Review: 2012 Panini Crown Royale Football

Panini Crown Royale football has come out again featuring some of the best die-cut and autographed patch cards of the year. With some new features that are sure to impress die-cut aficionados and autographs from one heck of a rookie class, this product is loaded with things collectors love most. Hits, die-cuts, and low numbered parallels. Want to see what we pulled in your typical box break? Here we go.

Design:4 stars blue

The design is classic and something that is changed so subtly, that you are going to miss any little tweaks they make to the product. I’ve always loved the die-cut designs so really there isn’t much to complain about there on this side. This year, I really like the look of the inserts and the lettering and other new designs they’ve used. They went away from some of the classics and really found some great looking cards like that Clay Matthews below. I also really like the die-cut jersey cards, keeping with that tradition. Oh, and you may have missed it last year, but the parallels weren’t numbered. A very fair complaint on my part about the product, and it was remedied this year with numbering. Thank you!

Checklist:4 stars blue

Every product this year can stand up to the checklist scrutiny because of the fantastic rookie class and their beautiful play on the field this year. That would drive sales for every product no matter what the sport. My only issue is, once again, there is too much rookie content. Again, I open a $100 box with four hits, and pull all rookie hit cards. I still find this to be unacceptable, especially when 85% of the products are like this. There will be ranting soon on this, trust me.

Value:4 stars blue

The hero of the product is obviously the rookie silhouettes. Ours was a redemption so we can’t show it off, but we’ll be definitely showing it off when it arrives because it is former Oregon Duck LaMichael James! Can’t wait to see that one. But the value of the product comes in with that great rookie class. If it wasn’t for that, this product would be far from that considering all the rookie hits you can pull from the product. This year’s rookies may carry the products, but next year it may not be so lucky.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, the product continues to keep the nostalgia alive while producing some beautiful signatures in the rookie silhouettes. Panini continues to innovate with new designs on the inserts, which are definitely at their peak this year then the past years of this product. But again, like many Panini products, content seems to be lacking. Too many rookies, not enough veterans. Again, this year is fine with all that top rookie talent. Next year there needs to be a shift due to the lesser rookie class, or there will be unhappy collectors. All products across the board need more veteran content. We can only wait and see.

A big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this product for us to review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Some of the best social media people on the planet.

You can also find the full checklist of this product over at the Cardboard Connection.

For a video box break, make sure you subscribe to us over on YouTube.

But for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the cards we pulled. (Not pictured: LaMichael James Rookie Silhouettes Patch/Auto Redemption)

Preview: 2012 Panini Crown Royale Football

Releasing today is the newest installment of Crown Royale football from Panini. In this third year, I believe, Panini has tried to freshen up the product a bit in the design department and add some new cards to the mix.

Returning again is the highly collected Rookie Silhouettes autographed cards. These cards feature large swatches of jersey or patches and a signature on the card. Collectors love these cards and it is a top hit in every box. Also being featured are a number of NFL legends in this subset, which is a great new addition.

But making their debut in Crown Royale this year is the Panini’s Choice autographed insert. You may remember these cards if you follow Panini’s basketball products or are a fan of the past cards from Pacific. These die-cut pyramid style cards feature beautiful autographs as well and die-cut goodness.

There will also be a few new die-cut inserts along the way too along with the typical die-cut base card design. It’s a set that is definitely not square. Or some would say, cutting edge. We could work with the puns all day if we wanted to.

Each box contains four packs with each pack containing an autograph or a memorabilia card. You are guaranteed at least two autographs with one being one of the aforementioned Rookie Silhouettes cards. The others will be memorabilia or additional autographs.

You can find the product on DA Card World for about $100. You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection and more information from the official Panini blog.

Review: 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology Hockey

Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian readers out there. And when you think of Canada there is only one thing that comes to mind…Santa! No, no, I mean hockey. The greatest thing Canada has given to the world of sport is our review for the day. 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology hockey is kind of a mish-mash product that features designs from several products as well as it’s own design. The reasoning is that there were several cards from other products that either weren’t returned in time for pack out or maybe the rookies didn’t get any ice time with the big club until after pack out. This allows Panini the opportunity to use some of the favorite designs for collectors and have them feature some of their favorite players and rookies. Sound good? It is. Let’s see the review.

Design:

Favorite designs of the year? Check. Great designs from the past? Double check. Great new design for the base cards? Triple check. Seriously, while this is a mish-mash of products thrown into this one product, they definitely picked some of the best designs of the year. Crown Royale, Luxury Suite, Pinnacle, and the new Rookie Anthology design..how can this be not good? We all know the other designs so I’ll get into the Rookie Anthology design. A crisp and clean design, it features a white background with the player really popping off the card. Add in some foil highlights and a slightly thicker card stock and this has the look and feel of a premium product. At first glance and feel I felt like I was opening Ultimate Collection by their competitor, but then saw the beauty of these cards. It was really a fantastic job by the design team on this product.

Checklist:

The checklist is a lot of rookies that made their debut later in the season at the most, with a few of the top rookies sprinkled in with some veterans. This checklist is based off of the rookie class, so it’s not going to be terribly good. But you can’t fault Panini for that too much. They could of loaded it up with more RNH, Landeskog, etc., but they chose to highlight more of the newer rookies. The addition of some veteran hits helped ease the pain a bit, but it seems to be lacking some rookie talent. Again, more of an issue with the actual talent instead of the checklist. It’s been that way all season.

