Saturday, December 15, 2012

Product Review: 2012 Panini Rookie & Stars Longevity Hobby Box

One of the puzzling pieces in the Football card industry is the Longevity line from Panini.  These show up in the Regular Rookie & Stars Product as numbered inserts earlier in the year, only to come back as it's own full set and Hobby Box. Now these are not numbered or have the Longevity type across the card fronts, but they are the same cards. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the Longevity Hobby Box that came out this week, I'm just puzzled in the way the line is introduced.

The Hobby boxes that were out in the market this week provided you with 10 packs per box with 5 cards per pack. Oh and you will receive a guaranteed four hits! Yes four autographs and/or memorabilia cards per box. And the price you will expect to pay, just around $50. A low end product, that will provide you with four hits per box and that will also provide you with rookies, inserts and Ruby Red parallels.

Now I was excited for this product to come out being that it yielded four hits, but I knew that for the price of $50 you can't expect to receive top notch patches or autographs in every box. I was assuming the basic single color relics we have seen with other low end products. Anything above this would be a bonus in my mind.

Here is the product break down per box; 1 Greatest Hits, 1 Statistical Standouts, 2 Ruby Red Parallel Rookies, 2 Ruby Red Parallel Commons, 10 Rookies and 4 Autograph and/or Memorabilia cards. This leaves you with 30 common cards from the box to try and build the 150 base set without the rookies (215 with the rookie base included). Not a bad line for a $50 hobby box, plus with this years rookie group doing well on the field you could run away with some decent hits.

Again Panini has surrounded another product with this years rookies for the Autographs and Memorabilia which is never a bad thing to receive as a collector. Some of the hits could be numbered as low as /15 and up to /99, but you are mainly looking at non-numbered hits within the box. Again if you pull any of the numbered hits or Autograph from this box you have done very well.

So when my hobby shop called me on Wednesday about this product he was only able to bring in four boxes for the store. I had him hold onto three of them for me and went in on Thursday to pick them up.Again I wasn't expecting much but looking forward to breaking the product.

Here are my results:

Box #1:
Base: 30 (no doubles)
Rookies: 10 (no doubles)
Ruby Red Commons: Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates
Ruby Red Rookies: Ronnell Lewis, George Iloka
Statistical Standout: Calvin Johnson
Greatest Hits: NaVorro Bowman
Freshman Orientation Memorabilia: , Stephan Hill, LaMichael James, Michael Floyd
Dress for Success Memorabilia: Ashlon Jeffery

Box #2:
Base: 30 (no doubles)
Rookies: 10 (no doubles)
Ruby Red Commons: Peyton Manning, Eric Decker
Ruby Red Rookies: Nick Perry, B.J. Cunningham
Statistical Standout: Tom Brady
Greatest Hits: Noamukong Suh
Freshman Orientation Memorabilia: Robert Turbin, Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson
Dress for Success Memorabilia: Stephan Hill

Box #3:
Base: 30 (no doubles)
Rookies: 10 (no doubles)
Ruby Red Commons: Troy Polamalu, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ruby Red Rookies: Bryce Brown, Luke Kuechly
Statistical Standout: Calvin Johnson
Greatest Hits: Mario Williams
Freshman Orientation Memorabilia: Coby Fleener,
Dress for Success Memorabilia: Brian Quick, Nick Foles
Autograph Jersey Rookie card: #238 Michael Egnew /25

So a couple of things to notice about this product. First and for most; the hits are all noticeable and were the first two packs on both the left and right side of the box. if you plan on buying this by pack see about doing this only from a freshly opened box you have seen. If not you will be receiving a very thin pack with five cards in it. Those thin packs will be the ones with either a Ruby Red parallel or an insert. Granted these aren't the ones that we are looking for but they will provide something along with base cards. Secondly these cards can easily end up being bent due to the light card stock, so be careful when ripping these packs. They aren't the best to open and rip in different spots instead of a clean rip. And the last thing to notice about these cards is that it is an all or nothing assortment you could find. My first box was maybe the worst box I opened this year for player hits, but the second box yielded two top pick hits and two decent hits to follow.
All of the hits I received were not numbered except for the third box when I pulled the Egnew Auto/Jersey card numbered to 25. That was a nice hit for this product, again unexpected to receive a numbered one even with a mid-low level player.
All the hit cards (as expected) were single color swatches, but I ended up with a total of twelve hits for around $150 for three boxes. Mind you I didn't have a return of that $150 I put into buying the product so again you need to be cautious as this product will not bring you profits. Unless you pull the Andrew Luck or RGIII Auto/Jersey RC's numbered to /15 this is an expected result for this product.
Overall it was a fun pull to see who the hits were and the Ruby Red's were a nice added touch, so if your looking for a low end product that will give you some hits this is the one to buy for 2012.

