Everyone who has been reading this site for a while knows how much I dislike what Prizm is all about. Aside from an absolutely horrible name, and the fact that it is a rip off of Topps’ main line, I thought the design was about as bad as it can be. Seeing that Select was going to make the crossover from Basketball to try to reclaim the parts of the collecting base that Prizm lost, I was interested to see how it turned out. Now that its live, I think it is well above the level where its predecessor was, but still not close to what Topps can bring with Chrome.
Here is what is up so far:
2013 Panini Select Zac Stacy Auto RC – I believe this is his first licensed auto
2013 Panini Select Montee Ball Refractor RC – Really like the base design
Ill even go as far as saying the football version is better than the basketball version. Basketball has all sorts of problems with the big white box on the autograph cards, where football has used more of the design elements to make it work in a more appealing fashion. I am still very disappointed that we are getting ANOTHER rookie card that doesn’t have on card autographs from Panini, when Topps has lapped them with each chance they get. Don’t get me wrong, Select isn’t horrible with the stickers, but at this point we should be able to expect that the cards be hard signed.
More importantly, boxes are priced above 125 dollars, when it remains clear that none of the normal box hits will be able to come close to that cost. When you release a product with the understanding that only a miniscule amount of the collectors will be able to walk away with a profitable box, it takes the gambling aspect away. There have been so few boxes of Panini product broken this year, that the market continually shrinks by the day. No one is willing to spend 125 bucks on a box with a 95% chance they wont come close to making back their investment. Not good.
Topps has pulled back pricing on Strata, Chrome and a few other products knowing that they A) didn’t have to spend as much as last year to make the content work and B) no one has any confidence in the class, so there is no reason to continue expecting people to buy in. Similarly, the normal SP list that Topps has had to deal with is non-existent this year, which means you have just as much of a chance to pull a good rookie than a bad rookie. Some of the products are also including more low parallels at a higher seeding rate, and extra hits as well. Increased content, less cost. Panini has scaled back on content, turning on card sets into stickers, and continuing with the same structure of their products. Yet, their price remains exactly the same with no help to account for a poor crop. It shows on which of their products have increased in price since release. They have yet to make the kind of impact that Topps has had.
Select is not a bad product at all, I don’t think anyone would say differently considering some of the horrid dogs that Panini has produced this year. However, in the same vein, haven’t we really gotten enough of this type of thing already? How about some fresh takes to help with the monotony of the calendar. Contenders is on the horizon, which will be a breath of fresh air, but that doesn’t give them a pass on their lazy approach to 2013 in general.