Review: 2012-13 Panini Limited Basketball

The Limited product from Panini continues on this year, including some of the same types of hits and rare memorabilia cards that you come to expect from this long-time Panini/Donruss product. With at least 3 hits per one pack box, you will be able to find some autographs and memorabilia from some of the top young players, superstars, and retired legends of the game. With the double rookie class, you’ll be able to find top autographs from some of your favorite rookies and sophomores. Let’s see what we were able to pull in our box.

Design:4 stars blue

The design of the product is actually pretty nice overall. The one thing I absolutely love is the base cards. Similar to last year’s product, the foil background behind the player is tinted in their team’s team colors. That little addition just really makes the card come together. It looks especially nice on the Rondo base, which I don’t take a picture of for some reason. Although small, I love the change of the logo of the product to an Old English style “L”. It looks like something that would fit in very well with basketball culture. The inserts are nothing really eye catching or new to Panini products in terms of design. They aren’t terrible, it’s just something you’re used to as a Panini collector. I think a new style insert could really transform the product.

Checklist:4 stars blue

Now the double rookie class is something that I find to be sort of a detriment towards sets this year. It seems like every rookie has an autographed card and that puts a damper on finding veteran autographs in a product like this. While Kendall Marshall was a top 15 pick, and as was my redemption of Kawhi Leonard, this product contains a lot of rookie cards. Luckily, my memorabilia card was of Celtics GM Danny Ainge from his playing days. It was cool for me to pull Ainge as he used to babysit a good friend of mine. But other than that, I’d still like to see more veteran content in this product. However, you can’t complain about two top 15 first rounders.

Value:4 stars blue

The value of the product is difficult to discern as Limited has always been a hit or miss product. Even more so in the double rookie class as you have more chances to pull rookies (or sophomores) in the league. You can find the product currently for $87 a box over at DA Card World, which is actually a decent deal compared to past years. With the amount of rookie cards from the past couple of years Panini has been putting out this year, at that price it’s probably worth a shot at a Kyrie or another big name rookie.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this is a solid product from Panini, but nothing earth shattering. I still think Panini needs a big makeover on the Limited line, but this product can still hold its own in the basketball realm. The design is nice with the team colors incorporated into the foil, but I’d like to see more out of the inserts. The checklist, while okay with the double rookie class, feels a lot like one of those rookie only products. I’d like to see a guaranteed veteran autograph in a product like this as I’m not a big rookie collector. But the value, with the lower price, is a better than past years and it’s worth a shot if you want to try and pull a big name right now.

Thanks again goes out to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

You can find the full checklist of this product over at Cardboard Connection.

And check out the images below for our hits, or subscribe to us on YouTube to sell the box breaking video.

Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used Hockey

A press release about 12-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey from Upper Deck came out today:

Carlsbad, CA (January 15, 2013) Just days before the puck drops on a new season for the NHL®, Upper Deck is pleased to release 2012-13 NHL® SP Game-Used; a super premium hockey card release that collectors are eager to experience. The product has been revamped from years prior and has a lower price point per pack, but does not compromise on the quality cards that have made it a hobby favorite. Collectors can find five packs in every box that contain at least one autograph card and four other memorabilia or autograph cards.

“SP Game-Used has been given a nice makeover that we think collectors are going to love,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Hockey brand manager. “We have challenged our teams to come up with compelling new inserts that will bring collectors closer to the game and we believe they have succeeded. By improving the value collectors can find in packs, we think they will have a much more exciting pack-opening experience this year!”

There are a bevy of new insert sets that will have collectors clamoring to crack these packs. First up are the “Draft Day Marks” autograph cards that profile talented rookies and veterans on the day they were drafted. Collectors can chase these cards to put together the entire set that will spell out the player’s last name. Rookie cards have always been a staple in the product, but now there is better collectability with Rookie Cards limited to each player’s jersey number with a twist being that the last card in each print run is a one-of-one-autograph for young stars like Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) and Sven Baertschi (Calgary Flames). And with “Supreme Patches,” “Supreme Sticks,” and “Supreme Skates” collectors find out first hand where SP Game-Used gets it’s name as they can find game-used memorabilia cards with very compelling pieces of jerseys, sticks and skates players used in actual games. The skate cards in particular are going to be an exciting new addition for collectors as it marks the first time Upper Deck has produced cards like these. And to create some serious high-end buzz, collectors can also find rare 1-of-1 NHL® Shield variation cards that include the NHL® logo from game-used jerseys on the card.

One of the most unique additions to the SP Game-Used brand for this season is an artifact used in Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 2012 NHL® Stanley Cup® Final. Upper Deck was able to procure the actual net from the goal from those games and will be including special Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils cards with swatches of the net embedded in them. Special autograph variations will include authentic signatures on swatches derived from the leather net skirt from key players in the series like Adam Henrique, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Martin Brodeur and Wayne Gretzky who dropped the ceremonial puck before Game 3. Also look for ten different 1-of-1 “Jumbo” packs cards featuring large swatches from the oversized NHL® shield patch taken from the net skirt.

Just in time for the start of the NHL® season, Upper Deck is pleased to release 2012-13 NHL® SP Game-Used which is currently available on store shelves.

Hey, it’s about time Upper Deck changed up the product after the horrible offering last season. Let’s hope these changes really do enhance the product for collectors.

You can find this product online at DA Card World for about $107 . You can also find more information including the checklist at Cardboard Connection.

Preview: 2012 Panini Limited Football

Panini is back with another year of Panini Limited Football, which has become a staple of the hobby.

The popular Materials Phenom autographed rookie cards are back! These cards feature on-card autographs and include a die cut to represent each players team. Collectors are always after these cards and they are sure to be after them once again this year.

