Review: 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars Football

2011 Panini Rookies & Stars may not be at the top of your list of products to break for this NFL season, but it appears to be better than you may think. It returns this year with 4 autographs or memorabilia cards per box with at least one of them being an autograph. You can find patches, jumbo jerseys, prime jerseys, just about anything in a box of this product. It features a 100 card base set with 50 base rookies which are only inserted 1 per pack.

The inserts are plentiful too with a homage to Donruss Studio with Studio Rookies, Longevity, and Freshmen Orientation amongst other insert sets. With a bunch of parallels and so low numbered cards, it’s definitely worth the time to check out this review and decide what you think about the product.

Base:

Inserts:

Memorabilia/Autographs:

Design:

The base design on this product is better than many other Panini designs. It features an action shot of the players on the front with a little bit of the background faded into a solid white background. This is a very clean base design with clean lettering along the sides. I believe this clean base design is great and should be in more products. The inserts look great too. Freshmen Orientation is great with the memorabilia embedded and Longevity looks much better in person then on scans that I’ve seen. Impressive. Now I do not like manufactured patch autographs with the autograph on the cloth…I would much rather have a sticker or on-card autograph as it’s cleaner looking. Also, the way some inserts look when they don’t have memorabilia embedded look really weird, like the one I have pictured. It’s just a weird shape with a symbol inside? That just looks lazy.

Checklist:

The checklist features 100 veteran base cards and 50 rookie base cards. You can pull rookies and stars hence the title of the product. But I find there are more rookies than stars when it comes to memorabilia and autographs. With the abundance of rookies, it may seem like it cheapens the product a bit as it’s harder to pull veterans of the game. Other than that, you can find all the top rookies of the game from the draft for this season so there is no complaints there. The base set and rookie set is reasonable as you just about get a full set in a box. So the checklist of players is pretty solid overall. I think it could use a few more stars.

Value:

Overall, the value appears to be there. It looks to be a mostly rookie driven product, as I don’t see much in the way of stars as far as the real value, game used and autographs, goes. But a good job is done with the rookies here as there are plenty of autographs and memorabilia cards to go around and you may get to pull a nice veteran as well. The patches are nice, there are nice jumbo swatches, and autographs from all the rookies you could want. The only problem I have is the lack of veterans but also a bit of a collation issue. There are 100 cards in a the base veteran set, I’m missing two from completing it and I have like 8 dupes. Just throw in the extra 2 next time, seriously, that’s a bit tacky. Other than that, this is a decent mid-range product.

Overall:

Overall, as I said above this is a very solid mid-range product. The base design is nice but there are still a couple of issues with insert designs and I still don’t like manufactured patch autographs with the way they are done now. The checklist is full of rookies but I feel like it could use more stars in the product to fill the stars void. The value is there, but mentioned with the above issues it could be a little bit better and get 5 stars across many of the areas. But overall, it’s definitely worth looking into as your next box of cards.

I’d like to thank Panini America once again for providing this box for me to review. Check out their new Facebook page here.

The contest for the manufactured patch autograph, my base doubles, and some inserts/rookies will be to tell me what you think of this product and tell me your honest opinion on manufactured patch autographs that Panini makes. I will pick a winner from a randomizer. One per person please!

Preview: 2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball

Black Box you say? Isn’t that a little box given to people who attend special card conferences and usually contain only the highest of high end players and cards? Don’t those usually sell on the secondary market for huge amounts of money that only Paul Allen may be able to afford? He’s the owner of the Trail Blazers and a former Microsoft head man in case you didn’t know that name. Well today, Panini announced the future release of this product next month with a stunning gallery of cards.

Well this is almost that product. Think about a box of Exquisite…probably on steroids, or at least some heavy duty vitamins. Better yet, combine Upper Deck Black with Exquisite and add in those steroids or “vitamins” or “the clear” whatever you want to call it. This product could be that epic.

At 7 cards per box and 1 pack inside that box we hope for epic hits and of course some solid design. It actually looks like a combination of everything their NBA players could put together in one great product. Every box will contain 3 autographs, 2 memorabilia cards, and 2 inserts. All those autographs and memorabilia cards? They are numbered to 149 or less. Those inserts? All 99 or less. This is the premium product for the premium collector.

