Review: 2011-12 Panini Pinnacle Hockey

A big step up from last year, Pinnacle hockey looks much better and feels much better than the product Panini put out last year. With a nice large base set, a few autos thrown in, game used pieces, and light on the rookies, I’m feeling a UD Series I type feel with this product this year. That’s a good thing.

But this is Panini’s product and it has Panini’s way of doing things. Whether or not that translates in similar success is a matter of time, but this is a good start for a product that I feel is pretty similar in it’s concepts.

But let’s get to the review and see what we pulled.

Here’s what we pulled:

Design:

A very simple and clean design goes a long way. The design of these cards is very nice with a nice clean swipe across the bottom where the player information goes. An accent in the team colors is always a plus in my book and the marble background in the swipe makes everything pop. The rookies (Nufex) and inserts looked good as well with the ones that we pulled, including the game used cards. I also really like the different photography shots that Pinnacle used, a lot of shots you won’t see and shows off more than just the style of play the player has. It shows a little more personality with the players which is always nice in one or two products a season.

Checklist:

The checklist is a semi-robust 290 cards with some rookie SP autographs thrown in there for good measure. With a solid group of autographs and game used cards as well, there are some great names to be pulled as hits with the price point of this product. Crosby, Ovechkin, Roy, Bourque, and your top rookies all have autographs in this product. This is definitely a well thought out product when it comes to the checklist. It feels like it’s missing something though and I can’t put my finger on it.

Value:

For essentially the same price as UD Series I, you are getting pretty similar products. This product features an easier ability to get game used and autographed cards while Series I has more valuable rookies. Could Panini limiting the rookies in this product pay dividends with value on the secondary market? I find the products to be similar, although Panini has done something different as far as insertion of their inserts. There are several different levels of case hits for their inserts which makes them a little harder to collect, which would raise secondary value a bit. I like what they did this year in the value department.

Overall:

Rating this product was weird. It doesn’t feel like as good as product while you are opening it, but after reflecting on your break and other similar boxes, it really is a pretty good product. The design is one of Panini’s better designs and I like the clean approach this time around. The checklist is expansive in all aspects, which makes for a ton of different players and cards to collect. But collecting a full set will be difficult, especially a master set. With different levels of case hits and short printed rookie autographs, it adds some value to a product that needed a little more value after last year. I’m surprised at my own results for this product, but it deserves it.

Review: 2011 Panini Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball

Elite Extra Edition baseball has been coming out for a number of years from both Donruss and Panini. It is a product loaded with enough potential talent to make even the smallest prospector take notice. With a ton of a first round autographs and some great looking hard signed cards, baseball card collectors don’t seem to care if they don’t use the logos. The prospects are hot and collectors want them.

Here’s what we pulled:

Design:

Well I have to stay consistent. This is the same base design as it was in 2011 Elite Football so I must be true to my word. The base design is okay. At least they didn’t go horizontal on us like they did in the football release and for that, I thank you. The lettering is nice, but the background is just kinda bland and shiny. Some sort of design in the shiny area would be nice. Even if it’s just shapes. But besides that, as always, I love the design of Panini’s inserts. The Yearbook and Elite Series cards look fantastic. While the Building Blocks reminds me of 2005 Donruss designs, it’s just average. I also thank you for not making a big white box for the autographs and fading the images.

Checklist:

The checklist is fantastic for a prospecting product. The inclusion of 25 MLB players is a nice touch and let’s you see some of the game’s top players mixed with some top prospects. Speaking of top prospects, almost the entire 2011 first round is in this product with autographs. Those players are some of the most sought after prospect autographs so it’s good to see Panini grabbing all those players for this product. Nicely done.

Value:

While to me $100 for this product might feel a little high, you can’t complain with the content. 6 autographs in a box and a few paralleled inserts that add a decent amount of value as well, especially when you’re lucky like me and pull a first rounder on a popular team numbered to just 10. One thing I didn’t really like was the doubles of the MLB talent, so maybe they should play with the checklist a little bit next time and include more MLB talent of less packs per box. I don’t like getting doubles, but it happens.

