For the first time in almost three years, I am intrigued by cards that Panini has previewed. I wont say that I am impressed at all with the overall body of work for 2011 Playbook, but the rookie hard signed booklets that will anchor this set do look pretty good. However, when considering just how many sticker autographs Panini is dumping into their SUPER high end products, I cannot support ANOTHER set that is just National Treasures in a different packout format.
First off, these rookie books are interesting to say the least. Jumbo prime swatch window, hard signed autograph, white dominated design, all are good elements to the card. Although I CANNOT STAND studio shots of any player on any football cards, these could look a lot worse. I wish they had gone more the direction of the Aldon Smith Rookie card instead of the studio shot, but for the most part, these look better than the NT Rookie Patch autos.
I also like the overall structure of the sets theme, as I believe it will definitely be one that people will enjoy. However, when this is the second product of the year with a ginormous price tag, and neither products live up to Five Star’s precedent, there are major questions as to the reason for doing it this way. Why not pile these cards into National Treasures with the idea of improving the areas that are severely lacking in every fashion?
Are these some of the better cards that Panini has come out with? Possibly. Are they representative of what a product at this price point should contain? NOT A CHANCE. Especially being released in April over January or even December. I dont even have much to say about this product because it really doesnt seem to be anything more than a product that should have been folded into NT.
Once we get more of an idea of the individual cards in the product, Im sure there are going to be a lot more criticism that I will have. Panini always finds a way to screw these things up where they should be able to cultivate a new following on an innovative idea. Bottom line, books arent special, and stickers arent special, so why build a whole product around them?