Coming soon, Panini will be releasing the horribly named and conceived “Prizm,” a football set that mirrors the release of their basketball product from earlier this year. Collectors should be pretty familiar with the technology used to create this product, as it is exactly the same as the Chromium style stock that Topps has used for years in their Finest, Bowman and Topps Chrome sets. I have already stated how exceptionally boring I find the design work of the set, which I feel showcases just how little experience they have in making cards like this. Enormous borders, huge text spelling out needless words, and most of all, a rip off of Topps’ biggest achievement – the refractor.
Collectors have already started ramping up on Prizm because of its success in Basketball, something that operated under a much different set of rules. Regardless you can see why people believe its going to explode:
I believe that the reason Prizm was as successful as it was, has to do with two very Basketball specific situations. First, Basketball collectors are a captive audience to everything Panini has to offer. This means they have to buy Prizm as there was nothing else. Secondly, there is no Topps Chrome in basketball, and collectors LOVED Topps Chrome when it was around. This only goes to show that whenever a product is released that is actually reminiscent of something prior to the Panini exclusive, people go nuts. This was the case with Fleer Retro, which was the most popular product of the year, and didnt even have an NBA license attached. All of a sudden, a set that is a cheap clone of Chrome is released, and collectors loved it because of the reminder the cards brings with them.
In football, neither of these situation exists. Topps Chrome has arguably been the most popular product of the year, and it offers on card autos, superior design, and a lot of history. Sure doesnt hurt that the Chrome Superfractors will be the most valuable chase cards of the year.
Prizm, on the other hand, has sticker autos, poor design, and no history. They will be offering horrible knock off Superfractors, Black Prizm 1/1s, but Panini forgot to cut out the player photo from the diamond overlay, like Topps does. As a result, the pop of the superfractor isnt there because it looks like the player is behind a Kaleidoscope. Check it out:
Under the auspices in which Prizm is released, I would expect it to be popular for all of three days before the next product is released. Then the boxes will sit on shelves, just like every other mid run Panini product this year. You cant mess with the best, unless the best is gone. In basketball, that was the case. In football, its like shooting a slingshot at a T-rex – you arent going to hurt them, you are just going to grab their attention in a very bad way.
Personally, this might make Topps load Chrome next year with even more content just to squash this ugly bug. That makes me awfully happy.