Box Break: 2012 Panini Absolute Football

I am way behind on reviewing some of the boxes I have opened in the past few months, mostly focusing on cards that i’ve picked up at card shows.  I have a few lined up, so here is the first one.  Panini Absolute Football.

Like most of Panini’s cards now, you can buy a retail version and a hobby version but the quality is quite different.  As a set collector this would drive me insane, but since i don’t plan on putting this set together, it’s no worries to me.  I do think this is a great way to differentiate between a hobby card and something you can pick up at Target, good for the hobby and collectors in my opinion, but allows the fringe collectors to afford different brands of cards.

12 PA Santana Moss

Card Design – 4 of 5

The base card for Absolute is pretty clean.  Photo of the player on the front along with his name and position as well as the team name along the bottom.  The greatness of these cards for me is the vertical gradation in the colors from left to right, or right to left depending on your culture.  The gradation gives them a nice light show or a cardboard Pink Floyd laser show look to the card.  Groovy.

12 PA Aaron Hernandez

The one thing i’m not liking about these cards is the card stock.  Seems really thin for the amount of money these guys cost.  I also wasn’t crazy about the overall packaging by Panini.  You get the display box, and a pack box…with a cello wrapped cards inside.  That’s quite a bit of packaging for a box of cards, wouldn’t you agree?

12 PA Ray Lewis

Living in the Pacific NW, all the extra wrapping is heavily frowned upon.  Yes, we are those people that bring their bags to the grocery store and ride our bikes to work in the rain.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Photography – 4 of 5

Panini has the waist up photos locked down.  They do a great job of focusing on the player, allowing them to take up most of the photo space available on the card.  All the cards i’ve seen appear to be game action photos and give you a good view of their eyes.  No over processing or out of control editing for these cards either.  Another good job by Panini.

12 PA Frank Gore

Hits – 4 of 5

No Redskin hits here, but when you get any card autographed and numbered to 10 it’s a good thing, and it’s an even greater thing when that player is AJ Green.  This may be one of the best hits i’ve had in a long while.  It is a sticker auto, but i will let that slide for a perennial pro bowler card numbered to 10!  Not really a Bengals fan or an AJ collector, but the guy has proven to be a beast in his first couple of seasons.

12 PA AJ Green Spectrum Auto 3:10

The other hits were fairly nice as well.  Brandon Weeden came through with a nice looking jersey card but he looks completely unimpressed in this photo…or thoroughly confused, you be the judge?

12 PA Brandon Weeden War Room Jersey 4:49

I Like the Terrance Ganaway autograph, it has a nice flair to it.  The card itself has a ton of great color in person and is very attractive (much better than the scan!)

12 PA Terrance Ganaway Spectrum Auto 46:299

Review

I was pretty happy with the box i received.  Nice hits and i really love the design of these cards.  If i have a few extra bucks to spend on cards laying around next year, i can see myself picking up a box for 2013.  Although, with my desire to spend less on boxes and packs I doubt i can justify the cost for the value.

12 PA Vick Ballard 215:399

Opening each pack was cool, although i think it was a bit excessive packaging.  It was nice that i could open one or two as i wanted, can’t have everything i guess.  I think Panini can do a better job of their future packaging.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Box Break: 2012 Panini Crown Royale

Time goes so fast sometimes.  Work deadlines and doing my best job to be a good husband and father, sometimes my hobbies get pushed aside.  It’s all worth it, but sometimes i do like a little me time to open some overpriced packs and look at all the shiny new cards money can buy.

As part of my recent shopping binge of football cards, i ordered a few boxes from Panini and am finally getting around to the last three on the four* box order.  The asterisk will be explained in the next posting…betcha can’t wait, huh?!

