Review: 2012 Panini Golden Age Baseball

Panini’s answer to Allen & Ginter and Champions is here with Golden Age. Like those other products, this isn’t necessarily a baseball product per se, as it does have several non-baseball cards in it, but the majority of cards do have baseball subjects. Each box contains one autograph and one memorabilia card, with autographs and memorabilia spanning the entire spectrum of the product. From baseball players to celebrities and historical events, this product has a lot of features that pay homage to the Golden Age of baseball and history. Let’s see what we got:

 Design:

4 and half stars blue

Panini has showcased that they are very creative when it comes to creating designs that look like they came from the early part of the 20th century. Cooperstown was a great example and now Golden Age continues that trend. The cards look like they came from an age long ago, perhaps a Golden Age. The card design does utilize light colors which adds to the look of an old time set. Paying homage to earlier sets as well, you can find stand ups in the product at a couple per box. Really, the only thing that I didn’t care too much about were the box toppers. Now I love box toppers and pennants are a cool idea, but they just look and feel cheap. I know they were based off a product from 1916, but they don’t feel like it. Eh, could of been better.

Checklist:

4 stars blueBeing a Ginter/Champions like product, you can find a ton of different celebrities of the past and players from multiple sports in this product. There is more baseball than the rest which is good. But the real issue I have is the lack of actual sports memorabilia and autographs. I know you can find celebrity items in other products, but Panini also has their Americana line for those types of cards. I would have like to have had at least one baseball related hit in my review box, which I didn’t get. It’s a bit too much like Americana with baseball cards added. Oh, and don’t forget all the beautiful ON CARD autographs found in this product. Makes them look that much better.

Value:

4 and half stars blue DA Card World is currently selling this product for $72 a box. Actually, that is not a terrible deal at all compared with the rest of the products out there. It actually runs about the same price as Americana with baseball cards. With two hits in a box, it’s not a terrible price and I think it has some value if you can get some of the bigger celebrity, historical, or baseball hits. My hits weren’t fabulous, but female celebrities tend to do better on the secondary market in trading card products so I wouldn’t be surprised if these did well. At a price of $72, you can afford to give this product a shot and try and build a pretty robust set at the same time.

Overall:

4 and half stars blue

Overall, this product is exactly what you would imagine it to be. Panini’s twist on Ginter or Champions with a little bit of Americana in it. If you aren’t into those types of baseball products put out, than this product isn’t for you. I wasn’t even able to pull a baseball player related hit from the product so if that is what you are looking for, it’s not for you either. However, it is a product that is filled with multiple sports figures and major American personalities from the early to mid 1900s. It is a great look at the past and pays homage to the celebrities and trading card industry. Worth the money for a box? If you’re into it, definitely go for it.

A big thank you goes out to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can find the full checklist including all the SP (short print) information over at Cardboard Connection.

And here’s what we pulled from the box…

Preview: 2012 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball

If you are a prospector, than you will be happy to know that Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball will soon be released…Panini’s premier prospecting product of the season.

As always, you will be able to find the base autograph cards, but the best part about that? They will be on-card! There will be over 200 players and that includes 55 first round picks from the 2012 draft class.

Don’t forget to look for green and red ink autograph variations, those will be short printed in low quantities. Panini’s usage of different inks is a great substitute for changing the color scheme of a card so that should be a hit.

You will also be able to find a creative Building Blocks autograph set which includes dual, triple, and pick 6 signature cards. Those are numbered as low as 25 and will be a fantastic subset to collect.

Each box contains 20 packs with 5 cards per pack. In each box, it will contain 6 autograph cards, and you may be lucky enough to get a hot box which will have 10 autographs per box!

You can find the product at DA Card World for $100 a box when it releases January 23, 2012.

You can also find the checklist at Cardboard Connection and more information on the official Panini America blog.

Lionel Messi For 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter

Below is my pitch for the Argentine FC Barcelona star to get his own card, and autographed card, in 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball.

Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world right now. For those Americans, he is one of the best soccer players in the world right now. He just recently broke the record for most goals in a calendar year, a record held by Gerd Muller. In fact, he ended the calendar year with 91 goals, 6 more than Muller. That is impressive enough.

Football, soccer, whatever you want to call it is on the rise in the United States. It is one of the fastest growing spectator sports with Major League Soccer expanding to new markets and more people watching the EPL on the “tele” more than ever before. Who was the last international soccer star to appear in Ginter? Pele? That was 2009. (Maybe it wasn’t. But he is slated for 2013 Allen & Ginter!) Did we even see David Beckham? We’ve seen plenty American players like Hope Solo and Heather Mitts, Allen & Ginter could use a couple more soccer players instead of B list celebrities that no one ends up caring about.

The secondary market would be huge for Lionel Messi cards, especially autographs. He is a man beloved in Argentina and Spain, as well as around Europe for this talents on the pitch. It would also expose your products overseas with such a huge name. Lionel is 25 years old and just about hitting the prime of his career. He is going to continue to break records, win titles, and more awards. Although he lost the Player of the Year award to Iniesta, he did place a close second.

Topps, please bring international soccer to Allen & Ginter. If not Messi, maybe a big star like Wayne Rooney could make an appearance.

Preview: 2012 Panini Golden Age Baseball

Well today is release day and I’m finally getting a preview out to the masses. It’s nothing new for this month as I’ve finally finished up a difficult term in graduate school. My focus had to move elsewhere for a bit, but now I get some time to do something else I love, look at products.

Panini continues their baseball season after the season has ended with 2012 Golden Age baseball. Golden Age is a product that mixes up some of the best baseball players of all time with other professional athletes and faces from history. It’s sort of like a A&G type product.

Every box will contain one Historic Signatures autographed card, one Museum Age memorabilia card, and a number of parallels and inserts. One of the cool additions is box toppers that have a rare chance of including some memorabilia embedded into them. Thank you for bringing back the box topper, Panini.

One of my favorite additions is always the history memorabilia cards. For instance, in this product you might find a small piece of the infamous ship that sank in 1912, the Titanic. Or maybe you’ll find something with the baseball theme and get a piece of a bat used by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson from the famed Black Sox. How about an authentic 1930s-40s Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig Goudey card?

The autographs contained in this product will be historic, as the title of the card suggests. With cut signatures of big personalities and baseball players, Triple Crown jockeys, political standouts, and more, there is a lot of American history in each box of this product.

You should be able to find it, starting today, at DA Card World for about $72.

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

Want more images? Check out the Panini Peek!

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: