Product Review: 2010 Panini Threads

I mentioned before how I’m trying to work in a review of every 2010 football release. When making my purchases, I haven’t always gone in the release order, so now I’m trying to fill in the holes. The first one in another large batch of forthcoming reviews is 2010 Panini Threads, which was released about 4 months ago. If I do this again next year, hopefully I’ll be more relevant than I’ve turned out to be this year.

2010 Panini Threads box
The Box – Click for Detail

Hobby boxes come with 24 8-card packs for a total of 192 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $71.25, which translates into a $0.37/card ratio. That price tag would tend to put this product on lower end of the football card spectrum. Given a release date just a week or three into season, that seems just about right. Granted I ripped into this box just before the playoffs started, but who’s counting, anyway?

2010 Panini Threads Pack
Peyton sure got a lot of face time in 2010…

The Breakdown:
Base Cards: 177 (21 duplicates)
   Rookie Cards: 6 (included in base card total above)
   Silver Parallel (#/250): 2
   Gold Parallel (#/100): 1
   Platinum Parallel (#/25): 1
   Gridiron Kings: 1
   All-Rookie Team: 1
   Century Legends: 2
   Century Stars: 3
   Generations: 2
   Triple Threat: 1
   Rookie Auto (#/499): 1
   Rookie Collection Dual Jersey (#/299): 1
   Jersey Prime (#/35): 1
   Rookie Class Auto Letterman (#/360): 1

2010 Panini Threads2010 Panini Threads
Click images for full-sized scans

1st Down, Design: I can tell that I jumped back in the release calendar for this one. After several Panini products that showed promising progress in the base card design realm, I was very disappointed when I open 2010 Threads. The entire product felt like “more of the same” from Panini, including the base cards. We once again have ultra-neutral design elements, a large product logo, and no team colors/logos anywhere on the card front. The card back is all sorts of colorful, but that has also been the case for a while now. One thing I thought was interesting was that the entire base set had a horizontal orientation. That certainly isn’t something you see everyday, particularly in modern sets. What really baffles me though, is that all of the rookies are verticle? Panini has a knack for differentiating their rookies in odds ways, but this one was particularly puzzling. I must say though, Panini’s 2010 rendition of Threads was leaps and bounds above Donruss’ last take in 2009.

2nd Down, Inserts: Just like the base cards, the inserts were also generally “more of the same” outputs from the Panini card generator. We’ll start with the good. I LOVED the Gridiron Kings insert and wished I had pulled far more than one. I really like the Gridiron Kings products of the past, my favorite being 2002, and this was a very well-done effort. Like the base cards, this insert set saw a huge improvement over last year’s version from Donruss. Also good was the rookie autographed letterman card. I am caught between liking and hating manu-patch Letterman cards, but the autograph portion of this card was great. It just adds to the collectibility when you know the player handled this specific card (or at least the fake letter patch) instead of just blindly signing a sheet of 1000 labels. Unfortunately, that’s where the good ends The rest of the inserts definitely were “more of the same” with too loud design, terrible backwards design flaws, floating swatch windows, and impossible to see autograph labels. There’s a grand prize drawing for the first person who can spot the prime jersey piece on the Jay Cutler card and the autograph on the Shay Hodges card (well, not really…I’m just trying to prove a point here). Hopefully all of this is a thing of the past because Panini really did seem to be making progress in the newer products I’ve reviewed. Unfortunately, Panini also has the bad tendancy to just recycle past designs rather than reinventing poor product lines into new and great ones.

3rd Down, Collation: Let’s just say I wasn’t wowed by the collation of this box. In 192 total cards, I pulled 21 duplicates. That wasn’t a typo. I pulled twenty-one duplicates. Granted, I believe I pulled all 150 base veterans (I don’t have the stack in front of me right now to confirm my memory), but that is still terrible. Give me more rookies. Give me more parallels. Give me more inserts (as bad as they were). Give me more GRIDIRON KINGS! Give me something besides this many duplicates. And if more of something else isn’t possible, get rid of a few packs and mark the box down $5-10. I HATE duplicates.

4th Down, Overall Value: I feel like a bit of a broken record when reviewing Panini products. The value is definitely there IF you can land a sweet rookie autograph or relic card. If you tend to have my general luck (which I admit has faltered a few times this year and resulted in some decent pulls), you’re not going to see a return on your purchase. This isn’t even a set I can recommend collating for a binder because the horizontal orientation and neutral design coupled with unfathomable vertible rookies just won’t allow this set to look good in a binder. This is probably a set where you’re going after your few favorite players or team(s) and that’s about it. The box price is fairly low, especially now that it’s been out for four months, but it still just doesn’t seem to be worth the money in my humble opinion. But what’s great about this hobby? You get to form your own opinion! If you like what you see here, by all means go nuts and buy cases of it. As for me, I’ll hold out for something better.

RED ZONE RESULTS: LOST FUMBLE This product certainly wasn’t poor enough to warrant a player disqualification or a Pick-6, but there was no way it was lighting up the scoreboard either. The price tag and product description told me this was a mid-to-low end Panini release and that’s just where I’d put it: mid-to-low end Panini release. It isn’t the worst effort I’ve seen but certainly isn’t the best either. Hopefully Panini shakes off this first year of football releases (and the poor designs and direction Donruss left them), and comes out firing with fantastic products in 2011. But sadly, I just don’t see that happening.

NEXT UP: 2010 Panini Epix


One Response to Product Review: 2010 Panini Threads

  1. MaryAnn says:

    Thanks for the review. I am trying to collect all the Gridiron Kings and noticed there aren’t many out there. You verified what I was wondering – that it had something to do with the boxes being crap and not all the people keeping them.
    Good review!

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