I havent had the chance to sit down and write very much lately, as work as been insane. That doesnt mean I have stopped paying attention, either. When Select was announced as a fourth set in as many weeks for Panini, I was skeptical that it wouldnt be just another product that will clog up the cool down period after the Super Bowl. I mean, Encased might have been one of the worst looking and worst value products for the price all year, but Select had potential. I always liked it more than I liked Prizm, as the design work was consistently better through its run.
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This year’s product, with the inclusion of the XRC redemptions really took me by surprise. Full game photos, great looking designs, and the addition of the content around the new rookies was awesome, and I really think people should not be surprised how much the price has increased per box. Its almost tough to break it at the current price, as you are now even more guaranteed to lose money on a break, but this might be the best group break product out there, and I dont think its going to be touched by Treasures or Flawless.
Select was originally part of Panini’s line of Topps Chrome rip offs, and though I dont think the identity crisis is gone in that regard, I really like the parallels with the Finest set it was built upon. With Prizm also looking extremely good this year, this leaves Optic as the only garbage product of the three recent Chrome style products, and its because of the rated rookies, not because of the rest of the set. Had Optic not chosen the horrible photos for those cards, I think Panini would have had 3 great looking Chrome replacement products this year.
The XRC cards are selling very well too, all things considered. Outside of Leonard Fournette, there really isnt a surefire Superstar QB to drive up product values this early on. Deshaun Watson is a good name, but I dont think he is the consensus pick for Top QB. That leaves a lot of speculation around which player will fall where, and the way the redemptions are structured is a really good opportunity to stock up. Hopefully the cards will be photo shoot action pictures of the players in their NFL uniforms, but we will have to wait and see.
Im a fan of Select this year, and man, that is a surprise to me.