Review: 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures Hockey

2012-13 Panini Classics hockey is a new product from Panini, perfect for the season of the strike in the NHL. A product that is full of Hall of Famers and legends of the game, you don’t have to worry about players in new jerseys, rookies who hit the ice last season, or redemption cards featuring players that haven’t hit the ice for the first time yet. It is a product that has one autograph per pack and includes some big names. It’s a fun product if you love the history of the game, so let’s see what we pulled from this product:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design of this product is superb. It really gives you that old school feeling with the classic look around the picture. The look even features some blemishes to make the cards appear classic or old themselves while remaining in pristine condition. Some may argue that sports cards in general are a condition sensitive hobby, which is true, but the look of a blemished or beat up card adds a level of design that you can’t get without actually changing the condition of the card. I’ve been an advocate for designed blemishes on cards for awhile now and I love what the Panini design team has done here. And the spot for the on-card autograph looks perfect. Good work.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist of this product is actually quite interesting. You have Hall of Famers and old school veterans who you don’t find a lot of autographs from. You can find everyone from Jari Kurri to Dave Tippett, we pulled autographs from both. I like the wide range of players as it really showcases some of hockey’s best history from the players who played the game. How many products out there can you find Whalers autographs like this one? As someone who grew up in Connecticut, that was a highlight for me. While I was a youngin even when they left town, these are names I still recognize.

Value:3 and half stars blue

The value is the only place where this product really suffers. You can find this product for $180 currently on DA Card World. That translates to around $30 per pack with each pack having an autograph. While the autographs are classic and from players who don’t have a ton of inked cards, the demand isn’t precisely there unless you pull a big name. It’s a tough sell at that price, but I think $15-$20 a pack would be closer to acceptable for this product. But there are some big names to hit as well so who knows who you might pull.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this is a product with it’s highs and lows. The lows mainly come from how much money is coming out of your wallet, while the highs are definitely high up there. With a very nostalgic feel to the product it definitely has you feeling like watching some old school hockey. The design is old school with the designed blemishes, which I love, especially the die-cuts. The checklist is solid and filled with fan favorites and Hall of Famers. But again, it always comes down to price of the product.

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

You can find more information about the product on the Cardboard Connection.

And of course, here’s the video break. After the working with video, we’re going to go back to displaying images with our next batch of reviews. The site is finally all updated so I appreciate the patience.

Preview: 2012 Topps Archives Baseball

I was planning on writing a different preview for today, but with the news that we were selected as a must follow on Twitter by Top Prospect Alert, we are going to treat you all with some information about 2012 Topps Archives baseball.

Topps is bringing back the former brand that was last released in 2002 in order to change the game a bit this season with their roster of products. Archives will rehash some of the popular old Topps designs and include today’s players and some all-time fan favorites.

Speaking of fan favorites, inside each 24 pack hobby box will include 2 Fan Favorites autographed cards from popular players of the past. You may also find full memorabilia pieces as redemptions in this product as well. Imagine pulling a redemption for a full game used jersey of one of your favorite players from today or the past? Great move there by Topps as that is something I’ve been advocating for years.

The base set will feature 200 players from today and years past on four different previous Topps designs, (’54, ’71, ’80, & ’84) all prior to my birth. You will also find Fan Favorites inserts and even some relics of game used jerseys or bat pieces embedded into the cards from former stars and today’s stars.

Of course, everyone will want to know who some of the players that will be signing for this product. How about Ken Griffey Jr., Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Yaz, Johnny Bench, and more Hall of Famers and past and presents stars.

When Topps started talking about changing the game this season, we had no idea what we were in for. If this product comes out as hot as it looks, be prepared for more great offerings from Topps this year. Be ready on May 23, 2012, right before MLB action starts really heating up and save up your coin as it will close around $86.