I was rather critical of 2011 Panini Prime Signatures Football last year. The majority of my criticism was levied on the checklist of hits where it appeared the likelihood of pulling a big hit was lower than usual. To Panini’s credit, the 2012 release of Prime Signatures Football takes bold moves towards a more evenhanded product. As a small example, there are twice as many chances to pull a Tom Brady autograph this year. There are new hit cards like dual signed Greatest Combo Signatures, Rookie Extreme Prime Materials Jumbo featuring on-card autographs with a jumbo prime swatch numbered to 99 or less and NFL Shield versions numbered to 1 and Pen Pals Autographs features Dual, Triple, Quad, Hexa and Octo versions. With a great rookie class and the product returning at the same price point, 2012 Panini Prime Signatures just might be the comeback product of the year and one that I can get behind.
Prime Signatures Football falls into our premium cards category. Each box contains 4 cards with 1 Autograph card per box.
Here are the cards from our box.
Cam Newton #/499, front and back
Marcus Allen #/499
Dallas Clark Prime Proof Red #/99
Mark Barron Rookie Prime Signatures Printing Plate 1/1
Not much has changed here with the look of these cards, and that’s a good thing. They are nicely done with good blending of the player image into the white background. Nice foil accents. Numbering on the front of the card works well. There is a descent amount of information on the backs of the cards. The straightforward signature cards work very well. The newest hit additions, Greatest Combo Signatures, Rookie Extreme Prime Materials Jumbo and Pen Pals, really standout.
Quality and Variety of Players
Here is where the biggest changes have been made. A great Rookie class, a slight bump in availability of key veteran players and legends makes for a well rounded release.
Do the Hits satisfy?
If you pull one of the big hits, most definitely. Prime Signatures is still a roll the dice because of its one hit, four-card setup, some boxes will still a be a bust, but there are enough mid level hits to spread the risk and with the more balanced checklist, this year’s set is in line with expectations for a premium card release.
Will you keep coming back for more?
The real advantage Prime Signatures has going for it is its modest price point, giving collectors who are normally one and done a chance to make multiple purchases without breaking the bank.
4 1/2 out of 5
2012 Panini Prime Signatures Football is a prime example of the good things that can happen when a company takes an honest look at its products and makes strides to improve them.