Contest #3 Winners

I’ll make this short and sweet for you guys.

The winner from the 2010-11 Totally Certified basketball review is the person who guessed closest without going over to the serial number 192. That would be….BA Benny with a guess of 177! We had a lot of people closer, they just went over the number :( Congrats BA Benny with another contest win! That’s two in a row.

The winner from the 2010-11 Zenith hockey review is the person who guessed closest without going over to the serial number 067. That would be….Ashley with a guess of 056! I believe that is RJ’s wife, a Twitter follower of mine. Glad to see a loyal follower with a win! Congrats!

I will be emailing each of you for your address and notice of winning. I think I still have yours BA Benny from the last time you lucky dog.

Thanks to everyone for entering and stay tuned for more awesome giveaways! I haven’t used the Wheel O Awesome in awhile…might have to break that out pretty soon.

And be sure to thank Panini America as well for sponsoring the site with great boxes to review. Every time I get a box to review from Panini, free hits from the product will be going out and others will be added to the vault for future prizes.

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.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CHO6zFn6pg]

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 Totally Certified Basketball

Now, I don’t know what makes this “totally” certified compared to just regular certified, but this year’s product looks pretty good compared to years past. 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball is back yet again with great improvements from last year as well as some new additions, mainly the reveal of Panini HRX video trading card technology. While these are extremely hard to pull, they are some of the best looking and include the first autographed video trading cards to hit the market.

While our box did not contain such awesomeness, we were able to see what really make 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball stand out this year and that is the color, some on card autographs, and some nice looking game used pieces. Want to see what we got? The video provides some information, but when I started I thought the camera was runing, but it wasn’t. So I was halfway through when I noticed it, but reviewed the cards pulled. But look no further than below:

Base:

Parallels:

Game Used:

Autographs:

Design:

Actually, I really enjoy the design. I’m usually not huge on foil board type designs unless it is done really well, but I believe this is actually done really well. The starburst effect in the background looks great on the base cards, I just don’t understand the need for the abstract lines in the back. I see that the effect changes when the line is there, but couldn’t you do it without the abstract lines? The lower ones look out of place, but I wouldn’t mind just the triangle design. I’m not sure what they did with the finish on these cards but it feels pretty cool. It feels kind of grainy in the foil area but the player actually is raised up on the card and gives it a cool depth feeling.

Checklist:

While I can’t find a list of the veterans who actually signed in this product, the overall checklist is actually very solid. There are 35 different rookie autographs to pull including the top picks in the draft which is not an over kill like other sports. The base set is kind of big for being limited, but the 150 cards presents a challenge to set builders and player collectors if you want all the parallels. The Certified Potential autographs list is great and the names on the game used jerseys is very good. Don’t forget about the HRX video trading cards! Making them hard to pull was a great strategy and keeping them limited in the future is something I would recommend.

Value:

Honestly, I wasn’t sure whether to give this a 3 or a 4. As I say, I always round this to the nearest whole number, so we’ll just say it’s around 3.6. The hit per pack thing is great and it has it’s place in the hobby. But a box of this product is nearly $100 right now. I ended up with nearly 1/10th of the base set, 6 or 7 parallels, and 6 “hits”. I would like to see just a little more content in these packs. The hits can stay as they were solid, the insert per pack is good enough for me, but maybe add in another base card or two. It would take at least 10 boxes to build a full base set and that is being generous. The names on the hits are solid which is nice compared to other Panini products with sometimes too many retired players. Just add another base card or two and I’d be very happy.

Overall:

Overall 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified basketball gets 4s across the board from me. The design is very nice with a few odd things here and there but it really is something to see for yourself in your hands. The foil board looks great and the jerseys are done well. Just the autograph space on the rookie autographs looks a bit small but the nice big jersey piece is there too. Gotta take the bad with the good there. The checklist is solid overall and not killing you with retired players. The HRX makes it’s long awaited debut and even though I did not pull one, they look great. Finally, value wise I would like to see maybe another card or two added to the pack. Maybe it’s just me on that one and maybe I’m over reacting a bit. But it’s still not bad.

Now you get to see my ugly mug do a horrible job at opening it on video. It’s such a bad video, I forgot to press play or something when I started. So it’s a review of the half the box I had opened plus me opening the second half of the box, oops, sorry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fLtVqFCJ5g]

Now as for the contest part, I have in my hands the Brandon Roy Totally Blue insert numbered to 299. The winner of this contest will be the person closest to guessing the serial number without going over, Price is Right style. Please also include at least one thought on the product in which I reviewed. The winner will receive the Danny Granger jersey and the Dejuan Blair jersey. Good luck!

A big thanks again goes out to Panini America for providing this box for me to review.

Just In: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup…It’s Coming!

I know I have been lacking in the Upper Deck news. However, they just aren’t putting out a lot of products with only one fully professional license. But this news is great for hockey collectors as arguably Upper Deck’s best product, and most high end, finally has some information on this year’s product.

With one of the best rookie classes since the class that brought us Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, this year’s product should not only fly off the shelves, may be a great product to invest in. I’m going to say this only once, if you aren’t into stock or into gold, this may be one of the product you want to throw a couple grand in and just sit on the cases. If I had the money, I would do it.

A new edition to this product and I believe hockey products in general is the booklet cards. They look sorta like this:

While I’ve never been a HUGE fan of booklet cards, these look like solid additions to the product. That P.K. Subban autographed rookie gear booklet on the left looks great and would make a great addition to any collection. That is probably one of my favorite rookie subsets and would almost rather pull that than a regular rookie patch. Imagine displaying that bad boy.

It will also mark the return of Limited Logos autographed patches, Property Of game used stick nameplates, Team Canada hockey autographs from stars of the past and present, and the ever popular shield autographs.

But 2011 Upper Deck The Cup comes with more awesome new goodness.

On stick autographs! (Slapshoterific!)

Base card autographed laundry tags! (Made in Canada!)

And dual cuts! (Let’s hope they aren’t as bad looking and cut up as Legendary Cuts was!)

All we really have is pictures and a retail price of $380 for one pack with 5 cards in it. And it releases sometime in August. I’m sure there is more to come. Learn more from Upper Deck’s announcement post on their blog.

A little birdie who has his own blog called the Topps Archives told me I need more pictures in my posts because reading lots of text hurts his head. I hope this post is colorful enough for him. I think I’ll add more pictures from now on though, good idea?

And here is my 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup haiku:

My eyes shed great tears,
When I see The Cup released,
I must open it.

Let’s hope I can come up with the Benjamins to have a head to head breaking battle with 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup vs. 2010-11 Panini Dominion. It would be the battle of the century.

More information on this product when it is announced!

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!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gteEJI7zq3w]