Review: 2011 Panini Threads Football

2011 Panini Threads football has been out for a bit now and once again has divided the football card collecting community. Some people love it, some people hate it, and there really isn’t anything in between. But don’t worry, I am here to bring you that voice of the collector who is the one person out there who doesn’t love it, but doesn’t hate it either.

After opening and going through the product, it looks to me to just be an average mid-range product. There are some highlights though that you won’t find in other Panini products like autographed manufactured letterman patches, a wider crop of rookie autographs with some that may not have made prior releases, and some really nice insert sets that I haven’t seen before. So let’s see what we got…

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs/Memorabilia:

Design:

Okay, I’ll start with the things I like. I love the use of team colors across this product. It seems like every card incorporates the team colors of the team that player plays on. From the regular base set to the inserts, the team colors proudly wave across the cards. I also really enjoy the action shots and the horizontal design of the cards. The inserts are also done very well, I especially enjoy the Gridiron Kings and Star Factor sets. Now, the bad. I still don’t like manufactured patches but in a product called “Threads” I can live with it. I also don’t like the random stripes going down the side of some cards that have the set names and the team logo. For example, I already love the Gridiron Kings set but would love it even more without the stripe. I know you use it for placement of game used material, but couldn’t there be a less intrusive way? Maybe it’s just me.

Checklist:

I really like a nice base set like this. A ton of different players from your favorite teams can be pulled. I’m still not a huge fan of the rookie per pack thing, I’d like to see Panini do something like Upper Deck does with hockey and Young Guns. Limit the rookies in the product to keep them at a higher value. It seems like product after product is one rookie per pack. Other than that, they feature quite a few players from today and years gone by, which is always nice in moderation. This is definitely my type of product with the small insertion of former players. As always, Panini does a great job of inserting case hits being stars of the NFL including the newly added Troy Polamalu autographs can be found in this product. I was lucky enough to pull a nice patch card of his.

Value:

At $85 a box, I think it may be a little high. I mean, I only received one autograph in the box and we all know autographs are really what collectors are looking for nowadays. Some boxes have 2 autographs in them, but I’d like to see 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia in each box. Even if it was another rookie of some sort, at least that has more potential to rise in value while game used memorabilia cards are going down in value what seems like every day. The Polamalu should hold decent value as he doesn’t have many out there, but the Tebow and the Packers rookies might not. Then again, fans of both are pretty rabid. I’d just like to see a little more ink.

Overall:

Part of me really thinks that with some tweaking, this product has the potential to be a really great product. The designs have improved and have some really great things to see. I love the use of team colors and the action shots showing everything is really nice. Even the inserts look nice, but I would still find a way to get rid of that line down the side. The checklist is pretty good, but I’d still like to limit the rookies. I say this through a lot of products, but it’s just something I see over and over again. It was nice to pull a Julius Thomas rookie finally for my PC though. Finally, I would find somewhere to add a little more value or lower the price $10 or so. Make it two autographs and two memorabilia or even add in an extra memorabilia card and I think it would hold up pretty well. But I think with a few minor tweaks, this product has the potential to be so much better.

Again, thanks to Panini for providing this box for me to review. I will be giving away some cards from it in the future because I have the Panini NFL POD contests going on until November so make sure to check those out.

I’ll have the video up shortly, it is kind of a long one.

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey

After having a dual review of both 2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup hockey and Panini Dominion and writing my full review of Panini Dominion, it’s time to fully review this year’s The Cup hockey from Upper Deck. Upper Deck The Cup is a single pack product with a current price at $420. Every box should have 6 cards, although I have seen several with only 5.

2010-11 Upper Deck The Cup has always been a hit amongst collectors as one of the must get products of the season. People often break this product by the case, however I could not afford a case of The Cup and found a box on sale at DA Card World with my Premier Account. So I saved a bit of money and made sure I got the really thick toploaders you’ll need for the cards in this product. Here’s what I pulled.

