Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian readers out there. And when you think of Canada there is only one thing that comes to mind…Santa! No, no, I mean hockey. The greatest thing Canada has given to the world of sport is our review for the day. 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology hockey is kind of a mish-mash product that features designs from several products as well as it’s own design. The reasoning is that there were several cards from other products that either weren’t returned in time for pack out or maybe the rookies didn’t get any ice time with the big club until after pack out. This allows Panini the opportunity to use some of the favorite designs for collectors and have them feature some of their favorite players and rookies. Sound good? It is. Let’s see the review.
Favorite designs of the year? Check. Great designs from the past? Double check. Great new design for the base cards? Triple check. Seriously, while this is a mish-mash of products thrown into this one product, they definitely picked some of the best designs of the year. Crown Royale, Luxury Suite, Pinnacle, and the new Rookie Anthology design..how can this be not good? We all know the other designs so I’ll get into the Rookie Anthology design. A crisp and clean design, it features a white background with the player really popping off the card. Add in some foil highlights and a slightly thicker card stock and this has the look and feel of a premium product. At first glance and feel I felt like I was opening Ultimate Collection by their competitor, but then saw the beauty of these cards. It was really a fantastic job by the design team on this product.
The checklist is a lot of rookies that made their debut later in the season at the most, with a few of the top rookies sprinkled in with some veterans. This checklist is based off of the rookie class, so it’s not going to be terribly good. But you can’t fault Panini for that too much. They could of loaded it up with more RNH, Landeskog, etc., but they chose to highlight more of the newer rookies. The addition of some veteran hits helped ease the pain a bit, but it seems to be lacking some rookie talent. Again, more of an issue with the actual talent instead of the checklist. It’s been that way all season.
The value is there, but the checklist isn’t making this a huge must get product. The addition of veteran hits and the box topper really helped this product a bit. I think someone on the team saw something lacking and wanted to amp it up a bit, and that idea really helped. Having 5 hits in a $100 product is pretty decent as well compared to the usual 3-4 hits in most products at that price point. The memorabilia/autos are very nice and helps add in some value as well, but the plain game used jerseys are kind of dull. I really liked the stick additions once again the Luxury Suite design. It’s a crazy product with some crazy results, but there are some big hits to be had as well.
Overall, rounding up, it’s a very good product in a line of recent solid products from the company. The designs are fantastic and are really what make this product very good from the get go. The idea behind the product to get those newer rookies out there and some of the cards that weren’t returned in time for pack out was a great idea to reduce the load on redemptions as well as create something new for the collectors. This mish-mash style worked well in basketball with the shortened season and I think Panini proved it can work well in other sports as well. While the checklist isn’t the great, they’ve upped the hits to kind of make up for it in terms of value and that always helps in a $100 product. With a few veteran cards scattered amongst the set, Rookie Anthology is a great idea and addition from Panini.
And here’s the haul…