When it comes to nostalgia, there are certain things that work exceptionally well, like bringing back iconic cards and making them into a newer style set, and then there are things that dont. Crown Royale was a brand that Panini resurrected from the back reaches of the nostalgic part of the hobby, and over the last few years, it has usually been nothing short of a disaster. Not only are the card usually some of the most ugly examples from the entire year, but they are usually released as an afterthought to the end of the football calendar.
There has been one saving grace to this set, both of the previous years it has been done. The rookie patch die cut autos have been nothing short of exquisite, some of my favorite Panini cards each time they have been done. They are the first football rookie cards to really embrace the CORRECT use of a die cut, placing the player over the swatch and autograph below. They are AWESOME.
Check out some of the best of the best from 2010 and 2011:
Outside of these cards, there are few redeeming parts of Crown Royale, especially with the continued invasion of the big white boxes behind every sticker used. This year, there is not a single card that even looks close to being well designed, with more white boxes all over the place – including on my favorite cards. The rookie silhouettes have been bastardized by poor composition and hideous autograph placement, on top of the fact that the theme of the set has changed drastically from the success of the previous two years.
That isnt even the worst of it, as there is a new enemy all over this product, that we first were introduced to in 2011 National Treasures – colored foil layering. Im not talking about silver and gold that usually goes with EVERYTHING, but the brightest of red, green, and even PURPLE that clashes with just about every player subject its paired with. On a lot of these cards, I have trouble focusing my eyes on the content of the design because the foil is so ridiculous, and that is NOT a good thing.
Overall, this bout of Crown Royale should have been shelved all together. After a product like Topps Strata, which makes the most out of some of the best design work of the year, this is the complete opposite. If anyone buys a box of this, I pity your wallet. Its going to be that bad.
Just dont know what to say: