Before I review a box of cards I like to sit with it. I record my first impressions upon opening it and then wait a bit. I later revisit the cards with new eyes. Most of the time I see minor things that support my first impression. Other times my mind is changed. With 2012 Panini Prominence Football I find myself going back and forth. It probably stems from my personal preference to have a release that carries a consistent theme all the way through. After all, there are quite a few releases to choose from each year. The more consistent and individual the release is the better.
I have to admit, upon first opening the box I was not enamored with the concept or the product. When you have so many different varieties of cards to be pulled, but only 8 cards per box, it feels like a disjointed smorgasbord of cardboard delicacies. But after sitting with the cards you start to notice the craftsmanship, attention to detail and subtle nuances that have gone into the making of these cards. It does tend to amplify the feeling of wanting more than just the 8 cards in the box, but it has allowed me to grow an appreciation for what was contained within.
Prominence Football falls under our premium cards category. Each box contains 8 cards, all of which are limited and numbered, and includes 2 Autographs and 1 Memorabilia card per box.
Here are all of the cards we pulled from our box.
Steven Jackson, front and back #/897
Tim Tebow, front and back #/897
Donald Brown, front and back #/897
Richard Dent #/897, Irving Fryar #/897
Ronnie Hillman Diecut Rookie Projection Memorabilia #/299
Kevin Zeitler Apprentice Ink Autograph #/99
A. J. Jenkins Autographed Field Card #/175
The numbered base cards are really well done with smart photographic and layout choices. I appreciate the use of different foil colors and sepia separation for the backgrounds of the photos. The inclusion of a different photo for the backs of the cards elevates these to premium status. The Legend cards are also nicely done. When it comes to hits there are so many different configurations, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15. I like the familiar use of diecuts for the Rookie Projections and the Field Autos are always a favorite, but while that is a plus for the overall look column, its a bit of a drawback for the hit satisfaction column.
Quality and Variety of Players
This checklist is ultra tight, but should be for an 8 card per box product. Top veterans are well represented in the base and Legend cards but the hits are mostly Rookies which is well identified by the exclusive use of Andrew Luck on the box.
Do the Hits satisfy?
Taken as a Rookie Product, the hits do satisfy, but I have to address the drawbacks. Since this is a hit mix of cards that are found in other product, this can sometimes feel repetitive. This is also one of those products that consists of unbalanced ratios. For veterans, the highest numbered autograph hits are limited to 30 with most coming in well below that. With the cream of the rookie crop, the numbers are also limited compared to other rookies. I’ve called other products on this so to be fair I have to do the same here. To Panini’s credit, they have made that clear through their blog, The Knightl’s Lance that Luck, RG3 and others will not appear in the same ratios as other Rookies. Since knowledge is king, this helps collectors understand just what they are buying. With Robert Griffin III as the least number of auto cards per category being numbered to 70 and Ryan Broyles as the most number of auto cards per category being numbered to 245, the ratios are reasonable for a high end, premium product. Also to Panini's credit, they identified the date and event where the Ronnie Hillman memorabilia piece was obtained.
Will you keep coming back for more?
For some collectors, this is a special occasion box and for collectors with deep products, multiple boxes are an easy purchase. For those in the middle, a box or two with some secondary market PC purchases should be sufficient.
4 out of 5
2012 Panini Prominence Football is a mixed bag that will work best for rookie centric collectors who appreciate a “best of” compilation release.