Review: 2012-13 Panini Limited Hockey

A Panini tradition for several years now, the Limited brand continues in the hockey arena with its usual one pack per box and multiple hits per pack formula. It’s that quick hit that many collectors enjoy breaking into every season to see what they can pull. In this shortened hockey season without new rookies, it is one of those products that may be your only hockey break of the season. So let’s get down to it and see what we pulled in our box of Panini Limited hockey for 2012-13.

Design: 4 stars blue

I actually REALLY like the design aspects in this product, except for one thing, the manufactured patch autographs. I was going to give this 4 1/2, but I had to knock it down because of two manu-patch autographed cards. One of them, the autograph already has some pen bleed on it which is disappointing and one of the main reasons I don’t care for that style of card creation. Other than that, the base designs look great with the color photo of the player and the sepia background. The inserts are solid as well and the other hit look good too. Great design work, but I just hate manu-patches.

Checklist: 4 stars blue

To me, there is a benefit of not having many rookies in the sets this year and that is you can find more veteran content. That has resulted in a pretty decent box we received of this product. Tyson Barrie is a solid defenseman prospect, so that isn’t too shabby. But the highlights are a Hall of Famer game used piece and a future Hall of Famer autograph. One rookie hit, one current veteran hit, and one legend hit. Panini does well mixing in all of these into their product run and it was cool seeing it all come together in one box of a product that usually has quite a few rookie hits. Then again, no new rookies either like Yak, and it’s kinda disappointing. But blame the NHLPA!

Value: 4 stars blue

I believe the box originally retailed at $100 like the typical Limited products, but right now this one is currently sitting at $82 over at DA Card World. Not bad price at all for this product and what I would love to see the product hit the streets at. Panini has eliminated its MAPP policy, so maybe we’ll start seeing better opening value the first few weeks. But as I stated in the checklist area, we received some pretty decent cards in our box with Iginla, Fuhr, and a solid prospect. Overall, I think this box held up its end of the bargain. Others have been worse, but I’ve seen better too. Limited is risky like that.

Overall:4 stars blue

 Overall. A solid four stars. This isn’t your typical four star review as Limited has shown many positives this year. Next year will be interesting though with the double rookie class, but I’m enjoying the product this year for what it is. The design is well done, but I still don’t like those manu-patch autographs. At least Panini has limited their use across the board and you only really see them in two products (Dominion). The checklist is good for this season and really is a testament to what I believe rookies have done to the hobby. Watering down boxes with rookies has been a problem, but this box shows the good of a variety of players. Which not only improves the breaking experience, but adds some better immediate value. We all aren’t prospectors or care for waiting out rookies, so this is a nice change of pace.

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

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

Subscribe to us on YouTube to see the live break of this product. And look below to see the cards we pulled from the break!

 

Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used Hockey

A press release about 12-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey from Upper Deck came out today:

Carlsbad, CA (January 15, 2013) Just days before the puck drops on a new season for the NHL®, Upper Deck is pleased to release 2012-13 NHL® SP Game-Used; a super premium hockey card release that collectors are eager to experience. The product has been revamped from years prior and has a lower price point per pack, but does not compromise on the quality cards that have made it a hobby favorite. Collectors can find five packs in every box that contain at least one autograph card and four other memorabilia or autograph cards.

“SP Game-Used has been given a nice makeover that we think collectors are going to love,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Hockey brand manager. “We have challenged our teams to come up with compelling new inserts that will bring collectors closer to the game and we believe they have succeeded. By improving the value collectors can find in packs, we think they will have a much more exciting pack-opening experience this year!”

There are a bevy of new insert sets that will have collectors clamoring to crack these packs. First up are the “Draft Day Marks” autograph cards that profile talented rookies and veterans on the day they were drafted. Collectors can chase these cards to put together the entire set that will spell out the player’s last name. Rookie cards have always been a staple in the product, but now there is better collectability with Rookie Cards limited to each player’s jersey number with a twist being that the last card in each print run is a one-of-one-autograph for young stars like Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) and Sven Baertschi (Calgary Flames). And with “Supreme Patches,” “Supreme Sticks,” and “Supreme Skates” collectors find out first hand where SP Game-Used gets it’s name as they can find game-used memorabilia cards with very compelling pieces of jerseys, sticks and skates players used in actual games. The skate cards in particular are going to be an exciting new addition for collectors as it marks the first time Upper Deck has produced cards like these. And to create some serious high-end buzz, collectors can also find rare 1-of-1 NHL® Shield variation cards that include the NHL® logo from game-used jerseys on the card.

