Review: 2012 Topps Chrome Football

Yeah, it’s a little late to be reviewing this product. Especially since I bought it on Black Friday. But late is better than never. I’ve had to catch up on all of the other (sponsored) breaks and those definitely get first priority. But now we can check out Topps Chrome football, one of the hottest products of the year from Topps. With their Chrome technology, on-card autographs, and sweet refractors, it is always a hit season after season. Want to see how this season fares? Check out the review:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design this year is clean, organized, and has a great look to it. One of the best parts about most Topps products is that the designs always have great order to them. They may not be crazy fancy, but everything is neat, in order, and appealing to the eyes. This is one of those sets that looks great even without the Chrome finish. And of course, the Chrome finish itself is always the same. Good part though is the less bend in the cards this year. The inserts are very nice too and Topps has taken hold of the die-cut resurgence with more great offerings. Overall, a very well designed product for one of their biggest products of the season.

Checklist:4 and half stars blue

Flagship Topps has always been about two things. Current players and rookies. That’s what it does well and that’s what everyone expects. That is exactly what it does as well. It features all of your favorite players of the game and the rookies from the incoming draft. The checklist also features a couple of insert sets that are pretty sweet as well including the rookies like the Tall Boys and the 1957 replica cards. Very well put together set by Topps. (Don’t forget the refractors as well, but were there too many colors?)

Value:4 stars blue

I was able to grab my box for $80 during a Black Friday special at DA Card World, but you can now find it there for $113. The price keep continuing to rise with the hot play of the rookie in the product and the value of those different rookies autographs and paralleled cards. It really is a product that is full of value with the autographs and refractors. If it wasn’t for the refractor parallels, I would be going off on how high the price is for essentially one autograph, but these cards always hold value. These are really the best rookie cards to have on the season. I just give the product 4 stars in value as the autograph hit and refractors may not line up to be too good, sort of like my box, and especially at a price as high as the current price. And the inclusion of memorabilia cards, are they just an added hit? If so, that’s fine, but the autographs are what makes this product. At $80, it’s a great break. $113? Not so much. But that’s the market for you.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

Overall, 2012 Topps Chrome football is one of the best product of the football season once again, and possibly the best product for rookies and autographs that is easily available to the masses. The design once again is top notch, although the “camo” refractor would look alot nicer if it was a camoflauge like x-fractor. That’s just nit-picking though. I mean, the product is what we thought it was. IT IS WHAT WE THOUGHT IT WAS! That’s a good thing as the product has enough legs to keep the set up the same year after year. The value holds up, although the market has really played with it alot with everyone purchasing it. Topps, please don’t release more cases next year.

Check out the full checklist over at Cardboard Connection.

Check out the video, I recorded it awhile back when camera was down…

 

Preview: 2012 Panini Golden Age Baseball

Well today is release day and I’m finally getting a preview out to the masses. It’s nothing new for this month as I’ve finally finished up a difficult term in graduate school. My focus had to move elsewhere for a bit, but now I get some time to do something else I love, look at products.

Panini continues their baseball season after the season has ended with 2012 Golden Age baseball. Golden Age is a product that mixes up some of the best baseball players of all time with other professional athletes and faces from history. It’s sort of like a A&G type product.

Every box will contain one Historic Signatures autographed card, one Museum Age memorabilia card, and a number of parallels and inserts. One of the cool additions is box toppers that have a rare chance of including some memorabilia embedded into them. Thank you for bringing back the box topper, Panini.

One of my favorite additions is always the history memorabilia cards. For instance, in this product you might find a small piece of the infamous ship that sank in 1912, the Titanic. Or maybe you’ll find something with the baseball theme and get a piece of a bat used by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson from the famed Black Sox. How about an authentic 1930s-40s Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig Goudey card?

The autographs contained in this product will be historic, as the title of the card suggests. With cut signatures of big personalities and baseball players, Triple Crown jockeys, political standouts, and more, there is a lot of American history in each box of this product.

You should be able to find it, starting today, at DA Card World for about $72.

You can find the full checklist over at Cardboard Connection as well.

Want more images? Check out the Panini Peek!

Review: 2012-13 Panini Totally Certified Basketball

Totally Certified? Yes, it has returned again with the bright colors and all the hits you could ask for in one box. The parallels have returned as well, featuring some of the most collectible non-auto/memorabilia cards in the business today. Basketball collectors are unlike a lot of other collectors in that they go ga-ga for low numbered parallels. Panini fills every void with this product at multiple hits per box and multiple parallels. Let’s see what we got:

Design:4 stars blue

Not a ton has changed since the last installment of this product, but the design is still a solid one. The starburst style of design returns, but it feels like it is more…shiny than the last time this product came out. I really liked the more of a matte feel on the last ones as foilboard isn’t the answer to everything. I do really like the slight changes in the parallels as well. Very sharp looking and easy to distinguish. I just think there are enough foilboard products out there that this could use a change of direction. The colors are still bold and bright however which looks nice with the player featured. The design on the rookie autographs I can’t quite put my finger on them, it looks like it’s meant for a sticker autograph but they were on-card…kinda strange. But all together, a solid design.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist is similar to the last go around as well, but this time I’m guessing there are just going to be more rookie signatures because of the double rookie class. It’s something I’m not a fan of, but probably will have to get used to for the rest of the season. In order to fit all of them in, you have to take out something. Oh well. The rest of the product is again filled with veterans and legends alike, like the sweet Lakers patch we pulled. You’ll have to check the video for that.

