Preview: 2011 Panini Threads Football

With Panini tearing up the 2011 National in Chicago right now, it’s only deserved that I feature an up and coming Panini product. The NFL lockout is over which means it’s time to get to the gridiron and Panini Threads is ready to come back again for another year of NFL action.

Basing it’s product off past years, you will be able to find the always popular rookie letterman manufactured patch autographs amongst other main stays in the product. Now everyone knows by now how much I don’t like manufactured patches, but this is one of the few exceptions. I like the manufactured letter patches as it gives you a nice autograph and a little mini set to collect from your favorite player. I know it’s manufactured, but I like the way they are done.

But away from that, let’s look at the rest of the product. With 24 packs per box and 8 cards per pack you are in for quite a few cards with this product. Each box will yield 4 autographs or memorabilia cards with at least one of them being an autograph. It feels like this year when Panini says this, every other box has about 2 autographs and they seem to make sure there are 2 autographs in a box if one of them is a redemption which is nice. As far as autographs you can pull the aforementioned letterman autographs, rookie signature combos which go from duals to quad autographs, Gridiron Kings signature materials, and Franchise Fabrics signature materials. None of these are serial numbered extremely high so it’s always a nice addition to value.

You will also find 1 rookie per pack as has been a common theme with Panini this season. While I’m not a fan of making rookies so easily accessible, it is nice for the player collectors out there. You will also find 4 parallels, 2 Star Factor inserts, 2 Gridiron King inserts, and 1 each of Generations, Heritage Collection, Triple Threat, 2010 All-Rookie Team, and an addition insert.

Catch Panini Threads at your local shop on August 24, 2011 for probably the same price as last year as I can’t find a price yet.

Make sure to check out the official Panini Peek of 2011 Panini Threads football on their official blog.

Who wants to see the first boxes opened by Panini?

One Day I Will Attend the National

One day I will attend the National.

The meat and potatoes of the National in Chicago started today but I’ve been reading blog posts across the internet about companies and other bloggers going to the National. I first learned of the National in 2005ish when I first got back into card collecting and thought it would be amazing to go someday. Well, it’s 2011 and I still haven’t gone. But I am making it my personal goal to attend next year. I have a crappy job which pays crap and I have to start saving for my own wedding. But maybe I can pinch the pennies even more to be able to attend the National. Maybe I’ll start being one of those coupon addicts?

I mean, these blog posts and videos are just awesome. A ton of people, tons of beautiful cards, meet ups with people I’ve chatted with online for what seems like forever, and baseball games. I would probably go and not really buy much, but to me it’s more about the experience. I’d go visit the dealers and check out their beautiful cards and memorabilia, I’d stop by the social media groups and visit my friends at the various sports card forums I visit, and of course  stop by the manufacturer booths and chat it up with the likes of Tracy Hackler and Chris Carlin.

Afterwards, grab a drink with some people and start it all again the next day. I would feel like a kid in a carnival. Free swag, wrapper redemptions, historic memorabilia…what is there not to love? Even watching guys get arrested by the Postal Inspector police, those guys mean business.

It just seems like a great experience and a great time. I have a wedding fund, a blog fund, and I think it’s time to start a National fund so one day I will attend the National.

Anyone have some great National experiences to share with me?

2 New Contests For This Week

I think this is contest round #4 here at Sports Card Blog. We’ve only been around for a little over 3 months and we are getting some great feedback from our readers and we love you all.

See, this love seems to go both ways. What do we do when we love someone and they love us back? We give out free stuff.

So this time around we have two contests going.

Contest #1 is to read my review of 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football and post in the comments area of that post what you think about the product and what you think about manufactured patches like the one I pulled. A random comment will receive a Vincent Brown autograph manufactured patch rookie, 4 rookies, the Philip Rivers Longevity parallel, a rookie insert, and all my doubles of base cards. This prize pack is 19 total cards, so it’s a big one.

Contest #2 is also a big one in terms of cards. For this one, all you have to do is “Like” the Sports Card Blog page on Facebook. We currently only have 38 “Likes” so I’m looking to up that number a little bit. If you wish to post that you “Liked” the page on here, go ahead, but I’ll be picking from all the Facebook people for this prize pack. This one consists of cards pulled from my 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard basketball review live from the 1977 Portland Trailblazers NBA Championship court and my 2010-11 Panini Season Update basketball review. Right now the prize pack consists of the Karl Malone GU, the DeJuan Blair GU, and the Chris Kaman GU. Plus 2 other numbered cards from Gold Standard and a bunch of inserts from Panini Season Update. If we can get up to 75 Likes, I will also include the Udoh/Johnson dual rookie autograph numbered to just 20.

Both of these contests will end on Sunday, August 7, 2011, at 5pm PST.

Make sure you thank Panini for giving us the opportunity to review their products and give away some of their fine cards that I pull. Make sure you visit their blog as they always have giveaways as well and up to date news on all their upcoming products.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Season Update Basketball

Panini Season Update is back this year with all the updates from the past NBA season. This is one of those end of the season products that features a ton of players with a huge base set, all the highlights of the season, and of course a few game used memorabilia cards and autographs. Last year, this was a favorite product amongst collectors because of the amount of hits you would receive for such a low box price and this year appears to be the same.

2010-11 Panini Season Update basketball features a 200 card base set with a subset for All-Stars and Rookie Challenge participants. You can find a ton of different autographs and game used memorabilia cards from just about every subset in this box. It guarantees at least one autograph and a few game used memorabilia cards.

