Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Panini's First Hockey Release Delivers Decent Value But Has Room For Improvement

With a non-autograph/memorabilia checklist consisting of 182 cards, collectors will need to look else where for base RC's of this year's top draft picks. Relegated to Freshman Fabric Signatures and Freshman Signatures I find it a little bit difficult to swallow autographed and autographed memorabilia cards being numbered as part of the base set. These cards will command top dollar on the secondary market but I find it potentially confusing to collector's in the long run.

What is a plus, is that those same cards are signed on card, which as you know is a logistical challenge for the manufacturer an yet a highly demanded commodity for the collector. Serial numbered in several colored parallels, a Certified hallmark, versions can be found with numbering ranging from 250 (Mirror Red) down to the elusive 1-of-1 (Mirror Black). On design flaw to the Freshman Signature cards, in my opinion, is the area designated for the player autograph itself. Instead of color scaling the player image in the background (like a watermark) so that the area to sign still shows the player image in the background, their is no opaqueness to it at all and looks to cut the player in half. The problem is compounded with the addition of a memorabilia swatch which, again, in my opinion makes the card overly busy and crowded looking.

With a current SRP of $80 per box (10 packs per box) and $10 per pack(5 cards per pack) collectors will find the following:
  • 1 Autograph
  • 2 Memorabilia Cards
  • 1 Additional Auto or Memorabilia Card
  • 1 Mirror Red Parallel
  • 4 Additional parallels or inserts
So on the surface, you can see that for $80 the value is right in the wheelhouse for a product that delivers a "hit" almost every other pack.

This is what my box yielded:

53 Total Cards- 43 Base Card, 3 inserts, 2 Parallels, 3 Memorabilia Cards, 2 Autographs

Mirror Reds- Phil Esposito and Sam Gagner #'d/ 250


Collision Course- Daniel Carcillo #'d/ 250
Throwback Threads- Dennis Maruk (Cleveland Barons) #'d/500
Masked Marvels- Mike Smith #'d/500

Freshman Signatures- Nick Spaling, Brandon Yip both Mirror Reds #'d/ 250

Fabric of the Game- Nathan Horton #18/25

Shirt Off My Back Dual- Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos #'d 15/50

Unlike Absolute Memorabilia Football which went to great length to detail the origins of the material used in the memorabilia cards with specific language on the card back, this important component is missing from Certified. Particularly I'd like to know what's with the red swatch on the Nathan Horton card? It is such a glaring distraction from the card and should be black or yellow to color coordinate the whole card appropriately.


Anonymous said...

The Red swatches on the Horton are from his Florida Panther jerseys. He signed with the Bruins this offseason so no action photos or GU were avail. However, white swatches should have been used.

The real jem GU jersey you have is the powder blue Crosby. There are very few powder blue Crosby GU pieces out there. Very nice hits

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