Review: 2012 Panini Playoff Prime Cuts Baseball

2012 Prime Cuts has arrived, shortly after 2011 Prime Cuts, and features some of the best cards you can find of the old-timers of the game. With game used jersey swatches from legends and Hall of Famers, to cut signatures, and everything in between, there is the chance to hit something big in every pack/box. Each pack/box provides 2 cards with at least one of them being an autograph. Mine had 3 cards, so I’m not sure exactly what happened there. No complaints on the bonus. So let’s see what we pulled.

Design:

I enjoyed the design of last year’s product and this year provides little change to the successful formula from last season. One of the greatest parts about the design of the product is you often can not tell that the photos are lacking MLB logos. Panini has done a great job in this department since acquiring the MLBPA license and this product is no different. Through all the various designs, they do a good job. I even really like the design of the Team USA autographs, but we’ll have to go more into that later…

Checklist:

The checklist of names in this product is actually pretty decent. You can find everyone from Lou Gehrig to Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, and today’s stars like Albert Pujols and young stars like Yu Darvish. It really is a wide variety of players in this product. One of the highlights is always the old-timers and it is a reason people love to try their hand at this product. Pulling a Cobb or a Gehrig is always a thrill for those lucky enough to pull those cards. The only real issue I have with the checklist is the Team USA cards. Why are they in this product? But that is also a big issue with the…

Value:

Man, a file I don’t use too often. But right now this product is at $150 at DA Card World. For two cards and the possibility of some really weak autographs, like the Team USA autographs, it’s overpriced. Not even really a bit overpriced, but very overpriced. My break wasn’t terrible because I hit that low numbered patch of a superstar. However, I’ve seen some absolutely brutal breaks. If there is a definition for a truly hit or miss product, I think this would fall into it. If you hit a nice signature or a nice memorabilia piece you’ll be happy, but otherwise this product is a tough sell at that price. Good luck if you try it.

Overall:

Somehow this product averaged out to 4 stars. It makes me wonder if I should hold more weight to the actual value of the product you are buying. Do I add in a rating or re-buy value?  The design of the product is pretty well done and that deserves the applause. A non-licensed product is tough to design so they did a good job with that. The checklist while solid as usual for this product, does have it’s serious issues that cause it not to live up to the $150 price tag for two cards. It’s a tough sell at that price, but there is the opportunity for some huge cards.

Thanks to Panini America for providing this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can find the full checklist and other information at the Cardboard Connection.

Check out this short video, but one sweet card of a superstar pulled:

 

 

Review: 2012 Panini Prime Hockey

Now this isn’t your typical break for the site. Usually Panini provides us with awesome product to review, but this time, I decided to buy a product in which I didn’t get a chance to review this year. I went online to my preferred card shop, DA Card World, on Black Friday and got a sweet deal on 2012 Panini Prime hockey. I’ve wanted to try the product for awhile and thought it would be the perfect chance after seeing some fantastic breaks. One pack per box, 4 autograph/memorabilia cards per pack. It is loaded with both the unique and “mojo” goodness you could ask for. Let’s see our box:

Design:

The design is that of a very premium product. A thick card stock, a clean design, and some unique ways to showcase the memorabilia within the cards. The quad design on the rookie autographs is extremely nice, especially with the on-card signatures. It’s one of the ever improving Panini designs that looks good and feels good. Definitely one of the best designs of the year in a new product that I hope to see again in the future. The only real issue I see with the product is one that has been brought up before, and that is the non-athlete picture on the super large memorabilia cards. Yes, that sucks. A great remedy would be to make those cards vertical book cards or have almost a full front picture on the back of the card. Just a couple of ideas for the unique product.

Checklist:

The checklist of Panini Prime is fantastic. You have all of your top rookies with their rookie autographs and other types of memorabilia cards, but also all of the top stars in the game featured in every way imaginable in the product. The product impresses with the large number of superstars and veterans of the game. Though you may hit a rookie autograph, in a not very strong rookie class, you can easily make up for it with some great veteran content thanks to the checklist put together. So with a great checklist, you also will find great…

Value:

Yeah, weird isn’t it? Products like this are usually extremely hit or miss. The product originally launched at $200, but now sits at around $170 at DA Card World. I did receive it on Black Friday for $150. This product seems to have found the perfect balance between quality of hits and price. I hit two rookie autographed memorabilia cards, one other first year autograph, but the regular memorabilia card made up for it in several ways. The memorabilia loaded into this product really adds a great bit of value with the huge swatches, multi-color patches, letter marks, all of that premium stuff. It was a great product put together that I even wrote raving about before I had a chance to open it myself. This box proved my point.

Overall:

Overall, Panini Prime is one fine product from the hockey folks at Panini. I was all geared up for the product, saw the hot breaks, wrote about how great it was, and the box proved me right. Don’t you love when that happens? The design is beautiful in mostly all phases of production, but there are a couple tweaks that I would add to make it that much better. The checklist is loaded with all the talent Panini could muster and the value is through the roof with some of the amazing pulls you can find in the product. Job well done.

You can check out the full checklist and other info over on Cardboard Connection.

Check out the video as I pull some sweet cards you won’t want to miss. (Jumbo patch of a superstar anyone?)

December 2012 Sports Card Releases

December is that holiday season and of course you are wanting to know what is coming out. Santa or Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate this time of year only happens once, and you want sports cards. Well here are the newest releases coming out this month…

Baseball

2012 Bowman Sterling Baseball – December 19, 2012 – $280 at DACW – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Golden Age Baseball – December 19, 2012 – $72 at DACW – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

Basketball

2012/13 Panini Limited Basketball – December 14, 2012 – $100 at DACW – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012/13 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Basketball – December 19, 2012 – $160 at DACW – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

Football

2012 Bowman Sterling Football – December 28, 2012 – $280 at DACW – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football – December 12, 2012 – $155 at DACW – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Black Football – December 19, 2012 – $200 at DACW – 9/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Topps Strata Football – December 21, 2012 – $77 at DACW – 9.5/10

Topps Strata football is a new Topps product featuring acetate cards with built in patches and autographs. It also has a full base set but everyone will be looking at these cards to fit into their collections.