Value:

The value is there, but the checklist isn’t making this a huge must get product. The addition of veteran hits and the box topper really helped this product a bit. I think someone on the team saw something lacking and wanted to amp it up a bit, and that idea really helped.  Having 5 hits in a $100 product is pretty decent as well compared to the usual 3-4 hits in most products at that price point. The memorabilia/autos are very nice and helps add in some value as well, but the plain game used jerseys are kind of dull. I really liked the stick additions once again the Luxury Suite design.  It’s a crazy product with some crazy results, but there are some big hits to be had as well.

Overall:

Overall, rounding up, it’s a very good product in a line of recent solid products from the company. The designs are fantastic and are really what make this product very good from the get go. The idea behind the product to get those newer rookies out there and some of the cards that weren’t returned in time for pack out was a great idea to reduce the load on redemptions as well as create something new for the collectors. This mish-mash style worked well in basketball with the shortened season and I think Panini proved it can work well in other sports as well. While the checklist isn’t the great, they’ve upped the hits to kind of make up for it in terms of value and that always helps in a $100 product. With a few veteran cards scattered amongst the set, Rookie Anthology is a great idea and addition from Panini.

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

And here’s the haul…

Review: 2011-12 Panini Crown Royale Hockey

My personal product of the year last year as returned, featuring some of the best rookie patch autographs of the season as well a great looking die-cut base set. I fell in love opening this product last year, and this year was no different. Although I still have a redemption out for this product from last year. *shakes my fist* That hasn’t stopped me from opening another box this year, but this time, sharing it all with you and reviewing it. We want to see if the magic is still there from last season’s version of Crown Royale hockey.

Every box contains 4 packs and 4 hits. You can find usually at least 2 autographs per box from some of the best rookies and veterans of the game. For more, check out our official preview of this product. You can see what we didn’t pull and maybe something you could pull from this product.

As is the new standard in my reviews, the hits are at the bottom. But don’t skip down unless you want to ruin the suspense. So let’s get to it…

Design:

You should all know by now that I’m a sucker for two things, die-cuts and shiny cards. This has a bit of both. The die-cuts are fantastic again this year, despite them being the same design. But that’s what Crown Royale is all about. You also have die-cuts in the rookie patch autographs that are fantastic, albeit we didn’t pull one. What I did pull looked very nice though, including the colored parallel base cards. Only issue with those is why aren’t they numbered this year? I pulled a red parallel and a light blue parallel. What does that mean? I’m lost. But why did football only get 3 1/2 stars for practically the same product? Simple. The inserts here are a little better, more on-card autographs, smaller white box of death, and the colored base parallels. Some improvements were made, and I’ve noticed.

Checklist:

Great list of rookie autographed patches for one. I mean, you can’t beat the best rookies of the year combined with the best rookie autographed patches. Priceless. As always, a great selection of current veterans as well. But Panini also has changed things up in this product where it hasn’t in any other product by adding some of the best hockey announcers in the game. While I personally wouldn’t want one as my hit, there is a place for collecting these announcers and I know Canadian fans love their announcers.

Value:

The rookie patch autographs bring tremendous value to the hockey collectors out there, more so then football. They aren’t found in every box like they are in football, which keeps the value up and the collectors wanting them that much more. The patches in this product are always decent and as the checklist shows, you can pull just about anyone. It’s one of the better mixes in a product out there with the highly valued Silhouette autographs mixed with other hits of patches and autographs. If you like hits, this is the product for you.

Overall:

Overall, I didn’t feel the same magic as I did when opening it last year. But don’t get me wrong, there was still magic felt while opening it. I just think the magic was just that big last year. This year, the design is the same, but it’s a solid design in the first place, so don’t change that up too much. The checklist for Panini products is usually quite solid and this shows that once again that Panini likes to pack up just about everyone in every product. Finally, the value is there with the tremendous Silhouette patch autographs and the other great possible hits in patches and autographs. I think 2 autographs, a patch, and a jersey card is okay in my book. But please, return the numbering back to the parallels! I don’t want to have to look up how rare a certain color is, it should just tell me.

Thanks again to Panini for providing this box to review. There won’t be a contest yet for these groupings of products as we are going to put together something nice for the 100,000 views and one year blogoversary combo party. Stay tuned!

And ah! My camera cut off some of the pictures when I uploaded them…sorry!

Preview: 2011-12 Panini Crown Royale Hockey

This is exciting news that Panini Crown Royale hockey is coming back for another season. Before last year, I had never opened a hobby box of hockey product nor had I opened any Panini product before. So obviously, this product has a special place in my collecting heart. So I’m happy to see a return from probably the most successful Panini hockey product from last year.

The Rookie Silhouettes will return as probably one of the hottest rookie autographed cards from last year. This trend will likely continue after all the great feedback I saw around the hockey collecting community and this may again be the hockey rookie card of the season. On card autographs with a patch from the player behind the picture.

But new this year will be a limited set of veterans with the Silhouette design which will surely make several collectors excited. They added this to football this year and I’ve only heard good things about it, but the hockey version will be different with on-card signatures.

Ice Kings will feature legends of the NHL with more on-card autographs limited to just 99 copies and Scratching the Surface will return with the autographs on the faux playing surface with signatures like Alex Ovechkin, Marty Brodeur, Jaromir Jagr, and Steve Yzerman just to name a few.

And surely several of your favorite inserts should return with jersey and patch parallels to fulfill all of your collecting wants.

I’ve said before that I love die-cuts so this product will always be at the top of products I want to open, plus of the special place in my collecting heart.

This product will hit stores in sometime in the coming months and the price range will probably be about $25/pack or $100/box.

Make sure you check out the official Panini Peek of this product for more information and photos!