Finally, Panini Release 2011 National Treasures Preview

Even back in 2006, I don’t think we had to wait THIS long for a preview of what National Treasures is going to look like. Now that Panini has given us a first look into what the set is going to be looking like, there are some parts to it that I really like, and others that continue to be well below where a high end product should be. I honestly believed they were waiting this long to preview the cards because they were going to get on card autos like Five Star, but obviously that is not happening.

Starting with the good, I think its about time that Panini got on board with the book cards that have been in every other product. Although, in the past, many of the cards of this nature have been unnecessary, I really like the Jim Thorpe card. It will be an IMPOSSIBLE hit at 1/1, but it will no doubt be the most valuable card in the product. Even more than the rookie 1/1s. Its well designed, and I think that the chronicle of his exploits that is laid out over the three cards is a perfect way to do this.

I also like the design of the quad autograph booklet card, aside from one ciritical mishap that diminishes the possibilities. We just saw that Topps Five Star is going to have a hard signed dual autograph of Rodgers and Starr, and to see them done in stickers is wholly unacceptable in a product like this. That being said, the card looks to be well above Panini’s past track record, and the results are nice.

As for the Unitas card, I think the design is pretty nice looking, compared to what some of these cards have looked like in the past. Although I don’t understand why we need a goal post swatch instead of a jersey, I think the card looks cool. I will likely be able to guarantee that for players that are still living, the big white box will be in full force, which pisses me off. If they slap a sticker on these cards to the right of the window, it would be a successful card, even though National Treasures should not have any stickers to begin with.

Onto the bad.

I still think the Rookie Patch Auto design is lackluster, mainly because it provides such a small space for the rookie to sign. The ornate belt buckle design continues to look overwhelming on such a small card, and its obvious that Five Star’s huge space for signatures will trump these cards where it counts – in look. Although value is often determined (wrongly) by non-game used patches, I would never buy a card that looks like this over the ones in Five Star.

Moving onto the Brees card, I HATE it when companies try to do jumbo swatch cards in a vertical fashion. If a design calls for a jumbo swatch, the orientation will not work correctly if done with the player picture on top. It forces the photo to be squished up at the top, when it could have been large and in charge if it were designed correctly. I have no clue why Panini wouldnt diecut the player photo into the swatch like they did in Crown royale, or even do it coming in from the side to preserve the swatch window. Think of how awesome it would look if it was done more like this.

I also cannot stand the vertical orientation on the base cards. Rather than going horizontal, and actually taking the time to adjust the design for each parallel, Panini has chosen to cut corners again, and design the cards backwards. Therefore, when you remove the swatch piece, the autograph sticker, and are left with just the plain card, it looks incomplete. Its very easy to see where the swatch and sticker will be applied, and its unfortunate that we cant get a card built correctly for a product that costs as much as this one.

Bottom line, National Treasures is going to be structured exactly the same as it was last year, packed to the brim with worthless jersey cards of back up players and a bunch of autographs that no one wants. Five Star will be the faaaaaar superior product, and I am continually shocked by what collectors let Panini get away with.

They can show people all the big hits from the product to generate excitement, but I know exactly the reactions people will have the minute they crack the first box. At least there are a few more cool cards to chase this year, but that’s about it. With Five Star hitting later this month, and with the addition of redemptions for full sized gear and a lot of extra surprises, a release of this product on March 21st is not a good idea.

15 thoughts on “Finally, Panini Release 2011 National Treasures Preview

  1. I looked at the cards before I read your thoughts (my typical practice so your views don’t jade mine) and I have to say, I thought you would lay in to em a lot harder. They certainly deserve it. With the exception of the thorpe and the other 1 or two impossible hits, there is not a single card in that preview that I would be extremely happy to see in my break of a 400 dollar product. Not one. A pro bowl jersey picture of brees? Get real. A pro bowl Threads-esque letter patch from foster. Snooze. The base cards look terrible. And give us a freaking break with this goal post crap. If youre going to include that as a relic, fine, but think of some other cool way to present it. Don’t just slap a popular player’s mug on the fucking card and call it good. It makes no sense whatsoever. Did Unitas touch this goal post? Did he run into it on a broken play? Did he fucking kiss it? What the hell is the connection to Unitas and this goal post? Once again, get real Panini.

  2. Panini, and any other card manufacturer, will keep producing sub par content as long as the market supports it. It’s really inconceivable that a $400 product could contain sticker autographs. There’s no excuse. With all the existing alternatives to spend $400 on I can’t justify a box of NT in it’s present state. Busting boxes of this can only be tied to some sort of addictive behavior, not because you get great value for your money.

  3. Will the Thorpe booklet be an impossible pull because it’s a 1/1, or it’ll be sent to Beckett for their box break, or it won’t even make it to pack-out for “QC” purposes?

    Other than the vintage booklets and the design on the Unitas card (and not the inclusion of a lame goal post), just more of the same from Panini, only at a much larger price.

