Preview: 2011-12 Panini Limited Hockey

For some time now, I’ve thought Limited was in a downward spiral in terms of it’s life as a product. But this season, Panini has changed things up a bit and included some new things to the product that might it some life once again.

It will still contain 3 autograph or memorabilia cards, plus some base and inserts, but a new addition this year is the High Numbers cards. High Numbers will feature some of the leagues best goalies and be numbered to 99 each.

But some of the nicer updates and additions are the Phenom Rookies (still manufactured patches though), Net Presence memorabilia with pieces of game used goalie net from the 2011 All Star game in Carolina, and the Game Pucks inserts which will include pieces of the biscuit used in NHL games.

The Phenom Rookies are still manufactured patch autographs, however, the patches will be different according to the level of parallel. That is a neat idea to change the difference of look of the cards. I’m still not huge on manufactured patches, and that will probably never change, but I like the different logos for different levels.

I did mention to Panini America on their official Twitter that the Game Pucks should include a date and the game the puck was used. I also asked if in the future the pieces of puck could be autographed by someone who played in that game, maybe someone who scored a goal or a goalie. I think that would add some interesting value to those pieces and would make nicer collectibles.

As always, you will see the return of the big hits as well. Shields, nice patches, cut signatures, all the high end offerings you could want.

The base set is a big 175 cards for a high end product with rookies numbered to just 299. I’d like a smaller base set, but that’s just me.

The product will be ready to hit stores on December 14th, assuming no delays, and will probably be in the same price range as last year at around $85, I think.

Take a look at the official Panini Peek of this product for more information.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Hockey

The biggest hockey set of the year is here with over 600 cards in just the regular set! This is a set collectors nightmare, or best friend. 500 regular cards, 50 rookies, and 50 legends highlight this huge regular set that makes even the most seasoned collectors shudder at the thought of a 600 card base set.

Every box contains 36 packs of cards with 6 cards per pack. Some quick internet math has that totaling 216 total cards in a box. But all of them aren’t going to be part of that base set. You will get one retro variation per pack, 4 playoff beard variations, 1 In-Action laminated card, 4 rookie updates from last season and 1 retro of that subset, and finally 9 regular set rainbow parallels. But you will still get a huge chunk of that base set done with a single box.

There will be a few case hits as well like O-Pee-Chee Souvenirs which are quad jerseys, O-Pee-Chee Signatures, Team Canada Signatures, and Rookie Update Retro parallels. And these autographs will be nothing to laugh about…they will include such names as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Taylor Hall, Cody Hodgson, PK Subban, and more stars.

This is the perfect set for you hockey set collectors out there, or even any other set collectors as it will present a nice challenge for anyone who decides to try and finish it. Or even if you want to pick up some low end hockey with the chance to pull some decent cards, this set appeals to just about anybody out there.

This product releases October 5, 2011 and will be around $50 a box.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond Hockey

With 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup less than a week away now, we look forward to the next season of hockey products. One of the favorites for finding new rookies is 2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey. I know everyone loves rookies and Upper Deck really is giving 2011-12 Black Diamond collectors some treats in the rookie department this time around.

The newest case hit from Upper Deck in this product is Lustrous Rookies. If anyone remembers the “lustrous” sets from UD Black, this pays great homage to one of the best sets I’ve seen. I own some Lustrous Materials from UD Black and just love the design and the clear view through the card. The fact Upper Deck is bringing back a subset of near the same design is exciting to me.

Continuing with rookies, you can find 1 Ice Premieres rookie per box and as usual you can find 3 Triple Diamond rookies and 1 Quad Diamond rookie per box. You may also find a parallel of these as well in Ruby, Gold, or Platinum. As far as veterans go, you can find 6 Double Diamonds, 3 Triple Diamonds, and 4 Ice Veterans.

These box breaks are always filled with different versions and parallels. With 5 cards per pack and 24 packs per box, you are almost pulling one parallel or different version per pack of cards.

Another new card this season is the Championship Rings set, which is obviously going to be a favorite by me. An acetate-rainbow based card, featuring a giant ring on the card with a player from a championship team. Yes, I love acetate cards and Upper Deck really does acetate cards great justice with every acetate set they make and I love it. These can be found 1 every 3 boxes so they are limited.

Finally, you can find the usual Hardware Heroes, Gemography, and Black Diamond jerseys. A new twist with the Black Diamond jerseys is you can put the cards together to complete the background design of the card. I’d imagine if you found a booklet card display, you could put each card on each side and have a nice piece to look at, despite it not being hinged.

2011-12 Upper Deck Black Diamond hockey hits stores in December 2011, right in the thick of hockey season.

Preview: 2011-12 Panini Certified Hockey

I was just waking up when I got an email from my subscription to the Panini America blog. The newest post from Panini was something that I did not expect to see one bit, it’s time to get ready for some 2011-12 Panini Certified hockey with previews and images already coming out. Is it hockey season already? It seems like yesterday the Boston Bruins took down the Vancouver Canucks for the Stanley Cup title. The 2010-11 Panini hockey season hasn’t ended yet with 2010-11 Panini Dominion now set to release September 14, 2011, thanks to the NHLPA forcing the release to be later.

Now I enjoyed last year’s product. I didn’t have an official review because I opened the product about 1-2 months before I started this blog and didn’t write a review about it anywhere since I opened up in the middle of Canada while supporting my favorite sports card shop up in Edmonton. Actually, I was even shorted a hit and I still enjoyed the break. For the record, Panini did a great job replacing my missing hit.

This year’s product is an improvement off an already solid product last year. Returning are some of the great hits from last season like the Fabric of the Game inserts, more rookies, new inserts to the product, and the always popular Freshmen Signatures with new die-cut designs similar to 2010-11 Totally Certified basketball.

One very cool addition this year is the Soft Hands insert which feature pieces of game worn gloves from the players. Having played a little hockey myself, I really hope those gloves are washed a little bit. There is not a more disgusting smell then hockey gloves. But hey, some may like these possibly scented pieces of memorabilia.

(SCB Note: Per Clint at Panini, the game used glove set has been canned because of what appears to be acquisition problems. They will be using stick cards as replacements.)

You can find this product hitting shelves in November 2011 with probably a similar price range as last year.

You need to check out this Panini Peek of 2011 Certified hockey for more information and pictures!

Want to see some recent autographed arrivals?

How about some finished product from the QC department?

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Hockey

2011-12 Upper Deck Victory hockey is out now. I’m a little late on my preview, been busy with other projects, but it is here now. This is the low-end offering from Upper Deck as far as their hockey selection goes. You can find this product anywhere from hobby shops to your local dollar stores, which is where I bought my last packs of Upper Deck Victory a year or two ago.

With that being said, there isn’t much being offered in this product, but there is a little more then last year’s product. There are 36 packs per box and 6 cards per pack of this first hockey product of the season. The regular set consists of 200 base cards and 50 rookies. You can find parallels of all these cards in a black version only now it appears from the sell sheet. I don’t see anything about gold parallels like past years. I’m not a huge fan of the base design, but the inserts I mention below look slick.

There are a few inserts this year as well, including the new MVP rookies, found 2 a box. These cards feature a slick black background with the rookie in the center with the former Upper Deck MVP symbol on the front. I think the inserts look pretty good for a low end set. You can also find regular MVP cards, Stars of the Game, and Game Breakers insert cards at a little more better rate in a box.

And basically, that is it in this box. Not any chance for any autographs or any game used cards. So when I say low-end, this is really lower end.

Upper Deck, can’t you do something like Panini Score and maybe throw in a couple of autographs per case? Just a thought to get some of those top rookies autographs out a little bit earlier.