Preview: 2011-12 Panini Dominion Hockey

I stated the other night on Twitter that I would double up the posts for today because of my lack of posting yesterday, so here it is. We are going to feature our preview for one of the top products in the hockey realm, 2011-12 Panini Dominion hockey.

At $400 a box, it’s high end for a reason. With only 8 cards, you want to get what you pay for and Panini has done everything in their power to upgrade the rookie superstar to sophomore sensation with some of the additions and tweaks to the product.

First, returning are some of the fan favorites from last year. Tape to Tape will return, as well as Engravatures and Strapping Lads. These were some of the favorite pulls collectors could pull and made for some great cards.

Also returning but also with a nice upgrade include Peerless Patches which will continue to showcase some of the best patches in the hobby, but also now will include an autograph version. Rookie patch autographs of course will return, however you will now find one per box like Panini’s competition, and there will be less parallels included in the product which will increase value and the variety of cards.

There is still a ton more to be looked at with this product, and I’m sure Panini will also throw in a few surprises for collectors as well. So get ready and get set for an improved product that could really bring their competition to the limit.

You can check out more information on the Panini blog and get ready for the release of this product sometime near the end of August most likely.

 

ITG’s Plans for 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention

The 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention is heating up with more news daily from manufacturers and announcements from the show itself. Today we have some new information from what ITG fans can expect from the company at this year’s National.

In The Game has some big redemption plans for the National this year in Baltimore.

There will be three products able to be redeemed for exclusive cards at this year’s National: UM-11 National SuperBox, Broad Street Boys and 2011-12 Between The Pipes.

Collectors opening a box of 2011-12 Broad Street Boys at the In The Game booth will receive a 1/1 stamped game used memorabilia card from the product.

Collectors opening a box of 2011-12 Between The Pipes will receive a special game used memorabilia card made for the National as well.

And finally, collectors opening UM-11 National SuperBoxes at the In The Game booth will receive a special 1/1 game used memorabilia card.

ITG will be ready and primed for their box breaking event and I’m sure with a few other surprises along the way.

Weak NHL Draft Could Hurt 2012-13 Hockey Cards

As most hockey fans know, last night was the NHL Draft. My Edmonton Oilers picked up RW Nail Yakupov who was easily the most talented offensive player in this year’s draft. But after Nail, there were 8 defenseman taken in the first 10 picks.

We all know defenseman, in any sport, aren’t what sports card collectors get hyped over. Sure you have P.K. Subban who was pretty popular in 2010, but he is more of an offensive defenseman and he was drafted by one of the most popular teams in the NHL, the Canadiens.

Collectors will enjoy cards of Ryan Murray, Derrick Pouliot, and other defensive players, but they don’t bring the huge value you might find from someone like Nail or some of the top offensive players in the past few years like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Taylor Hall. There might be a few sleepers in there somewhere, but this year’s offensive talent is just below average.

Hockey cards seem to have been in an upswing and I hope this weak NHL draft doesn’t take away from that momentum.

Football is going to be EXTREMELY popular this year amongst card collectors with the amazing rookie class coming in and all the hype surrounding them, the same can be said for basketball and this year in baseball.

Contest Winner Announced

Tonight, we announce the winner of the pair of Panini autographs from our recent reviews of 2011-12 Panini Past & Present basketball and 2011-12 Panini Contenders hockey.

After a lower than average turn out for the contest, we have done some fancy randomization to come up with a winner. And the winner of the pair of autographs is…

Dan. Dan from DansOtherWorld has won the pair of Panini autographs. So a big congratulations to him and I’ll be contacting him shortly for his mailing address to receive these cards.

Thank you all for reading and entering the contest. Look for more contests soon after every batch of reviews we do.

Review: 2011-12 Panini Contenders Hockey

Contenders is back with a bang for it’s sophomore season. The previews of the product looked like a much needed upgrade to a product that crossed similar lines as its counterpart in football. Last season, I thought this product could contend with SP Authentic as the top product for rookie autographs. Little did I know, the product would include upgrades that made it almost identical to that product in terms of content.

2011-12 Panini Contenders hockey is now set up to be a winner in the hockey card arena. While Panini continues to establish it’s name amongst hockey collectors, this product is a great example of the things they can do to compete in that marketplace. All of these good things written and you haven’t seen the review yet…right. Let’s check that out.

Design:

Panini said they were going to work on their designs and they are truly doing that. I’ll start with the negative on why I wouldn’t give this 5 stars. The white boxes for the rookie autographs are a bit out of place. It’s not as bad as other products, but it could still be a little better. And also, what happened to the ticket design? I love the ticket design…is that going to remain football only while Panini carves out the landscape? But all of that doesn’t matter when you see how clean these cards look. They’re just pretty to look at. Like that really cute girl you might see walking around. Not that really hot one you have no chance with, but the really cute one you might buy a couple drinks for at the bar. Comparing cards to girls…I should start doing that more often.

Checklist:

Contenders is known for the rookie autographs.  Obviously, there are a ton of rookie autographs in this product. So you’ll be able to find a ton of great rookie autographs from all around the league. The one issue that I’ve seen the most complaints about is the checklist for NHL Ink. There are a lot of no name type players on that checklist people are having a hard time swallowing. As for me, I like the addition of players who aren’t rookies and the veterans in the patch autograph realm which is usually reserved for rookies. At least the non-rookies you know can play in the league and probably won’t wash out. It really just depends what you collect and what you expect in a product like this.

Value:

From what I’ve seen, for $100 this is very hit or miss. Again, kind of like SP Authentic which is a natural comparison. The rookie class is kind of a weak one, so it makes it hard to want to spend this type of cash on a product that has very little to perk you up. Another reason Panini did a good job adding what it added this year. The rookie class is providing lower than usual value, so add in some great chase cards. I was lucky, however, and pulled a redemption for a card that’s worth about the same amount as the box. You may hit a really nice patch autograph, a sweet veteran autograph, or something nice and low numbered. Again, it’s just hit or miss. I have to also mention the less inserts this year, which I kind of miss as well. I miss the acetate cards and the Leather Larceny from last year. But the inserts this year kind of fall well in line with the rest of the theme, so I can’t complain too much. Plus less inserts is sometimes better.

Overall:

Overall, this is still a fantastic second year product from Panini. The design is very pleasing to the eye and very clean all around. When people say you have a clean looking card, you know you did a very good job according to their eye. The checklist has all the rookies you could want, but leaves a little bit to be desired as far as the non-rookie autographs go. Colin Greening was my non-rookie hit…not a terrible player at all but others haven’t been so fortunate. But my real value came with my redemption card. With the rookie class being weak, Panini did a solid job adding value to what seemed like something you may not get much out of. Patch autographs in the product really add to the value, but I wasn’t lucky enough to pull one of those beautiful cards. It’ll be hit or miss mostly because of the rookies this year, but that’s not Panini’s fault.

I’d like to thank Panini America for providing this box for review. You can find them on their official site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else online. Let them know what you think of this product.

Not shown: Redemption for NHL Ink Dual Autograph Gabriel Landeskog/Ryan Nugent-Hopkins