I did something today that I rarely do – I busted a lot of a Panini product. I was excited that Panini had added a ton of on card content to this year's product and I thought it was worth a shot as I had some Birthday funds at my disposal. I was surprised to see the way the product turned out, and I think it is likely one of the better examples of the product we have seen.
Here are some of the top hits you can pull from one of the boxes:
I started into my lot of boxes at Sports Cards Plus here in San Antonio, hoping I was going to come away with something remotely nice after watching lots of junk surface online. I had watched a few boxes before mine, and not very much nice stuff had come out. You are guaranteed two autos per box, but 2 out of my 4 boxes had 3 autos which was nice to take away the sting for a bad box. The third auto was one of the relic autos from the New Breed set each time.
My on card autos ended up being Tajh Boyd, Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews and one Ill save until the end. My sticker autos which were one per box to match the on card per box were Ha-ha Clinton-dix, Kony Ealy, Ryan Shazier, and one other scrub all out of 199 gold die cut like this one. I also hit Paul Richardson new breed auto relic which was nice, and a Connor Shaw new breed auto patch. Here is where I get REALLY pissed off.
Connor Shaw was invited to the premiere as one of five players who were part of the NFLPA bowl. These scrubs are LATE LATE round picks and most will likely not make the team. As far as I am aware, Topps chose not to use Shaw as a box hit for any of their products, but Panini obviously thought otherwise. Seriously, this guy was there as a favor to the NFLPA and from my understanding was only required to take some pictures. No jerseys were required, but I had heard that the NFLPA supplied some if there was a desire. Panini really wasnt thinking when including him in their products, and to pull him as a box hit is not even close to acceptable.
Now, I couldnt stay pissed for too long, as I also pulled a Teddy Bridgewater 3 color jumbo patch (which was cool), an Emmitt Smith jersey card, and the big finale of a Johnny Manziel On Card Auto RC Blue. To be into the year 3 products and have pulled 2 high value Manziel cards so far is awesome, even if I have already sold them both.
I also pulled three very low numbered parallels in an EJ Manuel Base 1/3, a Jace Amaro clear acetate RC 8/12, and a 1/1 of the face2face insert of Ladarius Webb and Antonio Brown. Not bad.
Oddly enough a secondary highlight was the Clarity insert cards which are on a thick plexiglass stock. The cards look awesome, and I might need to pick up a few after pulling Russell Wilson, Ray Rice x2, and Jamaal Charles.
Overall, Elite is definitely a big improvement over 2013, but still isnt up to where I would put a product like Inception or Base Topps, which will be out in the next few weeks. With the National Convention coming up, it shouldnt be hard for Panini to move it, which is demonstrated in the lack of redemption packs that are being given for it. Buy the product that you can move? No redemption packs. Buy Spectra which NO ONE can move? 10 redemption packs. Still think these programs are all for the collector? Welcome to the future of NFL Football cards ladies and gents.