Someone cue some AC/DC.

Inside you may find some of the first NBA Booklet cards numbered to 25 or less. How about Champions cards featuring a 5-auto card of the 1969 Boston Celtics or the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers teams numbered to just 10? Do you love Kevin Durant? Who doesn’t? A 10 card insert set called Thunderstruck featuring on-card autographs of Kevin Durant numbered to 10 each will also be featured. There will also be Elite Series Signatures with NBA autographs numbered to just 49 or less, Crusade with autographs, memorabilia, or autographed memorabilia pieces numbered to 149 or less, and other great insert sets signed on card as well.

With the design of some of these cards, my jaw has hit the floor with some of the most beautiful Panini cards to date.

August 31st is the date to get your paws on probably the hottest product of the year. No price has been released yet, but I’m expecting close to $400 for this product.

Seriously, these on card autographs blow my mind.

So does this 10 on-card autographed Kevin Durant subset.

More on card goodness in store for Black Box Elite basketball.

Preview: 2011 Panini Certified Football

2011 Panini Certified football is back with all the rookie and veteran goodness that makes it one of the favorite products of the early to mid season year in and year out. This year’s improvements look to make 2010 look like child’s play in comparison as Panini has been stepping up their game across the board doing their best to bring collectors closer to their favorite rookies with on-card hard signed autographs.

All 36 Rookie Premiere invitees lend their John Hancock directly onto the Freshmen Fabric set this year making this a first in Panini Certified history. Nothing like the beauty of a fresh, clean, on card autograph.

Each box will feature 10 packs again this year with a total of 4 autographs or memorabilia cards with at least 1 of them being an autograph. You will also find one parallel numbered to 250 or less, two rookies numbered to 999 or less, and two additional inserts, rookies, or parallels.

Besides the rookies you will find the usual veterans of the game plus some retired legends autographs like Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders, Brett Favre, and Joe Namath. Now those are some huge names signing for Certified this year and should bring some premium elements to this mid ranged product.

There will also be Platinum hot boxes inserted which every base card is replaced with a limited parallel. I love me some hot boxes and just knowing there are going to be some makes me excited for the possibilities when opening my box. Could it be a hot box? What great cards could I pull?

There is no announced release date yet, but last year this was released in November so I’m going to guess it’s around the same time frame. I’ll let you know more when more information is available.

Until then, check out some of the cards from the latest Panini Peek of 2011 Panini Certified Football.

Contest #3 Winners

I’ll make this short and sweet for you guys.

The winner from the 2010-11 Totally Certified basketball review is the person who guessed closest without going over to the serial number 192. That would be….BA Benny with a guess of 177! We had a lot of people closer, they just went over the number :( Congrats BA Benny with another contest win! That’s two in a row.

The winner from the 2010-11 Zenith hockey review is the person who guessed closest without going over to the serial number 067. That would be….Ashley with a guess of 056! I believe that is RJ’s wife, a Twitter follower of mine. Glad to see a loyal follower with a win! Congrats!

I will be emailing each of you for your address and notice of winning. I think I still have yours BA Benny from the last time you lucky dog.

Thanks to everyone for entering and stay tuned for more awesome giveaways! I haven’t used the Wheel O Awesome in awhile…might have to break that out pretty soon.

And be sure to thank Panini America as well for sponsoring the site with great boxes to review. Every time I get a box to review from Panini, free hits from the product will be going out and others will be added to the vault for future prizes.

NFL Lockout To End This Week

With several articles pointing to the end of the NFL lockout this week, I am excited. Not only are teams and players going to be heading straight to training camp and getting ready for a great season of NFL action, card companies will finally be able to get pictures of players in their jerseys, with correct uniform numbers, and not taken at the Rookie Premiere.

No more pictures at the combine.

No more pictures at the Rookie Premiere:

No more staged photos with 00 on their chest:

It’s finally going to start heading back into the direction we all love. Action shots of hard nosed football at it’ s finest. That’s another reason to love the end of the NFL lockout.