Review: 2012-13 Panini Past & Present Basketball

Now I won’t deny that last year I loved Past & Present from Panini. In fact, I thought the product was a lot of fun with the way it was set up from start to finish. While the autographs were hit or miss, or very miss, it was a fun product nonetheless. This year, Panini has turned up the fun factor and improved the autographs. What do we get? An improved product that deserves to be opened. Want to see the full review?

Design:4 and half stars blue

One of the things you will find strange about Past & Present is their several different base designs that you can find in the product. The base is based around more of a vintage look while the inserts have that futuristic look to them. Past & Present. Get it? My favorites include the Rise N Shine base cards and the Splash inserts. Really, it is a fun product to open and it would appeal to all types of collectors. The only thing I could do without is the fuzzy cards. Personally, I think it is an interesting idea, but maybe I can’t wrap my head around fuzzy cards. Overall though, it is a brand that has its identity and I love what that represents.

Checklist:4 stars blue

I do have to say, the checklist is slightly better this year. The double rookie class is actually an improvement over last year’s autograph checklist, and that means alot coming from me as someone who feels the double rookie class diluted some of the content. That being said, I enjoyed the entirety of the product this season. It would have been interesting seeing some bigger “Past” names in the product. I’d love to see players like Mugsey Bogues, Shawn Kemp, Arvydas Sabonis, etc. or even a Harlem Globetrotters subset with autographs in this product. (I think I just gave Panini a great idea with that one.) There is always room for improvement on that next year and I think it would fit the brand nicely.

Value:5 stars blue

Right now at DA Card World, a box is sitting at a cool $68. At three autographs per box, that is a steal in this market. While you may not find sick patches or whatever, the ink is still looking good in this product. I mean, we pulled a nice SP autograph of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and of course there are Kyrie autos amongst other top rookies from the past two years. Personally, I think that is a fantastic price in this current landscape. Really, there isn’t much else to say about that.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

See, check out that improvement. The design may take some getting used to for traditional collectors, but it has reasoning for being the way it is. The inserts are top notch and makes the product really feel like Past & Present. The checklist is improved over last season despite the double rookie class, and that is a good sign. And when it comes to the wallet, it is one of the better products out there in terms of value. Go find yourself a box, it is a load of fun. So fun, in fact, that my break video is embarrassing.

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

You can find the full checklist over at Cardboard Connection.

And make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube so you can see me make an idiot out of myself.

Check out the cards, yo:

Review: 2012 Panini Score Football

A low end hit from last year, according to this blog, is back again this year bringing one of the best values in sports cards. The $1 per pack product is back again for the 2012 season with a new design and some of the first rookie cards on the market for the new season as well as some of the easiest to collect. You get at least 1 rookie card per pack and at 36 packs per box, you get a ton of rookies. It is a product for all ages and collector types. Want to see how this product stacks up this year and what we pulled from our box…well, here it comes.

Design:

I’m not huge on the design of this product this year. It’s kind of boring and looks like a few 2011 products from Panini with the regular base design. The rookie design I just can’t stand. If they were closer to the hockey designs, I would have felt a bit better, but the rookie cards really need some color. The grey lines really don’t stand out at all and are kind of boring. There is nothing else that really stands out in the product either. I mean, it’s all decent looking but what the product is really missing is some color. It’s missing some vibrant color as the colors are just plain. In the Zone and Hot Rookies are very good looking cards, but everything else is just average. It was kind of a letdown. Also, I thought Panini was numbering the parallels this year? And what happened to all the other parallels?

Checklist:

You know what to expect with this checklist. There really isn’t any surprises. All the rookies you could want. All the veterans you could want. Even a few autographs you have the possibility of pulling. The insert ideas this year are pretty good, but I was holding out hope they would use my insert idea of touchdown dances. That’s just me though. If they used my idea, I would of snuck in an extra star. :) But again, another great product for set collectors, hit collectors, and everyone in between with the huge checklist.

Value:

Again, with the basic formula not changing, the value of this product is great. $1 per pack with rookies and the chance for autographs. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but Panini really knows how to do low end products. I can pretty much copy and paste this area for every Score product as they all follow the same formula. How can you ever be disappointed with the price of this product? If you are, you need to re-evaluate collecting cards.

