Box Break: 2012 Panini Prizm

Prizm has had a huge impact on the hobby this year starting with the basketball version, to football and now to baseball.  I picked up the football box a while ago and am just now getting around to reviewing it.  Spoiler alert, i really liked what i saw.

My favorite part of the box is that the cover image of RG3 was removable and created a nice box topper, top box-er of sorts.

12 PP Robert Griffin III Box Cover

Card Design – 5 of 5

The cards for this set are awesome.  Panini did a great job of bringing in the shininess that we like and adding in some texture as well.  The cards have a feel of something from the future and the future is really cool…and shiny.  Everything pops in the card and has a great thickness with the card stock used.

12 PP Andrew Luck Rookie

Photography – 5 of 5

Each image appears to jump out of the card.  The players blend in and out of the border of the card and each picture has a bit of a 3D affect to them.  Again, there is minimal processing and a very high image quality.  The best part for me is the slight recess that traces the border of the player putting the focus on their intensity and emotion.

12 PP Jarius Wright Rookie

Hits – 3 of 5

The hits for me were terrible, but hey, the base cards are great and I don’t think you buy this brand for the hits.  You buy them for the quality of card along with the strong visual and textural quality of each card.  There were a couple of nice inserts in the box that offered a wide variety of players from Page to Peyton.

12 PP Peyton Manning Brilliance Alan Page Dec Dom

The Luke Kuechly auto is really cool and he seems to be one of the next great linebackers in the NFL.

12 PP Luke Kuechly Rookie Auto 201:299

There was a redemption

12 PP Isaiah Pead Auto Redemption

and there was a parallel die cut

12 PP Stephen Hill Rookie Red

Review

This is a great product and something i will be picking up next year.  I’m not a fan of the baseball version since i can’t get over the lack of logos or photoshopped hats and jerseys.  The quantity and quality of cards was great and i was able to get some of the base Redskins cards in my box.

12 PP Fred Davis Pierre Garcon 12 PP Brian Orakpo London Fletcher

Box Break: 2012 Topps Magic Football

A busted box of Topps Magic Football has been sitting on my stack of cards for some time now just waiting to get judged, and now is the time.

Magic was something that i got into (cards, not tricks) a couple of years ago on a whim at Target during a deodorant shopping event.  I saw a blaster box just sitting there and thought it would be a cool purchase and was hooked from that point on.  I loved the retro look and the college unis on simple borders.  Loved it so much so that i ended up buy a few more boxes from Target but never completing the set or buying any hobby packs.  The following year, 2010 i wanted to pick up a hobby box to see if i still had a crush on these pieces of cardboard and sure enough, the love was there.  I loved the photography and simple borders as well as the card stock.  Although i do love shiny cards, i am a sucker for matte finish stuff that is done well.  Again, i bought a bunch of cards, but couldn’t be bothered with completing the set…just wanted the few Redskins and any hits i could pull.  Now, in 2011, it got a little tricky…and extremely annoying.  Magic had become a set that i was tuned in to on when it would be dropping and where i could pick up some good packs.  BUT, as Topps likes to do sometimes, they changed the rules, moved the goal posts and upset this collector.  The only way to get a box of Magic was to purchase them from their online store and pay their exorbitant shipping fees, which was about the same price as the box itself if i remember correctly.  SCREW THAT, no thanks.  I was able to pick up a few singles from COMC and ebay but no packs, since they weren’t really issuing those this year.  I never really found out why Topps decided this was a good idea, but would love to hear the reasoning if someone can help?

After the previous years experience, i had pretty much forgotten about the Magic cards and moved on with my life as we do with Topps at times.  Until, i saw they were going to be releasing a new set and boxes that you can purchase at a store…holy crap!  You mean i can buy cards from a store and not online only?  Normally i wouldn’t be so snotty about this, as i am totally cool with purchasing online, i just don’t want my only options to be online purchases.  Takes away from the fun of busting packs on a Wednesday afternoon after work.

IMG_7695

So here is my take on the 2012 version of Topps Magic.

Card Design: 4 of 5

In keeping with the simple style, Topps has again followed through with the same KISS theme.  Minimal information is on the front, but you get the basics; name, position, conference, team helmet, and a whole bunch of stars that make no sense to me.  The banners blends in nicely with the border and unfolds to reveal the critical information like a scroll with an oversized shield.

