Panini Prime Hockey Released…Best of the Year?

2011-12 Panini Prime hockey was released today and I’ve been watching box breaks of the product all afternoon and everything that I’ve seen I’ve been hugely impressed with. In a time where football products are just getting started and the hockey season is well over, this treat before Dominion is exactly what Panini needed to remind collectors that their season isn’t over yet.

From game used letters, to giant swatches of patches and regular jersey cards, to strings from the jerseys, beautiful on card autographs, this product has everything you could probably want in a product with a price half of Dominion.

With some amazing and colorful cards to be had, the breaks look like a ton of fun. It feels almost like the “Gold Standard” product moved to hockey, but with a much better usage of the game used hits. Instead of small plain jerseys, there are a ton of large swatches and large patch cards. It’s a formula that the basketball and football teams could use in their similar products.

Either way, Prime hockey looks to be one of the best hockey products of the season. All around with the design and the beauty, quality, and uniqueness of the hits, it’s going to be hard to beat Panini Prime as a product. Will Dominion or The Cup take over or can Prime sustain the current title of one of the best of the year?

Hockey fans, what do you think of Prime hockey?

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey

With a release date pushed back to August 7, 2012, Ultimate Collection is the calm before the storm that is Upper Deck The Cup hockey. Ultimate Collection is one of those single pack products that features a couple of game used and autographed cards, usually one of the favorite products by Upper Deck fans everywhere.

Every four pack/box of this product features one autographed card, one game used memorabilia card, one rookie, and one base card. Every card in your box will be numbered to less that 399. That’s really the basics of the breakdown of a box, but your rookies may also come autographed or as a patch autograph.

With Ultimate Signatures returning and the addition of 1997 Legends Signatures cards, the autograph lineup looks to be pretty decent. Despite the weaker rookie class, your darlings in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog will be the hot pulls in this product for rookies. But you can’t count out the legends and popular veterans this product is sure to have included as well.

You will also find your regular old memorabilia cards as well, which begs you to maybe think, are they even worthy of being in a product that costs about $100? A hit or miss autograph and a plain game used card will be in most boxes, and that is kind of hard to swallow. You can get a general idea based off last year’s review of this product.

So not only is August 7, 2012, my wedding day, it’s also the release of a very popular product.

Preview: 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

One of the favorites among hockey collectors is set to release tomorrow in 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic hockey. Featuring some of the games best retired, veteran, and rookies in the league, SP Authentic always has quite the following amongst collectors. With an autograph heavy lineup for hits and the ever popular rookie patch autographs, it returns for hopefully another successful season.

While it is releasing late, Upper Deck has done their best to get the most content that it can in the product to make sure there are as little redemptions as possible. Speaking of hits, there should be about 3 autographs in your box. You will have a mix of Future Watch autographs, Sign of the Times, and Chirography autographed cards. Of course, the hottest are the rookie autos of players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Gabriel Landeskog.

Each box will contain 24 packs per box with 5 cards per pack. Some of the cool additions this year include Signature Stoppers featuring some of the best goalies in autographed form and Rookie Extended Series which showcases more of the first year players.

Other than that, it’s really your typical SP Authentic product from the past with this being the 15th installment of this product.

Hockey fans, make sure you hit the hobby stores on July 11, 2012, for your shot at this product. It looks like it has risen in price a bit around $110, but I’m sure that won’t matter to many hockey collectors.

Preview: 2012 Topps Inception Football

The rookie product of mostly…well rookies, is back again for it’s sophomore season featuring some of the nicest rookie cards of the season. With on-card autographs, great design work, and pretty good value, this product hits the streets again trying to look for a repeated success after last season.

Each 7 card box will feature 2 base cards of NFL veterans, 2 parallels, there will be 2 autographed cards (either autograph or autograph relic), and a patch or regular memorabilia card. Topps also boasts that every player will be in their respective NFL uniform as well, especially after the tragedy of Bowman Signatures.

The usual favorites have returned as well, including the black with silver signature version of the cards numbered to 25 copies. These were the hit of the summer with this product and provided some of the nicest cards of the year.

You’ll also be able to find the usual patch autographs and multi-autographed cards as well as with last year’s product.

Coming out next Wednesday, July 11, 2012, will be the return of this great product. We only hope it stands the test of time as another year as a successful product from Topps. With the great rookie class and autographs from Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, and the rest of the draft family…it looks like it will repeat as a top product of the year.

It should be well worth the single Benjamin.

Preview: 2011-12 Panini Dominion Hockey

I stated the other night on Twitter that I would double up the posts for today because of my lack of posting yesterday, so here it is. We are going to feature our preview for one of the top products in the hockey realm, 2011-12 Panini Dominion hockey.

At $400 a box, it’s high end for a reason. With only 8 cards, you want to get what you pay for and Panini has done everything in their power to upgrade the rookie superstar to sophomore sensation with some of the additions and tweaks to the product.

First, returning are some of the fan favorites from last year. Tape to Tape will return, as well as Engravatures and Strapping Lads. These were some of the favorite pulls collectors could pull and made for some great cards.

Also returning but also with a nice upgrade include Peerless Patches which will continue to showcase some of the best patches in the hobby, but also now will include an autograph version. Rookie patch autographs of course will return, however you will now find one per box like Panini’s competition, and there will be less parallels included in the product which will increase value and the variety of cards.

There is still a ton more to be looked at with this product, and I’m sure Panini will also throw in a few surprises for collectors as well. So get ready and get set for an improved product that could really bring their competition to the limit.

You can check out more information on the Panini blog and get ready for the release of this product sometime near the end of August most likely.