Preview: 2012 Panini National Treasures Football

One of the most high-end sets Panini releases in their Football schedule is set to come out, National Treasures.

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The first thing collectors should be looking for in 2012 Panini National Treasures Football are the Rookie Signature Materials cards. These cards are signed on-card, feature a game worn patch and are numbered to 99 or less. This year there will also be press plate versions numbered to 1. These are always the most desirable cards in National Treasures and have been the staple of the product.

A veteran Autograph set will be included in Virtuoso Signatures. This set will feature players such as Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning. These are also on-card signatures and will be numbered to 50 or less.

Don’t forget about the NFL’s Greatest Signatures set, though. These will be on-card autographs from some of the best players in NFL history, and will be numbered to 50 or less.

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Each box contains 1 pack with 8 cards per pack. In each box, it will contain 3 autographs and 3 memorabilia cards per box.

You can find the product at DA Card World when it releases April 10, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection and more information on the official Panini America blog.

Preview: 2013 Topps Tribute Baseball

Topps is back with one of their highest-end products of the year and that product is 2013 Topps Tribute Baseball.

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The first thing collectors should look for are the autograph cards. These base autographs will be numbered to 50 or lower. You will also be able to find Tribute to the Stars autographs. This set features the top veterans and retired players and these cards are numbered to 24. There is also a purple parallel which is a 1 of 1.

A new set to Tribute Baseball will be the framed mini-tribute autographs that feature veterans and retired players, and will be numbered to 25. Don’t forget to look for cut autographs which will be 1 of 1′s!

Some great relic sets will also be in 2013 Topps Tribute Baseball such as relics of game-worn batting gloves, which will be numbered to 2. Retired Remnants, Famous Four-Baggers, and Superstar Swatches are also a few of the interesting sets that will be featured.

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Each box contains 6 packs with 5 cards. In each box, it will contain 3 autographs and 3 memorabilia cards.

You can find the product at DA Card World for around $360 when it releases on April 10, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection.

Review: 2012 Panini Black Football

Panini has brought out the big guns in the creation of 2012 Panini Black football. A set with a black theme to do it has been done dozens of times, however Panini puts their own spin on the concept with some interesting results. At one pack per box and 12 cards per pack, you do get quite a few cards for a one pack box. Each box is guaranteed a couple autographs and a couple memorabilia cards, with the prized cards being autographed (gold ink) patch autographs from some of the top young rookies in the game. Let’s see what your typical box will bring you:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design is nothing ground breaking. That said, it was extremely well done without too much going on in the background. An all black design is hard to design because the absence of color is what makes the cards bold and attractive. Plus, how can you call yourself “Black” with a ton of other colors and designs? The design stays with the theme with a few accents in the background to make the players pop and the background distinguished. The lettering on the cards is actually pretty neat with a futuristic font and the use of letter foiling is subtle enough to not overpower the card either. Overall, a great effort.

Checklist:4 stars blue

Panini Black is sort of like the product you go to if you want to get rookie autographs. I pulled three of them in my box, however, one autograph was an undrafted rookie for the Dolphins who I don’t believe is even on the roster currently. The other was not a skill player, but the patch autograph was decent, although he sits behind Ray Rice in the depth chart. That is the issue when you have a product that mainly consists of rookie autographs in that you often will pull nobodies when you’re spending big money on a product. With the low chances of pulling veteran content, it’s going to be hit or miss on the content.

Value:3 and half stars blue

Again, the checklist makes the value suffer. You can find this product for $200 at DA Card World. I mean, this product is extremely hit or miss. You have your random rookie autographs from people you haven’t heard of, but then you find beautiful on card content from players who attended the rookie premiere who get some playing time. At the same time, you find a whole bunch of single color swatches in the product (some even in the patch autographs) but you can also find some pretty sweet and rare pieces as well. Again, I’m offering the suggestion of cutting out the no name rookies, perhaps even the ones who aren’t skill players, in a product with this high of a price tag and find veterans out there who at least you recognize their names and they get some playing time. The price tag plus the content can lead to some extremely disappointed customers.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this product has the looks as if it could start a tradition over at Panini. However, the content needs an overall better product for it to succeed as that. The strong rookie class this year has probably really helped the product this year, but what about when the rookies are weak? The design is great for this product and I applaud the design team for not over-doing it, but the content in this product needs a bit of a step up. When will we start seeing higher end products contain content where you can recognize the player? $200 should not get me two autographs from people I’ve never heard of nor should I get 3 single colored swatches.

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

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

And here are the hits…

 

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey

The Cup is coming.

We are less than one week away from one of the hottest releases of the season in hockey. The ultra high-end The Cup hockey is back for the craziest of hockey collectors. The one pack per tin product is always a hit and features some of the most valuable cards of the collecting season.

As is common with the product, you will find 5 card per pack/tin of The Cup. Some of the more valuable pulls are the rookie patch autographs which you find one per box. Upper Deck has stepped it up this year with an additional patch autograph in the product from either another rookie or a veteran. The final hit is another autograph, memorabilia, or rare paralleled card. To round out the box, you’ll have 2 base cards as well.

But it’s not just about the rookies. It’s also about the sweet veteran cards as well. With the Limited Logos insert set, you can find some of the greatest patches anywhere or patch autographs from some of the top talent in the game. Also popular is the Draft Board autographs which are back again, possibly for the final season due to who gets use of the memorabilia. You’ll also continue to find Scripted Swatches, autographed on-patch cards, and a fan favorite as it brings a ton of cash on the secondary market, NHL Shield cards.

The product is just loaded with everything that hockey collectors love, rookies, sweet patches autographs, legends, superstars, and book cards. The high price may scare some collectors away, but the die hard collectors know how great the product is time after time and love the rush.

The Cup is released on September 11, 2012, and should run you around $400 for a box if prices haven’t moved since last season.

For more information and a checklist when it’s available, check out the product details on Cardboard Connection.

2012 Topps Museum Collection is a Pleasant Surprise

One of the common gripes amongst baseball card collectors in recent years is “Why can’t Topps put together a decent high end product?” We’ve seen great things from Topps in other high end departments like Topps Five-Star, but nothing close to that in baseball.

Until this year. Until now.

For all intents and purposes, I call 2012 Topps Museum Collection a high end product. Really, any product over $150 at release I consider high end. I remember when it used to be anything over $100, and some people would only claim those $300-$400 boxes are the only true high end nowadays.

Would you call it a game changer? Some would. I would. The quality of this product reminds me of something that Upper Deck would of done, but with the signature Topps flair. As one person has stated on Twitter, “It’s like Marquee and Tribute had a baby.”

The reason I mention former Upper Deck products is that one of the gripes of Topps collectors is about how stingy Topps has been in the use of the uniform patch relics. This product features no shortage of patch relics, that’s for sure. Usually it seemed that Topps reserved the best patches for the most hard to get cards, that has definitely changed with this product. While the numbering on the jaw dropping patches is low, and that’s rightfully so, there are still a ton of other great looking patches in this product that are easier to pull.

And that has definitely reflected on secondary prices as well. Just checking the secondary market prices on places like eBay really showcases what a well designed card, some on-card autographs, and beautiful patches can do to the value of cards.

Good show, Topps. Good show.