Preview: 2011-12 Panini Certified Hockey

I was just waking up when I got an email from my subscription to the Panini America blog. The newest post from Panini was something that I did not expect to see one bit, it’s time to get ready for some 2011-12 Panini Certified hockey with previews and images already coming out. Is it hockey season already? It seems like yesterday the Boston Bruins took down the Vancouver Canucks for the Stanley Cup title. The 2010-11 Panini hockey season hasn’t ended yet with 2010-11 Panini Dominion now set to release September 14, 2011, thanks to the NHLPA forcing the release to be later.

Now I enjoyed last year’s product. I didn’t have an official review because I opened the product about 1-2 months before I started this blog and didn’t write a review about it anywhere since I opened up in the middle of Canada while supporting my favorite sports card shop up in Edmonton. Actually, I was even shorted a hit and I still enjoyed the break. For the record, Panini did a great job replacing my missing hit.

This year’s product is an improvement off an already solid product last year. Returning are some of the great hits from last season like the Fabric of the Game inserts, more rookies, new inserts to the product, and the always popular Freshmen Signatures with new die-cut designs similar to 2010-11 Totally Certified basketball.

One very cool addition this year is the Soft Hands insert which feature pieces of game worn gloves from the players. Having played a little hockey myself, I really hope those gloves are washed a little bit. There is not a more disgusting smell then hockey gloves. But hey, some may like these possibly scented pieces of memorabilia.

(SCB Note: Per Clint at Panini, the game used glove set has been canned because of what appears to be acquisition problems. They will be using stick cards as replacements.)

You can find this product hitting shelves in November 2011 with probably a similar price range as last year.

You need to check out this Panini Peek of 2011 Certified hockey for more information and pictures!

Want to see some recent autographed arrivals?

How about some finished product from the QC department?

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Victory Hockey

2011-12 Upper Deck Victory hockey is out now. I’m a little late on my preview, been busy with other projects, but it is here now. This is the low-end offering from Upper Deck as far as their hockey selection goes. You can find this product anywhere from hobby shops to your local dollar stores, which is where I bought my last packs of Upper Deck Victory a year or two ago.

With that being said, there isn’t much being offered in this product, but there is a little more then last year’s product. There are 36 packs per box and 6 cards per pack of this first hockey product of the season. The regular set consists of 200 base cards and 50 rookies. You can find parallels of all these cards in a black version only now it appears from the sell sheet. I don’t see anything about gold parallels like past years. I’m not a huge fan of the base design, but the inserts I mention below look slick.

There are a few inserts this year as well, including the new MVP rookies, found 2 a box. These cards feature a slick black background with the rookie in the center with the former Upper Deck MVP symbol on the front. I think the inserts look pretty good for a low end set. You can also find regular MVP cards, Stars of the Game, and Game Breakers insert cards at a little more better rate in a box.

And basically, that is it in this box. Not any chance for any autographs or any game used cards. So when I say low-end, this is really lower end.

Upper Deck, can’t you do something like Panini Score and maybe throw in a couple of autographs per case? Just a thought to get some of those top rookies autographs out a little bit earlier.

Contest #3 Winners

I’ll make this short and sweet for you guys.

The winner from the 2010-11 Totally Certified basketball review is the person who guessed closest without going over to the serial number 192. That would be….BA Benny with a guess of 177! We had a lot of people closer, they just went over the number :( Congrats BA Benny with another contest win! That’s two in a row.

The winner from the 2010-11 Zenith hockey review is the person who guessed closest without going over to the serial number 067. That would be….Ashley with a guess of 056! I believe that is RJ’s wife, a Twitter follower of mine. Glad to see a loyal follower with a win! Congrats!

I will be emailing each of you for your address and notice of winning. I think I still have yours BA Benny from the last time you lucky dog.

Thanks to everyone for entering and stay tuned for more awesome giveaways! I haven’t used the Wheel O Awesome in awhile…might have to break that out pretty soon.

And be sure to thank Panini America as well for sponsoring the site with great boxes to review. Every time I get a box to review from Panini, free hits from the product will be going out and others will be added to the vault for future prizes.

