklist is the 100 rookies. 100 rookies means 100 rookies autographs. With them numbered to 899 you are going to have a ton of rookie autographs. I understand they are cheap, but how many people really collect offensive and defensive lineman? Personally, I would cut those autographs in half and use the left over money for some extra veteran autographs. The veteran autographs you do have though are solid. There is a solid group of veteran autographs you have the possibility of pulling and the Throwback Threads with NFL legends is a great subset as well as Passing the Torch and Down and Distance. Great insert subsets which include autographs and game used pieces. I’m all for cutting down those rookies though.

Value:

The number of rookies used and I think just the looks of the rookies alone cut down on value. To the vast majority of collectors, not many want offensive and defensive lineman autographs. They just don’t hold value and aren’t worth the price of the box. I do know that some do, so I think cutting down on these would be a great start. As I said above, use the money towards more veteran autographs. I can’t say anything about photography because of the lockout so I won’t. I’m just really hoping for this lockout to end so I can see players in their actual jerseys on cards this season, otherwise it might be kind of grim which does weigh on value just a little bit on the secondary market. Out of my 4 hits, I hit 3 rookies. Two stickers autographs and an event worn jersey. We all hate sticker autographs and event worn jerseys are just that, event worn. I know the use of the event worn jersey is important for rookies, but when I have 2 sticker autographs to go along with it, it hurts a little bit. This product needs a little more of a veteran presence in the common box break.

Overall:

Overall, 2011 Donruss Elite is a decent product. It’s definitely good for the period of time it is to get ready for the season but after that there are much better products coming out by all the companies making NFL trading cards. The design needs some work and I would actually either completely re-tool the set from scratch or create something new that Panini can say is originally theirs. The number of rookies and rookie autographs is too large and can use some work on filtering out who and how many players sign. It can allow for some more freedom on the veteran side which I feel this product lacks a little bit.

I’d like to thank Panini for providing this box for me to review. Please visit their various links I have posted around the blog. I don’t get anything for you clicking on them, but they have a GREAT blog and lots of information about their products on their website. I highly recommend it.

And, as always, here I am opening the box so you can see everything pulled as I pull them along with some random commentary and information how to win some of the cards!

And again, for those who don’t want to see my ugly mug for 10 minutes, post your comments about this year’s Donruss Elite in the comments for your chance to win. I’m giving every review I have a contest one week to post.