I have ALWAYS hated Prizm. Hated the design and look, hated the fact it was a chrome rip off, and hated that they really went bonkers with a bunch of different elements. It was never a product I would ever rip, and never a product I would buy singles of. Needless to say, I was pretty shocked how much I liked the way 2015 Prizm looked, enough to buy a few boxes myself.
Here are some of the nice stuff up so far:
2015 Prizm Todd Gurley Purple Mosaic Auto RC /35
2015 Prizm Marcus Mariota Red Tire Tracks Auto RC /50
2015 Prizm Antonio Brown Pulsar Finite Auto 1/1
2015 Prizm Jameis Winston Red Refractor Auto /99
I think that Panini is finally starting to understand what makes a Chrome style product appealing. Its not stupid backgrounds or gimmicky presentations. Its about simplicity in look, with the Borders being the place where things can get a bit nuts. This year, they reigned back on MOST of the horrible practices from 2012-14, and came out the other end with a simple looking presentation and good looking cards.
With Chrome due out (supposedly) this week, they will need to compete with the final installment of the product Panini ripped off to build Prizm. Its not a fair fight, never has been, and its clear that Prizm is already struggling to get off the ground, much like previous years. Lower prices, even on low parallels of big name guys , are already becoming common for week 1, and its going to be interesting to see if Chrome is the same way. Panini has never been able to climb out from under the shadow of the original, and now that Chrome football is over, this might be a time to figure out the best way to capitalize on its future absence. So far, I think the 2015 edition is the first in the entire run to make that a partial reality.
It still has a ton of problems, but they are far less egregious than previous runs. The photo variations are inexplicably still included, despite looking fucking terrible with goofy ass player pictures. The crazy eye burning patterned cards are back from Spectra, of which I cannot understand the popularity or their appeal to collectors. The autographs are all sticker, and that is a big bummer. Chrome has been mostly on card since 2011, and Panini is years behind there.
In 2014, if you asked me whether or not Panini would ever pull their heads out of their asses with Prizm, I would have laughed in your face. Loudly. The set, as it had existed prior to 2015 would never be something that could function in place of the top set of the year in Chrome. There is a reason why Chrome 1/1 superfractor autos are the top chase cards of the year. Even over Flawless and National Treasures. Collectors are loyal to the brand that has consistently delivered year after year for over 2 decades. Prizm hadnt even managed to escape from the toilet bowl, and that should have scared everyone.
Now that we are seeing that someone at Panini seems to understand the situation at hand, we get a set that I can get behind a little. Im not going to fall all over myself chasing down singles yet, but I like it enough to buy in more than I would have ever thought.
The issue is that Collectors dont seem to be matching that same interest. With Finest on shelves next to Prizm, and Chrome on the way, the release schedule isnt in anyone’s favor. I might not be able to see the sales numbers, but ebay isnt showing the volume of singles for sale that I would have expected.
Similarly, players like Cooper, Mariota and Winston seem to have very few autos listed, with Cooper only having one or two that I found. Because I dont think these cards are super hard to find, im wondering if maybe the product just isnt being ripped as much. In the 8 boxes I watched, I pulled a Mariota, someone else pulled Gurley, and a third person pulled a nice insert auto. Better than the 2 cases of Finest, where the only nice pull was a 1/1 Green-Beckham patch auto I was lucky enough to pull. Every other box was a relative dud.
Prizm is worth a look, it really is. I would at least try a Hobby box and see what you end up with, as you would be surprised at what you might end up with. I literally cannot believe I am saying that.