2 More Contests Running!

Some more hot contest action here at Sports Card Blog. We have two guess the serial number contests going on for all of you readers. Check read the reviews of Panini Zenith hockey and Panini Totally Certified basketball! Then post a comment about the product and your serial number guess. Simple as that. Both contests feature some nice game used pieces from both products. So another big thanks goes out to Panini for providing the boxes to review.

First Contest: 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified Basketball Review

Second Contest: 2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey Review

Comment and guess, you could be our next winner! Entries will cease on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at 10pm PST with winners announced on Wednesday.

Also, I have opened my 2011 Allen & Ginter box for the Gint-A-Cuffs Battle of the Bloggers contest. I will have a review on that product shortly as I have been a busy man recently.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Zenith Hockey

2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey marks the return of one of the most favorite brands of all time amongst collectors. Donruss revived it in the mid 2000s after it was a staple of the industry in the 90s. It disappeared again for a short period only to be revived once again with 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey. It brings back all your favorite parts of the product from the past, red and white hot parallels, Dufex which is now called Nufex technology, and of course the Dare to Tear rip card!

So with that introduction I would like to bring to you the official review of 2010-11 Panini Zenith hockey brought to you by Sports Card Blog. A big thanks and shout out goes out to Panini once again for providing this to review. I can’t ever do it without them, so I hope this helps you decide to want to buy a box!

Base:

Inserts:

Game Used:

Autographs:

Design:

The design leaves more to be desired. As I sit here in look at the base design of the product I feel like it is something that I have seen before, which I have. It looks almost exactly like 2005 Donruss Zenith baseball which I had the pleasure of opening at that time. The design is just too plain and abstract in my opinion. I see some differences from the older product but the basis is pretty much the same. I was hoping with the revival of the product maybe the design could be updated a little bit. I don’t hate the design but it’s nothing real new and nothing appealing about the base set. While most of the inserts are sharp, especially the ones using Nufex technology, a couple look kinda similar to other products.

Checklist:

The checklist is massive with inserts and has a nice combination of both young and old inside the packs. There are a ton of rookies you can collect from the checklist itself, plus even more rookies if you Dare to Tear your rip card. They put in some very nice stuff inside the rip card which would pretty much make you want to rip the rip card no matter what. It’s almost not even worth it to keep the jumbo card unless you collect the player. The game used and autographs you can pull from this product is laden with stars, I would even say you have a better chance at pulling a star hit in this product than Luxury Suite. Overall, a very solid checklist.

Value:

If I were to price this product over what I believe its worth to be, I would put it at around $70-$80 based off what you get from opening it. That is exactly where this product sits right now, so I believe it’s at a good price. The name on the checklist are pretty good and the rookies being numbered to 999 or below keep the value in the rookies. The only problem that may hurt the value is just the sheer number of products that have come out this year. Product after product has these rookies in them and it’s hurting the value a little bit. I believe Panini tried to fix this by putting in a billion rookies in every product. But still, there are a ton of rookies out there if you wanted a specific one. Otherwise, Panini does a great job on patches and a lot of on card autographs in this product. For what the box sells at, it’s worth a purchase.

Overall:

Overall, this is a pretty average product by Panini. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it has some value to it with the great checklist and the current great price you can find it for. The design leaves more to the imagination as a whole, but the Nufex technology is fantastic. The Dare to Tear rip card is awesome and Panini, I’m leaving it to you to bring back the box toppers. Box toppers add such great value to boxes because you could do anything with them. Put in short prints, Dare to Tear, jumbo autographs, game used, or parallels, anything you want. If every product had a box topper I would be a happy man. The value as it stands is solid so I would definitely consider picking up a box.

Now, it’s time for some hot pack ripping action.

Oh, by the way. The best part of the Dare to Tear rip cards is that it makes a great puzzle afterwards! Sorry Sidney Crosby, you are torn up.

Oh yeah, want a contest too? We’ll do another guess the serial number. This time you are guessing the serial number from the Jacob Josefson rookie that is numbered to 199. I hope I didn’t say it in the video, lol. Closest to the number without going over wins a prize pack from this product including the Gifted Grinders Jersey and insert, along with another insert or two from this product at my disposal. Any comments about the review will help your chances! (Not really, but it’s preferred!)