Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Product Review: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball Hobby Box

 When Panini first came out with the Prizm brand in mid 2012 with Basketball a lot of people within the community asked if this would extend into other sports. Soon Football followed and the news of Baseball came shortly after. Now the flip side to this product was that it is a 2012 Product released in 2013. A lot of this had to do with the MLBPA license being finalized for Panini to produce baseball cards. Once the approvals were complete and rules and regulations were confirmed Panini was able to introduce Prizm to the baseball collectors.
Once we heard that Prizm was coming to baseball we knew this would be a hot product. It was expected to have the same flash of the Basketball and football releases along with some differences for the baseball audience.
The basics of the product are as follows, 20 packs per hobby box with 6 cards per pack. base set is 200 cards deep which includes 2012 Rookies including Harper, Darvish, Cespedes, Lawrie and many more rookies. The debate across the community has been asked if these are real RC's of the players or because they don't have the MLB logo's on the uniforms and it's being released a year late should they be considered nothing but a base card in a Panini set?
Our own opinion is that these are Rookie cards. They have an RC logo on them, and they were made and called the year of their rookie season. So We say Yes, while we can see the argument on the other side.

Back to the set; each base card will have three Prizm parallels to chase down called Prizms, Gold Prizms and Black Prizms. They are very similar to Chrome Refractors issued by Topps in various products. These nice parallel cards are also found within the inserts Elite Extra Edition (1:20), Dominance (1:10), Top Prospects (1:20), Brilliance (1:20), Rookie Relevance (1:20), Team MVP (1:10) and Team USA (1:20). Now the stated odds of these Parallels and inserts can vary as these odds are the set allotment for a box, however Panini has stated that you will receive 3 Prizm Parallels along with 12 additional inserts/parallels per Hobby box.
Rounding out the specifics on the box, you will find 2 autographs per hobby box. From everything we have seen these will all be sticker autographs. Now with sticker only autographs you would think that there would not be any redemption's, but we have heard of some showing up for some players.

Well lets see how we did on our break;
Base cards: 102 (0 doubles)
Prizm: 4 - Cano, Strasburg, Howard, Brilliance Hernandez
Elite Extra Edition 1 - Albert Almora
Top Prospect 1 - Dylan Bundy
Brilliance 1 - Felix Hernandez
Dominance 2 - Seaver, Verlander
Rookie Relivance 2 - Montero, Darvish
Team MVP 2 - bruce, Kemp
Team USA 4 - Upton, Jackson, Kershaw, Posey
Autographs 2 - Dellin Betances, Lucas Duda

Overall we were pleased with the quality and design of the cards. While opening the box it felt just like a Topps Chrome product with very similar aspects. The base card design is very nice and crisp. The photography of some of the players are really well done to hide the MLB logos on the uniforms where as you wouldn't think of this as a non-licensed MLB product. On the other hand there are some cards that don't look the best and standout among the set. Our assortment of base was split up with 61 current players, 14 retired, and 27 Rookies. A very nice mixed of base cards. You won't make a complete base set with one box but you will walk away with zero doubles and a good assortment.
The inserts are done nicely in Prizm. Unique in each design and player selection which make them cool to collect the insert sets of each one. They should do well in the secondary market as they have different odds and not really go with the released odds provided from Panini. The Extra Edition and the Team USA seem to be the best of the bunch and will carry a following for both.
Trying to stay away from saying "not a fan of sticker autographs" but really can't. If these were on-card signatures the product might have a stronger following. This could be something in the future that Panini could look at if they want to dive deeper into the Baseball world. The Betances and Duda are two of the lower end autographs in the checklist but there are some big names in there to find.
For a box just under $100 this is a great start for Panini into the baseball collecting world. We didn't pull any of the big autos or tough Gold or Black Prizm's but could see that those would be great pulls out of this product. We recommend this product for anyone looking for a baseball box under $100 and those that enjoy Chrome technology. This product will rival Topps Chrome in the next couple of years if Panini continues moving forward into the baseball market.

As always if there are any cards you are looking for or interested in please let us know via e-mail at We plan on putting some of the cards on COMC and the hits of might end up in a Gambler Giveaway.

Remember to stop by our website for Singles, Boxes and Box breaks.
You can find our breaks here:

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

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