Product Review: 2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition

As the final pre-draft product of the year, 2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition gives player collectors and prospectors one last chance to collect their favorite young players before NFL team collectors enter the game. This mid-level product will feel different for Press Pass fans of the past as the new NCAA exclusive partnership with Upper Deck has once again prevented a solid product from featuring college team logos.

2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 20 5-card packs for a total of 100 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $122.54 shipped, which translates into a $1.23/card ratio. That means this certainly isn’t your bottom-end set, but I wouldn’t classify it as “high-end” either. The box promises (on average) 7 on-card autographs per box and 3 memorabilia cards.

2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition Packs
Featuring a two-design pack format

The Breakdown:
Base Cards (#1-50): 58 – 100.0%
   1x: 42
   2x: 8
Inserts: 35 (10 Face to Face; 20 Headliners; 5 Class of 2010)
Jersey Cards: 3 (2 Game Day Gear; 1 Game Day Gear Parallel #/99)
Autographs: 7 (4 Sideline Signatures; 2 Sideline Signatures Ruby #/150; 1 Sideline Signatures Ruby Red Ink Variant)

2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition
Click images for full-sized scans

FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: I really like this base set. The cards have a classy and timeless design. I also particularly appreciate the feel of the cards. They are printed on a heavier card stock and have a semi-gloss finish to them. It’s not the slippery high-gloss finish of many modern sets and it’s not a very matte and bland finish from sets that are trying too hard to seem retro. The overall design could be enhanced with the use of logos, but that is not the design team’s fault.

2nd Down, Inserts: The Class of 2010 inserts are very well designed and are attractive, but I do question whether it’s necessary as all of the subjects are in the 2010 rookie class. I didn’t look closely at the insert checklist; perhaps all of the guys in this insert set were seniors? I am not a big fan of the Headliners insert. It is a good idea, but it would have been much better if they had used images of actual headlines, especially of the corresponding school’s student paper. The Face 2 Face inserts outright confused me. They look good, but how did they decide who to include and pair up? I didn’t realize the Illinois/Minnesota game was a “matchup of the year”. I’m not incredibly infatuated with jersey cards, but these Game Day Gear cards are designed well, and having a numbered parallel is nice. By far the best (and most important to many collectors) inserts were the autographed cards. Rather than just throw stickers on base cards, these are all on-card and the design incorporates the auto very well. Simply put, they are just very good looking cards. The different parallels and red ink/nickname variants add another level of collectibility for fans.

3rd Down, Collation: I have no complaints here. The base set is only 50 cards, but I was pleased that I pulled all 50. I did have 8 duplicates, but that is hard to avoid when the entire base set is in the box you bust. I also pulled a nice spread of the various insert cards and pulled the stated averages for the jersey and autographed cards. Obviously pulling extra “hits” would be nice, but again, I can’t complain about collation for this box. Hopefully the entire run was packaged this well.

4th Down, Overall Value: This is so tricky for these pre-draft products. You will have collectors who loathe non-licensed products. You will have collectors who lose all interest once the first post-draft cards are produced. And then you’ll have the collectors who are just looking to get their hands on great looking cards of their favorite players and teams (college or pro). At $1.23 per card, it’s really hard to say you could get a return on your “investment” (if you view your boxes as investments…which they are NOT). If you collect for the sake of collecting, this is a great product for the price. If you are super concerned about your bottom line and resale or book value, this probably isn’t the product for you.

RED ZONE RESULTS: TOUCHDOWN (MISSED PAT) If you haven’t noticed, I liked this set. There were very few things that bothered me with this box break. Each of the categories above is important to me, and really only the “overall value” was a hit or miss prospect. The base design and feel, the insert design (if not necessarily the concept), and the collation were pretty much spot on in my opinion. The reason 2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition wasn’t able to tack on the PAT? No logos. I know it isn’t their fault the NCAA decided to award UD an exclusive contract, but it is what it is. Even if they were able to rock the collegiate logos of the past, I would celebrate this as a retro-spective product rather than complain about a lack of NFL logos. But alas, neither was meant to be. Overall though, this is a good product.

NEXT UP: 2010 Panini Prestige

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