I talked a few days ago about how some of the best sets of the year are on their way to shelves. One of the products that is similarly important for Panini has been out for a while, and is gaining steam as we move into the draft. 2012 Contenders has been my favorite Panini set in a long time, in terms of design, and yesterday we got our first live examples of one of the most important cards in the set.
With the addition of Percy Harvin, Russell Wilson’s cards have been on fire. The contenders autos were redemptions to begin with, and it hurt their value at first. Once Panini tweeted out that they had been signed, things started to get nuts. Well, they turned out extremely well from the examples posted so far, and its likely that they will overtake Chrome’s unfortunate stickers for Wilson in the value hierarchy.
Andrew Luck’s contenders autos have steadily climbed as the draft approaches as well, as collectors are beginning to realize he might be the most elite prospect of the decade. Although the Colts havent really gotten ridiculous in free agency, the weak 2013 class might have sparked a bit more interest in picking up the cards for 2012′s immeasurable popularity. These cards have also started coming back from BGS, and the higher grades are taking quite the premium. I love Luck’s Contenders auto this year, as I think that the 1998 design will forever work well. Even though the non-RPS autos are a disaster, these make up for it.
Similar to Luck and Wilson’s success, Robert Griffin III’s cards have started to turn around with news of his rehab progressing so well. His cards had taken a hit after his severe injury during the playoffs, but he has gained some of it back with his doctor’s comment regarding his “super human” status. Dont get me wrong, I love RGIII as a player, but I have serious concerns about his durability and his legs. Collectors dont seem to care if he misses a few games at the beginning of the year, and are coming back to his being a top prospect in droves. RGIII’s variation is only out of 50 copies, so it sells the pants off of some of the other top variations, but im curious to see if the value holds when he doesnt make it back for week 1.
Im sure this could not be a more attractive situation to the card companies who are about to release their biggest products. They want these guys to get back on the value train, and as we come upon the NFL’s biggest offseason party, Im more excited than I can put into words.