Preview: 2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey

Dear hockey collectors,

Do you love rookie cards? Of course you do, especially with this season’s rookie crop. This is the best rookie crop since 2005-06 with the first draft after the lockout. Well 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey will bring you 200 different rookie cards for this season. Every rookie that took the NHL ice and every backup goalie that sat on the bench will most likely be in this product. That is a lot of rookies.

Your box of Zenith hockey will have 10 packs and 5 cards per pack. You are going to need a TON of boxes if you want to hand collate the entire set. The one really cool feature about this box is the Dare to Rip box topper. I’ve been saying for years that every box of cards should come with some sort of box topper. Box toppers are awesome and companies can really let their creativity flow with the types of cards in there. Well the Dare to Rip is just that. The Dare to Rip box topper can be a regular base card OR an exclusive signed rookie from any Panini product like the unreleased National Treasures or Elite hockey. Personally, I love rip cards as it brings a whole new dimension to opening boxes. You have a decision to make. You could keep it as a collectible if you like what’s on the card, which you will as it’s a rookie or a legend, or you can sell it. But you could also rip it and get something good or just another base card. All I hope for is Panini has taken the steps to avoid some way to determine if there is an autograph in the pack or not.

Panini has been making this the year of the inserts and it continues here with more inserts and parallels. I love inserts so I’m not complaining and I’ve always enjoyed the Zenith inserts. The Red Hot and White Hot parallels look great as always with a shiny, fiery background. In 2005 Zenith baseball I pulled a Ted Williams White Hot and it looks awesome. The same technology to make those is still in use for this set it appears. You will also find 4 short print legends, 1 Crease is the Word insert, 1 Gifted Grinders insert, and 1 Z-RC.

Finally, everyone loves the hits. You will find 3 autographs or memorabilia cards per box with at least 1 being an autograph. One of the coolest autograph hits is the Yours Truly subset with the player on the card and Yours Truly written in beautiful lettering above where the star player signs. It’s a neat idea to bring to the table for autographed cards. A case break seems to contain 4 Yours Truly and 5 autographed rookies which makes me think the 1 autograph will be for most boxes. A great thing about this product is there will be SP rookie autographs of the top rookies numbered to just 199 which should keep them very collectible.

Overall, this looks like a great product for hockey prospectors and rookie collectors as well as if you want to have some fun with the Dare to Rip cards or try pulling one of those nice looking Yours Truly autographs. 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey releases around July 6th, 2011, with a price tag around $85 for a box.

Yours Truly,

Alexander Ovechkin

PS: To hold you over here is some images from the Panini Peek of Zenith hockey.

(SCB Note: PSS: Need the 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey checklist? Or how about some good ol’ fashioned 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey box ripping?)

Contest Winnings Mail Day

As I state in the below video, I normally don’t do mail days unless there is something really nice in there. I mean, who wants to see some common jersey or rookie autograph no one has heard of. I’ll keep my mail day videos to be something special to look at. This time is one of those times.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK6x5Cs0T4U]

In case you can’t view the above video, here is how I won this bad boy. Sports Card Forum held a VIP Contest for it’s VIP members and had it sponsored by Panini. The prize was well worth how in depth this contest was. Let’s talk about the contest first. The contest involved the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. Every game each day I had to guess one person who would score a goal. Every game. That’s a lot of research and commitment. I knew I had it in me, I mean, I’m a hockey fan and love the NHL Playoffs. I think it’s the best playoff system in sports next to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Anyway, long story short, I won with 36 total goals correctly guessed over the course of the playoffs. Second place finished with 33. It was a long battle in which I was victorious. And to the victor goes the spoils.

This is not a PC card but will be used to get a PC card or towards my box breaking fund for the site. I wish I could give it away again, but I can’t afford to right now.

So again, I would like to thank Sports Card Forum and Panini for holding this contest. This is one of the nicest  1 of 1 cards I’ve ever had in my possession. Here are some pictures for those who can’t view YouTube at work, don’t worry, I got you guys covered.

2010-11 Panini Limited Material Monikers Patrick Kane Autograph/Prime Jersey 1 of 1

Sweet.

Preview: 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified Basketball

What is the difference between last year’s Certified basketball and this year’s Totally Certified basketball? Obviously this one is totally better then last year.

This product is coming out with 6 packs and 5 cards per pack for around $120. That’s $20 a pack and each pack will yield a hit with at least 2 autographs coming out of a box. There will also be 6 inserts so I am guessing there will be an insert in a pack as well, all these being serial numbered from 599 to 1 of 1. This price point is very similar to their other hit per pack products so let’s hope the 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified checklist gives us great value for the money.

Panini has always done great making sure there are multiple possible case hits to bring value to your boxes. I love how they have a list of possible case hits and the number there will be in a case. Each case will include one or more of an autograph from Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin, John Wall, a 1 of 1, or an autograph numbered to 5 or less. I think Panini has been over doing their legends recently so it’s refreshing to not have any case hits of them in this product.

Next, all rookie autographs will be on card. Panini again is listening to the consumer to bring on card autographs and we couldn’t be happier.

But what really makes this product stand out is finding Panini’s newest technology. You will find Panini HRX video trading cards in these boxes. Now I have not seen these up close but I have a feeling they will do better then Upper Deck’s video cards. You know why? Some of these will be autographed! I’ve always wanted to see one of these since they came out, so I’m hoping to find one if I buy a box. I’m not sure how often these will be seeded but I’m excited just for the chance. Having a video trading card with highlights and seeing the player sign the card is awesome. The autograph sweetens it to the point where it’s not just a gimmick anymore. Even though 1 out of 5 of these video cards are signed, it’s still great some are going out signed. These will be redemptions so there is no pack searching the box for heavy cards. Here is Blake Griffin talking about the new Panini HRX technology.

