Preview: 2011-12 Panini Dominion Hockey

I stated the other night on Twitter that I would double up the posts for today because of my lack of posting yesterday, so here it is. We are going to feature our preview for one of the top products in the hockey realm, 2011-12 Panini Dominion hockey.

At $400 a box, it’s high end for a reason. With only 8 cards, you want to get what you pay for and Panini has done everything in their power to upgrade the rookie superstar to sophomore sensation with some of the additions and tweaks to the product.

First, returning are some of the fan favorites from last year. Tape to Tape will return, as well as Engravatures and Strapping Lads. These were some of the favorite pulls collectors could pull and made for some great cards.

Also returning but also with a nice upgrade include Peerless Patches which will continue to showcase some of the best patches in the hobby, but also now will include an autograph version. Rookie patch autographs of course will return, however you will now find one per box like Panini’s competition, and there will be less parallels included in the product which will increase value and the variety of cards.

There is still a ton more to be looked at with this product, and I’m sure Panini will also throw in a few surprises for collectors as well. So get ready and get set for an improved product that could really bring their competition to the limit.

You can check out more information on the Panini blog and get ready for the release of this product sometime near the end of August most likely.

 

Review: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey

Well I flipped a coin between doing a full review for 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey or Upper Deck The Cup and Panini won. But don’t worry, I’ll have the other review up for you guys tomorrow. Right now, it’s Panini’s time.

After my head to head dual box break and review of both products, I am now featuring a full review of Panini Dominion. I will not have a video at the bottom as I opened both products at the same time, so if you wish to watch my ugly mug open either product, click the link above. Other than that, it’s just a typical review, but of the $390 per pack nature.

Base:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Design:

In the design area, there are things that I think look beautiful and things that I think are just average. Some of the more beautiful cards I didn’t exactly pull like the rookie patch autographs and the stick cards, but the Nifty 50 set and the rookie autographs are beautiful themselves. They are very clean looking and have a great big area for players to sign their names. I mean, look at that Bobby Hull autograph, it’s gorgeous. Some of the things I don’t like are that dual game used card I pulled and I’m not a huge fan of the different foil colors on the parallels. The black parallel above is a 1/1, but you can’t really read it while some of the other foils just don’t look right with the colors chosen on the layout.

Checklist:

I give the checklist 5 stars because of the wide variety of players from today and yesterday. Some of these players on the checklist you can’t really find anywhere else in any hockey product out today. I pulled a Johnny Bower autograph, which is a player that doesn’t have many autographs out there so that was kinda cool. I’m not a huge historian of the game, but it’s nice to see some older players get some recognition today. I also like that Dominion does not overload it’s product full of top rookie autographs and keeps the patch autographs to a minimum. Some may not like that they may not get a patch autograph, but keeping them rare is really a good thing for the hobby, even if you may not like it as a collector.

Value:

As I’ve said in the past, sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether to give a product one star or another. I don’t use half points, so I tend to always round up unless I have sufficient reasons not to. If I could, I would give the value a 4 1/2. One of the reasons behind wanting to deduct that little bit of a point is the use of plain jerseys. The dual jersey and the plain jersey aren’t really my favorites and really should be limited in a product of this price. However, Panini did raise the original number of cards per box from 8 to 10, so I can consider these plain jerseys just to be like free extras. The patches are very nice with a 3 color of Anze Kopitar and a 2 color of Patrick Kane. The autographs are very nice as well with great on-card goodness including a great Bobby Hull. I also had the luxury of pulling a 1/1 (the black base) so that was a pleasant surprise as well.

Overall:

Overall, 2010-11 Panini Dominion is a great product to open. If you are a high end collector and can afford the $390 price tag, you are in for a treat. While the design could of been a little bit better when differentiating between parallels, overall the design is pretty good. The checklist has a wide number of players from today and yesterday which makes every hit you pull a surprise. I know I was definitely surprised to see the autographs I pulled and even the memorabilia. The value is there and there are some pretty huge hits in this product. Collectors seem to be a bit wary on the secondary market for some reason, probably because this product is new to the scene, but it should be given the same weight as The Cup.

