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?)

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 Panini Prime Hockey

The buzz has already begun for this product just hours after the initial information was released to the public on the official Panini blog.

The newest addition to the hockey family looks like it may stay around for awhile if the product is as good as it looks. 2011-12 Panini Prime hockey looks like Panini Limited and the older Topps Unique had a child and this popped out.

Some spectacular pieces of memorabilia are in store for this product’s debut and when I say spectacular, it’s things that you haven’t ever seen before. How about probably the hottest new game used insert set in any product called “Prime Ties” featuring the laces on the front of the sweater?

Only one word describes that, unbelievable. It’s just a shame they had to cut off the NHL logo shield a little bit to make this spectacular looking card.

Okay, stop the drooling. Odds are tough on these but there are a ton of other hits in this product. The “Collision Course” insert looks to be Panini’s response to the ever popular Upper Deck “Shadowbox” cards which adds great value as non-game used or autographed inserts. But also like some Upper Deck products, Panini is now incorporating player nameplates into the mix, but taking it a step farther. These nameplates will be actually locker room used nameplates and autographed by the player from the All-Star game. No scrubs there! If you were thinking of nameplates as in letter patches from the jersey, this product has that covered for you too.

At one pack with 5 cards per pack you will receive one rookie auto quad card numbered to 199 or less, one multi-memorabilia card, one autograph, and one additional autograph or memorabilia card. Like I said, Panini Limited meets Topps Unique.

Nothing excites me more than a brand new product that looks great like this does. While I don’t have release date information yet or a price, you should definitely watch out for this product when it releases.

Preview: 2011 Topps Prime Football

Yeah, I’m still under the weather. But now I have all this time that I can either sleep with the medications they’ve given me or stay awake and wait until this passes. I like to be awake, so why not preview the last professional football product from my September 2011 releases?

Topps Prime football releases again this year, but looking a little better in the design department. Last year’s product was okay, I mean it wasn’t terrible and the base design was great, but this year the Topps design team has stepped it up a bit. I would say it looks kind of like some Exquisite designs of old, with some new ideas.

Each box will feature 1 autographed relic card, 1 autographed rookie, and 2 relics cards. The relics they use for this product again feature quite the variety. You can find gloves, footballs, wristbands, patches, and both home and away jerseys. A wide variety for such a mid-range product, which is a great thing as if you’re going to rip a box and get relics it is nice to get something different for once.

You can also find 1 insert per pack which is designed like the regular relic cards, just without the relic. You will also find 1 rookie per pack and 4 veterans. With a total of 10 packs per box, this looks to be a solid mid-range product with the potential for some great hits like booklets, autographed patches, and great relic pieces.

This product is set to release on September 28, 2011, for a price around $85 right now.