Here are some production floor images from Panini’s Official Blog so you can check out some cards from the set. I’m not sure how I feel about the “mirrors” this year. Being called “Totally Green” or “Totally Blue” just sounds weird to me. I like that the colors are vibrant though and the player stands out but just the naming seems weird. Then again the name change to “Totally Certified” seems weird too. As it wasn’t certified before? Why the change? I understand Panini needs to transition from Donruss to their own identity but just adding an adverb before it doesn’t make sense to me. At least the cards look nice. Kind of reminds me of a mixture of Certified and classic Pinnacle/Zenith mixed together at times.

You can find this product out on July 6, 2011. And I’m seeing prices less then the $120 on the Panini sell sheet so pick them up via preorder now!

(SCB Note: Want to see what Panini pulled in their World Premiere box breaks?)

Preview: 2010-11 Upper Deck All Time Greats Basketball

Upper Deck brings you their next basketball product of the season on July 6, 2011, and this one comes with a bang. The man who really holds the crown in basketball has a ton of autographs ready for you to pull. Every 1 out of 6 boxes will have a Michael Jordan autograph. That’s right, your chances of pulling a MJ autograph are 1 in 6 boxes.

Each tin will have 3 base cards and 1 autographed card. The product will also be player specific, which means every box will have only one player in it. There will also be some mystery boxes with multiple players in it. This will be the next high end basketball product from Upper Deck however, so if you want 6 boxes to try and pull your MJ autograph, it’s going to cost you some dough. But “Sir Altitude” is not the only great autograph you can pull from this set.

There are only 20 players in this checklist. These 20 players are chosen specifically and you would want an autograph from just about any of them. This 2010-11 Upper Deck All Time Greats Basketball checklist is so small I am going to list it here for you. The checklist is as follows: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Dr. J, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Steve Nash, James Worthy, Jerry West, John Havlicek, David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Hakeem Olajuwon, Walt Frazier, Derrick Rose, Clyde Drexler, Grant Hill, Chris Paul, Larry Johnson, and finally Penny Hardaway. That is the complete checklist.

These players will be found in a number of different types of cards. Letterman signatures, Storybook Career booklet, One on One dual signature booklets, and All-Time 9 signatures which are 1 of 1s. Also is regular insert sets which are variably numbered.

One thing I don’t like is Upper Deck is bringing the Letterman subset with signatures on plastic across the top of it, not signed directly on the manufactured patch. Now I’ve always disliked manufactured patches, however, I have less of a problem with Letterman as being manufactured as it brings a fun set to collect the players whole name. But Topps tried this plastic piece over the top of relics and it didn’t go very well with collectors. I’m pretty sure this won’t go well either as it’s the same concept. Who knows, maybe the mainstream collector has changed their mind about this.

Finally there will also be some cut signatures of deceased players mixed with current legends in a dual signature booklet. I am hoping these cut signatures will be a little better designed then the recent Legendary Cuts product which wasn’t the best design in my eyes.

Otherwise, this set is filled with the current and former legends of the game and autographs will be plenty. With the odds of pulling a Jordan box in 1 every 6 boxes for around $285 a box, it’s definitely a gamble but with a solid checklist it will be a gamble worth taking.

Here is an example of the new Lettermans which I’m not a huge fan of. At least the signatures are more clear this way.

Preview: 2010-11 Panini National Treasures Basketball

Today’s Panini Peek of 2010-11 Panini Treasures Basketball is the official preview of the next installment of National Treasures basketball. And so far, it definitely looks like an improvement from last year.

The first thing I notice is there is no photos of any manufactured patches with autographs on them. For a high end product, that is something a lot of people don’t want to see and the fact that it doesn’t appear to be back this year already makes this product an improvement. Thank you Panini for listening to the collector’s comments about those. While there is no official sell sheet out yet, I don’t know if that is completely true, it’s just something I haven’t seen. If they make a comeback I will of course say it’s a bad idea and how I think a high end product should not feature those. But right now, it looks like they aren’t in the product from all of the Panini previews of cards in this product.

Panini National Treasures basketball will feature again the best rookies in the game as well as the best veterans and retired players the game has ever seen. With a case hit roster with autographs such as Kobe, Dr. J, Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Larry Bird you will have a great chance of pulling a legend of the game. Also these may be paired with awesome memorabilia pieces such as the popular logoman parallel or the laundry tag parallel from the player’s jersey. Did I mention there will be some Wilt Chamberlain memorabilia cards inserted? This product is loaded with great stuff.

The design this year is a lot cleaner then last year and it looks sharp. With a ton of on-card autographs this year, the design is definitely improving and will definitely be something to look forward to this year. As always you will find Panini exclusive players like Kobe, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant in this product with on-card autographs. Couple that with the other awesome hits mentioned above and there is plenty of nice hits to go around.

With subsets like dual/triple autographs, dual logoman, cut signatures, legends autographs, and colossal patch autographs this is really the high end set for the high end collector.

Panini National Treasures basketball usually features the biggest memorabilia pieces, the biggest names, and the biggest rookies of the year in their product making it a great product to invest and collect from. Some of the best cards of the basketball year are in this product and it looks to be another great product from Panini this year.

This product is set to arrive in August and should be around the same price as in the past around $400 for 1 pack with 8 cards per pack.

Let’s see a nice dual logoman of the future NBA Champions…

Want to see some more National Treasures from Panini?

How about some cut autographs ready to go in the product?

Okay, okay, more pretty pictures of cards to be in your box!

Can’t stop linking autographs, won’t stop linking autographs!

Panini is hand-collating the boxes and has video to prove it!

More autographs…my face is rocked.

33 Must see images from this product!