Panini seems to want to bring ultra premium formats to all sports they have a calendar, and Flawless Baseball is the next in line. It is basically a direct port from basketball and football, right down to the design. On the Basketball and Football side, Flawless hasn’t done as well as im sure everyone had hoped, for the NFL especially. Singles prices have tanked basically across the board, as it is becoming more and more clear that collectors continue to see National Treasures as a more collectible offering. I believe this will be even more drastic of a drop off for baseball, a set they don’t have rights to the big names, and no logos either.
Here are some of the bigger hits up so far:
Right now, the prices are still high on singles, as they always are. There will be a contingent of collectors who will utilize group break formats to break, and that will keep prices at MSRP for a while. As more and more people see how far the prices are going to drop, especially in a sport that has a hard enough time supporting high end WITH Trout and Harper, things are going to be very difficult to maintain on any real level.
The design itself was good for NBA and NFL, as I said back when it was released for those sports, and save some ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE looking dual patch cards, the rest of the stuff looks good. That really isn’t the point here, because anytime when the cost of the box is as high as it is for Flawless, the product has to deliver unique content that isn’t available anywhere else, which Panini has failed to do with every Flawless edition in its history. Paying more money for a box just because the player checklist offers a more likely shot at a nice autograph, isn’t enough anymore, and that is exactly what we saw with the NFL this year. Way too many boxes led with a card that doesn’t cover the cost of a slot in a group break, and that makes the product look pretty fucking shitty.
Flawless is a valuable brand for now, if not only because collectors are starting to understand the ultra premium market that Flawless exists in. That being said, Baseball is a hobby contingent on a good mix of set and hit in each release, and when Topps has tried to bridge that gap, they have only really been successful a few times. I don’t think a logo-less Panini product without Trout and Harper can do that as well as it maybe can in the NBA.