Base:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Design:

The design on this product is always top notch and always one of Upper Deck’s best designed products year after year. The design is extremely clean with some great accents in the back but it features the player fully and completely. While I think some designs could use some work, like the Quad jersey above, most everything else is absolutely beautiful to look at and really it should appeal to everyone. Really, there isn’t much left to say about that.

Checklist:

Sure, Upper Deck has the reigns when it comes to the greatest hockey players of all time. They have an exclusive contract with Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Gordie Howe. This product features a ton (I think too much) of the hottest rookies of the last year. I did a count of Taylor Hall autographs and counted around 600. I was in shock and surprise at this number. Sure, it’s good for some people, but what this product lacks is variety. It could use a lot more in terms of other players. I understand that the players they choose help keep the value of the product high, and I respect that. However, I know some people would like a great looking high end card of their favorite player of the past or present that just may not make the cut for this product. Compared to the other product, The Cup has less of a player selection.

Value:

If I gave Dominion a 5 star rating here, certainly The Cup deserves it as well. I am going to mention this here as well, I have seen a lot of The Cup boxes be absolutely terrible when it comes to value. Moreso than the other offering. However, this is a great product to open by the case with awesome case hits that make great money. Even some of the standard hits are selling very well on the secondary market. I’ve already checked prices on my pulls and I can see I didn’t do too bad myself. I like the value that this product brings, but if I got one of those terrible boxes, I would have been pissed. Maybe some better hand collating could be done.

Overall:

Overall, Upper Deck The Cup is a great product that should be high on your list of products to purchase if you can afford it. The designs are always sleek and clean, featuring your favorite hockey players completely and fully. While the checklist could use some more variety, you can’t complain with some of the possible names in this product from the hottest rookies to some of the greatest hockey players of all time. The value is definitely there, but be careful on single boxes as you do have a chance for a really terrible box. But if you open this by the case, you will find some awesome hits.

Make sure you check my dual box break review for the video of the break.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball

Another new and original by Panini has hit the basketball court in this final product for 2010-11 in the basketball arena. This one looks beautiful and is kind of a mix between Panini’s Donruss Elite brand and well known Black Box. This product has 8 cards per single pack box with 3 autographs and 3 game used memorabilia cards. Every card is numbered and you will see what we pulled below.

“Base”:

Game Used/Memorabilia:

 

Design:

I really love the design of this product. You won’t often find a full bleed black out background in trading cards anymore as everyone is obsessed with condition nowadays. Speaking of condition, yes, some of these cards do have a few condition issues that you can see because of the black background. Even the Artis Gilmore base card has some weird scratching on the front that really takes away from the card and I’m deciding whether to send it in to be fixed because it is numbered 4 of 5. Just be careful, because although the design is beautiful, it may cause some issues. I will get into the manufactured patch logoman cards in the value area.

Checklist:

The checklist is very cool. A very nice mix of veterans, rookies, hall of famers, and stars of the past. The only huge problem I have with the checklist is the way the product is collated. I’ve seen a few box breaks and there seems to be a weird mix to the collation with people getting multiple cards of the same player or teams, and that is something that should be fixed. For example, there are enough autographs and memorabilia cards in this product that I should not receive a Dan Majerle memorabilia card and an autograph card int he same pack. It just shouldn’t be happening.

Value:

I wasn’t sure whether this should be 3 or 4 stars. This product is $250 a pop. You get 8 cards. There are some collation issues, a little bit of damage issues, and then there is the manufactured patch logoman cards. I’m not sure this brings the value that some collectors want, but then again, I’ve seen some amazing cards come out of this product as well. It seems like it can’t make up it’s mind whether it wants to be a lower high end product or something like National Treasures. The manufactured logoman patches are scary. Logoman cards are supposed to be the cream of the crop when it comes to memorabilia. A fake logoman on a card like that is really a shame. That is probably the most disappointing part of an otherwise pretty good product.

