One of the longest tenured brands in football, Score is back once again for the 2010 season. Despite several ownership changes (Pinnacle Brands, Score, Donruss/Playoff, Panini), one aspect of Score’s offerings has remained constant: it’s cheap. If there is any one set that will help get kids interested in collecting cards again, it’s got to be Score on the football front. I know when I was a kid I wanted quantity for my dollar and quantity is what you get with Score.
Hobby boxes come with 36 7-card packs for a total of 252 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $27 (I once again added some supplies to get free shipping), which translates into a $0.11/card ratio, and that’s rounding up. Like I said above, this is the ultimate cheapo set. It’s also a set collectors set with a 400-card base set and no guaranteed hits driving the prices up. There are certainly no secrets with this product, as has been the case for 20+ years.
1 RC and 1 Glossy Parallel in each of these
Veterans (#1-300): 152 (50.7% with 0 duplicates)
Rookies (#301-400): 36 (36.0% with 0 duplicates)
Overall: 188 (47.0%)
Scorecard (#/499): 2 base
Gold Zone (#/299): 2 base, 1 NFL Players
Hot Rookies: 7
NFL Players: 4
NOTE: Please keep in mind throughout this review that this is a very low-end set and I am going to review it as such. If you only collect super high end products, you’re never going to buy this product anyway, so don’t piss and moan if you think my opinions listed hereafter are soft or too forgiving. Get over it. You’ll sleep much better tonight if you do.
FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: Honestly, it’s not terrible. To start, I like that Panini went with the team color scheme for the card fronts. I’m not necessarily a fan of the kindergarten art table design elements, with the paint splatters, water drops, and random burlap shreds, but it actually sorta works. Panini is staying true to the feel of Score through the years as this has always been a mediocre product with slightly behind the times designs. There is a certain charm in that. I like that the card back ties to the card front very strongly and although I’d prefer to see a headshot, I can pass on it if the only option was a further cropped copy of the front image. The only thing that really makes me cock my head in confusion is why the player position is so much larger than the player name. With some of the color schemes (like the Posluszny above), it sticks out even more. I realize some players have really long names and there is a desire to have all of the cards be uniform, but this probably could have been done a little better. One thing I really like is that now that mini camps are underway, there are very few rookies who are not in their new pro uniforms, which beats out earlier products that had airbrushed college unis and combine jerseys. Overall, for a super low-end set, it works. Kids might even like it. If you are an OCD adult who cannot stand clutter, looking at a binder full of this set might be overwhelming though. My biggest gripe? It looks almost idenitcal to last year’s set, including the inserts.
2nd Down, Inserts: To start, I will offer my quick insight into the various parallel sets included with Score: drop them. There are 6 parallel sets (Glossy, Scorecard, Gold Zone, Red Zone, End Zone, and Artist’s Proof) and none of them are worthwhile. The Glossy set is hardly distinguishable from the base set and the others simply have a stamp in the upper left corner of the card front and a serial number stamp on the back. What’s the point, really? Score has had the Scorecard parallel for years, so I get the desire to keep that one. But seriously, lose the rest next year, Panini. The insert sets overall weren’t bad. The Franchise and All-Pro sets feel very similar, although it’s kinda cool seeing a mini set with almost all Pro Bowl jerseys. The Red Hot Rookies set doesn’t do anything for me. Just give me another base RC instead. Some people may hate the NFL Players inserts because they are a little tacky, but I actually like them. It really reminds me of something Collector’s Choice would have made in the late 90s, and I know for a fact I would have loved these cards when I was first collecting as a wee lad. I really like that inserts do not weight the box down and although most people will only buy products with guaranteed hits, I enjoy that there were only a few autograph inserts to avoid pushing the price up. Cheap and simple. There’s a theme here if you haven’t noticed.
3rd Down, Collation: This was very good. Out of 252 cards, I did not pull a single duplicate, which is great. The collation of individual packs was very predictable: 4 base cards, 1 insert (or 5th base card), 1 base RC, 1 glossy parallel. It was in that exact order every time. Although I guess that just goes to show there was a method to ensuring the 1 RC and 1 Glossy parallel per pack promise. And actually, I appreciated that because like I said above, the Glossy parallels were VERY difficult to distinguish from the base cards. Once I had my entire stack, I went through and removed every seventh card to pull out the glossies. But really, for the quantity of cards included, this was very good collation.
4th Down, Overall Value: The old adage that “you get what you pay for” is definitely true in the case of 2010 Score. These cards, including the highly touted rookies, just aren’t going to pull a lot of interest on the secondary market. It is the nature of the beast. But on the flip side, you also aren’t paying very much with a $0.11 per card average. If you are a set collector, you could probably complete the 400-card set with just 3 hobby boxes and still pay less than you would for one box of most other products. If you are on a really tight budget or have some kids in your family, this is a great entry-level product to pick up. Hell, you could even kick it old school and put some of these in the spokes of your bike and not feel like you just wasted $50. So in summary, if you look at a raw dollar value, this is one of the worst products of the year; however, if you look at a value to price ratio, it is right up there with any other product on the calendar.
RED ZONE RESULTS: Four consecutive rushing plays netting 6 yards, resulting in a TURNOVER ON DOWNS 2010 Score decided to play it very conservative this year. The design was nearly identical to last year, the price point is very low, and the inserts and parallels were very predictable. Much like a smash mouth run-first football team, this product is probably more suitable for the 70s. But with conservative offenses usually comes stingy defenses (I love Big Ten football), so turning the ball over so deep in the opponent’s territory sets up a very good safety situation. In a colossial conservative battle, those two points could be huge (I was at the 2004 Penn State/Iowa game in which Penn State lost 6-4…2 field goals for Iowa, 2 safties for Penn State…and Penn State had a third safety called back on a phantom “forward progress” ruling).
NEXT UP (tentatively): 2010 Panini Classics