Overall:

Overall, of course this is another very good lower end product from Panini. The design was kind of boring to me this year, but I must admit I do like a few things about it. It reminded me too much of products from last season and the regular rookie cards are just a bore. The checklist is fantastic as always. With such a large checklist, it’s the perfect product for every type of collector out there. And every type of collector could afford it too. It’s $1 per pack which means how can you complain about it? Good work again by Panini on putting together and extremely affordable and fun product for all ages.

A big thank you goes out to Panini for providing this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, or Facebook pages.

Let’s see what the cards look like, shall we…beauty is in the eyes of the beholder:

Review: 2011-12 Panini Score Hockey

The best value in sports cards is back, this time hot off the ice. Panini Score hockey brings you pack after pack for only $1 each, filled with inserts, die-cuts, rookies, and even the occasional autograph. You can see my preview of the product here with more information. But here is my box of 2011-12 Panini Score hockey, brought to you by my future mother in-law as a Christmas present.

And here’s our pulls (one example of each):

Design:

The design of Score is always solid all around. This year, the design brings me back to the 70s or 80s. Back in a year where I was probably not even born. But the design still looks good to me with the colors designed to match the team colors. As always, I love those little additions that make designs merge better into the card. The inserts are all beautiful as well. My favorites being the die-cuts, Making an Entrance, and the Net Cam inserts. This whole product is very solid in the design department and for a $1 per pack product, that’s great.

Checklist:

As with all of Panini Score products, the checklist is always great. This product is full of all the stars of the league, a ton of veterans, and a good number of rookies. Some may dislike some of the better known rookies being short prints, but I think it’s a great idea to add some extra value, which will be discussed below. The only thing that some people may not like is some of the game’s greatest players in history. Personally, I believe that every product does not need to contain those facets. Just like I believe that every product doesn’t need to be a ton of rookies. But the checklist of veterans and rookies in a 500 card checklist is great for set collectors, especially with it being $1.

Value:

The value of this product is some of the best in the industry. $1 per pack of trading cards. How does it get better then that? There are short printed rookies of the top rookies, a ton of base cards, a great number of inserts and limited inserts, and the occasional autograph thrown in there at a better rate then other company’s low end products. As I stated earlier, the best value in sports trading cards is Panini’s Score brand and they don’t disappoint once again.

Overall:

Overall, the Score brand has been a staple of quality low-end products of Panini since they brought it back to sports. The design is always solid in all facets of the product. The checklist is always filled with what seems like every player in the league so you will be able to find your favorite team or players in every box. And when you are buying those boxes, it won’t hurt your wallet and you might get some decent value cards from the box. Say you pull a rookie short print and an autograph in the same box? You are doing well for yourself there. Overall, it’s a great product that gets you in the hockey collecting mood for the entire season.

No video this time around, couldn’t set it up while opening the box by the Christmas tree.

Preview: 2011 Topps Lineage Baseball

I’m running out of products to preview. Don’t worry, that is a good thing. That just means this blog is becoming a great source of information on all the products that will be arriving at your hobby shop real soon, exactly what my plans were when I started it. But right now, we have the brand new 2011 Topps Lineage baseball to preview.

First, we know it’s all about the baseball lineage. The front of the packing even looks like Mickey Mantle and Joe Mauer are holding hands. Two great number 7s. I’m sure Joe Mauer has always wanted to hold hands with the Mick and finally he gets his chance other then digging up his grave. But I’m sure you want to know what is actually inside the box…got that information.

You will find at least two autographs per box of this product with at least one being on card. Since this set will pay homage to it’s older sets, hence the name Lineage, by having some of these autographs on reprints of their famous 1952 Topps design. You will find stars of that set with these new autographed reprint versions. Players like Yogi Berra, Ralph Branca and Monte Irvin will grace these reprint autographs. While you will still find the younger stars like Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, and Hammerin’ Hank Aaron on reprints of other famous Topps card sets. Finally, you will find some future legends on the 1952 card design as well with autographs. I’m guessing they will have Topps perennial players like Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols as some of the top hits.

