Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 Panini Prestige Football NFL Trading Cards. An All About Cards Review

2011 Panini Prestige Football is the first football release of the year for Panini, the first post draft release, and it’s the first set of 2011 football cards that also contain returning players for any release.  Prestige features cards that were created live during the draft, some SP’s and other surprises.

We classify this set as trading cards. You can find them at retail outlets and your local card shop.   Hobby Boxes come with 24 – 8 card packs and you’ll find at least 4 Memorabilia or Autograph cards per box.

Lets take a look at some of the cards we pulled from our hobby box.

First from the base cards

 Sam Bradford base - front and back

 Von Miller rookie - front and back

Julio Jones rookie SP

Xrta Points cards - Green #/25, Purple #/50, RFed #/100, Gold #/250
Rob Gronkowski, Percy Harvin, Arian Foster, Dez Bryant & Sam Bradford

Xtra Points Rookies - Gold #/250, Light Blue #/999
Aaron Williams, Jabaal Sheard, Edmond Gates & Courtney Smith

From the inserts
Randall Cobb NFL Passport

Mike Williams Rookie Review

 Drew Brees Inside the Numbers

Prestige Pros
Lee Evans, Darren Sproles, Brent Celek & Reggie Bush

NFl Draft Class
DeAndre McDaniel, Pat Devlin & Blaine Gabbert

Maurice Jones - Drew & Adrian Peterson League Leaders

Stars of the NFL
Knowshon Moreno, LeSean McCoy, Antonio Gates & Brian Urlacher

Here are the hits of the box

 Sam Bradford Rookie Review

 Andre Johnson Stars of the NFL Game Worn #/250

 Arian Foster & Jamaal Charles League Leaders Game Worn #/200

 Matt Ryan Preferred Prime Patch Game Worn #/50

Cameron Heyward Rookie Auto #/599

Overall Look
Prestige has a familiar and simple design.  The photography is good. The best of the design elements are reserved for the insert cards.  

Quality and Variety of Players and Subsets.
200 base cards, 100 rookies.  Easy enough to build a set with the returning players you want and the incoming class.  Extra Point variations make for some nice numbered cards to chase.

Do the hits hold up?
All the names from the recent NFL Draft can be found in various auto rookie cards.  Prime patches are nice.  

Will you want to collect them all? 
Set builders will want all of this, the first complete release for the year.

3 1/2 out of 5

Football card collecting fans can start their season.  Lets hope the NFL follows.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dallas Mavericks Limited Edition NBA Champions Boxed Set by Panini available for pre-order

The Dallas Mavericks are this year’s NBA Finals Champions.   So far, they’ve done everything right.  They’ve handled the taunts and mocking of the Miami Heat and shut them down in convincing fashion.   Mark Cuban has displayed some classy moves by letting his team’s play do the talking during the playoffs, giving the honor of receiving the Larry O’Brien trophy to the original founder of the Mavs, Don Carter, leaving a $20,000 tip for the wait staff of the post finals celebration in Miami and also picking up the tab for the Championship Parade through Dallas today. 

To celebrate the Maverick’s historic win in what turned out to be a tremendous NBA Finals, Panini America has created a limited-edition 36-card Dallas Mavericks: NBA Champions boxed set.

This set includes:

*   One card for every player on the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks roster

*   Cards for each of the Mavs’ 16 Playoff victories, including game-specific photography from key moments

*   A special card devoted to Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle, his first trading card in more than five years

*   A special card honoring NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki

These sets are available on the Official Panini America Online Store Site as a pre-order for $20.  The expected availability if July 14, 2011.

As a bonus, if you are one of the first 100 fans to pre-order this set, you will be entered into a drawing to win a special Dirk Nowitzki autographed memorabilia card limited to 25.

