Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2011 - 12 Panini Contenders Hockey Box Break Recap And Review

Last year Panini was the first to fill the gap for Hockey collectors between trading cards for set builders and ultra premium sets for super-collectors with Contenders Hockey, which struck a balance of premium hits in a collectable set without the ultra premium price per box.

This year with 2011 - 12 Panini Contenders Hockey arrives with some changes, most of which work to make it an even better product.  It still might be the best version of the Contenders line for any sport.

Contenders Hockey falls into our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 18 – 5 card packs with three autographs per box on average.

Here is a look at some of the cards we pulled from our box.

Base Set
 Jonathan Quick, front and back

 Dustin Brown, Martin Brodeur, Anze Kopitar

 Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lundqvist, Nicklas Lidstrom

 Claude Giroux, Sidney Crosby, Jeff Skinner

 Jonathan Toews, Tim Thomas, Steven Stamkos


Calder Contenders - Mark Katic, Ryan Thang

Roberto Luongo Cup Contenders, Patrick Roy Contenders Legacies

 The Hits

 Slava Voynov Calder Contenders Auto #/800, Carl Gunnarsson NHL Ink Auto

Jaromir Jagr Cup Contenders Patch Auto #/50

Overall Look
Panini didn’t have to change anything.  Collectors would have been happy.   They decided to overhaul the fronts of the base set, making these cards look better than ever.  The emphasis is now on the player.  The backs of the cards have everything you would want and the inserts have moved away from edge to edge foiling, now with well-chosen foil accents that make these cards very attractive.  Design for the auto cards has improved to allow for a more free flowing signature.  Normally I am not a fan of paint pen autos, but the one I pulled is in perfect condition and looks fantastic.

Quality and Variety of Players
The checklist is great for an autograph only product.  The quality of the players is outstanding.

Do the Hits satisfy?
With so many desirable hits loaded in Contenders, it is hard to imagine anyone walking away without satisfaction.  Hockey fans should pulled something good out of every box.

Will you keep coming back for more?
I could easily see case orders with Contenders.  It is the perfect storm of Rookies, Stars and Legends cards that will keep these boxes consumed at a high rate.

5 out of 5

2011-12 Panini Contenders Hockey is a powerful product that should be a part of any serious Hockey fan’s collection.

Review box provided by Panini


  1. Nice Jagr! I love the gray on black auto. And it's not easy to get a Jagr hard-signed auto

  2. pretty good hits, especially with the sweet Jagr. But if you need any of these cards of your hands I would gladly make a trade a deal for the Roy card.

  3. Hey any chance the Jagr is available??