Gambler Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 2/5
Memorabilia: 4/5
Parallels: 4/5
Rookies: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 4/5

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Product Review: 2012 Leaf Cut Signature Edition

I don't really like to dabble into a non-sport product but I recently was able to obtain a box of 2012
Leaf Cut Signature Edition for a decent price and decided to buy it. This box is the same as the other Cut Signature products Leaf produces. You receive 1 Cut Autograph slabbed in a BGS holder, most I've seen are numbered and you could also pull dual autographs.

The subjects in this product are mainly from the entertainment industry but also include some interesting historic people as well. You may even find a President or music icon in the product, so much to be sought after.

Now again this is far and away from sports products but I decided to take a chance on it. I really enjoy Cut Signatures and was mainly hoping to just pull someone I would know.

Well I guess I got someone I knew at least. I pulled this Ozzie Osbourne Cut Autograph #'d /35. It was worth the gamble I suppose. I could have received someone else better or could have gone the opposite and pulled a dud. Either way I think for a Slabbed BGS Cut Signature it is worth the gamble on at least 1 of these. As a collector of Cut Autographs this is your product, some risk in the buy but also could bring in some rewards if the right Cut is pulled.

Gambler Overall Rating: 3.9 out of 5
Cost: 3.5/5
Autographs: 5/5 
Checklist: 4/5
Design: 4/5
Concept: 4/5
Fun Aspect: 3/5

Sunday, December 02, 2012

**Update - 2012 Topps Heritage High Numbers Set**

As I reported back in October, Topps came out with a Heritage High Numbers Baseball set that was only available through their site.

Adding to the only being available through Topps, the sets were limited to only 1000 produced, and they each came along with an autographed card.

The sets sold out a few days after they went live for Pre-sale and speculation went wild over who the autographs would be. Topps released the 20 player checklist for autographs and they included the top three rookies of Bryce Harper, Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes. Not to mention that Red Ink autographs numbered out of 10 were also included for some players.

So not only were the sets limited to 1000 for base cards, but the autographs were very low numbered as well. At the early start of these hitting eBay, Bryce Harper was selling between $50-$60. Now you can manage to win one at around the $34 range or so. Still a decent price for a rookie of Harper that is limited.
Autographs were also reaching very high numbers for the top players along with some of the Red-Ink autographs that reached the site.

I just received my set this past Friday which to me took a little long to receive since I paid $24.84 USPS priority mail. I was anxious to see what the set looked like and also who my autograph would be. Here are my observations:
The set is packaged in a nice and neat 100 card box with Harper on it. Has the Topps holographic seal on the package top so you know it is factory sealed. I opened the box very carefully as I noticed one card was in between the box lid opening and the box. The box is very tight and trying not to rip the box to open it took a lot of patience and skill.
Once I opened the box the card that was between the lid opening and box was Adam Wainwright. I took him out first, no damage on him so I was happy about that. I then took the first 20 or cards out of the box carefully and started looking at the players. I turned over to the back of the cards and noticed that the set isn't in order. Not 2 cards were in the proper order of the set.
This was a little frustrating as I then had to pull the rest of the set and put them in order. Luckily I wasn't missing any cards and the big rookies were in there without any damage.

The Autograph card was the last card in the box. I pulled it out carefully as well and I received Trevor Bauer from the Arizona Diamondbacks with a Blue Ink Autograph. A nice pull from the autograph checklist for this set.
Overall I was a little disappointed in the way the set was set in the box, but was happy with the autograph I received. All the cards needed to be carefully pulled from the box in order not to damage any of them. I think I'll be putting them into another 100 card holder so they stay fresh and crisp. For the $100 cost that some people was complaining about for the set I still think it was worth it, even without the Autograph included. This set should hold a long term value as some of the players in here are already stars and some might be in the coming years. If your able to find a factory sealed set for a decent price I would jump on it. If your not interested in the autograph, base sets should be found in the plenty and are worth the price as well to pick up for the long term value.