Crown Royale unopened

I know i’m probably a little late on some of these, but my thing of late has not been timeliness but rather tardiness.  So i’m going to review a box that has been out for a few weeks now…and they call it Crown Royale, pardon me while i pour some Royal Crowne in my glass…The 4 pack box contains 5 cards each and should apparently only be opened by anybody that is over the age 9.  The base set consists of 285 cards that contain 150 commons, 100 rookies and 35 rookie silhouettes.  I guess that’s great news if you are in to that sort of thing…collecting this set isn’t for me though.  I’m only looking for a good set of hits (wordplay!)  As i type, i’m looking at the underside of the box and seeing some crazy amounts of insert series.  Blue. Silver. Red. Rookies. Legends…and for some reason, Purple.  I’m not one to judge, only observe.  With that off my chest, here is my review of the 2012 Crown Royale cards from Panini.

Card Design – 3.5 of 5

I’ve always been enamored with die cut cards and the Crown Royale brand has been out for quite a few years now, but this is my first ever box of these guys.  The first thing i notice is how freakin awkward it is sorting through them out of the pack!  They were slipping through my fingers and sliding down my hand…crazy.  As most collectors do, i attempt to be extremely cautious with the cards from the get go, but when they are sliding all over the place, makes it a little difficult…especially when you toss in a random ‘normal’ card.  No cards were dropped though, so no harm no foul.  Although the cards are initially attractive to me, upon further review i find them a little odd.  I think the crown is just too much of a visual distraction that player gets lost in the card.  Not to mention, die cuts always present their own issues with dinged corners and such.  Nice cards, but not my cup of bourbon.

P4 Ray Lewis

Photography – 3.5 of 5

Panini always seems to have great photos for their cards and do a fantastic job of focusing on the player that the card is for.  My biggest complaint though is that all of these phenomenal athletes have been disembowled from their waist down, even Ray Lewis could get Jesus to bail him out on this one…but seriously…i understand that most of the cards are landscape oriented and it demands these types of photos to make the concept work, but even the portrait cards have chopped waists.  All i’m saying is that i really love legs and feet, but that’s something i need to deal with at another time…on my own.  Is anyone else disturbed by the veins in Andre Johnson’s arms?

P1 Andre Johnson Majestic Motion

Hits – 4.5 of 5

This is tough for me, and I realize that this is the case with all sets but if you don’t like the hits you get you probably won’t like the hits.  I didn’t pull anyone I really care about, so i need to be objective about this one.  The hits with the product are really nice.  They are nice and clean.  All of the guys i pulled were rookies, so not much to complain about there.  The Ronnie Hillman card is pretty spectacular with the multi color patch and autograph.  As with the majority of product out there, the autos are not on card, at least the ones i pulled.  Normally i don’t have an issue with this as i understand these guys are busy and it’s significantly easier to have the players sign sheets of stickers rather than single cards.  BUT when you get guys signing off the sticker like the Janoris Jenkins card it’s a little disheartening and a sad sight for such a beautiful card.  I also take issue with the placement of the auto sticker on the Ronnie Hillman card…it’s a little sloppy for an mid tier product.  All together though, the hits are nice…just would have been nice if one was a Redskin…just saying.  Alfred Morris or Kirk Cousins would have been nice…or an RGIII!

David Wilson Rookie Royalty 93 of 149

P4 David Wilson Jersey Rookie Royalty1

Janoris Jenkins 6 of 25

P3 Janoris Jenkins Auto 6:25

Quinton Coples 14 of 25

P1 Quintin Couples Auto 14:25

Ronnie Hillman 345 of 349

P2 Ronnie Hillman Auto Patch 345:349

Review

As a complete product i don’t have too much to complain about.  Most of my input is based on personal preference rather than flaws in the product.  I do like the cards and getting 4 packs to open with nice hits was a lot of fun to open.  I enjoy the single pack boxes, but it’s always nice to have a couple chances for a real BIG hit…always hold out hope as we do with this hobby.  The next pack could be the big one!  I can’t see buying another box of Crown Royale this year unless i get a great deal on a box, but I wold definitely look to pick one up next year assuming the budget can handle this product.  Another nice job by Panini. -HTTR!