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?)

Review: 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Hockey

I know it’s a little late and this product has been out awhile now, but I have been wanting to bust open a box/pack of this for awhile. With all the great rookies last year and some of the big hits that come out of this product, why not give it a shot? Well I did, with a little Black Friday help from DA Card World.

This Upper Deck product features one pack in a box with a base, rookie, a game used, and an autograph. Let’s see what we pulled:

Base:

Game Used:

Autograph:

 Design:

Overall, I really enjoy the design of these cards. The design is very clean as it is with most Upper Deck products. I also like the photo and color designs with this product, especially the base card that I pulled. I even notice some of the little subtleties in the design, like on the Crosby game used card that I really like, for example where they placed Sid’s number is different, but looks really good. Even though the background is similar to other Upper Deck high end releases, it is always just enough tweaking to look fresh and clean.

Checklist:

Upper Deck usually seems to put out a quality checklist with their high end offerings and this is no different. Not only can you pull some unbelievable cards from some of the season’s top rookies, the veteran presence in this product is great. With Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and other stars, combined with Upper Deck exclusives Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, and Bobby Orr, there is always a chance for a nice hit. While some may complain it dilutes the market or they want more of a variety, I like having those possibilities when I buy a box. But I would like to see more veteran/retired variety every once and awhile.

Value:

Value is a tough one with a product like this. It’s a single pack product with two hits. It’s going to be extremely hit or miss with a product like this. But when you do hit it good, it’s a big hit that will hold some value, especially if you hit a big name rookie. My rookie auto isn’t the greatest, but it was made up for by the Sidney Crosby dual game used. While there are a ton of big hits, there are even more of hits like my Brandon Yip rookie autograph. The Sid is a good hit though for a game used card. Combining the checklist with value gives me a pretty good idea where to rate value in a product like this.

Overall:

Overall, I do really like this product. It’s definitely a lesser gamble than say, my break of The Cup. But you still have the possibility for some huge hits like great rookie autograph patches or shields, or some legends autographs. Single packs products are a gamble and you need to recognize that when purchasing a product like this. But with a solid design and checklist like I found here, even if you don’t pull something extremely valuable, you have some good looking cards that do hold some value while giving you some pretty nice trade bait.

What did you think of this product? Let me know!