As Football Card collectors, we have been spoiled. We have been feasting on a banquet of outstanding rookie classes in 2011 and 2012. Rookies that went straight into starting rolls and became instant superstars. So it would reasonable to expect a bit of a let down in 2013 with a rookie class that is talented but not quite as explosive as the Cam Newtons of the world. But there is no let down with 2013 Panini Prizm Football.
If you follow our reviews you are aware that while past releases have benefited from these tremendous rookie classes, it is just a small part of what we use to judge sets that fit into our trading card category. The overall look, likeability of inserts, completeness of checklists and urge to set build play a much bigger role. In the long run, we find that serves the purposes of reviewing releases better as secondary market values fluctuate over time. We can not forget about years like 2000, a year when collectors might have been hot to score a Chad Pennington rookie card, while most ignored the guy drafted in the sixth round, 199th over all, Tom Brady, who was a fourth string quarterback and only threw for six yards in his rookie season. While this may not be the year to “rip and flip” we are already starting to see some break out talent.
So 2013 becomes the year to revisit the true meaning of collecting, concentrating on building sets and gathering cards for your PC. 2013 Panini Prizm Football is a great set for that as this year’s edition still retains its simple configuration with a great looking set of base cards, some low numbered parallels in addition to solid inserts and hits.
As an added value, Panini brings their HRX format to the release with a new twist, escaping the limited number of video cards that can be distributed by enabling all collectors to turn their smart phones into instant video cards thanks to QRL Code technology, the use of Platinum League’s phone app and a rather animated Tracy Hackler to guide your way.
Though on the high end of the category from a cost standpoint, we classify Panini Prizm as trading cards. Each box contains 20 - 6 card packs with a promise of 2 autographs in every box.
Here are some of the cards we pulled.
Joe Flacco, front and back
Cam Newton, Dez Bryant, Marshawn Lynch
Reggie Wayne, Matthew Stafford, Tony Gonzalez
Jason Pierre-Paul, Troy Polamalu, Matt Forte
Robert Griffin III (RG3), J.J. Watt
Bob Lilly, Dan Fouts
Knile Davis, Tyler Eifert
Monday Night Heroes
Golden Tate, Cam Newton
Morris Claiborne, Jordy Nelson
Lamar Miller Orange Die Cut #/50
In the past a handful of collectors could experience Panini HRX on the limited number of Video Cards that were produced. Now Panini has changed things up by bringing the HRX experience to your smart phone. It all starts with this card, found inside packs of Prizm.
Panini HRX, front and back with QRL Code
With your current bar code reader, all you have to do is scan the QRL Code and it lands here...
where the ever affable Tracy Hackler is waiting for you. That is a playable video and below are links to installing the Platinum League Car Reader App, which was originally used with Platinum League's interactive Hip Hop Cards. After installing and opening the app you will wind up at this screen.
You can then scan the same QRL code above again and the experience changes as Hackler now becomes quite animated. From that point on you will be able to unlock exclusive content and have access to the HRX experience using the backs of the rookie insert cards also found in packs of Prizm.
EJ Manuel, front and back with QRL code
Keenan Allen, Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins
Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Stills, Tavon Austin
Prizm takes the mirror foil look to a different level with the appearance of debossed and etched fronts while retaining a smooth surface, front and back which provides Prizm’s signature great look. Inserts are done quite well too. The design of the hits as far as layout is concerned is great, but it appears there was an attempt to blend the sticker autos into the card that seems to have been better executed in previous years. The use of a tight parallelogram for the sticker area throws the look off a touch, as the rectangular sticker sticks out on the top left and bottom right.
Quality and Variety of Players
The 300 player base set includes 200 veteran players and 100 rookies offering a tight, but complete checklist. The inclusion of retired stars in the Decade Dominance inserts rounds things out.
Do the hits hold up?
While there is a heavy concentration on Rookie Autos as hits, there are still plenty of veteran hits too. But just as in prior years, the gold and black border parallels have to be considered hits.
Will you want to collect them all?
Yes you will. Set builders will be very happy with this chase.
2013 Panini Prizm Foottball retains its desirability through its simplicity of design.