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.

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.

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.

Preview: 2011 Panini Timeless Treasures Football

Timeless Treasures is coming to football!

With Panini just posting more and more images and other great stuff about 2011 Timeless Treasures football I had to write the preview post for this product a little bit early. But first I need to show off this little graphic and get your opinion on something:

Okay, you see that little promo picture up there? You see those mini cards in that promo picture? I’m 99% sure they don’t have mini cards in this product. How cool would those mini cards actually look if they were actually inserted into the product? Sure we only see mini cards in baseball products but just imagine the black and white or sepia like mini with a design around the edges to make it look like the edges are rounded or there are creases in the card but in actuality it is as mint as can be. See those cards in that graphic? I want those cards to be real. If you think so too, please make sure you comment that you want to see those made. There is still time to get them in! My rant is done…

Okay, now let’s get into what is really in this product. This product  comes with 5 cards per pack and 1 pack per tin. I love the use of tins as boxes as it adds another cool collector’s item. Just had to mention that. There will be 3 autographed or memorabilia hits per tin with a guarantee of at least one of them being an autograph. Everything will numbered to 499 or less when it comes to hits. And of course, 2 base cards.

For such a small amount of cards per pack it has a huge base set at 225 cards to collect for just the base set consisting of 100 commons, 25 legends, and 100 rookies. Again, Panini is packing another product with a ton of rookies which is both good and bad at the same time.

But I’m sure you want to know what kind of hits you can pull from this. Again, Panini is returning the on-leather autographed embedded cards. I put these into the same realm as manufactured patches and I just don’t like them. I’ve heard about problems with bleeding from these cards over the course of time so that can’t be very good and I hope they at least fixed that issue. Along with those, you will be able to find some rookie, veteran, and retired shield autographs as well which is always a hot seller and a collector favorite.

You will also be able to find Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders on special Hall of Fame 2011 cards. Speaking of Hall of Famers, you’ll be able to find cut autographs of greats like Jim Thorpe and Red Grange in this product as well.

But I’m skipping to my favorite thing in this product which Panini has showcased recently. Game Date Souvenirs. This is something that collectors have been asking for awhile. Game day photography coupled with the actual game used jersey from that game and printing when it was used on that same card. Finally, we know when it was used, how it was used, and what awesome things happened during that game. Imagine pulling a jersey card from the game in which you attended your first game or a patch card with a ton of dirt when your favorite player made a game saving tackle. This is very cool and is something every company should be doing and Panini is leading the way with this product. I think it will definitely excite even those who aren’t huge into game used pieces just knowing more about the memorabilia itself. As I said, Panini recently showcased some of the jerseys they just got in for this product and you have to check them out before they cut them up. I’m seeing some gross, dirty, sweaty jerseys being put into these cards.

Overall, I think it looks like a great product, with or without my addition of wanting mini cards. But I still think they’d be awesome. If you want to see some more images from this product you need to visit Panini’s blog post about premiering 2011 Panini Timeless Treasures.

This product is set to release on September 7, 2011, for a retail price of…I don’t know. Let’s take an educated guess based off of last year’s basketball product and say a little less than $100? I’ll stick with that until I hear something different. But it’s probably pretty close.

How was the base card design, actually designed?

Take a look at the Legends subset from the official Panini blog.

Check out these sweet beat up looking inserts. Whether or not I had any input on the creation of these inserts is still up in the air and I’m waiting to find out.

Preview: 2011 Topps Tier One Baseball

With 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter so close to release I am psyched right now about baseball products. All that is on television right now is baseball with the lockouts of the NFL and NBA. The NHL is always quiet this time of year unless there are some huge free agent signings. There has been some of those huge signings, but baseball is just at the top of it’s game. Sort of like Manny Pacquiao, top of their games.

Speaking of Manny Pacquiao, he has an autograph in the previously mentioned Allen & Ginter, but also in this brand new product put out by Topps this season. 2011 Topps Tier One baseball. And frankly, I’m not hugely impressed when I really want to be.

Topps has sunk it’s teeth into the 1 pack per box products and this is another one. Each pack will net you 3 base cards, 1 parallel, 1 relic card, and 2 autographs. Every 12 box case will yield 1, just 1, top tier autograph. Top Tier autographs are what everyone will be chasing, but they only fall 1 in 12 boxes. The best part about the autographs though is that they are all on-card, except for cut autographs and the triple autographs. Again, this should not be a selling point but it is.

If you do not hit one of these Top Tier autographs you will probably hit a On The Rise autograph or Crowd Pleaser autographs. There are also dual and triple autographs available to pull as well. The On The Rise subset and Crowd Pleaser autographs look alright, but no where near the Top Tier autographs. At least all autographs appear to be numbered to 25 or less so that should help with some of the value.

You will also find relics that come in patch form numbered to 10 or single, dual, or triple jersey form. And I’m guessing the regular swatches will all be single colored and boring as usual from Topps with their jersey swatches. At least they do a decent job on patches, but they make them so hard to get.

Finally you will find 3 base cards each numbered to 799 and a parallel numbered to 199, 50, 25, or 1.

And for once I am not impressed at all with Topps design on this product. It just looks lazy with a faded background to a single color on the base and parallel. Although the autograph designs look decent.

I can’t find a price on this product but it could fall from anywhere between $85 and $200 if I know Topps correctly. I’m hoping it will be closer to the lower side as Topps doesn’t have many products like this that is around the same price point as Panini Limited or Upper Deck Ultimate Collection. My guess is that it will be higher, kind of like Tribute or Triple Threads because I just have a feeling it will be higher. I hope I’m wrong as right now the product doesn’t stack up and baseball needs a product in that range like Panini and Upper Deck.

We have found a preliminary 2011 Topps Tier One baseball checklist available too so you can see what I’m talking about. Let me know what you think of this product that arrives in November 2011.

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!