Thursday, September 12, 2013

Product Review: 2013 Panini Rookie and Stars Football Hobby Box

Last week we picked up the 2013 edition of Panini Rookie & Stars. This product has a strong following with collectors due mostly to it's value per box. Boxes tend to hover around the $100 or less mark and deliver 4 hits per box.

Here's some specs on the product; 24 packs per box with 8 cards per pack. The Base set is 200 cards with 100 of those as Rookies. You'll be able to finish the 100 card base set of the veterans but you'll be short on the rookies by around 75%. You'll find 16 inserts or parallels within the box which could be a combinations of the two and include the Longevity series of the Rookies & Stars brand.

As mentioned above you will pull four hits per box which could be Autographs and/or Memorabilia. With the focus on Rookies, you are most certain to be pulling them in this area, however you could find a veteran in your box but the odds of finding one are scarce with lower print runs.

This product is one step higher than Panini's Score brand and offers more value with the Hits per box and the Longevity inserts/parallels. It could be considered a low-end product in the market place, but considering the possible hits you could pull is leans more to of the lower mid-range products.

Here's how we did in our box:

Base Cards: 150 (50 doubles)
Base Card Rookies: 24 (0 doubles)
Base Card Longevity: 4 - Steve Smith, Adrian Peterson, Conner Vernon RC, Jasper Collins RC
Base Card Longevity Holo Foil: 1 - Marques Colston /99
Statistical Standouts: 2 - Eric Decker, Aaron Rogers
Touchdown Club: 2 - Cam Newton, Antonio Gates
Game Plan: 2 - Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub
NFL Nation: 2 - Steven Jackson, DeSean Jackson
Panini Crusade: 3 - Andrew luck, Dion Jordan, Landry Jones
Longevity Signatures: 2 - Jon Bostic, Kerwynn Williams
Rookie & Stars Relic: 1 - Matt Barkley
Slideshow Autograph: 1 - Robert Woods /100
Slideshow: 1 - Vance McDonald /17 SP

The base cards look a little extra nice this year with the players image overlapping the team name on the side. Nice touch to a basic design instead of just a different border. We completed the 100 card base set but ended up with 50 doubles. Compared to only 24 rookies pulled in the box it would be a little better to have maybe 20 or so more rookies and less doubles in the base cards. Understandably knowing the rookies are much harder to obtain the set of I could contradict our point by saying 24 rookies is a good amount. However, would still like a better ratio in terms of doubles to rookies. Longevity has always been a staple of this product and pulling 5 of these in the box temps you into buying more of the product or singles to try to make that difficult set. The Foil stock is the same as in the past so watch for corner dings in packs or in the secondary market.
Inserts of plenty in this product again and each with different designs and themes than last year. They are decent for this product but you wouldn't expect much more.
New this year is the Crusade inserts. These are very hot and they look great. We pulled 3 in our box and we've seen/heard of sometimes 4 per box. the secondary market will be a feeding ground for them and collecting this insert set would be a lot of fun. We didn't pull any parallels but they are still top notch.
The two Longevity Signatures were nothing too fancy. Both sticker autographs of two rookies, only thing I would change is that the Longevity Signatures all had the Longevity Foil technology. We also pulled a Relic in our box of Matt Barkley. Nice design and nothing too fancy but still a relic.
The two big surprises in our box were the Slideshow cards. First pulled was the Vance McDonald, very cool design and innovation with the film embedded into the card. Only numbered to 17 this is the lowest numbered Slideshow in the product. The Robert Woods came near the end of the break and was double cool with the on-card autograph on the film slide. Again technology to embed these into the cards is very nice and both are interesting collectors pieces.
Overall we did really well with this box. We came out with a complete base set of the first 100 cards, and two really cool Slideshow hits. Panini continues to provide really great value to collectors and this is yet another great example of a $100 product providing that value. For the NFL collecting fan this is a perfect product for you to pick up and we just might grab another one to see what else we can pull from a box. Good luck on yours.

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 4/5
Parallels: 5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Concept: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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