I have never had as much disdain for a set than I do for Prizm. Although its not the set that I think is the ugliest, or even has the worst content, its the one I have come to despise more than anything. I think the main reason is the fact that it is SUCH a blatant rip off of Chrome, and executed so poorly. Its not even worthy of being called Diet Chrome, or anything in between. Its exactly what Panini stands for, and that says a lot about the brand they have tried to build within the hobby.
Here is where Prizm started – 2012 Football:
Here is the next version, which continued to be awful – 2013 Football:
Ever since the DLP takeover, it seems like the plan has been to produce knockoff versions of every product made successfully by competitors, and throw a hype train behind it. Its not a bad marketing strategy, no doubt about it, but collectors have fallen for this charade for so long that it makes me nauseous. Prizm is the epitome of this, taking the most popular product of the year and trying to copy cat the entire run down to the Blue Wave refractors. If it was done well, and done with a different tone, then maybe it wouldnt look like the Foakley Sunglasses you can buy on the streets of New York in comparison to the real thing.
Instead, we are left with 14 different parallels based almost 100 percent on ones that Topps has done well over the last few years. These are coupled with some of the worst insert sets I have ever seen in a product since Leaf Initial Steps. Sprinkle in some stickers with giant defined white spaces behind them, and that’s PRIZM! YAY!
What I have come to understand is that Collectors sometimes mirror a personality of a small baby. They love shiny things. If its shiny with color – get out of the way to avoid the stampede. Topps has found a way to appease this fancy, but not leave behind the design element of it either. Its one of the main reasons that Chrome is still one of the most popular products of the year.
Panini just thinks they can die cut their way through it – fake it till you make it. Add in more shiny, more stickers, more oddly shaped cards, and collectors will come running. Instead, things tend to soften faster than ever, once people start to realize how horrendous the product usually is.
Ill be the first to say the base design is better than the previous two years. I will also say that the way they have chosen to do the autos is better than the last two years. However, despite the improvements, its still a cheap knockoff. Just like National Treasures is a cheap knockoff of Exquisite, and so on and so forth. If they can find a way to improve the quality along the way, maybe ill consider changing my viewpoint.