One of the most unique additions to the SP Game-Used brand for this season is an artifact used in Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 2012 NHL® Stanley Cup® Final. Upper Deck was able to procure the actual net from the goal from those games and will be including special Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils cards with swatches of the net embedded in them. Special autograph variations will include authentic signatures on swatches derived from the leather net skirt from key players in the series like Adam Henrique, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Martin Brodeur and Wayne Gretzky who dropped the ceremonial puck before Game 3. Also look for ten different 1-of-1 “Jumbo” packs cards featuring large swatches from the oversized NHL® shield patch taken from the net skirt.

Just in time for the start of the NHL® season, Upper Deck is pleased to release 2012-13 NHL® SP Game-Used which is currently available on store shelves.

Hey, it’s about time Upper Deck changed up the product after the horrible offering last season. Let’s hope these changes really do enhance the product for collectors.

You can find this product online at DA Card World for about $107 . You can also find more information including the checklist at Cardboard Connection.

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.

Review: 2012 Panini Prime Hockey

Now this isn’t your typical break for the site. Usually Panini provides us with awesome product to review, but this time, I decided to buy a product in which I didn’t get a chance to review this year. I went online to my preferred card shop, DA Card World, on Black Friday and got a sweet deal on 2012 Panini Prime hockey. I’ve wanted to try the product for awhile and thought it would be the perfect chance after seeing some fantastic breaks. One pack per box, 4 autograph/memorabilia cards per pack. It is loaded with both the unique and “mojo” goodness you could ask for. Let’s see our box:

Design:

The design is that of a very premium product. A thick card stock, a clean design, and some unique ways to showcase the memorabilia within the cards. The quad design on the rookie autographs is extremely nice, especially with the on-card signatures. It’s one of the ever improving Panini designs that looks good and feels good. Definitely one of the best designs of the year in a new product that I hope to see again in the future. The only real issue I see with the product is one that has been brought up before, and that is the non-athlete picture on the super large memorabilia cards. Yes, that sucks. A great remedy would be to make those cards vertical book cards or have almost a full front picture on the back of the card. Just a couple of ideas for the unique product.

Checklist:

The checklist of Panini Prime is fantastic. You have all of your top rookies with their rookie autographs and other types of memorabilia cards, but also all of the top stars in the game featured in every way imaginable in the product. The product impresses with the large number of superstars and veterans of the game. Though you may hit a rookie autograph, in a not very strong rookie class, you can easily make up for it with some great veteran content thanks to the checklist put together. So with a great checklist, you also will find great…

Value:

Yeah, weird isn’t it? Products like this are usually extremely hit or miss. The product originally launched at $200, but now sits at around $170 at DA Card World. I did receive it on Black Friday for $150. This product seems to have found the perfect balance between quality of hits and price. I hit two rookie autographed memorabilia cards, one other first year autograph, but the regular memorabilia card made up for it in several ways. The memorabilia loaded into this product really adds a great bit of value with the huge swatches, multi-color patches, letter marks, all of that premium stuff. It was a great product put together that I even wrote raving about before I had a chance to open it myself. This box proved my point.

Overall:

Overall, Panini Prime is one fine product from the hockey folks at Panini. I was all geared up for the product, saw the hot breaks, wrote about how great it was, and the box proved me right. Don’t you love when that happens? The design is beautiful in mostly all phases of production, but there are a couple tweaks that I would add to make it that much better. The checklist is loaded with all the talent Panini could muster and the value is through the roof with some of the amazing pulls you can find in the product. Job well done.

You can check out the full checklist and other info over on Cardboard Connection.

Check out the video as I pull some sweet cards you won’t want to miss. (Jumbo patch of a superstar anyone?)

Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey

One of the first complete hockey products of the season is ready to come out tomorrow, despite the NHL lockout continuing on. By complete, I mean there are rookies (although usually redemptions), game used, and autographed cards. Artifacts isn’t really a set builders set like the early season releases and features the hits.

Each box of Artifacts comes with one autograph and three game used memorabilia cards. These memorabilia cards will have at least one with multiple players and one that features some sort of prime memorabilia. You’ll also find two rookie cards and one rookie redemption. The main draws of the product are often it’s widely known design, rookie redemptions, and some awesome memorabilia cards.

Each box of Artifacts has 10 packs with four cards per pack, where you can find cards like the ones listed above. As usual, you’ll find your Tundra Tandems, Frozen Artifacts, and other game used cards. But this year you’ll also find Team Canada and Goalies insert sets that feature some sweet memorabilia pieces as well.

Artifacts has been around a long time and makes a great product to hype up the next NHL season. Only problem is, we might not have an NHL season nor do we know how many products may actually come out if the strike continues. Either way, Artifacts still looks to be a solid buy once again.

Again, the product streets tomorrow, October 2, 2012, for around $100 a pop.

For more information, check out the product information page on Cardboard Connection.