Preview: 2011-12 Panini Score Hockey

Panini’s Score brand is back bringing out value again and again.

2011-12 Panini Score is bringing more to the table than ever for their low end set. This set is massive, 500 base cards including some season and playoff highlights, a 45 card Hot Rookies set and a SP Hot Rookies subset makes this one of the biggest sets in all of sports.

And each card comes with 3 parallels. A Glossy parallel found in each pack, a Gold Rush parallel found one per box, and a Black Ice parallel found one per case. And we haven’t even touched the inserts yet.

Some great new inserts are making their debut as well as some old favorites. They are bringing back Net Cams (one of my personal favorites) as well as Snow Globes and The Franchise. But some of the new great looking inserts like the NHL Shield die-cuts, Score B, First Goals, and Making an Entrance are making their debut and I love every one of them. And I can’t forget to the mention the rare inserts like Santa Claus SPs, Stanley Cup Champs, and some sort of secret insert they won’t give away. I love secrets.

And I save the best highlight for last…want another reason this makes it one of the best values in sports? Hard-signed Hall of Famer autographs and other sticker autos. You can’t complain about sticker autos in a product like this and to have Hall of Famers included as well like Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, and Steve Yzerman? You are crazy if you aren’t buying this at that price.

At around a buck a pack, how can you not like this product? I’ve said from the beginning, Panini makes excellent, must-buy low end products and this is just another one in a long line of them.

36 packs and 7 cards per pack for around a buck each. Wow.

This product will be gone off the shelves as soon as it is released on October 26, 2011, for a price around $36. It is right after my birthday too, so I am welcoming any box of this for a present.

Go check out this Panini Peek of 2011-12 Score hockey for more information!

Preview: 2011 Topps Prime Football

Yeah, I’m still under the weather. But now I have all this time that I can either sleep with the medications they’ve given me or stay awake and wait until this passes. I like to be awake, so why not preview the last professional football product from my September 2011 releases?

Topps Prime football releases again this year, but looking a little better in the design department. Last year’s product was okay, I mean it wasn’t terrible and the base design was great, but this year the Topps design team has stepped it up a bit. I would say it looks kind of like some Exquisite designs of old, with some new ideas.

Each box will feature 1 autographed relic card, 1 autographed rookie, and 2 relics cards. The relics they use for this product again feature quite the variety. You can find gloves, footballs, wristbands, patches, and both home and away jerseys. A wide variety for such a mid-range product, which is a great thing as if you’re going to rip a box and get relics it is nice to get something different for once.

You can also find 1 insert per pack which is designed like the regular relic cards, just without the relic. You will also find 1 rookie per pack and 4 veterans. With a total of 10 packs per box, this looks to be a solid mid-range product with the potential for some great hits like booklets, autographed patches, and great relic pieces.

This product is set to release on September 28, 2011, for a price around $85 right now.

Preview: 2011 Panini Limited Football

Today on Panini’s official blog, they revealed the details of 2011 Panini Limited football and it looks to be an improvement over last year’s product and that deserves some praise from just about anyone.

Although the photos used are still from the Rookie Premiere as this product was already in the starting stages by the time training camp started, they do a pretty good job with these photos even if you can tell that they’ve been used before. But the design in general is definitely an improvement in my opinion.

Some new additions this season include pieces of hats worn by 13 players at the NFL Draft numbered to 199 or less and a new “Limitless” insert numbered to 199 or less that features some autographs from some very hard to get players like Michael Vick, Sam Bradford, and Adrian Peterson. I must say, I approve of that subset name as well as I know I’ve made some slight jabs at Panini for subset names in the past.

Every card produced for the entire set is numbered to 499 or less which brings some good value to the table in terms of how scarce these cards are. The newly designed Rookie Phenoms are numbered to 299 and feature some sweet patches. So things are definitely looking good so far for this set.

Every 7 card pack/box of 2011 Panini Limited football will feature 1 autograph numbered to 299 or less, 1 memorabilia card numbered to 199 or less, 1 additional autograph or memorabilia card numbered to 199 or less, 2 base cards, 1 legend card, and 1 rookie card numbered to 499 or less. Overall, it looks to be similar to past years in terms of odds, but that’s just fine.

Look for this product to hit stores in November at around the same price as last year.

Preview: 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Baseball

I’m just warning you right now, this is a different type of preview from the normal. You’ll see why just by the way I’m writing.

We are in pennant race season in Major League Baseball and Topps is bringing out…Topps Heritage Minor League baseball? Really? Honestly, I don’t even want to preview this but since everyone in the country has such a love affair with prospects nowadays like Bryce Harper, Topps thought it would be a good time to try and make money off the MiLB. And honestly, I don’t know why. Well I do, but don’t see the point.

Last year we had Strasburg-mania and this year is Harper-mania and next year will be “insert name here”-mania. This seems to be happening a lot recently in baseball. With people jumping all over trying to get these newest rookies like they are the next Ted Williams, Topps has definitely tried to ruin rookie cards even more.

It’s funny, I’m looking at this product sell sheet and there is like 6 different pictures of Bryce Harper on it with autographs and game used pieces. Sure, you get 2 autographs and 1 relic a box in this Heritage themed product, but every card isn’t Bryce Harper and certainly every card will not be Bryce Harper. But everyone wants Bryce Harper like he’s some sort of “Chosen One”. Have you seen his AA stats?

This product will be hobby only and will contain 24 packs per box and as I said will contain 2 autographs, 1 relic, and 4 parallels per box. But it will have Bryce Harper in it! And of course, other great prospects like Manny Banuelos, Luke Jackson, and some Dustin Ackley.

But none of these cards have the rookie logo on them because they are minor league cards. Hey, guess what? Everyone is going to start calling these rookie cards now because some of them are the first cards of these players. Rookie cards were already screwed up in 2006 when the modern rookie logo rules were put into place and now we are stuck with minor league cards put out by a top producer of sports cards. Just more of a headache.

Anyway, enough rambling, this product comes out on September 21, 2011, for around $65. The one thing I like is at least the price is lower than most products out there. I would have pictures of what the cards look like, but I don’t want photos of Bryce Harper on this blog and that’s apparently the main reason to buy this product, according to the Topps sell sheet as seen above.

Preview: 2011 Topps Chrome Baseball

Every year collectors transition from Topps flagship to Topps Chrome. Basically, it’s the same product but with the famous Topps Chrome technology. With Chrome technology you get the shininess of the cards plus all the different refractors and this is no different than in the past.

Every box will feature two on-card rookie autographs. There are 20 different rookies and you can find these in up to 6 different refractor versions plus a printing plate version. You may also find more of the Topps 60th Anniversary autographed cards featuring 3 different players and an inscription, usually congratulating Topps on their 60th birthday.

Other than the autographs you can find a 220 card base set with 170 top veterans you found in Topps Series I and II as well as 50 rookies. You can find these in 7 different paralleled refractors as well as the printing plates.

The inserts this time around, which Topps has been lacking on in the past are Chrome Heritage cards based on the 1962 design and Vintage Chrome based off the 1996 design (I wasn’t aware 1996 was vintage, but I still liked that design).

Also, only found in hobby boxes, are black bordered parallels in which some of them have autographs of the 20 rookies, giving you more chances to pull rookie autographs. And lastly, there will be randomly inserted redemptions for autographs from the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. These can also be found in 6 parallels and printing plates.

After all of this, personally I would wait for Topps Finest baseball.

You can find this product in stores on September 7, 2011, for a price around $65.