As we slowly chug through my backlog of product reviews, we almost find ourselves in December 2010…so we’re only 2.5 months behind schedule. Well, I guess just over a month because I didn’t order these until right after Christmas. Still. I must be shooting for the least relevant product reviews award. Anyway, here’s 2010 Panini Limited, one of the very few Panini products to NOT feature Peyton Manning on the packaging.
Hobby boxes come with just a single 8-card pack. For all of you English Lit. majors, that’s a total of 8 cards per box. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $78, which translates into a salty $9.75/card ratio. As you’ll see below, my box had a ninth card, but that is still a $8.67/card average. Yikes. What was I thinking? There’d better be something good in here!
Single-pack boxes rarely leave much to the imagination
Base Cards (#/499): 5 (0 duplicates)
Phenoms (Rookies): 2
Legends Jersey (#/130): 1
Initial Steps Relic (#/80): 1
Team Trade Marks Prime Jersey (#/50): 1
2009 Banner Season Jersey Auto (#/15): 1
FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: The base cards are decent. The scans are fairly accurate in that the cards do appear pretty dark in person. But overall, it is a clean design with simple graphical elements and symmetry. There is also a tinge of team color, which is good, but there is still that glaring lack of team logos. I don’t know that I was a big fan of the cut out player image and huge “LEGENDS” lettering for the legends subset, but it’s something I can live with. The cards had an odd mix of gloss and matte feel to them, which reminded me of old Pinnacle sets from the mid 90s. The card backs are surprisingly busy for a product of this caliber. Most higher end releases have very simplistic backs with no stats. I’ll be honest in that I’m not sure which I prefer, but I will say that this fact made these cards seem less valuable to me.
2nd Down, Inserts: There is definitely a range here. The first, the Legends basic jersey card, is a waste. It’s always cool to get relics from retired players, but there is absolutely no thought or effort behind this card. Make a nice base card and then just lop out a chunk from the middle for a plain white jersey swatch. Works everytime, right? Well, no actually. In fact, it never works. So stop doing it. The Trade Marks jersey card has a nice look to it, but I’m always left wondering why a plain color swatch is “prime.” I guess it came from a stripe or inside a number or something, but without multiple colors or stitching, I have to second guess if this swatch was immediately beside another swatch that wound up in a low-end insert #/599. The Initial Steps relic on the other hand is cool. The hobby has become inundated with jersey relics in the past decade, so it’s cool to see something different. It also had a much different texture than a jersey, so that was fantastic for my inner young-child-with-ADD-that-feels-the-need-to-touch-every-relic-he-pulls-from-a-pack. Lastly we have the big hit in the box, the prime swatch autograph card of Vernon Davis. This card actually has a really nice design and even though Panini refuses to get on-card autographs, the sticker label doesn’t look terrible here. All in all, not bad cards. Especially for Panini.
3rd Down, Collation: For a box that promised 8 cards, 3 of which would be autographs or memorabilia cards, I would have to feel pretty luck that I pulled 9 cards, 4 of which were “hits.” However, I would rather have had at least two autographs. The box price tag is way too high to have a single autograph. Hell, for $15 more, I bought a box of 2010 SAGE Hit High Series and got NINE autographs. Granted, I realize that the entire feel and style of those two products are completely different, but it does put some things into perspective. Overall, 40% of my base cards were rookies and 44% of the entire box was some sort of hit. I definitely hit the stated odds, so there is really no room to argue in this department. Unless of course you hate Vernon Davis. Then the collation was terrible because 22% of my box was Vernon Davis.
4th Down, Overall Value: Not to confuse my sports, but Panini once again stood up to the plate, took a strong swing, and competely missed in the value realm. These cards are actually pretty nice. The only reason my review of them above wasn’t more gushing is because I knew this portion of the review was coming. There is just very little value in a box that demands a hefty price tag. I know we’re not talking Upper Deck Exquisite prices here, but $9.75 per card is still way to high for this quality of product. All of these cards have been listed on eBay and so far I’ve only sold the Golden Tate shoe relic. In my opinion, this was the second-coolest card in the box. My final selling price? $5. Woo. I guess if you pulled an autographed patch card of Sam Bradford you’d be singing the praise 2010 Panini Limited. I did not. Therefore, my vocal chords are resting.
RED ZONE RESULTS: MISSED FIELD GOAL, TURNOVER ON DOWNS 2010 Panini Limited tried. It really did. Most of the cards are well designed and have a nice feel to them. But on the other much larger hand, some cards still had the same old Panini swatch window problems and the value just isn’t present in a box. This is definitely a product where you’d just want to pick up some of your favorite singles off eBay and leave the lottery ticket scratching to people with money to blow. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people with tons of money to blow and I still bought a box. It’s $78 I’ll never get back, but hopefully I’m not too late to forewarn a few readers. The designs and collation kept the offense on the field, but the placekicker, Mr. Overall Value, pushed the chip-shot field wide right. WAY wide right.
NEXT UP: 2010 Topps Prime