2013 Spectra is Live – Is Price of Admission Too Much?

When 2013 Spectra Football was announced, I was VERRRRY skeptical. Although it promised on card autographs which I absolutely loved, the design looked like something straight off a trapper keeper like I had in 1995 during grade school. Bright colors, busy patterns, but an overall composition that mirrors what I usually like. I was torn on how I felt. Now that I am seeing the results, combined with the Bowman Sterling-esque price point, I have to believe this set will not end well for Panini.

2013 Panini Spectra EJ Manuel On Card Red Refractor /25

2013 Panini Spectra Eric Dickerson Auto HOF On Card

2013 Panini Spectra Eddie Lacy Auto Patch Emerald /5

2013 Panini Spectra Knile Davis Auto Logo Patch 1/1

Here is the question every collector should ask themselves – if Bowman Sterling is one of the worst price points of the year, why is Panini rushing to fill that category as well? You cant have boxes that cost 300 bucks unless you are delivering some of the best content of the year. So far, neither Bowman Sterling nor Spectra is on that path, so why are they being made? Does anyone else get the feeling that ever since Panini has “developed” their own diet Chrome, they have been trying to transfer every Topps product and make a Panini equivalent? It doesn’t work.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some cards I absolutely love. The HOF on card autograph refractors are both simple and stunning with on card autograph content. These types of cards should be saved for National Treasures they are so nice, and I am not complaining that they are included. It’s a hugely attractive subset.

I also like that players like Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning have on card patch auto content – as rare as it might be. On card autograph content is always welcome in my book, I just wish the design didn’t bring immediate comparisons to Lisa Frank. If Adrian Peterson ends up having an on card patch auto, ill likely buy it, so its not bad enough for me to stay away.

That isn’t the only problem. Panini looks to have added some depth to their patch auto checklist, which is good for player collectors who buy singles, but bad news for wax breakers. Im sorry, but a 300 dollar box should not have defensive guys as the box hit, unless they are a top player. 99% of defensive players fall in that bucket, 99.9% if they are rookies. Not saying these guys shouldn’t have auto patches, just not in a product like this. The RPS provides 40 guys, that’s enough for me. No need to add someone else unless they had a ridiculous season. Zac Stacy and Alfred Morris are good examples.

Does Spectra have its moments? It does – there is no denying that. Is it falling into the same shelf space as Bowman Sterling? Yes – and that is NOT a good thing.

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