Here is a look at a few of the cards followed by a complete checklist.
#1            Dirk Nowitzki                   F
#2            Jason Kidd                      G
#3            Jason Terry                     G
#4            Tyson Chandler              C
#5            Shawn Marion                 F
#6            J.J. Barea                      G
#7            DeShawn Stevenson       G
#8            Brendan Haywood          C
#9            Brian Cardinal                 F
#10            Caron Butler                  F
#11            Peja Stojakovic              F
#12            Ian Mahinmi                 C
#13            Corey Brewer               F
#14            Dominique Jones          G
#15            Rodrigue Beaubois       G
#16            Alexis Ajinca                C
#17            Sasha Pavlovic             G
#18            Steve Novak                 F
#19            Rick Carlisle                CH
#20            Playoff Win 1            Portland Game 1
#21            Playoff Win 2            Portland Game 2
#22            Playoff Win 3            Portland Game 5
#23            Playoff Win 4            Portland Game 6
#24            Playoff Win 5            Lakers Game 1
#25            Playoff Win 6            Lakers Game 2
#26            Playoff Win 7            Lakers Game 3
#27            Playoff Win 8            Lakers Game 4
#28            Playoff Win 9            Thunder Game 1
#29            Playoff Win 10            Thunder Game 3
#30            Playoff Win 11            Thunder Game 4
#31            Playoff Win 12            Thunder Game 5
#32            Playoff Win 13            Heat Game 2
#33            Playoff Win 14            Heat Game 4
#34            Playoff Win 15            Heat Game 5
#35            Playoff Win 16            Heat Game 6
#36            Dirk Nowitzki            FINALS MVP

2010 - 11 Playoff Contenders Hockey NHL Trading Cards. An All About Cards Review

For a while, there has been a void for hockey cards.  Plenty of trading cards for set builders, plenty of ultra premium sets for super-collectors, but not much that strikes a balance for those that want premium hits in a collectable set but can’t put down several hundred dollars for a box.   Panini has filled that void with 10-11 Playoff Contenders Hockey and it just might be the best version of the Contenders line for any sport.

Contenders Hockey falls into our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 24 – 5 card packs with four autographs per box on average.  Just like the Football version, there are Golden Ticket redemptions for immediately available cards made out of 11 grams of 14K gold.  Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.

NOTE- Some of these cards are really hard to scan because of their mirror foil finish, 
like the Classic Ticket and Draft Tandems below.   In person they all look great.

First from the base set
 Alex Ovechkin Season Tickets Front and Back
 Stanley Cup Finals Goalies Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas Season Tickets

 Luc Robitaille Classic Ticket and Kyle Palmieri Rookie Ticket #/100

 From the inserts
 Jeff Skinner Rookie of the Year Contenders

Bobby Ryan Lottery Winners

Ray Bourque and Mark Messier Draft Tandems

Carey Price Award Contenders

"The Roadrunner"  - Yvan Cournoyer Legendary Contenders

 Joe Thornton and Roberto Luongo Perennial Contenders

Dustin Byfuglien Against the Glass

Sidney Crosby The Great Outdoors

 Dwayne Roloson and Mike Smith Leather Larceny

Here are our hits

 Two Alexanders
Alexander Burmistrov and Alexander Vasyumov Auto Rookie Tickets

Evgeni Malkin Autographed The Great Outdoors

 This redemption card for which we have done a Photoshop mock-up 

Steven Stamkos Autographed Lottery Winners

Overall Look
The familiar design of Contenders works well with Hockey.  The players really stand out on the base cards and the rookie cards have plenty of shiny.   The autograph zone for the Rookies Tickets looks great.  Leather Larceny cards with their faux leather textured surfaces are fantastic and Against the Glass cards work well with their clear acetate zones.  The photography for The Great Outdoors cards is... well... great! As with the Football release the Golden Ticket cards are amazing.

Quality and Variety of Players
The checklist is tight!   With a majority of these cards carrying autograph parallels, that’s a good thing.   The quality of the players is outstanding.

Do the Hits satisfy?  Are the cards too base heavy?
If you just pull 4 Rookie Tickets as your autos, you should be happy.   For those lucky enough to pull a legend or really hot prospect as one or more of your autos, this box with exceed your expectations.

Will you keep coming back for more?
I could easily see prospectors with case orders.  With the perfect storm of Rookie Tickets during a year of super rookies, adding the Lottery Winners inserts that dip into previous rookies, Legends cards, Draft Tandems and Leather Larceny, these boxes will get consumed at a high rate.   Add the Golden Ticket chase and that case order just might increase to two.

5 out of 5

2010-11 Playoff Contenders is a great product and a welcome addition to the stellar lineup of Hockey Cards being produced by Panini this year.

Review box provided by Panini