Preview: 2012 Panini Gridiron Football

Long gone is Gridiron Gear, with Panini Gridiron taking over as the name behind the cards this year. It’s almost a completely retooled product, but it does bring back some collector favorites over the past few years. With a bigger base set, action photography, and a better overall theme, it appears as though it will be more well rounded product.

At 18 packs per box and 8 cards per pack, you’re still going to get a ton of cards. You’re also still going to find autographs and memorabilia cards like you have in the past versions of this product. Each box will contain at least 2 autographs and 2 two memorabilia cards with some boxes having 3 autographs. Those of you that were autographed Rookie Gems fans, don’t worry, they will be returning with a slight tweak. Also returning is the popular Gridiron Kings and Rookie Gridiron Kings subsets.

X’s and O’s have a new meaning this year with die-cut X’s and O’s cards featuring pieces of prime game used memorabilia. Include that with Monday Night Heroes, Arms Race, and Aerial Assault, and there are some nice new inserts to collect this year. And don’t forget, you can also find superstar autographs on the Gridiron Signatures insert card as well.

Gridiron Gear definitely lost it’s flavor last year, but the revamping of the product is a good step in the right direction for the Panini football team.

You’ll be able to find this product on October 24, 2012, for a little more than $100 a box. You can find out more about the product by visiting the Panini blog and the product information page on Cardboard Connection.

Review: 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear Football

Gridiron Gear is back for another season under Panini’s wing and we have some of the major components returning for another season. Most notably, the pull out autographed jerseys make a return and are now found in one out of every two boxes or so. Also, one of my favorites, Gridiron Signatures returns as well with an autograph on what looks like the player’s home football field.

Every box should contain about 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards along with a bevy of inserts, rookies, and paralleled cards. I think just about every card is paralleled in this set so there are a lot of cards for player collectors to search for. Let’s see what we got:

Not pictured: Demarco Murray Rookie Orientation Auto/Jersey Redemption

Design:

I must say I’m not huge on this year’s design. I really liked last year’s design and it just looks like they put in a little too much with this. Like the last product reviewed by Panini, I feel that there is just too much going on at the bottom. I know I mention that it also sort of reminds of the Elite design as well in the break video. Maybe if they designed the whole product like their rookies I would really like it. I do like the fading of the picture towards the bottom of the card. Why can’t they do that in autograph subsets instead of a big white box? I think that Schaub auto would look find without the white box personally. But I like that the white box doesn’t take up the whole card this time. Baby steps.

Checklist:

What is it with Panini and a rookie per pack? Another product with a ton of rookies that just waters down the base rookie cards. Not even a top rookie has a base rookie card which I find kind of strange. They can be found in the other rookie subsets with the material autographs though and they are all there. As always, you can find a ton of different legends or veteran autographs as well in this Panini product which always makes it a good day in my opinion. I just want to see a cut down of the rookie base cards.

Value:

You can find boxes for around $100. Do I feel it’s worth that much? No. But since Panini has instituted it’s MAPP policy, a lot of products start out at a high price only to go down in price after the end of the policy. It will be a good break in a month or two, but the collector wants to open this product now and may overpay a bit for it. If it were me, I would wait until it drops in price a bit.

Overall:

Overall, Gridiron Gear is an okay product, about average. The design is too much for me, but it does have some highlights like the rookie cards and a couple of the insert sets. Otherwise, it’s nothing to write home about as there is too much going on. The checklist is always solid, but I’m getting way too many rookies at one per pack. I don’t need rookies of everyone who got drafted. But they make up for it with great veterans and legends autographs and memorabilia cards which I always see as a positive. That also keeps the value up a little, but I feel the product is a bit overpriced. I would wait until it drops before grabbing a box, so it should be a good break in a month or two.

Again, a big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this box to review.

Video coming soon. Lots of uploading going on today.

Join Panini and the NFL in Going Pink for Breast Cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month in the United States. With breast cancer being the most common cancer affecting woman today, breast cancer awareness is extremely important. Coming from a family where breast cancer is prevalent amongst the women, it’s always been a topic of conversation at family get togethers as we find out someone else has had breast cancer.

Even only two days ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.

Join Panini and the NFL in going pink for breast cancer awareness. Throughout October, NFL players and referees will be sporting pink equipment in showing their support for breast cancer awareness.

Panini has even fashioned a 64 card set, with this year’s Gridiron Gear design, with some pink highlights showing their support for breast cancer awareness. Check out their blog for some more great images. You may even see some of these cards inserted into 2011 Gridiron Gear football.

I’m hoping Panini buys some of these pieces of apparel at NFL Auctions in order to include pieces of them into future products. The money they spend will go towards a good cause, and I think it would make great collectibles.

Preview: 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear Football

One of my favorite football products since it’s inception, Panini is bringing back Gridiron Gear football for the 2011 season and I couldn’t be happier about it after seeing the recent Panini Peek of this product with a ton of great photos of what the cards will look like in this year’s product, some of which I will feature here.

The famous Gridiron Gems rookie pull out autographs are back again as usual and are a little bit easier to attain then in year’s past. These cards are built so you can pull the piece of player worn jersey out from the card and can view the autograph a little better that is signed directly on the cloth. One of the coolest concepts to use player worn memorabilia I’ve seen, these are always a hit in this product.

Each box of 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear consists of 18 packs with 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards per box along with 18 rookies and 9 inserts or parallels. Some of the autographs you can pull are NFL Gridiron Signatures which features a replica full size football field signed by the player that is embedded into the card. These are definitely cool concepts as I had the pleasure of pulling a similar style card this past year in 2010-11 Crown Royale hockey. There are also NFL Pro Gridiron Signatures which features embedded rubber helmets and signatures from only legends of the game. These are similar to the rookie autographs found in Panini Prestige this past year I do believe. There is also a Plates & Patches subset with a game worn patch and nameplate patch from the jersey as well as an autograph which are numbered to 10 or less. There are definitely a lot of great autograph subsets this year to collect.

I am loving the autograph subsets and can’t wait to grab some of these when this product comes out in November. Make sure you check out the Panini Peek of 2011 Gridiron Gear football for more awesome images from this product. Again, this is one of my personal favorite products in the football arena over the past few years so I am especially hyped about this product and I think it’s one of Panini’s better football products out there. But how can you complain with these beauties?