Overall:

Overall, this is a solid product put together by Panini for their first venture with a MLBPA license. While the base design leaves a little bit to be desired, the inserts look fantastic and I don’t mind the Status or Aspirations die-cuts as much the second time around with this design. The checklist is full of first rounders and heavy favorite prospects as you will see more of in a moment. The sheer number of autographs in a box is great along with the parallels that usually add some pretty good value if you get the right players. Definitely a solid pick up for prospectors out there.

And just for you prospectors out there, I have put together a little cheat sheet on the prospect autographs I pulled, courtesy of Top Prospect Alert.

Check out some prospect ratings on 4 of the player autographs I pulled from this box break.

Want your chance at an autograph from this review? Tell me what you think about this product and if you’re feeling like you got a good idea of prospects, tell me who you are most excited about. I will hold the drawing on Saturday.

Review: 2011 Panini Certified Football

Okay, I lied in the video. Just making that clear to start. This is not the Certified product with the HRX video cards. I got too excited and ahead of myself for the possibility of an autographed video card from Panini. It’s not this one. That is Totally Certified. Oops. I’m sure I’m not the only one who made that mistake already.

Anyways, this is a break and review of 2011 Panini Certified football, the regular Certified football. The product of choice for a lot of football collectors who collect Panini products. You get 4 hits per box with some mirrored parallels as well. Want to know what we got? Me too. Check it out. More slideshow goodness.

Design:

I give the design this score for a few reasons. There is a lot to like about the design of the cards and a lot that I couldn’t care for. Let’s start with the negatives just to get those out of the way. I think the label at the bottom of the base cards is just big. I think it would look great slimmed down a notch which would give more room for the full bleed photos which are good. FOTG and Certified Potential are meh. But I love the Hometown Heroes insert set. The design is kind of an enigma to me. Maybe it’s just me.

Checklist:

Okay, so you have a ton of rookies like every other Panini product this season. I’m still not a huge fan of the 100 rookies in the base set. There are a ton of no name rookie autographs as well which isn’t that good either. But you can find veterans, rookies, and legend players in this checklist which I think is a definite plus. There are some sweet veteran and legends cards that you can pull and Panini always does a great job including enough of those into a product so I always give them kudos for that.

Value:

The current price being just south of $100 might be a little much for me with this product. Sure, you get 4 hits in a box and some mirrored cards but as I stated above, there is just too much filler in terms of the base rookie autographs. You may get lucky and hit one of the Freshmen Fabrics or something along those lines and pull a nice autograph from there, but I’m not sure how often those are falling. After checking other box breaks, it appears that I just got a “meh” box compared to others. There are a ton of nice on-card autographs to be found with some nice subsets, so don’t let this particular box break scare you away. The low numbered mirror parallels always sell decent too so don’t forget about those.

Overall:

While I’m not a huge fan of some of the designs this year, I am a huge fan of a some of the other designs this year. Take that for what it is and see what you like about it. The checklist is solid but again, the over abundance of rookies is something I’m not a huge fan of. But you can always find some nice veterans and legends in Panini products and they are always included in just about every set. So if you’re lucky, you’ll hit one of those. You may even pull some of the nicer rookies in autographed form as well. I seemed to have hit just a bad box as I’ve seen a lot more breaks nicer than this then on par or worse then this so don’t let this particular box scare you away. As always, do your research.

And as always, a big thank you goes out to Panini America for providing this product to review!

Video coming soon. I’ll be uploading a ton of stuff over the next couple days as I have the time off from work.

CheckOutMyCards.com Review (Buying)

Well I finally joined the rest of the trading card community and started buying some singles off of CheckOutMyCards.com. I saw a bunch of singles that I wanted on there and saw the shipping and thought, why not?

So I bought 21 cards off of there and had them shipped for just over $5 for shipping. That’s right, 21 cards for $5 shipping. If I bought those individually off of eBay, well just multiply 21 by about $2..or more.

I chose not to have any of them in toploaders and had them shipped that way, but was very surprised on the quality of shipping. I received all 21 cards in a large team bag with a toploaded card on each end. All cards arrived in perfect condition.

I guess I’ll start sharing some of my haul with the two game used jersey cards I picked up in the lot.

