Hitting hobby shop shelves and online retailer homepages today is 2009 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia. Carrying a per pack SRP of $40, this product is being released in cases of 18 boxes of 4 packs of 4 cards. Hobby boxes are currently going for about $120, a rather high price tag for 16 cards.
Per Box Breakdown: 4 packs of 4 cards each (16 total), including 4 Material or Autograph cards (at least 1 of which will be an autograph), 1 Rookie, 1 Parallel, 1 Insert, and 1 other Insert/Parallel or Rookie.
I would like to start by saying that when I was younger, I LOVED the Playoff brand. They were sorta high-end, but had some really nice and classy designs. I will admit I was out of the hobby for a few years so I do not know exactly when the change happened, but I know that I am not pleased with this product. Panini, which currently owns the Playoff name, has once again created a Frankenstein checklist with a plethora of insert and parallel sets. Most of the cards feature a relic and/or autograph, proving that Panini is only interested in gimmicks and trying to get the most money out of collectors. Granted, I am not a high-end buyer. I probably never will be because I have too many interests to devote enough money to card collecting to buy those high-end products. Maybe this product will give collectors their money’s worth, but at about $7.50 per card, and that’s going with a big online retailer, I find it hard to believe. Normally I try to give all new products equal share on this site (when I remember that they are being released, sorry 2009 Topps flagship) and just present the facts, a few images, and my humble opinion. But this product takes the cake. I did not even bother typing out the long list of sets included with 2009 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia because there are a total of 95 freaking sets, including all of the inserts and parallels. To see the entire and freakishly long list of sets, you can view the pdf sell sheet here. To me, that is completely ridiculous. It’s as if their design team came up with a bunch of ideas and the manager just said “oh hell, let’s just use them all!”. Either that, or Panini execs are trying to make up for the fact that Leaf R&S and Score looked almost identical this year.
Do some of the cards from this product look cool? Sure. Do I think it’s entirely too expensive? Certainly. The only “absolute” things about 2009 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia? It is absolutely ridiculous and I will absolutely not be buying any.