12 TM Luck and Richardson

The backs are nice and include some fun little facts with the Magical Memoranda.  You don’t get your typical stats, but they tend to highlight some important information and single game stats for your FYI.  As usual, nice card stock and the lovely matte finish.  The matte finish is nice in a world of glossy cards.  They have become the rarity in the hobby for the most part, save for the vintage inspired sets.

Photography: 5 of 5

The thing that i am most drawn to this set about is the photography.  They have HDR’d the crap out of the photos and really over processed them, but i think it works well for these and tends to give the players a greater level of detail and grit.  My wife is a photographer and she tends to stay away from over processing as it always looks…you guessed it, over processed.  When you are doing family portraits or architectural photography it can become a distraction, but for professional athletes it works well.

12 TM Morris and Cousins

Look at the intensity in those eyes!

12 TM Bush and Vick

Hits: 4 of 5

The hits with this brand are minimal, which is fine with me.  I believe collectors get too hot and heavy about the hits.  If that is your thing, this set isn’t for you.  If you are OK with getting a nice auto or two than you may be happy with Magic.  I ended up pulling 2 autographs and a redemption card.  So, it’s not just Panini that is slapping me with redemption cards, Topps does it too.  I’ve stated my thoughts on the redemption card here before and thought about it a little more.  Still don’t like it, but maybe it’s not that bad…assuming you actually get the card.  There have been times when i forgot about my redemption cards and come home to a manilla envelope.  It’s like a little slice of cardboard heaven when you get one you weren’t really expecting.

12 TM Ronnie Hillman Magic Auto Redemption

There are a couple of subsets in the cards as well.  Nothing to exciting.  As a matter of fact, i must say that the Charismatic Combos is not only a weak insert, but a terrible name.  Charismatic Combos, christ that’s terrible.

12 TM Manning Cruz Charismatic Combos

The ultra mini cards are cool, but a little too mini for my man hands.  If i don’t get these in some penny sleeves quick they will have rounded corners.

12 TM Tannehill and Vick super Mini

There are also the Supernatural Stars, which are not that existential or starry either galactically or professionally.

12 TM Sanchez and Turner Supernatural Stars

Magic also has the Magical Moments inserts which makes sense, because it’s Magic.  Drew Brees is on a 3 Mile Island.  Cute.

12 TM Brees and Murray Magical Moments

I do like the Enchantment cards, especially the one that i pulled…big smiley face for the RG3.

12 TM Robert Griffin III Rookie Enchantment

There were also these other good looking young running backs that have some nice upside to their careers.

12 TM Martin and James

One of the autos i pulled was a Kaepernick.  The HDR affect does his tats some serious justice although his auto is crazy sloppy.  An odd thing about this card is the photoshop flub with his hands.  It looks like the photo editor cloned his left hand over the football…kind of a crappy job for a big time player.  Let’s try harder next time Mr. Topps Photoshop editor.

12 TM Colin Kaepernick Auto12 TM Marvin McNutt Auto

Review

Overall, i do like these cards a lot.  They are simple and clean and the photos are nice.  It’s a basic card and the price point isn’t too excessive for what you get.  I haven’t decided if i am going to build the set, i did manage to get quite a bit of unique cards and minimal doubles, so i will see how i feel about it.  I do hope that Topps issues these cards again next year and does not do the online only thing.

Here are a couple of the Redskins cards i pulled from the box.  Funny that they decided to include Jabar Gaffney since he wasn’t on the team this year and he is wearing RG3’s number.  Technically, there are two Redskin cards with a player wearing number 10.

12 TM Robert Griffin III 12 TM Jabar Gaffney

Topps Magic, I like you.

Box Break: 2012 Panini Limited Football

The final piece to the Panini America order that i received last week is two boxes of Limited Football.  If you read the previous post you noticed there was an asterisk next to the order…well for some reason or another i ordered one box of Limited and was sent two.  Not really sure why, i assumed it was due mainly in part to Panini’s love for their customers and a way to buy a great review…i kid!  Either way, i am greatly appreciative of the extra box and will now take the time to review what i received!Limited opened

Limited is another one of those one pack, great hit or not so great hit products.  With each box, you receive 7 shiny cards in one pack that looks like it should have some pop tarts in it.  I’m really hungry and it’s way past my bed time…Looking at the back of this box i see a significant amount of inserts and parallels…significantly more than the Crown Royale box.  The base set contains 235 cards with 100 commons, 50 legends, 50 phenoms and 35 material phenoms.  I’m going to guess that a phenom is a rookie…possibly a second year player? i don’t really know, just spit ballin here.  Either way, it’s going to be a difficult set to collect with the amount of boxes i plan on buying…unless Panini wants to keep sending me some free product.  BIG SMILEY FACE!