  4. baseman I completely agree with you here. I do the opposite and read then looked and made up my mind. My God that is one horrific product. If pen pals isn’t one worst looking cards for the content delivered I don’t know what is. Why is the title of the set the first thing I see? There are people that buy and love this crap and bless them because otherwise employees at panini would be in the unemployment line if it were up to me.

  5. What. The. Fuck? This product should be $80/box. Period. That Drew Brees card looks like ass. They should just re-name this “Find Jim Thorpe” because that’s the only card that even looks worthy to be dubbed ‘high end’. The base cards look like they would come out of some trash retail-blaster box. Super small player photo with a team logo bigger than the photo. Does anybody actually sit in a meeting and give the ‘okay, looks good!’ to this shit? I’m not actually even sure why I waste my time criticizing their worthless, ill conceived products anymore. It’s not like it’ll change anything. Somebody, somewhere will open a box of this filth and hit that Drew Brees and go OMGZZ!!!111!! superzfilthymojospectacularzawesumhellzyea!!1! And, somewhere in a plastic cubicle, all the validation of one singular person will give these morons the go-ahead to continue to dump this garbage upon collectors. If I had 3 wishes, one would probably be world peace. Not sure about the 2nd one but, the 3rd one would probably be for this piss poor excuse for a company to go out of business and UD gets the NFL license back. Holy hell, somebody make it stop….

  6. “They should just re-name this “Find Jim Thorpe””…..LMFAO

  7. Are these images from a forthcoming re-release of Gridiron Gear or Threads? For $400 a pack/box, you’d think that I’d at least get a courtesy reach around as Panini puts it in my butt. This is a frigging mess. There’s so many cards that look like they’re from other sets it’s ridiculous. The Unitas looks like Gridiron Gear, the Foster letter is Threads, the Murray logo is Crown Royale… There is NOTHING posted to make me think this is a super high end product. If I didn’t know what it was, I’d guess it’s a $80-100 ten pack box and might even be intrigued enough to buy one. But 4 hundo for this? Hello, 5 Star???

    What Panini should do is let us, the customers, design NT next year. I’ve seen so many nice looking mock-ups on the different blogs that put this trash to shame. There’s folks out here on the interwebs that could EASILY put Panini’s design team out of work. Seeing this type of garbage AGAIN makes two things VERY obvious: 1) Panini doesn’t give a damn about the collector and 2) we NEED Upper Deck back in the game.

  8. I have to agree with all the previous comments G-man. I think you’re usually a little too harsh with Panini, but not this time. This product is crap. It looks like a cross between their “Gold Standard” crap and some stolen Five Star layouts. I won’t buy any boxes of a product that costs this much when you’re still going to get crappy sticker autos. Just not going to do it. Unfortunately they’ll sell enough of it that everyone will consider it a success and they’ll bring back the same crap next year. Does anyone know if Patrick Peterson signed an exclusive deal with them? He’s now been in their last two products. He’ll be one of the few singles I’ll look for as his autos are impossible to find! That’s the one of the few criticisms I have for Topps this year. That and the standard bunch of autos of guys who are probably delivering pizza now!

  9. Pingback: Around the Carding Blogosphere for February 10, 2012 : The Baseball Card Store | Hairline Crease

  10. 1. Base cards look horrible.

    2. Some of the cards look like hits from Panini’s $100/box products.

    3. No overall theme in the card design tying the set together.

    This product has taken a step backwards every year, which is crazy because their NT Basketball has looked really good.

  11. Joe don’t forget the huge foil border on the rpas were done in plates and patches. Thank u panini for helping me break my habit.

  12. I’m sure this will end up ‘Product of the Year’ like last year’s train wreck. Maybe Topps and Upper Deck don’t do enough ‘Wrapper Redemption /prize’ giveaways to win over consumers. I do applaud both Topps and Upper Deck for their unwavering, hard work in obtaining 100% on card signatures for both 5 Star and Exquisite respectively. They actually are giving us a quality product for our money. It sure is not an easy task to accomplish, however it is proven, and it can be done!

    It is downright asinine to shell out 4 Benjamin’s for sticker autos and incomplete looking cards… however someone wants that one of one Thorpe and Rockne booklet, so Panini knows the game … the Impulse of the high roller collector…

    Football gods please listen… NFL needs the return of Upper Deck, NFL style … before it is too late!

  13. So its been days and no one has made mention of nt TWELVE FOOT booklet w 36 autos/patches from rookie premiere?

    Gellman, relax, calm down, I know this 12′ “thing” has turned ur world upside down, but its incredible for all types of “fail”talk associated w panini.

    U now have ammo for a long time

  14. Twelve feet? how is that even possible? How are they going to fit it in the box?

    Redemption like every other card they have done this year?

  15. You know it’s going to be folded end over end and look completely ridiculous. Has fail written all over it.

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