Product Review: 2010 Panini Classics

As another example of a long-tenured mid-shelf product that Panini has recently acquired, changed, and slapped its name on, 2010 Panini Classics was recently released. I have been sitting on this box for several days now and am finally getting to review it. I’m not sure if that says something about the product or not.

2010 Panini Classics box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 18 5-card packs for a total of 90 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $100 (I yet again added some supplies to get free shipping), which translates into a $1.11/card ratio. It certainly isn’t a product that’s going to break the bank, but it does cross that $1 per card level that tends to make me nervous.

2010 Panini Classics pack
Peyton must be the official spokesman for Panini now

The Breakdown:
Base Cards
   Veterans (#1-100): 73 (73.0% with 0 duplicates)
   Rookies (#101-200 SN#/999): 4 (4.0% with 0 duplicates)
   Legends (#201-250 SN#/999): 2 (2.0% with 0 duplicates)
   Overall: 79 (31.6%)
   Timeless Tributes (#/100): 1
   Timeless Tributes (#/25): 1
   Team Colors: 2
   50th Anniversary Team: 1
   Membership: 1
   Sunday’s Best: 1
   Classic Singles: 1
   Classic Singles (#/100): 1
   Dress Code (#/299): 1
   Monday Night Heroes Jersey Prime (#/50): 1
   Significant Signatures (#/499): 1
   The Dreaded Redemption Card: 1

2010 Panini Classics2010 Panini Classics
Click images for full-sized scans

1st Down, Design: The base card for this set is pretty decent. There is a clear focus on the player, the name plate is easy to read and although there are several design elements going on in the border, it doesn’t look too busy or cluttered. At the very least, it is leaps and bounds above the base design last year. I do like the new Classics logo, but it becomes a little obvious that Panini just grabbed the design from their basketball line. Why else would a football product say “09-10” on the front. In the world of football products (like baseball), only one year is used for sets while in basketball (and hockey), the years are split to better associate with the sport’s season. I like that the back of the card very closely ties into the front with the addition of team colors. It does make wonder why there are new team logos on the front though. Apparently Panini loves ultra neutral card fronts. I would also like to see more than one stat line on the back, but I realize that has not been the case for this type of set for a long time.

2nd Down, Inserts: This is where this product really starts to go downhill quickly. First, why do we need so many insert sets? Remember when a product was just one huge set with maybe a season highlights subset? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED insert sets in the mid-to-late 90s, but they have lost their luster in recent years. There are no longer innovative designs or general scarcity without stamped serial numbers. 2010 Panini Classics epitomizes this perfectly. Not only are there a bunch of meaningless inserts, there are also a boat load of parallels of every card. Again, completely unnecessary. And in what has become an absolutely laughable trend, Panini has once again designed all of their inserts backwards. This means the “base” inserts look awful (see Classic Singles above). But beyond that, they didn’t even get the jersey and autographed cards right. The Dress Code swatch looks like it was just thrown on there (it makes me wonder if my swatch came directly from Brandon’s crotch) while the Significant Signatures desing, with it’s glorious sticker auto, makes the actual autograph, the point of the entire card, almost impossible to see. And trust me, it doesn’t look any better in person than it does in the scan above. The only insert I actually liked was the Team Colors. This mini set has been drastically improved from prior years and although it’s a little loud, it looks great in person, especially compared to the rather drab base design. But other than that, the rest of the inserts lacked any appeal for me. Oh, and I don’t want to sound like such a Debbie Downer, but redemptions suck.

3rd Down, Collation: Collation for 2010 Panini Classics was exactly what you would expect. I got exactly the stated odds for hits, rookies, legends, and inserts. I did not receive any doubles, which is obviously good, although I thought my Chris Johnson Timeless Tribute was a base double until I looked through the stack a second time and noted the slight color difference. My one gripe here would be related to my discussion of the inserts above. Cut the crap with so many inserts and just give me more rookie cards. I know this isn’t a set builders product, but honestly, pulling just 4 of 100 rookie cards is a little weak.

4th Down, Overall Value: I feel like a broken record for all of the products so far this year. The value is what it is for 2010 Panini Classics. At $1.11 per card, you are getting beyond a bargain product where raw quantity helps make up for a rough resale value. With this product, you’re probably not making a killing with individual cards, unless you happen to pull a great legend auto from the likes of Joe Montana or Emmitt Smith. Unlike prior years, Classics was not the first product to show rookies in their new unis (thanks, Upper Deck and your NCAA exclusive), so even the base rookies are not going to have the same pull they did before. Also, as you can see from my box break (and many others surfacing on the web), the overall value is pretty poor from this product. This was the first box of 2010 that I lost interest in while still opening the packs.

RED ZONE RESULTS: INTERCEPTION on second down, returned for a touchdown 2010 Panini Classics is generally uninspiring. The base set is decent, but with the inserts and parallels, it just doesn’t make sense to bust this product for the base set. And not only are there too many inserts, they are pretty terrible in and of themselves. In my opinion, not only did this product fail to get on the board, but it also made other products look that much better. I loved the Classic brand in the past, but this time around, it just doesn’t work for me.

NEXT UP (tentatively): 2010 Topps Attax


2 Responses to Product Review: 2010 Panini Classics

  1. TW says:

    Your redemption is pretty good! Beanie Wells auto numbered to 10.

  2. CPAdave says:

    Beanie was a rookie last year. It looks like #198 is Trent Williams. #4 overall pick, but a lineman. I’ll have to confirm if that is correct. I haven’t scratched off the code yet.

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