Card Design – 4.5 of 5

Gotta say i really like the design of these cards.  Love the grid action in the background, very architectural…which is great since that’s what i do for a day job, makes me feel comfortable.  Plus the grid pattern fades to silver at the bottom of the card which is can or cannot be sexy…this one is sexy.  There is a constant theme on the cards, whether they be parallels or base cards.  One thing i’ve noticed about a lot of cards from Panini is that they like to have the edited photo on the front of the card and the unedited game action photo version on the back.  Kind of like this, makes for some nice consistency…plus a great way to show off the staffs great photoshop and photo editing work…oh crap, i’m seeping in to the other portion of the review…

B2 Joe Flacco 358:399

Photography – 4 of 5

As i was saying…the unedited photos on the back are great!  The photos are once again crisp and focused on the player which i truly do enjoy.  One interesting shot is the Jack Lambert card and how sharp it is.  The Mean Joe Green card from the Leaf Signatures wasn’t nearly as crisp as this one…wonder why?  The photos were probably taken from around the same time…thoughts?  Love the photos.  Panini managed to get to the knees for most of the players…but still no feet…wonder how Rex Ryan would feel about that?

B1 Jack Lambert Legend 174:349

Hits – 4.5 of 5

Oh the hits.  As i mentioned in my last post, you have to look at the hits you got, not the hits you wanted…or else you will be a miserable person.  As my mom would say, ‘suck it up buttercup’.  That said, I pulled a redemption Jumbo Jersey Signature of Joe Adams.  First off, i have absolutely no idea who Joe Adams is…haven’t googled him yet, maybe i missed something this year, but this guy is way off my radar.  Second, i really HATE redemptions. HATE-HATE-HATE!  It’s like waking up on Christmas morning as a kid at 8am and being told you have to wait to open your presents after your grandparents arrive…and they aren’t coming until 3pm…your just standing there looking at your wrapped gifts wondering what in the hell it could be!  Just waiting…It is what it is though…at least i didn’t pull another Dontari Poe auto!  On the flip side of the redemption…i pulled an Andrew Luck jersey card numbered to 25, pretty dope.  Not a big Luck fan only because he doesn’t play for the Redskins, but a great card and a great guy/player.  I pulled a couple other autos that are OK, nothing too exciting.  BUT i also pulled a Len Dawson game used card.  My first look at the card was, great…a jersey from an old guy…but then i looked closer, you have to do that kids, look closer!  It’s a game used helmet!  A GAME USED HELMET!  I didn’t even know that was a thing with cards?  Had no idea they were doing this and I think it’s wonderful.  The card is pretty cool.  I keep tapping it with my nail, probably not a great idea, but it’s just so cool.

Len Dawson Stadium Stars Game Used Helmet 13/55B2 Len Dawson Stadium Stars Helmet13:55

This Thing…

B2 Joe Adams Jumbo Jersey Redemption

Case Keenum Phenom Auto 191/249

B2 Case Keenum Phenom Auto 191:249

Vincent Jackson Autograph 2/25

B1 Vincent Jackson Auto 2:25

Vernon Davis Limited Threads Jersey 14/25

B1 Vernon Davis Limited Threads Jersey 14:25

Andrew Luck Blue Chip Jersey 5/99

B1 Andrew Luck Blue Chip jersey 5:99

Review

That’s it, both boxes have been looked at.  I really like this product…a lot.  The cards are fantastic and the hits i pulled were not bad at all…except for the redemption…but i’m dealing with it.  As with Crown Royale, not sure if I will purchase any more of this product due mostly to the cost but I can definitely see myself buying one next year.  If i could offer up only one suggestion, it would be that they wrap the cards in something a little nicer than the silver package…but that’s really it…well that and try to minimize the redemption cards. -HTTR!