Thursday, June 06, 2013

Product Review: 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology Hobby Box

This is a very exciting time for anyone collecting hockey products. Not only will the Double Rookie Class be out within the next few months but 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology just came out! Our Hockey Product of the year for 2012 was back and we were very excited to see what surprises Panini had for us collectors.

Back for it's second year, Anthology brings together a nice 100 card base set that includes gold foil stamping on the front of the cards this year. The key to Anthology though is the inserts, autographs and memorabilia that is packed into each box. Let's start with the inserts; just like last year, Panini has included it's other Hockey Brands into Anthology. The brands include Elite, Crown Royale, Contenders, Titanium, and the popular Luxury Suite. The inserts are spread among these brands which provide some really nice new designs in the product. Most of the inserts are numbered but you will find some not numbered.

Autographs are plenty within this years product and provide some of the rookies from last year including Krug, Baertschi and Kreider. These are found in a number of different mixed brands, but are most sought after in the Rookie Treasures line. These come in three different 3 levels with a different serial number and player at each level starting with /699 down to patches at /25.

Panini's Memorabilia has always been very well done and they are especially great about patches and dual color pieces. This is no exception with Anthology, you will find Swatches, Jumbo Patches, and Sticks. We're sure they might have other goodies in there as well but these are the ones we have heard or seen thus far. Typically you won't find a serial number on swatches or singles pieces of relics with Panini. however on the patches, dual swatches and other memorabilia pieces they will always include them. Most times they are low serial numbers as well. The Rookies swatches are in the 700 range as stated above for the Rookie treasures, but they do include an autograph.

Panini Prizm is in full flight with Football starting it last year and Baseball continuing earlier this year. No surprise to anyone when Panini announced that Hockey was joining into the fray. To start it off right, Panini also stated that this years Box Topper in Anthology was going to be a three card pack of Prizm. Pretty cool and great way to get the Prizm name out among hockey collectors. The three card pack could also include a hit in them which include Red, Blue or Gold parallels or even Autographs.

Some of the basics of each hobby box goes as follows: Panini has continued with the same packaging format with 10 packs per box and 5 cards per pack. This does not include the 1 bonus box topper pack of Prizm. Each box is to include 4 Memorabilia or Autograph cards with at least 1 Autograph per box.

So from the beginning of this year Anthology has been on our minds and very much anticipated. Hate having very high hopes for a product and then once it arrives it isn't what you thought it should and could be so we tried to stay calm and wait for June 5th. Well the day came and we opened our first of many boxes to come for 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology, lets see how we did:

Base Cards: 43 (0 doubles)
Elite Rookies: 1 - Jordan Nolan /999
Contenders Legacies: 1 - Doug Gilmour /999
Contenders Hart Trophy: 1 - Evgeni Malkin /999
Contenders Vezina Trophy: 1 - Carey Price /999
Contenders Stanley Cup: 1 - Sidney Crosby /999
Elite Intensity: 1 - Steven Stamkos /500
Titanium Game Gear Swatch: 1 - Erik Karlsson
Crown Royale Lords of the NHL Swatch: 1 - Shane Doan
Luxury Suite Pacific Relic: 1 - John Tavares (Stick)
Titanium Bronze Autograph: 1 - Brandon Mashinter
Rookie Treasures Autograph/Dual Relic: 1 - Lane Macdermid /699
Crown Royale Towering Defenders: 1 - Shea Weber Prime Patch /10
Prizm Base Cards: 2 - Jarome Iginla, Carter Ashton
Prizm Autograph: 1 - Chay Genoway Prizm Refractor

Wow is the only word we thought of after busting open this box. The base design this year is great. The added gold foil mentioned above does really add something to the cards. Very sharp looking and overall look and feel is improved from 2011-12.
We like the Elite Rookies insert even though it is a little plain. Still they are numbered out of /999 which is the norm with these cards. The Contenders Legacies is also a nice card, but again a little plain. Understanding they are taking Black and White photography and putting it onto a white border card can never be easy. These will create value as they are also numbered /999 and the checklist has a lot of hall of fame players in there.
The Contenders Awards cards are really nice. Each of them are numbered /999 and we just happened to pull three of the top payers in the NHL. The Black background on the cards with the Trophies front and center are a really nice design.
A really cool insert we pulled was the Steven Stamkos Intensity. this is a acetate card and almost looks like it's an artist sketch of Stamkos. Really light weight and very clear and non-scratched card. These are only /500 which could prove to become a very good investment to get them early on for your collection. We can see these jumping up in price and staying strong on the secondary market.
Onto the Relics; the first two up are the Karlsson and Doan relics. These are pretty simple and not too exciting relics that came out of the box. Both card designs are nice and the relics are clean.
The next Relic is the Tavares Stick from Luxury Suite. This is a really nice hit and could be a bonus hit in this box. Not too sure but we didn't see anyone else pull one of these in their boxes. Either way a nice hit and player match on this one.
Our first rookie autograph is Mashinter in the Bronze Titanium. Not too bad but not serial numbered. So you could only guess how many of these were produced. Not too bad a design on these ones. Finding on in Silver would look just as nice as well. Our second rookie autograph was our Rookie Treasures of Lane Macdermid. Similar to last years design with the dual jersey autographs but with a little more gold trim and designs on the corners. These are really nice and wanted rookie cards for collectors.
In our last pack of the box we were amazed to pull this Shea Weber Prime Patch numbered out of only 10 cards. The patch it's self is not thick but does incorporate three colors of the jersey.
Lastly Prizm. We saved this bonus box topper pack till last and was surprised to find the Genoway Prizm Autograph. It's not numbered but still a nice Autograph parallel which should draw a lot of interest in the secondary markets. The Prizm design is the same as the Football and Baseball before it. Really like this product and can't wait for it to be released this year.
Overall this is a must buy for anyone. We were lucky to come away with six hits in the box not including the Genoway Prizm Autograph which would make it seven! With a guarantee of 4 hits per box I'm sure a lot of collectors will be finding extra bonus hits within their boxes. This is not a box to be looking for or collecting rookies, but more so the hits. Even the numbered inserts are really great in the product and add a lot of value to your box. Boxes are running at around $100 currently at the release date and should stay consistently at that price for the year. For a loaded product like Anthology you can't get much better than this. We'll have to see if this years product can hold on to product of the year, so far it's looking really good.

Most cards we pull in our breaks end up in our COMC account (ThePackGambler), eBay account (thepackgambler) or within our sites storefront ( If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 3.5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Parallels: 5/5
Concept: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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