2012 Panini Crown Royale Football – December 21, 2012 – $100 at DACW – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012 Panini Limited Football – December 26, 2012 – $100 at DACW – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

Hockey

2012/13 Upper Deck Black Diamond Hockey – December 11, 2012 – $86 at DACW – 7/10

Full preview coming soon.

2012/13 In The Game History of Hockey – December 20, 2012 – $223 at DACW – 8/10

Full preview coming soon.

 

Review: 2012 Panini Signatures Series Baseball

2012 Panini Signature Series baseball is out as one of Panini’s premier products that produces penmanship from prospects and pros. All alliteration aside, it’s a product with a three autographs per pack/box along with three parallels. Without the use of the MLB logos, this product is still a great looking set with an old-school Donruss Studio look to it. Let’s see what you can find in a product like this…

Design:

As stated in the introduction, the design is sort of a license-less homage to the former Donruss Studio products. A studio setting face shot, dark background, with a slight appearance of the hat that is cropped out just enough so you know it’s a baseball player. Great use of cropping in the product to give it a great feel. Now most know about my feeling toward manufactured patch autographs, and this product is full of them. If they came up with a different design for that portion of the product, I easily would have given this at least another half star. But we also have the inclusion of faux baseball leather autographs on the Sweet Spot, which I have always loved. I’m glad to see those brought back again in baseball products.

Checklist:

The checklist is heavy on the rookies and short on the veterans. There really isn’t much else to say about that. If you pull one of the stars or legends of the game you’ve got some luck on your side. While the selection of rookies is large, it is still larger than the selection of veterans/legends in terms of variety and numbering. For instance, most of all rookies are numbered to 299…veterans and legends? 25 or less.

Value:

I was actually shocked when while doing my research I saw the original and current price for this product. Right now you can find the product for $97 at DA Card World. I thought that was still too high, but it originally came out at $120. For a product that leans heavy on the rookies, despite the three autographs per box, it feels very overpriced. Even at $97 it feels overpriced. I’ve seen this and other breaks of the product and I can’t justify $120, let alone $100 for this product. I’m not sure why it was priced so highly, but it could definitely use a price drop if Panini wanted to sell more product earlier in the cycle. My one issue with the MAPP is that I shouldn’t have to wait until after it expires to get a price that is accurate.

Overall:

It’s weird going from a huge success in Panini Cooperstown to a semi-fail in this product. The product design is nice, despite not being a huge fan of manufactured patch autographs. The Sweet Spot autographs was a nice addition to the product as it has always had a solid backing in a lot of previous sports card products. The checklist is sort of disappointing, but there are still some really nice autographs to be found in the product. At the price of $120, it’s definitely a no-go. Even at the newly lowered price, it is still a tough break.

Thanks to Panini for providing this product for review. You can visit them on their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can find the full checklist and other information at the Cardboard Connection website.

Video is below, it’s short and sweet.

Review: 2012 Panini Prime Signatures Football

Panini Prime Signatures football is back for another season in the football realm, with noticeable improvements over last year’s installation. With the addition of patch autographs and what looks like an increase in veteran content, the product becomes much less of a gamble than it may have been last season. With only three cards per box, it is going to be a gamble no matter what, but at least this year the odds are slightly more in your favor. And we as collectors always appreciate that when purchasing products. Let’s see what we pulled…

Design:

The design more or less hasn’t changed since last season. This is both good and bad, but I am going to err towards the good this time around. It’s a clean and solid design with the white background with the accents behind the players. The thick card stock adds a premium feel to the product. The different color foil returns to differentiate the paralleled cards in the product and the addition of rookie memorabilia cards looks fantastic as well. Only issue is that the changes are so insignificant, it doesn’t have a differential factor. I can say that it does look more pleasing to the eye though this year.

Checklist:

The checklist this year is slightly improved with both veteran content, the strong rookie class, and the addition of different types of hit cards that you can pull. There seems to be a stronger amount of veteran content this year, which definitely improves the checklist. The strong rookie class will always help as well, but even a decent class last year made this product a difficult choice on whether to buy or not. Finally, the additional types of hit cards really adds another dimension to the product. You know you’re going to get an autograph…will it be veteran, rookie, rookie memorabilia? What type of memorabilia? More options will equal a better checklist and a better…

Value:

…value in a product like this. Value in a product with these standards is always a correlation between checklist and hits compared to selling price. The selling price of the product hasn’t really changed, $60 a box over at DA Card World, so it really depends on what you find inside. Again, it’s back to those additional styles of hits that really make this product more valuable. Collectors love the autographed memorabilia and patch cards, and this product finally provides them after a kind of boring product last season. As you can see, we pulled one of those cards which is a great example to the great additions made by the Panini football team.

Overall:

Overall, this product has a great improvement over last year’s version. While the design hasn’t changed much, it has kept the core components that made it a great looking card to the eyes. A type of card that you would consider building a set of if it wasn’t for the price and difficulty. The checklist is a little improved as well with some of the veteran content as well as the stronger rookie class. And finally, the price of the product hasn’t changed, but the hits have changed for the better with different style autographs from the regular, to patch autograph hits. Good work with the improvements this year Panini.

As always, thanks to Panini for providing this product for review. You can find them online at their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can find the full checklist over at the Cardboard Connection.

I’ve almost resolved the picture issue, so this might be the last one where I am practically forcing you to see my face. Sorry.