Friday, June 15, 2012

2011 Panini Prime Signatures Football Box Break Recap and Review

2011 Panini Prime Signatures Football is a product that has its advantages and disadvantages.  On the plus side you have a product that could yield a big hit at a modest price point which allows a broader range of collectors purchase it and walk away with an amazing card.  On the negative side, if you don’t hit big, the box can be a total bust. 

Normally this is the understood scenario for this type of product, which is perfectly acceptable.  But here, with a quick look at the checklist of hits, it appears the likelihood of pulling a big hit is lower than usual which is amplified because there is only one hit per box and not enough additional cards to provide value as a backup.  In addition, with only one hit per the box, there is no opportunity to spread the risk.

Prime Signatures Football falls into our premium cards category.  Each box contains 4 cards with 1 Autograph card per box.

Here are the cards we pulled from our box.
 Rashard Mendenhall #/499

 Bo Jackson #/499

 Steve Smith #/49

 Kevin Walter Autograph - Bronze Level - #/75

Overall Look
No complaints here about the look of these cards.  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.

Quality and Variety of Players
Here is where the product falls short.   It is not the lack of highly desirable players autographs.  They are all here, the rookie heroes of  2011 like Cam Newton and A.J. Green along with current established stars like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, and also retired Hall of Famers like Joe Namath and Bart Starr.  It is the ratio that they appear that is the problem.  With the inclusion of large quantities of close to 90 rookies that had modest first seasons at best and just under 60 mid-level veteran players making up the bulk of the hits in this product, the deck seems stacked greatly in favor of the house.

Do the Hits satisfy?
If you pull the one of the big hits, most definitely.  But pull someone like Nathan Enderle, as your only hit, definitely not.

Will you keep coming back for more?
Unfortunately I think this is a product that you might stop at one purchase.  If you hit big on your first try, I’m not so sure you will be willing to roll the dice again.  You could say that buying by the case here would spread some of the risk but then you lose the one advantage built into this product, its modest price point.

3 1/2 out of 5

If the odds of pulling something big or even very satisfying were increased, and not by that much, 2011 Panini Prime Signatures Football with be a winner, but in its current state, it falls 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 Topps US Olympic Team Box Break Recap And Review

Every once in a while a product comes along that offers the best of everything, great design, desirable subject matter, huge hit potential and a reasonable price point.  2012 Topps US Olympic Team cards is one of those products.  These smart looking cards cover all the big names currently representing the USA and a few of the greatest athletes in Olympic history.  If you are looking forward to the games in London, you owe it to yourself to pick up at least a box of these cards, if not more.

We classify Topps US Olympic Team as trading cards. Hobby Boxes contain 24 – 8 card packs with 1 Relic, 1 Commemorative Relic and 1 Autograph per box.  As a bonus, every other box comes with a second autograph.

Here are some of the cards we pulled from our hobby box.

Base Set
 Michael Phelps, front and back

 Allyson Felix, Misty May-Treanor, Missy Franklin

 Hope Solo, Nastia Liukin, Natalie Coughlin

 Ryan Lochte, Alex Morgan, Shawn Johnson

 Sue Bird, Jordyn Wieber, Maya Moore

 Paralympic Athletes - Jerome Singleton, Tatyana McFadden, Kari LaRaine Miller 

Medal Parallels
 Gold (1:4 packs) Kellie Wells, Silver (1:3 packs) Juan Aguldelo, Bronze (1:2 packs) Kim Glass

 Games of the XXX Olympiad
 Boxing - Rau'Shee Warren, front and back

 Archery - Brady Ellison, Canoeing - Carrie Johnson

Heritage of the Olympic Games
 1904 - St. Louis, front and back

 1896 - Athens, 1900 - Paris

Opening Ceremonies
 1968 - Mexico City

London 2012 Olympic Games Venues
 Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club - Wimbledon

 The Hits
 Mary Whipple Athlete Worn Relic, Hope Solo US Olympic Team Commemorative Patch

 Wrestling Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo Autograph

Six Time Medalist, (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze) Jackie Joyner-Kersee Champions Autograph

Overall Look
The use of high dynamic range photography makes these cards look amazing.  There is a nice write-up about each athlete on the backs of the cards.  The Commemorative Relics are really well designed.  The Champions autographs should serve as a template for future autograph cards in all sports.

Quality and Variety of Players and Subsets.
There is a great mixture of hopeful and proven athletes.  The addition of athletes from the Paralympic Games is a fantastic move by Topps.  The insert cards work well.  It was nice to see an explanation of the photos used on the front of the Heritage of the Olympic Games cards.

Do the hits hold up?
No question here, these are highly desirable autographs to pull.  The patches, pins and medal relics are fantastic.

Will you want to collect them all? 
If you like the Olympics, you will want every single one of these cards. 

5 out of 5

You should pick up at least a box of 2012 Topps US Olympic Team cards before the London Games begin so you have them on hand as a reference during the competitions.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Contest Time Over At The Chronicles Of Fuji

The card pictured above is one of my favorite cards from last year.  Now... I didn't say one of the cards most likely to make me a fortune on eBay, I said one of my favorite.  This red ink on-card auto was sent to me by the owner of one of the most interactive blogs out there, San Jose Fuji.  In its third year, The Chronicles of Fuji contest has just begun.  If you like contests that involve more than just leaving a comment like "I'm in." this is the contest for you.  For the next 6 to 7 weeks, you will have the opportunity to accumulate entries to win 1 of 10 prizes.  Use this link to get to the Chronicles of Fuji contest for details and your chance to enter.