2013 Panini Prizm Football Is Live and Awful As Expected

I think its obvious why Panini pushed up Prizm to this part of the calendar. Topps Chrome is being released in a month, with on card autographs and basically the same parallel structure as the innovator for this type of product. With such a weak rookie class, and a vastly inferior product offering, coming out after Chrome would be a death sentence.

Here is what is up so far:

2013 Panini Prizm Eddie Lacy Auto RC

2013 Panini Prizm Geno Smith Auto RC

2013 Panini Prizm Le'Veon Bell Gold Refractor RC /10

2013 Panini Prizm Kenny Britt Finite Refractor 1/1 – I still have no fucking clue why these are called “finite.”

My hatred for Prizm is well documented, as I don’t feel that Panini has made a true investment in creating their own brand of Chrome style cards. As mentioned many times before, they have instead created a cheap knockoff of the Topps original, only with far fewer reasons to buy in. Because we know that on card chrome autographs are possible at this time of year due to offerings in both Finest and Platinum done months before today, there is no logical reason for Prizm to be stickers, other than sheer lack of effort.

Not only that, but all the autograph cards are emblazoned with the famous BIG SILVER BOX that has no business being used on these cards. Not only does it obscure a large part of the card’s surface, but it looks awful.

I thought the autographs were the worst looking cards in the product, that is until I saw the way the inserts looked. Not only do they look like they were done by a first time user with photoshop, but the themes are boring and unimaginative. I would be ashamed of myself, if as a designer, these were cards I thought were good looking. I mean, I have actually run out of shitty things to say about this product, but then you see a card like this and you have to laugh. Shiny for shiny’s sake doesn’t work.

You also have to love that Panini finally discovered the use of QR codes, some four years late. Instead of making the full fledged video HRX cards, which were vastly outdated technology to begin with, they decided to print codes on ugly inserts where you have to download an app to watch on your phone. I wish I was making this up, because its that dumb.

If I were Panini, this is a set I would take very seriously, as we know the potential of a well-designed and well executed product of this type. As usual, we are left with ugly cards, sticker autos, and a concept made famous by a competitor. As I say every time, if you are going to rip something off, at least do it well.

8 thoughts on “2013 Panini Prizm Football Is Live and Awful As Expected

  1. I have to say I disagree with you. The quality of the cardstock on the Prizm cards is 1000 times better than Topps Chrome. There’s zero curling and a more solid feel. The lack of backgrounds is lame and the sticker autos are too. The inserts aren’t great but not nearly as bad as you make them out. On top of that, this product has a HUGE auto checklist in comparison to most football products so far this year. That means there will be plenty of weak autos, but I prefer variety over a checklist of the same 30 rookies we’ve already seen. I do think Prizm has its place seeing that it sells well. You either love it or hate it.

  2. Card stock means nothing to me when the cards look horrible. Is it a minor plus? Sure. Overall the way the product looks is a complete disaster.

  3. Sure sure, I was just saying that the production of the cards isn’t a “cheap” version of Chrome. I guess I just interpreted that sentence different than what you meant.

  4. One thing to keep in mind as to the poor design work is how little Panini pays their designers. Looking on Monster.com today I saw a position for Photo Editor for Panini America. The position pays 13.50 to 14.00 an hour so the job offering is not going to attract top talent. This is very poor pay, even for an entry level graphic designer of any worth. (I’m currently in the graphic design field and this is far below the salary midpoint of what you could expect from a job like that.) It’s Panini’s fault for thinking they can pay this garbage salary to a person that’s integral for making their cards look cool (which most of them do not) but then turn around and sell the products at such high prices. Most of their products, inserts and cards in general look like shit compared to Topps and this is probably a big reason why.

    Pull your head out of your ass Panini and pay your talent.

  5. I also agree the sticker autos are ugly. The standard boxes do not deliver on value.Like Josh from Atlsportscards.com said we need more colors!
    The stock is much better then chrome.
    The Golds and 1/1’s look awesome. We pulled a 1/1 tonight at liveboxbreaks.net. It wasnt black but silver in color and its a seriously awesome looking card.

    The jumbos look promising though with more colors and hits and we will see tomorrow night.

  6. I didn’t think about the curling issue, but that’s true, Haven’t seen any curling with Prizm. The inserts in the various Prizm sets have been awful, but I like the ones in the Basketball preview. It’s a small improvement to the store brand soda that Prizm is to Topps’ Chrome.

  7. Please let me say first that I respect Gellman and what he has done for the sports card industry by pointing out the flaws of different brands and how they could improve. I love this website and I will continue to read the blogs on a regular basis. With that said, I find it somewhat hypocritical how Gellman pontificates how awful Panini is with their card production and quality then goes out and buys a box of Panini product next day. This is exactly why Panini blows off our feedback and negative reviews, continuing to produce mostly junk products because we simply don’t walk the talk.

    I have stopped buying Panini products last year and haven’t bought any since. I let my money do the talking and hopefully hurt Panini’s bottom line.

    P.S. I agree that Prizm is garbage. I don’t care if the card stock is a tad bit nicer than Chrome. The design is god awful plus sticker autos in a down year of rookie class. Shame on you Panini.

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