I always brace myself for the worst whenever Panini comes out with a brand new product that has never been released. There have been so many laughable moments over the last five years, that I can no longer go into these previews with high expectations. When I saw the Spectra preview, I think we got a good mix of cool and typical Panini, most of which will come in a package that costs quite a bit of money from the looks of it.
Here is the thing. I am not going to like most of this product because I don’t like the ridiculous, busy and gaudy looking inserts of the late 1990s. You know, those ones that might as well have gone on a trapper keeper than on a card? Foil everywhere, crazy patterns, the more busy the better.
Here are some examples:
Spectra’s base autos look very much like those cards, which some will like and some will not. I don’t like them, as I think they are in that same vein. I do like the fact that Panini is going to be banking on more on card autographs for non-rookies, but I am be looking to Five Star for much more simply designed cards that focus on what I like.
As for the HOF on card autos, these are more of what we should be aiming for. Less is more in these designs, with big areas for signatures and really cool looking pictures for the players. People seem to really like these, which I can identify with, however there is also a feeling of “oh my god we never get these types of cards” that is completely unwarranted. Cards like this will sell well, if not only because Panini has set the bar so low with the availability of on card autos from non-rookies in their products. These same people getting excited are the same people who have forgotten that on card HOF autos have been a staple of Exquisite and Five Star for years. Most of the time, they sell for next to nothing. That is a complete shame. These aren’t special, they are just good looking.
Here are the pictures: