Last year, the addition of Totally Certified Football to the calendar was one I scoffed at. Panini was obviously trying to recapture the success of Totally Certified in Basketball, and for the most part, it fell about as flat on its face as it could. Not only was the product about as visually appealing as a dead deer bleeding on the side of a road, but it was crazy expensive to buy. Regardless of the TOTALLY asinine name of this stupid product, it is back for 2012, and doesnt look to have changed much.
2012 Totally Certified Russell Wilson Auto Patch /49 – Why are the players being impaled with a foil mountain?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2011-Panini-Totally-Certified-CAM-NEWTON-Rookie-Jersey-On-Card-Auto-SP-276-299-/251030052666?pt=US_Football&hash=item3a728e9f3a, and that hasnt carried over this year. For over 150 bucks a box, with a stupid foil pattern, you get stickers on top of it. I also fail to see why the players and autographs are confined to the top of the card like that. The bottom relic portion of the card occupies over 50% of the surface, which leaves little to no space for the other elements of the card. In fact, this has been a pretty disturbing trend for Panini all year long, like they have no idea how to lay out the concept so that the photos can be uninterrupted on the front.
Last year, I chastised them for using big white boxes behind their stickers instead of adequate design and composition to highlight them in a correct way like Topps and Upper Deck have done. Instead of changing their design, they either continued to use the white box, or they just cut the player off at the waist or knees to make room for the elements, instead of overlaying everything in a visually appealing way.
This product, because of the hit per pack format, has more worthless jersey cards than I have seen in some of their other products combined. The checklist is horrid, the design work is horrid, and the MSRP is horrid.
What is even funnier, is that the HRX video cards are back – which would have been REALLY special in 2001. Now that everyone has a smart phone and can watch youtube pretty much anywhere, its about as special as a first generation iPod.
That’s not even the worst of it, though, as the foil stock used in this set could not be worse. It is the equivalent of cardboard diarrhea, and I would go so far as saying this technology should be wiped from the face of the earth. The rookie class might be amazing, but holy crap, this set has more ugly looking cards than I have seen since 2012 Crown Royale.
When compared side by side versus Valor, the design isnt even close. Valor is visually stunning, while this burns my retinas. Although these Totally Certified box breaks might yield more desirable autographs, what does that matter when they look this way? I never understood why collectors spend their money on sets that have such ugly examples.
Panini sure started their year strong, but I cannot believe how poorly they have finished. When I see how ugly the rookie patch autos are for National Treasures, combined with the poor solicitation for 2013, it looks like my trust of their design work will not be changing any time soon.