Press Pass has issued their annual release of Premium. I’ve always felt it would be more appropriate if “Premium” were named “Portrait”, “Season Update” or “Suits & Schemes” because the real point of this set is to provide photos of the 2011 Firesuits and Paint Schemes for the first time this season.
We classify 2011 Press Pass Premium as premium cards and clearly so does Press Pass. Each hobby box contains 20 – 5 card packs with a promise of one autograph and one memorabilia card in each hobby box.
Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.
First from the base set
NASCAR Preseason Thunders
and Studio Insider cards
and their are 10 SP variations, our pull was a Jeff Gordon SP
From the inserts
David Pearson is the subject of this release’s Hall of Fame cards
Danica Patrick and Carl Edwards Crystal Ball
And Hot Pursuit cards in 3D with a pair of 3D glasses included in each hobby box. Our pulls were of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin.
Our hits were
Kyle Bush Hot Threads Race used memorabilia card
David Gilliland Premium Signatures Autograph card
The current firesuits and paint schemes are all on card. What is not on card are the autographs. As with past releases, these cards come with sticker autos, but they are done well. Press Pass has always had amazing design elements, but for this release, they have toned those elements down, leaving a lot of subtle white and grey areas, giving these cards a more sophisticated feel. It also brings your attention directly to the point of the release, the new driver firesuits and paint schemes. There is nothing to detract from the point of these photos.
Quality and Variety of Drivers and Subsets
This set concentrates on the Sprint Cup Drivers so the quality is there but it does limit the variety. But, of course, Danica is in the base set and insert cards so you might not notice who else is missing. The 3D cards are fun, but as is inherent with all 3D, the novelty wears off after a while.
Do the hits satisfy? Are the cards too base heavy?
With the release’s concentration on firesuits, a lot of the usual memorabilia materials that are so unique to racing do not play a major role here. But if you pull one of the high odds cards like a Dale, Sr. Continue the Legend Memorabilia, Double Burner or Premium Pairings, you are sure to be a happy customer. As mentioned before, these autographs are drop stickers. The only reason this is even worth bringing up is because every other Press Press release features on-card autos. I have a feeling the reason sticker autos are used here is the limited amount of production time and the quick turnaround needed to get theses cards out. On cards autos are probably not even a possibility with this product.
Will you keep coming back for more?
Most likely one box will do it and then some smart aftermarket acquisitions will complete your needs.
4 out of 5
2011 Press Pass Premium is a great record of the look of this year.