As always, I would like to thank Panini America for sponsoring this product for me to open and review. I always thank them but I wanted to be sure to thank them a bit extra this time around because you don’t often get to review a $390 product and for that I am extremely thankful. Make sure you visit Panini’s official blog and their official facebook page.

I will be giving away a couple cards from this break in the future, as I am currently running the Panini NFL Player of the Day promotion.

 

 

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup vs. Panini Dominion Hockey

I decided that I will do an informal “vs.” review and a formal review of each product. With Upper Deck The Cup finally having some competition, I was able to secure a box of each product for a head to head review. As you will see below (when I upload the video) in the first ever Upper Deck The Cup – Panini Dominion box break dual video, the cards from both sets are absolutely beautiful.

But which product is superior? Some people have to make a choice between buying one product or the other and this will serve as the best review guide in terms of picking the product which is right for you.

As always, let’s start with design.

On the left we have The Cup and on the right we have Dominion. The Cup base design is extremely clean with the vertical layout showcasing the player and the information on the bottom. The Dominion base design is also pretty clean, using a horizontal layout which has all the information going vertically on the left (except the player number on the top right). This allows Panini to build from the base card some subsets to put memorabilia and autographs. Upper Deck does not have this luxury and must create new designs for their subsets as you can see below.

The only thing I’m not a huge fan of with this is the foil Panini uses to denote the parallel for the patch. Sometimes, it just makes the card look a little bit off. Upper Deck also has parallels of their base cards, however they are just paralleled to 25 and 1 with basic colors that work with the design. I did not pull either of those in The Cup, but I did pull one in my box of Dominion below.

This is the black 1/1 base parallel from Dominion. The Cup is similar, as I’ve seen, but the black foil just looks a little off as a main component of the card. I don’t hate it, I just don’t like it as much as the way Upper Deck does parallels. Based on the design factor, I would give the design nod to Upper Deck.

Next, I will go to the checklist.

Everyone will immediately think the answer for this one is easy and go with Upper Deck because of their exclusive deals with Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Orr. However, Panini has rounded out their checklist with quite a few Hall of Famers and stars of today and yesterday with a greater number of possibilities than Upper Deck. For instance, I pulled these two legendary player autographs from Dominion.

Not too shabby. But the real issue I have with the checklist is with Upper Deck’s usage of rookie players. There seems like there are a billion different subsets that include autographs from the best rookies of the past year. Lots of Taylor Hall, lots of PK Subban, etc. With all the different versions of these hot players, they are diluting the market with first year autographs that aren’t really rookies. A lot of them look very nice, but the relative ease to pull these players in their rookie year is just well…easier. Easier is not better. Panini did a great job limiting the amount of rookie autographs from those top rookies, and top rookies in general. You may not be guaranteed one of these autograph rookie patches, like I got in The Cup, in Dominion, however this keeps the value high for those rookie patches. They are even numbered lower in Dominion.

But at least they are pretty rookie patch autographs. Some people are going to be pissed about this, but I’m giving the checklist nod to Panini. The variety, the rarity, and the selection is just better. I’m sure everyone who hasn’t pulled a Gretzky, Orr, or Howe would love to pull one, but they seem to be in every Upper Deck product now and are getting diluted by the year. Sometimes you don’t need the best names to sell a product. I’m not saying I hate The Cup checklist, I just think variety is better.

Finally, I will hit the value button. This area is tough. Going by current prices, The Cup is $420 at DACW and Dominion is $390 at the same shop. A $30 difference. You get 6 cards (sometimes 5) per pack/box of The Cup and 10 cards per pack/box of Dominion. Based on sheer numbers which we can turn into possibilities for a big hit, Dominion gives you more bang for your buck. You get almost double the amount of premium cards for $30 less then The Cup.

