Over the last 3 years, Prizm and I havent really got along at all. I have always considered it to be a cheap knockoff of Chrome, so cheap that it almost isnt even worth talking about. In a lot of ways, I see Prizm as that “Spider-guy” action figure you can buy on the street in Hong Kong. For a brand identity, that is a pretty terrible space to occupythat is a pretty terrible space to occupy.
Trying to release a product like Prizm in a hobby where Bowman is one of the most iconic sets in the market? Not really a good idea unless you can do it up to that same standard of quality. What is even worse of an idea is trying to add prospects and rookies to the mix and expect it to measure up. Maybe Panini doesnt look at it that way, but they should. Prizm has an opportunity to function a bit differently than Bowman, using veteran and HOF players as the main fodder, but they chose to go the path that Topps had already carved out.
Here are some of the hits up so far, you will see what I mean:
Honestly, this is one of the better looking Prizm products that Panini has released. The design isnt all that bad, except in a few spots where the execution is well below poor, which I will get to in a second. I think that in terms of the base and the general look and feel, this pig has a few shades of lipstick on. That being said, its still a pig.
When it comes to the design of the most important cards in the product, the autograph design had a lot of potential. In typical Panini fashion, the execution was fucking horrendous. The prioritization of including huge text and larger product logos was obviously way too high, as many times, the player photos are squished up against the swooping border. They easily could have gone without the text, moving the player further towards the opposite edge, thus preventing the issue. In that same vein, it wouldnt be a Panini product without needlessly oversized text.
It also seems like Panini is going to run with this whole tie-dyed refractor situation for another few years, which makes me nauseous. I have affectionately deemed them “Hippie-fractors” and cannot understand the appeal of these gaudy inserts. For whatever reason, collectors will forgive the hideous appearance because the cards are shiny, but I cant help but wretch at the look. If I wanted a rainbow tie dye on my cards, I would collect something very different than sports.
Bottom line, Kris Bryant or no Kris Bryant, this product will drop like a rock in the same way every Panini baseball product has over the last few years. Prizm usually takes a larger fall than most, which means it is not in your best interest to buy in at this point. If you can wait, this will be less than dealer cost as soon as the MAPP wears off. Considering that Bowman is still fresh on the shelves, its a much better idea to go that direction.