If I had to base my review of 2012 Panini Certified Football solely on the box I opened alone, I could distill my review down to one word – “ouch!” Keep in mind, I did pull a John Elway game worn material swatch card #/199, but the other hits were Rookie swatch cards and one auto of a wait and see non-premiere rookie.
But I never base my review just on the box I open. This prevents me from giving a case hit box an automatic good review and the box that misses an automatic bad review. I check case breaks, checklists and as much information as I can to determine what most box breaks should look like for the product I’m reviewing in addition to the best and worst case scenarios. While 2012 Panimi Certified Football on the whole is much better than the box I broke, the redesign of the base cards from mostly mirror finish to edge to edge mirror finish and the $2 per card average price set that is base heavy with only 1 autograph per box leads me to question who these cards geared towards.
Normally a set that falls between two other products is welcomed. Those products seem to offer the incentive for set builders to up their purchases a little and are a bargain for hit seekers who are use to paying more. But this year Certified seems to miss the mark. I’m not sure set builders will make the jump up to the 5 boxes required to collect all 150 base cards and I’m not sure if there is enough of a bargain for hit seekers at 1 autograph per box. There are some nice cards to be collected here, but the numbers don’t seem to add up.
Certified Football falls into our premium cards category. Each box contains 10 – 5 card packs, with 4 Autograph or Memorabilia cards with at least 1 Autograph card per box.
Here are some of the cards we pulled.
Tom Brady, front and back
Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Peyton Manning
Jason Witten, Jared Allen, Antonio Gates
Roddy White, Mike Williams, Marques Colston
Bernie Kosar, James Lofton
New Generation #/999
Roddy White Red #/250, Joey Galloway Red #/250, Jason Pierre-Paul Blue #/100
Ronnie Hillman Certified Skills Memorabilia #/299
Alshon Jeffery & Stephen Hill Dual Fabric Of The Game Memorabilia #149
John Elway Game Worn Fabric Of The Game Memorabilia #199
Ronnell Lewis Blue New Generation Autograph #/49
On the plus side, if you get lost while hiking, all you have to do it pull out one of this year’s Certified base cards and use it as a reflector to call rescue teams. This is about as much mirror foil as you can get onto a card short of excluding the player all together. On the negative side, there is the slightest bit of muted background around the photos of the players that needs to be either ramped up to be made more visible, or eliminated all together to make the cards feel clean. You need to catch the light just right to see the debosssed non-inked player names. I like the look of the Immortals and New Generation card better than the base, but the best examples of these cards are the color parallels. The hit cards are well designed.
Quality and Variety of Players
This is a strong checklist, plenty of great veteran and retired stars. The Immortals adds to the depth of the checklist.
Do the Hits satisfy?
No doubt there are some amazing hits to be had here, but the majority in the memorbalia ranks. It feels like a one hit box for the most part. Half of the hits seem to be materials from the Rookie Premiere.
Will you keep coming back for more?
This is really a tough call. My feeling is this will work more for those who can go to extremes, deep pocket collectors who are willing to buy Certified by the case to spread the risk.
3 out of 5
With the vast amount of football releases, 2012 Panini Certified Football feels somewhat lost. Either a price adjustment or value added to the box could probably fix this problem in the future.