Thursday, July 5, 2012

2011 - 12 Panini Elite Hockey Box Break Recap And Review

2011 - 12 Panini Elite Hockey Box Break Recap And Review

If you like shiny things, 2011 - 12 Panini Elite Hockey will make you very happy.  It frustrates me, but only because it is nearly impossible to scan the mirror finish base cards for review.  (If anyone has tricks for scanning foil, mirror, chrome cards, by all means, please pass them along.)  But other than the scanning issue, there is a lot to like here.

Elite Hockey falls into our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 20 – 5 card packs with four memorabilia or autograph cards per box.

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

Base Set
Alex Ovechkin, front and back

 Aaron Palishaj, John Moore, Lance Bouma

Diecuts - Red
 Corey Perry, Pierre Marc Bouchard

 Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan O'Reilly, Saku Koivu

Die Cuts - Gold
Ryan O'Reilly

 Gabriel Landeskog Rookie Stars, Martin Brodeur Starts

 Steve Yzerman Elite Series, Joe Sakic Elite Series

The Hits
 Brendan Smith New Breed Relic, Gabriel Landeskog Elite Materials Relic

 Paul Postma Rookie Auto, Ed Belfour Prime Numbers Autograph

Overall Look
While it is hard to tell from the scan, the base cards have a mirror finished that looks nice in person.  Fans of diecut cards will enjoy the ones found here.  In many ways the inserts look better than the unsigned relic hits, but all of the auto hits look great.

Quality and Variety of Players
The checklist is definitely rookie centric with 80 in total and 20 of the top being SPs.  With 200 veterans in the base set there is a nice selection of the top names in the game.  Retired stars can be found mostly in the autograph hits.

Do the Hits satisfy?
The hits here mimic the checklist with at least one hit being a rookie auto.  Just like with my box of Panini Dominion where I pulled a 1/1 printing plate, "Eddie The Eagle” Belfour comes through for me with a sweet looking Prime Numbers Auto.  It motivates me to want to complete the interlocking set but that will be a tough task.  Belfour’s set is based on his 484 wins which breaks down to 400 cards for the first relic card, 80 copies of my middle auto card, leaving 4 auto relic cards to complete the set.  Here is what the complete set would look like.
 At least it is not Patrick Roy’s set based on his 551 wins.  Only one collector will be able to put complete set together.  Other standout hits include the Social Signatures, which feature players autographs along with their Twitter handle, Elite Signings and Passing The Torch Autographs.

Will you keep coming back for more?
This is a set build for collectors who are hunger for hits within a reasonable price points so multi box purchases are well within reason.

4 out of 5

2011 - 12 Panini Elite Hockey does a nice job of taking Elite to the next level.

Review box provided by Panini

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2012 Bowman Signatures Football Box Break Recap And Review

In general, I like prospecting.  You get in early and take a chance.  I tend to be more forgiving of these early products.  2012 Bowman Signatures Football gets some slack because of its early release that I wouldn’t normally give to an NFL Licensed product.   If Signatures debuted after the pre-season start, I don’t think I would be as forgiving.

I’m not just referring to the lack of Pro Uniforms for the rookies, I prefer the blank uniform to Photoshopped one.  It’s more and issue of price combined with hit potential.  The price for Bowman Signatures is on the higher side, but at this moment, so is the potential upside for these unproven players.  If you think only the top drafted rookies are destined for greatness, just remember the story of Tom Brady, who was drafted in the sixth round, or even Tony Romo, Wes Welker, Antonio Gates, Kurt Warner and Hall of Famer John Randle, all of whom went undrafted.  Certainly, before the season starts and we get to see some of these rookies in action, there is no way of telling which will be the cards of the future instead of just the cards of the moment.

Bowman Signatures Football falls into our premium cards category and just barely escapes Ultra Premium status.  Each hobby box contains 5 packs with 5 cards per pack and each pack contains one autograph for a total of five autographs per box.

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

Base Set
Jason Pierre-Paul, front and back

Jermichael Finley, Cedric Benson, Anquan Boldin

Michael Turner, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Williams

Matthew Stafford, DeMarcus Ware

Kendall Wright, Andre Branch, Isaiah Pead

Bobby Rainey, Chase Minnifield, Dwayne Allen

Insert -  Combine 
Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram

The Hits

Base Rookie Autographs
Case Keenum,  Isaiah Pead, Greg Childs

Chrome Rookie Autos
Jeff Fuller, Ryan Tannehill

Overall Look
The base cards look sharp but the rookies start to blend together.  Full body shots that have little facial detail with the same blue background for all doesn’t help. Since the majority of the hits are auto versions of the rookie base cards, the same applies.  But the Chrome Rookie Auto cards look great and the addition of the team helmet is a nice touch.

Quality and Variety of Players
The 100 veteran base card set is small, but for a product that comes 25 to the box, it works well.  There are a large number of rookies to pull as well.

Do the Hits satisfy?
No question, the Chrome Rookie Auto cards are the best of the bunch.  There are some other be hits to be found with autos like Accolades, Inside the Numbers and some auto relics that will certainly make a splash with collectors.

Will you keep coming back for more?
If you want to spread the risk, multiple box purchases are your best bet.  If you only want to concentrate the big names or your team’s picks, aftermarket purchases might be the way to go.

4 out of 5

2012 Bowman Signatures Football benefits from an early release and is the first licensed product to hit the shelves.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When One Tweet Leads To Another 2.0

Some of you may remember the story behind this ball from my collection, autographed by Gaylord Perry obtained for me by Ryan at Sports Card News and Sports Card Radio.

Back then I suggested you should follow @SportsCardNews on Twitter and check out Ryan’s blog at and the other site he is associated with, Sports Card Radio at and the site’s forum

If you were following Ryan on June 17th, you might have seen this tweet:
 "Jose being Jose” refers to Jose Canseco who was scheduled to appear at a Stockton Ports game to sign autographs but canceled hours before the game.  Steve Garvey took a last minute flight up North to fill in. 

I saw Ryan’s tweet and responded but another person had tweeted him just before me.  Ryan tweeted back he would try to pick up one for me too.  Within a few minutes Ryan got two more requests and by the end of the night, this tweet happened:
 A few days later, this arrived at my door.
Garvey had been on my short list of autograph balls to obtain.  Now the list is even shorter thanks to Ryan.  (There is a possibility Ryan will be able to help me with one more auto ball this season. If he can, I'll do a follow-up post.)

Once again, the power of social media is displayed.  The story behind it combined with the generosity of Ryan make this one of my favorite auto balls.   

And by the way, if you aren’t on Twitter, what are you waiting for?  If you are on Twitter and aren’t following @allaboutcards and/or Ryan @SportsCardNews yet, I would ask the same question.