Preview: 2012 Panini National Treasures Football

One of the most high-end sets Panini releases in their Football schedule is set to come out, National Treasures.

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The first thing collectors should be looking for in 2012 Panini National Treasures Football are the Rookie Signature Materials cards. These cards are signed on-card, feature a game worn patch and are numbered to 99 or less. This year there will also be press plate versions numbered to 1. These are always the most desirable cards in National Treasures and have been the staple of the product.

A veteran Autograph set will be included in Virtuoso Signatures. This set will feature players such as Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning. These are also on-card signatures and will be numbered to 50 or less.

Don’t forget about the NFL’s Greatest Signatures set, though. These will be on-card autographs from some of the best players in NFL history, and will be numbered to 50 or less.

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Each box contains 1 pack with 8 cards per pack. In each box, it will contain 3 autographs and 3 memorabilia cards per box.

You can find the product at DA Card World when it releases April 10, 2013.

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

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?)

Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck Artifacts Hockey

One of the first complete hockey products of the season is ready to come out tomorrow, despite the NHL lockout continuing on. By complete, I mean there are rookies (although usually redemptions), game used, and autographed cards. Artifacts isn’t really a set builders set like the early season releases and features the hits.

Each box of Artifacts comes with one autograph and three game used memorabilia cards. These memorabilia cards will have at least one with multiple players and one that features some sort of prime memorabilia. You’ll also find two rookie cards and one rookie redemption. The main draws of the product are often it’s widely known design, rookie redemptions, and some awesome memorabilia cards.

Each box of Artifacts has 10 packs with four cards per pack, where you can find cards like the ones listed above. As usual, you’ll find your Tundra Tandems, Frozen Artifacts, and other game used cards. But this year you’ll also find Team Canada and Goalies insert sets that feature some sweet memorabilia pieces as well.

Artifacts has been around a long time and makes a great product to hype up the next NHL season. Only problem is, we might not have an NHL season nor do we know how many products may actually come out if the strike continues. Either way, Artifacts still looks to be a solid buy once again.

Again, the product streets tomorrow, October 2, 2012, for around $100 a pop.

For more information, check out the product information page on Cardboard Connection.

Preview: 2012 Topps Triple Threads Baseball

The 7th year of Topps Triple Threads baseball has returned for 2012. The hit seekers will be happy to see that not much has changed in the configuration of the product. At $200, I still consider it more of a gambling product.

Each mini-box will contain one pack that has an autographed card and a relic inside it. Based on the pack, it will be either a single autograph card or an autographed relic along with a relic card. All autograph hits are numbered to 99 or less while all relic hits are numbered to 36 or less.

You’ll also be finding 3 regular base cards and 2 parallels per mini box. Each parallel is numbered from 625, the Sepia parallel, to the 1/1 Ruby parallel. There will also be printing plates from the product as well. And with over 300 different players on the checklist, there is a lot of different options for collectors here.

Now, the fantastic hits are hard to find in this product, which is why I always consider this product to be one of the bigger gambles when it comes to higher end cards. But when I say fantastic hits, they really are fantastic hits to be found. Autographed patch booklets, bat knobs, laundry tags, jumbo sleeve patches, cut signatures, lettermans, MLB logo patches, and apparently more. It’s a cornucopia of unique items that can be found.

Take your chance with 2012 Topps Triple Threads baseball when it arrives in stores on September 19, 2012, for around $200 a box.

For more information on the product, check out Cardboard Connection’s product information page.

 

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck The Cup Hockey

The Cup is coming.

We are less than one week away from one of the hottest releases of the season in hockey. The ultra high-end The Cup hockey is back for the craziest of hockey collectors. The one pack per tin product is always a hit and features some of the most valuable cards of the collecting season.

As is common with the product, you will find 5 card per pack/tin of The Cup. Some of the more valuable pulls are the rookie patch autographs which you find one per box. Upper Deck has stepped it up this year with an additional patch autograph in the product from either another rookie or a veteran. The final hit is another autograph, memorabilia, or rare paralleled card. To round out the box, you’ll have 2 base cards as well.

But it’s not just about the rookies. It’s also about the sweet veteran cards as well. With the Limited Logos insert set, you can find some of the greatest patches anywhere or patch autographs from some of the top talent in the game. Also popular is the Draft Board autographs which are back again, possibly for the final season due to who gets use of the memorabilia. You’ll also continue to find Scripted Swatches, autographed on-patch cards, and a fan favorite as it brings a ton of cash on the secondary market, NHL Shield cards.

The product is just loaded with everything that hockey collectors love, rookies, sweet patches autographs, legends, superstars, and book cards. The high price may scare some collectors away, but the die hard collectors know how great the product is time after time and love the rush.

The Cup is released on September 11, 2012, and should run you around $400 for a box if prices haven’t moved since last season.

For more information and a checklist when it’s available, check out the product details on Cardboard Connection.