I was surprised by how well 2012 National Treasures baseball did on the market, all things considered. Although the design was limited by logos, Panini actually did a reasonable job with MOST of the cards. Some were a disaster, but for the most part it was nice. This year, it looks like some of that product has been rolled into a new high end release called America’s Pastime, which by early auctions I have seen, might be one of the ugliest sets ever made. My question remains, why not do NT again as a standalone? Will there still be a standalone despite this release? Who knows.
Check out these horrible cards:
2013 America's Pastime Oscar Taveras Inked Auto – Still don’t understand how you can call a card “Inked” when it’s a sticker auto
2013 America's Pastime Darryl Strawberry Boys of Summer Auto – My god, the humanity!
2013 America's Pastime Curt Schilling "All Panini" Auto – Seriously, who green lighted this crap?
Its clear that without logos, it can be hard to create a good looking product, but this is ridiculously bad. Bright yellows, oranges and other clashing color combinations, combined with a hideous layout creates a horrible visual experience with these cards. Despite the fact that the National Treasures rookie autos and auto relics contained in this set remain pretty nice, the rest of the set is beyond words.
If I am going to pay 225 a box, I better get some nice looking cards. Instead I am getting eyesores with sticker autos and booklets that have absolutely no reason for existing. I didn’t think it was possible to make a silhouette playbook look bad, but they found a way as usual. Creating brand loyalty in baseball has to be a focus for Panini’s strategy, but they never seem to make the right calls. I think they had a winner in NT baseball, as long as more on card content could be secured, but that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone in Dallas. Even if the standalone is still on the books, this only serves to cheapen that compartment of the calendar.
Bottom line, this product looks to be a complete fucking train wreck, and its unfortunate that Panini cant seem to pull their heads out of their asses and make quality stuff. If they truly want to challenge the monopoly, they have to do better than this visual disaster.