A new feature this year is the Hog Heaven autographed set. That may sound familiar, and it should. Donruss had a set in one of their products years ago. These cards will feature authentic Football swatches that are signed in silver.

Don’t forget about Limited calling-card rookie cards to return as well. It’ll feature on-card autographs with team-name die cuts and large memorabilia swatches.

Each box contains 1 pack with 7 cards. In each box, it will contain 3 autograph or  memorabilia cards.

You can find the product at DA Card World for around $100 a box when it releases on January 16, 2013.

You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection and more information on the official Panini blog.

Review: 2012 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Football

2012 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football is in stores just in time for the end of the 2012 football season. That means you’ve had time to see the rookies and breakout stars of the season and find your favorite players in this product. Absolute Memorabilia is a four pack per box product that features 4 autographs/memorabilia cards, an insert and a few base cards as well. It often features some of the nicer rookie cards of the season where you can find some big hits like the popular NFL shield memorabilia cards, laundry tags, and jumbo patches. The popular subsets return as well with the favorite Tools of the Trade insert returning. Want to see what’s in a box? Check it out below.

Design:4 stars blue

The design of the product you can see resembles that of previous years as far as the base design goes. With just enough tweaking, I think it is a solid base to go off of and Panini does a pretty good job in that department. My only issue remains to be the color/usage of the foil on the cards. The lettering doesn’t really match with the flow of the rest of the card causing it to look a little out of place. The color fung-shui is just a little off to me. The updates to the insert sets are interesting and do take a little getting used to, while the autographed rookie cards look fantastic this year. Not to mention, the on-card autographs on the rookie cards look fantastic on the foilboard. I wasn’t sure how they would look, but the thin pen actually stands out really well.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist for Absolute continues to be solid, although I don’t see that much has changed since last year as far as the rookie odds compared to the veteran odds. It was very nice to pull a great veteran prime memorabilia card in Hakeem Nicks, but the odds for just rookie autographs again appears higher. I do rate the checklist a half star higher than last year however, due to the quality of the rookies and some of the bigger hits you can find this year.

Value:4 stars blue

Again, value is a tough indicator in a box like this because it is extremely hit or miss. Just as well, this product is much better bought by the box than bought by the pack because of the one hit per pack odds and the price of the single pack. Currently, the product sits at $155 per box at DA Card World which is around where you would expect it to fall after all these years and the solid rookie class. However, it is still a tough break as it is a hit or miss product at that price, especially if you purchase by the pack. I think this year, you may find more hits than misses with the class of rookies and the checklist.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, the product isn’t much changed from last season. You still get the rookie autographs and the occassional veteran autograph. The design is somewhat changed, even a bit in a better direction. The checklist is what you’ve come to expect as well. And the price hasn’t changed. So without much of a change this year, you are generally going to get the same score as last year. I do admit, the rookie autographs still look much better than in years past and I like the autograph on the foilboard. It’s definitely worthy of your penny, but only purchasing by the box.

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

You can find the full checklist of this product at Cardboard Connection.

To see the video break, make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube. Here are the cards…

Review: 2012 Panini Black Football

Panini has brought out the big guns in the creation of 2012 Panini Black football. A set with a black theme to do it has been done dozens of times, however Panini puts their own spin on the concept with some interesting results. At one pack per box and 12 cards per pack, you do get quite a few cards for a one pack box. Each box is guaranteed a couple autographs and a couple memorabilia cards, with the prized cards being autographed (gold ink) patch autographs from some of the top young rookies in the game. Let’s see what your typical box will bring you:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design is nothing ground breaking. That said, it was extremely well done without too much going on in the background. An all black design is hard to design because the absence of color is what makes the cards bold and attractive. Plus, how can you call yourself “Black” with a ton of other colors and designs? The design stays with the theme with a few accents in the background to make the players pop and the background distinguished. The lettering on the cards is actually pretty neat with a futuristic font and the use of letter foiling is subtle enough to not overpower the card either. Overall, a great effort.

Checklist:4 stars blue

Panini Black is sort of like the product you go to if you want to get rookie autographs. I pulled three of them in my box, however, one autograph was an undrafted rookie for the Dolphins who I don’t believe is even on the roster currently. The other was not a skill player, but the patch autograph was decent, although he sits behind Ray Rice in the depth chart. That is the issue when you have a product that mainly consists of rookie autographs in that you often will pull nobodies when you’re spending big money on a product. With the low chances of pulling veteran content, it’s going to be hit or miss on the content.

Value:3 and half stars blue

Again, the checklist makes the value suffer. You can find this product for $200 at DA Card World. I mean, this product is extremely hit or miss. You have your random rookie autographs from people you haven’t heard of, but then you find beautiful on card content from players who attended the rookie premiere who get some playing time. At the same time, you find a whole bunch of single color swatches in the product (some even in the patch autographs) but you can also find some pretty sweet and rare pieces as well. Again, I’m offering the suggestion of cutting out the no name rookies, perhaps even the ones who aren’t skill players, in a product with this high of a price tag and find veterans out there who at least you recognize their names and they get some playing time. The price tag plus the content can lead to some extremely disappointed customers.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this product has the looks as if it could start a tradition over at Panini. However, the content needs an overall better product for it to succeed as that. The strong rookie class this year has probably really helped the product this year, but what about when the rookies are weak? The design is great for this product and I applaud the design team for not over-doing it, but the content in this product needs a bit of a step up. When will we start seeing higher end products contain content where you can recognize the player? $200 should not get me two autographs from people I’ve never heard of nor should I get 3 single colored swatches.

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

You can find the full checklist of this product over at Cardboard Connection.

And here are the hits…