Value:4 stars blue

Value is again a little rough, but what makes up for it the possibility for some high valued parallels and some great rookie autographs. This is a tough product to judge because while it does have some plain jerseys in it, the autographs and parallels make it hit or miss as well. While we didn’t hit any low parallels, we did hit a low rookie parallel autograph, numbered to 15. The patch was nice as well from a Lakers old timer. It’s just trying to fill out everything else that makes this product difficult to judge when you purchase it for $120 at DA Card World.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, the dynamics of the product really hasn’t changed much since the last time it came out, and that is a bit disappointing. I do slightly miss the rookie/jersey autographs that all the rookies were featured as and I still wish the hit content was a bit better. The parallels though continue to shine, and that was a pleasant surprise last time around. I’m glad to see that trend continue in products like this that needed that extra bit of value.

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

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

Check out the video to see our sweet hits.

Review: 2012 Panini Playoff Prime Cuts Baseball

2012 Prime Cuts has arrived, shortly after 2011 Prime Cuts, and features some of the best cards you can find of the old-timers of the game. With game used jersey swatches from legends and Hall of Famers, to cut signatures, and everything in between, there is the chance to hit something big in every pack/box. Each pack/box provides 2 cards with at least one of them being an autograph. Mine had 3 cards, so I’m not sure exactly what happened there. No complaints on the bonus. So let’s see what we pulled.

Design:

I enjoyed the design of last year’s product and this year provides little change to the successful formula from last season. One of the greatest parts about the design of the product is you often can not tell that the photos are lacking MLB logos. Panini has done a great job in this department since acquiring the MLBPA license and this product is no different. Through all the various designs, they do a good job. I even really like the design of the Team USA autographs, but we’ll have to go more into that later…

Checklist:

The checklist of names in this product is actually pretty decent. You can find everyone from Lou Gehrig to Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, and today’s stars like Albert Pujols and young stars like Yu Darvish. It really is a wide variety of players in this product. One of the highlights is always the old-timers and it is a reason people love to try their hand at this product. Pulling a Cobb or a Gehrig is always a thrill for those lucky enough to pull those cards. The only real issue I have with the checklist is the Team USA cards. Why are they in this product? But that is also a big issue with the…

Value:

Man, a file I don’t use too often. But right now this product is at $150 at DA Card World. For two cards and the possibility of some really weak autographs, like the Team USA autographs, it’s overpriced. Not even really a bit overpriced, but very overpriced. My break wasn’t terrible because I hit that low numbered patch of a superstar. However, I’ve seen some absolutely brutal breaks. If there is a definition for a truly hit or miss product, I think this would fall into it. If you hit a nice signature or a nice memorabilia piece you’ll be happy, but otherwise this product is a tough sell at that price. Good luck if you try it.

Overall:

Somehow this product averaged out to 4 stars. It makes me wonder if I should hold more weight to the actual value of the product you are buying. Do I add in a rating or re-buy value?  The design of the product is pretty well done and that deserves the applause. A non-licensed product is tough to design so they did a good job with that. The checklist while solid as usual for this product, does have it’s serious issues that cause it not to live up to the $150 price tag for two cards. It’s a tough sell at that price, but there is the opportunity for some huge cards.

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

You can find the full checklist and other information at the Cardboard Connection.

Check out this short video, but one sweet card of a superstar pulled:

 

 

Review: 2012 Panini Prime Hockey

Now this isn’t your typical break for the site. Usually Panini provides us with awesome product to review, but this time, I decided to buy a product in which I didn’t get a chance to review this year. I went online to my preferred card shop, DA Card World, on Black Friday and got a sweet deal on 2012 Panini Prime hockey. I’ve wanted to try the product for awhile and thought it would be the perfect chance after seeing some fantastic breaks. One pack per box, 4 autograph/memorabilia cards per pack. It is loaded with both the unique and “mojo” goodness you could ask for. Let’s see our box:

Design:

The design is that of a very premium product. A thick card stock, a clean design, and some unique ways to showcase the memorabilia within the cards. The quad design on the rookie autographs is extremely nice, especially with the on-card signatures. It’s one of the ever improving Panini designs that looks good and feels good. Definitely one of the best designs of the year in a new product that I hope to see again in the future. The only real issue I see with the product is one that has been brought up before, and that is the non-athlete picture on the super large memorabilia cards. Yes, that sucks. A great remedy would be to make those cards vertical book cards or have almost a full front picture on the back of the card. Just a couple of ideas for the unique product.

Checklist:

The checklist of Panini Prime is fantastic. You have all of your top rookies with their rookie autographs and other types of memorabilia cards, but also all of the top stars in the game featured in every way imaginable in the product. The product impresses with the large number of superstars and veterans of the game. Though you may hit a rookie autograph, in a not very strong rookie class, you can easily make up for it with some great veteran content thanks to the checklist put together. So with a great checklist, you also will find great…

Value:

Yeah, weird isn’t it? Products like this are usually extremely hit or miss. The product originally launched at $200, but now sits at around $170 at DA Card World. I did receive it on Black Friday for $150. This product seems to have found the perfect balance between quality of hits and price. I hit two rookie autographed memorabilia cards, one other first year autograph, but the regular memorabilia card made up for it in several ways. The memorabilia loaded into this product really adds a great bit of value with the huge swatches, multi-color patches, letter marks, all of that premium stuff. It was a great product put together that I even wrote raving about before I had a chance to open it myself. This box proved my point.

Overall:

Overall, Panini Prime is one fine product from the hockey folks at Panini. I was all geared up for the product, saw the hot breaks, wrote about how great it was, and the box proved me right. Don’t you love when that happens? The design is beautiful in mostly all phases of production, but there are a couple tweaks that I would add to make it that much better. The checklist is loaded with all the talent Panini could muster and the value is through the roof with some of the amazing pulls you can find in the product. Job well done.

You can check out the full checklist and other info over on Cardboard Connection.

Check out the video as I pull some sweet cards you won’t want to miss. (Jumbo patch of a superstar anyone?)