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

It’s the old versus the new. The veteran versus the rookie. The champ versus the newcomer. It’s less than 2 weeks away from the release of 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup hockey and less than a month away from the release of 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey. The countdown is huge and everyone is waiting for this last hockey product of the year from the two hockey trading card companies. What kinds of punches will each company throw?

Well a lot of punches have already been thrown on the Twitter scene. The Panini America twitter has been using the hashtag #TheCupKiller while showing off some sweet pictures of some of the sweet cards that will be in the product. The Upper Deck twitter has been hot as well showing off some sweet patch 1 of 1s of some of the game’s top players and some awesome rookie patch autographs. But which product is going to be the king?

The Cup is released 2 weeks earlier so Upper Deck is going to have a slight edge as those who really want both are going to be getting their boxes of Upper Deck product earlier. Panini originally tried going head to head with a release the next day, but that was shot down by the NHLPA. So collectors will have to wait 2 weeks until Dominion hits the shelves.

So far, the concepts and designs look good on both sides. Upper Deck always includes some of the most beautiful patch cards you have ever seen in this high end offering. While we haven’t seen this type of product from Panini in the hockey arena yet, I would expect them to match Upper Deck with the patches as that is something that fans from every sport admire. Both companies are offering stamped game used sticks with the player’s name on them which is a great piece for all hockey and player collectors.

Something Panini is offering that has never been seen before is autographed tape from the player’s sticks. That is a great concept and idea that is new to hockey cards and something collectors are anxious to see. So the “new concept” edge has to go to Panini in this regard. The Cup seems to have the same types of hits as in years past, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Collectors love The Cup the way it is, so there is nothing wrong with very little changes to a proven hit product. Panini is trying to make a name for themselves in the very high end hockey arena with collectors, so they are doing everything in their power to show off their capabilities.

Price points are about the same but it’s still a large chunk of change if you want to get both. I’m going to be trying to get my hands on a box of each for a head to head style of review which should reach epic proportions. Imagine this: two boxes sitting on my desk, opening each at the same time, showing off base cards one by one, then on to the hits comparing the intricacies of each product as I run down each card. I can see the beauty that would unfold on camera with my jaw dropped pretty much the whole time.

I, for one, am excited for this new offering from Panini and this already top of the class product from Upper Deck. Will it be The Cup Killer as Panini has been advertising? Or will it fall victim to the veteran and have to go back to the drawing board next year? 2 weeks time for The Cup to be in your possession, and 4 weeks for Dominion to make it’s debut.

It’s a great time to be a hockey collector with these two products going head to head.