Overall:

As I said, this product feels like it can’t decide whether it is supposed to be a lower high end, or National Treasures. I didn’t hit a rookie autograph, but the veteran, hall of fame, and former star autographs are pretty nice. The design is gorgeous, but with that comes some damage issues that may come along because of it. For that high priced of a product, I think there should be a guaranteed game used patch card as I feel like maybe there was a little too much plain jersey action. But overall, I really enjoyed the break and think it would be fun to open and fun to collect. This is definitely one of the hardest products to rate. I think I may have had too high hopes, but it didn’t disappoint too much.

Once again, a big thank you goes out to Panini America for sponsoring this review. Check out their official blog for tons of great product information.

Since I am running a huge promotional contest right now for the next month and a half, I will hold a contest for some of these at a later date.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4FkdQpPUqw]

 

Preview: 2011-12 ITG Canada vs. The World Hockey

I really feel like I don’t give ITG enough credit and don’t cover their products enough. In fact, I really enjoy ITG products although I have never personally opened a box on my own. I’ve been meaning to get a box of 2010-11 ITG Between the Pipes, which I’ve heard and seen is phenomenal, but it seems as if I always get something else.

So today, that ends. ITG will be getting their due from this blog from now on and I will be treating them just like everybody else. So with that, let’s take a look at 2011-12 ITG Canada vs. The World hockey.

Each box of 2011-12 ITG Canada vs. The World hockey comes with 9 cards. This box will feature 4 game used cards, 2 authentic autographs, 1 100 Years of Hockey Card Collecting, and 2 non-memorabilia insert cards.

Some of the greatest international hockey players to ever grace the pond will be featured as autographs in this product like Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, and Pavel Bure. As mentioned, these autographs of international stars will be found at two per box.

You will also find 4 game used memorabilia cards per box including such sets as International Goalies, World’s Best, Canada’s Best, Completely Canadian, Canadian Cloth, and My Country, My Team. This is great for hockey collectors around the world even if you aren’t from the Great White North. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, ITG does some of the greatest work with memorabilia I have seen. Some of the patches and swatches they use are absolutely amazing, and I believe Dr. Price (the owner) personally picks swatches for all 1/1 cards.

You will continue to find 100 Years of Hockey Card Collecting mini cards in this product as it has been in several brands throughout the year. And finally, you will find a couple general inserts like Great Moments and Protecting Canada’s Crease cards, amongst others.

While looking at the sell sheet and some of the images above, this looks like a solid product with some great names in it.

You can find this product in stores on October 6, 2011, at a price I can not quite find yet. But when I find it, I will let you know.

Preview: 2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football

You want hits? You want a ton of unique memorabilia pieces and some sweet autographs from some of the top rookies and veterans of the game? 2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football brings it once again this year with fresh designs and some amazing patch cards.

There are 4 packs per box with 4 cards per pack. So this is definitely a hit per pack product in the higher end category for all you mojo chasers out there. Each box will yield 2 autographs numbered to 299 or less and 2 memorabilia cards numbered to 100 or less. You will also find 2 inserts/parallels and 2 rookies per box along with those.

What I like about a product loaded with hits like this is the fact they aren’t extremely over done. What I mean by that is the serial numbers aren’t extremely high on everything. Some products you might be able to find memorabilia numbered to like 500 or rookie autographed patches to numbers like 599. But Absolute Memorabilia keeps numbers low, but does usually have a number of subsets.

But some of those subsets are amazing. Shield autographs, brand logo autographs, and some awesome jumbo patch autographs that are a giant chunk of patches from these jerseys. As always, you’ll be able to find these types of cards from players like Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, and all the way up to current veterans like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Don’t forget your Hall of Famers as well like Troy Aikman and Jerry Rice. This product is loaded with just about something for everybody. The rookie autographs are all on-card and they are from the 36 players who attended the Rookie Premiere, so that will add some extra value compared to the past few years.

And for those set builders there are 100 base cards to try and get your hands on and 100 rookies numbered to 499 or less so this is a very difficult set to put together.

This product should hit stores on September 21, 2011 at a price point around $150.

Make sure you check out this Knight’s Lance post from Panini for some more awesome images from this set.

How about some absolutely phenomenal patches?

Want to see the first box broken on video?

The 2011 Absolute Memorabilia checklist is now available!