However, based on eBay sales, The Cup seems to hold a little bit of a higher value then Dominion, and also doesn’t have as many plain jerseys. Although I did pull some plain jerseys from each product as seen below.

And I know some of you are going to mention the players on the card, however as a collector, I am happier to pull the Cogliano jersey because he plays for the Oilers and I collect the Oilers. I’m probably just going to sell the Crosby/Ovechkin/Malkin/Stamkos quad to the left. So I’m happy the product with the better aftermarket prices I hit the higher end sale card, but it’s just not a card I’d want for my collection. Again, I like the variety in Dominion. It may dilute the value a bit, but you get players you may not find in Dominion.

I’m adding this just so collectors have the information, it seems you have more of a chance to get less value from a box of The Cup versus a box of Dominion based off of a number of case breaks I have seen. However, it appears the case hits may be worth a little more if you hit one in The Cup.

Based on all of this information, I am going to give the value selection to both products. You really can’t go wrong purchasing either product. Personally, if you are opening the product by the case, I would go with Upper Deck The Cup. If you just wanted to get a single box of either one, I would go with Dominion.

So basically it is a toss up to which product I would deem the most superior. It also really depends on what type of collector you are as well. If you are more casual you will probably be better off with Dominion because of the additional cards and less price. But if you are hardcore and just care about hits and resale, The Cup would be a better gamble, especially if opening by the case.

I, of course, have other goodies from both products that I didn’t show, but I’ll save those for the official reviews. So stay tuned for official reviews from both products.

One More Reason to Buy Panini Dominion

Okay, I know I’ve been hyping up 2010-11 Panini Dominion like crazy, but seriously, where does the actual awesomeness of this product end? I’ve showed you countless cards, autographs, patches, just about everything possible…until now.

Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest redemption ever made.

This Stanley Cup is 13 inches tall and was given to a member of the 1978-79 Montreal Canadians (or the Les Canadiens de Montréal for my French readers) and is inserted as a redemption card in this product.

Panini purchased this for $4,000 at auction and it will be yours if you pull the redemption card inside 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey for it.

That makes this quite possibly the greatest redemption card of all-time.

Don’t believe me? Just read Panini’s Offical Blog all about it.

One Week Until 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey

Finally, the wait is coming to an end.

2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey is set to hit store shelves on September 14, 2011. The biggest debut of the season is about to unfold. Will it end up like Jeff Skinner and win the rookie of the year award? Or will it end up being like Taylor Hall who showed glimpses of greatness only to get injured in a stupid play? (Yes, I am bitter about that.)

I’m still betting on the former. Like Jeff Skinner, this product has pulled out all the stops in order to make it contend with the best. While The Cup has released to great fanfare and non-stop breaks, Panini should see the same hype and number of boxes opened. I mean, have you been following the Panini America blog and have been seeing all these glimpses of Panini Dominion? Look at this one:

Or this one:

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. It’s not just the pain meds for the kidney stones.

How can you not like these? Amazing patches and probably one of the nicest book cards I have ever seen. If all of these images put out by Panini are what is in the majority of their beautiful blue Dominion wooden boxes, it is sure to not disappoint many. Of course there are some who may not get big pulls, but if they are as beautiful as some of these, it won’t matter too much.

I’m still working on trying to get a box of this product so I can have a head to head box break against The Cup, which should be here tomorrow. If I can, you can expect an epic battle on video between the two products with punches thrown, riots everywhere, and fire. Well, maybe not most of those, but you will have the most in depth review of both products head to head. So keep your fingers crossed.

Until then, keep watching the Panini blog as I’m sure there will be more goodness posted. Or if you haven’t seen my other posts about The Cup or Dominion and some of the other posts comparing the two, make sure you check those out. (Yeah, I’ve written alot!)