The first card I picked up was a 2010 Topps Update All-Star Stitches game used jersey card of Jon Lester. This one was a no-brainer as Jon Lester is my favorite baseball player. It’s also a no-brainer because you know exactly when the jersey was used, for the most part. I also love the design with the stars on the left.

The second card I picked up was a 2001 Private Stock Game Gear game used jersey card of Bill Romanowski. When I first started watching the NFL, my favorite team was always the team that Romo played for. Bill Romanowski went to Rockville High School, the same school as myself so I wanted to always cheer him on. You may have even seen me on camera in my Romanowski Broncos jersey. I will always be a huge Romanowski fan and I was happy to see him actually have a game used card. Now I need to find an autograph of him…

I’ll post some more cards when I get a chance, but this is a nice start.

For the record, I highly recommend CheckOutMyCards.com and have some $20 credits for first time sellers to give away, just let me know if you want one. (I should have more coming in soon) My next step is to try selling on there.

 

Review: 2011 Panini Crown Royale Football

Crown Royale is back in it’s second season in a return from the dead right before Halloween and it looks just as good, if not better than last year. With a hit per pack and averaging at least 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards per box, it has the possibility to yield some great hits including some legendary swatches and some awesome Rookie Silhouette prime material autographs.

Well let’s see what is in our box given to us for review from the wonderful people at Panini America, shall we?

Base:

Inserts:

Memorabilia:

Autographs:

Design:

I’m a sucker for die-cuts. I always have been a sucker for die-cuts. The only thing that I am more of a sucker of is very shiny die-cuts. But these look fantastic. I’ve always loved the design and the great colors that come along with the cards around the crown area which matches the team colors. The shiny borders look good too. Panini is getting better at designing their inserts to where you are starting to not be able to see boxes where memorabilia goes as those get kind of annoying after awhile. The only real complaint is that I’m getting tired of seeing white boxes where the autographed stickers go. I understand you need the autograph to be legible, but can’t you incorporate something into the design like just fading out the deep colors towards the bottom of the card where you put the sticker? Maybe a little round area faded design for the auto cards instead of box (ala Inception)? Surely the design team can do something other than a white box.

Checklist:

In my honest opinion, it’s too large for the amount of cards you get in a box and a pack at the price point it’s at. And by that I mean the base set and the base rookies. How on earth is anyone supposed to put together a set of these cards? The base set is huge. I love the insert sets and especially the great on-card checklist for the Rookie Silhouettes, but I think the base set needs to be cut down a bit. Maybe 100 total cards? 75 veterans and 25 rookies? Even 125 would be better than the current amount of 200.

 Value:

At $25 per pack, this is really hit or miss. But as a box, you might hit it big and get something worth the box itself. It’s tough as there are plain jerseys in here, which is obviously needed, but there are also some REALLY nice possibilities for hits. This sort of feels like Absolute Memorabilia Jr. So I’m kind of not sure how to rate this for value. Two autos and two memorabilia per box, which is better than most boxes at the price, but less total cards. I think there needs to be maybe one more single case hit kind of like the Net Fusion cards to make something for people to chase besides the Rookie Silhouettes. Finally, I’d also like to see the inserts numbered. I mean this is a product where you have to number the inserts. I really want to give this a 3.5 because of its hit or miss nature by pack (and my case by box, just look at sale values), but I always round up for the benefit of the doubt.

Overall:

Overall, I still absolutely love Crown Royale. I love the die-cut design, the colors, and the great Rookie Silhouettes cards. It’s an extremely fun product to open, but I find the huge checklist of base cards kind of disappointing as it takes a lot to try and put a base set together of those awesome looking cards. Back to the Silhouettes, I love that all the autographs are all on-card as it just makes them look that much better. We just need to work on those white boxes…please? Otherwise, it won’t kill your pocket, but you should definitely purchase this by the box and not by the pack. I like the addition of a case hit, but maybe one more type of limited case hit that would shine and be a welcome addition.

Oh, and for those who might want to complain about the Net Fusion manufactured net cards, they count as an insert, not as one of your hits. So you can either like them or not and you don’t have to worry because they aren’t taking the place of any of your mojo.

Again, I’d like to thank Panini for providing this box for review. Make sure you visit their website and blog for more information about products like this.

Video is coming up soon!