Oh, and since it’s Topps 60th birthday, the celebration autographs will also be randomly inserted like it has been through most products this year.

Next there will be 1 relic per box. Some of these will be printed on reprints of the 1964 Topps Giants series if you’re old enough to remember these. I’m not old enough as my father was barely born at this time, but I definitely know about this series. These will be numbered low with jersey and bat relics and will be a box loader only. Again, I love the return of the box topper and it should be in every product. You can also find 1975 mini relics as well as more 60th Anniversary relics and jumbo relics with patch versions.

Finally, we have everything else. These past couple years have been the return of the inserts and this product has a ton of them with parallels. Anyone remember 1968 Topps 3D? That one I’m not familiar with but that concept will return as an insert set using life-like 3D technology and inserted 2 per box. Their words, not mine. You will also find 2 stickers per box based off of the 1972 cloth stickers set. Hablas espanol? You will find 2 Venezuelan Spanish versions of the base cards per box as well. These next two insert sets are my favorite. The first is the rookies on vintage 1980s style designed cards. I grew up grabbing these cards from my friends so it is definitely a great nostalgia trip. The second is the 1964 Topps stand ups that will be reprinted or have current stars on that design. You can bet your bottom dollar I will find the Red Sox versions and have them standing around my man cave. But look at all those inserts! They will be everywhere, don’t worry they won’t be taking up your precious base.

You will find 8 base cards per pack printed on several different Topps designs over the years. There will be an All-Time Rookie Cup set of rookies in the base set as well highlighting the greatest rookies ever. With these cards you will be able to find mini versions, printing plates, canary diamond parallels, diamond anniversary parallels, and platinum diamond parallels.

Releasing August 3rd, 2011, this product looks to be full of awesome legends and even more awesome current players. You will find 24 packs in a box and apparently 8 cards per pack. Apparently 8 cards in a pack even though it says there are 8 base in a pack. I’m guessing there will be 6 base per pack and the others will be inserts or parallels. You will find this product at around $100 for a box.

One last thing to mention. If you’ve been trying to get the 60th Anniversary ring in the Topps Diamond Giveaway…well there is now another way to get it. Randomly inserted in hobby boxes of Topps Lineage is a redemption to receive a ring. All of you who have been buying up Series I and Series II to collect the rings and can’t find that Mantle to finish your collection? You have another redeeming chance.

Let’s change this up a bit and feature a card almost certainly everyone had at one point or another, without the autograph, this Nolan Ryan which can be found in these boxes.

I Love Finding Cards

I love finding cards when I least expect it. I was digging through some boxes recently when I was looking for my Wheels Main Event cards I posted the other day. While searching for those cards I came upon probably 200 inserts and rookies that I had packed up and moved from Connecticut last summer.

First off, last summer I tried moving my entire collection from Connecticut to Oregon. I chose UPS as the best way to handle the shipping and boy was that a bad idea. The box was mangled and many cards were so damaged they lost all value. Those all went into the trash. Luckily, the majority of those were base cards of star players. I was able to save many of the inserts and rookies that were packaged separately inside the box. A few have slight damage but are still manageable.

In the group I found a lot of great inserts. Chrome refractors, low serial numbers, and regular old inserts…the majority from around 2005. I was excited to find them.

Some highlights:

A bunch of Bowman Chrome star refractors

A bunch of 2005 Donruss Studio Portraits (all numbered to 50 or less) of star players

A bunch of acetate cards (Score! I thought those were gone)

A bunch of Bowman Chrome and Heritage rookies

It was a great stash of inserts. I have yet to go through them and price them and really check to see how bad some of the damage may be. The better ones will probably be sent to CheckOutMyCards eventually. I’ve been saying for months I would send them a package of inserts to sell on there. There has got to be somebody who wants some of these inserts.

If anyone has any wants please send me an email or leave a message here with your email. I have like 400 inserts/rookies total just hanging around here doing nothing. Even a couple of printing plates. Oh, 99% of them are baseball in case anyone else was wondering.