I wanted to keep my blog down to one post per day. This one has to be the exception.
Panini has finally put out their preview for 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey.
This is going to be Panini’s effort in direct competition to Upper Deck The Cup and ITG Superlative. Will it contain the goods to dethrone them? So far, I think it may have a chance.
At $350 a box, this product is going to be up there. Your 350 clams will give you 8 cards per box with at least 6 of them being autographs or memorabilia. You will be guaranteed that 3 of them will be autographed. Oh, and by the way, every autographed card is hard-signed. No sticker autographs here. That’s what I’m talking about.
You want to know what’s included in this set?
- Kindred Cuts, a 1/1 cut signature of some of hockey’s greats.
- Peerless Patches, a dual or quad booklet featuring patches of some of hockey’s best players of today and the past.
- Engravatures, cards embedded with real silver that are etched with former Stanley Cup winners, just like Lord Stanley’s Cup.
- Nifty 50, hard signed autographs of single season 50 goal scorers.
- Tape to Tape, a very interesting set featuring autographs of stars on embedded pieces of hockey tape from their sticks.
- Brass Bonanza, saving the best for last. Can you hear that tune yet? I can. A tribute insert set featuring autographs from the legends of the Hartford Whalers.
Now I don’t get very excited often for boxes of cards. But when I hear there is going to be an insert set in tribute to the Hartford Whalers, that gets my attention and excitement. It just brings me back to the days of sitting in my grandfather’s den with the Whalers game on TV, watching the likes of Ron Francis and Kevin Dineen while putting together a puzzle. I wasn’t aware at my young age what the organization was going through and the fact it would leave me without a professional hockey team years later. Flash forward to 2009 when the NHL finally got the rights back to the Whalers name and logo. I knew someday, somewhere the Whalers would return in cardboard form. Okay, back to reality.
Going over the designs shown for the cards I see some very cool concepts with a lot of larger then average swatches. I also noticed that unlike some other Panini products, the over-sized swatches don’t overtake the main focus of the card, the players. I give credit where it’s deserved and these cards look nice. Looking especially nice is the Showcase Showdown insert, which looks fantastic and is pictured below. Sadly, Panini did not post anything featuring the Hartford Whalers and their Brass Bonanza set. I think I’m going to have to bug Tracy Hackler for that.
But overall, despite my overwhelming crush on the Whalers insert set, I believe this set may have what it takes to seriously contend for the high end Cup. Low numbered cards, great autographs, and new ideas may set this apart.
Panini America’s NHL brand manager Al Muir stated, “This is for the high-end hobbyists, the whales.” The “whales” is right.
Pucky is back.
(SCB Note: Do you want to see a 2011 Panini Dominion checklist?)