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs/Game Used:

Design:

The design is extremely basic, but this is a lower end product. There is nothing eye popping or jaw dropping about it. The player is featured in an action shot with the top right corner and side blocked off for some team colors and a team logo. I think anytime you can incorporate team colors into the color scheme of the design, that is a great thing. It gives a nice variation and change of colors throughout the cards and it’s welcomed by me in any set I open to break up the monotony. The only thing I really don’t like about this design is the way the player name and brand logo is kind of stamped on there with a black ink. At times it is not very clear and sometimes looks damaged because of the rollers after printing. Basic design, but works well.

Checklist:

Basically, the checklist breaks down to this. Was the player a starter? Was the player a rookie? If you could answer either of these questions with a yes, then that player is featured somewhere in this set. The perfect set for team collectors, set builders, or hard to find player collectors, this is that. I pulled probably at least 5 of every team in the base set and then even more in the subsets including a few rookie autographs and some game used memorabilia of veterans. Overall, a wide and expansive checklist covering 90% of the players in the league. This was close to being 5 stars, but there is absolutely zero hall of famer presence. I’d like maybe a couple of hall of famer cards inserted at the end of the set. No more than 10 would be great for this set.

Value:

You can’t beat the value for the price you are getting. At least one autograph and 3 game used relics with 240 cards per hobby box this is great for just about every type of collector out there. Some boxes will contain more as well in terms of hits, just like last year, and that is always welcomed when a lot of products sometimes come shorted. It will be hard to pull something worth big money, but the number of pulls and nice autographs that can come out of here makes it worth buying a box. I finished 249/250 of the base set with probably 15 doubles. Jose Calderon is hiding from me somewhere, but honestly, just put that last card in the box Panini. Even if they are missing 1 card from the set, no one will buy another box for just that one card. Oh, I love the added touch of a low numbered parallel per box, no die-cut like Panini flagship though?

Overall:

Overall, this is a fun break with a ton of packs and cards. The design is what you’d expect from a lower end product, nothing flashy but just solid all around. The checklist is large at 200 base cards plus a ton of subsets to collect so it is great for set collectors as it isn’t too hard to complete. The value is good as the product is priced pretty low and you get more than a few hits, even if they may not be worth a large amount. This product is great for first time collectors, set builders, and those looking for a fun break of licensed NBA trading cards.

Again, I’d like to thank Panini America for their sponsoring of this box of cards for me to review.

I will combining a bunch of inserts and game used from both Panini Gold Standard and this set in one contest that will be posted in a day or so. Since I’m keeping the big hit from Gold Standard for my personal collection for now, I’m combining these two so the winner will get a bigger package. But that will be later.

And finally, the video is here. Had to cut out the ending statements, so it ends kind of abruptly. Stupid 15 minute limit.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

The Gold Standard has arrived by Panini. This product is one of those single pack products that tries to bring the boom with every hit. Not only are there great possibilities for autographs in this product, you can pull cards either with a piece of gold embedded into them or pull a card made entirely of gold itself. This product redefines value in terms of adding actual gold to cards. I think it’s a cool idea, which is why I was excited to receive a box in the mail to review for you guys.

2011 Panini Gold Standard basketball is one pack with 12 cards per pack. The first thing I noticed was how amazing the packaging is. If I could give a rating for design of packaging, that would be 5 stars. It looks like a gold bar. Nothing denotes a product based on gold then having gold bar packaging! Let’s get to the goods from what I pulled.

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs/Memorabilia:

Design:

Some of you may like the design and others will hate it. I love it and think it looks great. I think you may only hate it if you haven’t held the cards live in your hands as they look great in person. The inserts look just as good as the base and I enjoyed all the gold themed inserts. The Gold Record is solid but I love the gold insert with the team ring up top in the corner and the year the player won the title. Finally, I actually like the use of sticker autographs in this product. I like how they used a gold background to give it that gold look and may even look best that way. The only thing I don’t like is the manufactured patches in this high end of a product. Meh.

Checklist:

The checklist is solid all around. You can pull anyone from some of the top rookies to Kobe Bryant and even some great Hall of Famers like I did. David Robinson! There are always a few duds mixed in there but I think overall you have a better chance at pulling something decent then you do not pulling something decent. Rookies, veterans, hall of famers, very good retired players…overall there is something for everyone in this product in all the insert sets. No complaints here as there are a ton of different hits for each player.

Value:

In my opinion, there are a couple of things that really hurt the value of this product. One being manufactured patches. Why would you put manufactured patches like that in a high end product like this? Sure they are gold threaded, but it’s just not the place to be putting those types of cards. Again, take the autograph off the cloth and I would like them a lot more and find more value in them. Secondly, plain game used cards. I received two plain game used cards. I believe in a product that is priced this high you have to guarantee at least one patch. Patches are the standard nowadays when it comes to higher priced products so this just needs to be guaranteed here. I don’t mind one regular swatch, but make one a patch.

Overall:

Some of you are going to completely hate me for my overall grade and some are going to agree with me. That’s only the nature of the beast with this product. If my camera wouldn’t have died taking photographs at the 3 on 3 Portland Trailblazers Street Jam, I would of showed you some of the reactions from people around the area whom I showed the cards to. Most were very impressed and some of the kids who were watching from a distance while I was taping were impressed too. I told them to meet up with me tomorrow and I’d give them some cards. I’m a nice guy. But am I being too nice with my review here? I really don’t think so. Despite the couple of things I didn’t like, I really found this to be a great and fun product to break.

As for the contest to win some cards here, I am going to combine it with my next review and have a super big contest for a bunch of cards. Stay tuned for how to win that!

This video was live from the 1977 NBA Champion Portland Trailblazers court assembled outside the “glass palace” known as the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. Have fun.