I have never been a huge fan of Flawless, as said before. I have never really seen the point of spending over 1200 dollars per box to get cards that you can get in just about every other high end product. It needs to be special, and I dont see much other than player selection in packs that drive a price that high. The cards look great, but that alone doesnt make up for the money spent to enjoy them.
In basketball, the cards are nice, but really nothing special outside of rarity:
2013 Panini Flawless Larry Bird Auto Patch
2013 Panini Flawless Kyrie Irving Auto Patch /10
2013 Panini Flawless Kevin Durant Auto Patch /10
2013 Panini Flawless Kobe Bryant Auto Dual Patch /25
With the transition to football, I was and am still positive that no FB based product can support a price point at 1250 – even more so at the 1350 price that Flawless is being solicited at. Not only is football not basketball, but there are different rules involved to making products. For 1350 per box, they had better be adding pieces of Joe Montana himself, because otherwise its going to be a disaster.
“Sorry Joe, going to need a finger this time, not just the jersey. Ill let you choose which one, but ill let you know we cant get that much yield out of a pinky. Thanks for your cooperation!”
I can already hear the counter-arguments to my vomit inducing reaction to this price point. They are going to have stellar players in every box! Its going to be great for group breakers! It did awesome in basketball! Yeah, not a single one of those things SHOULD play into it when things are said and done.
At first, you are going to have a lot of excitement over what the product could be. Expect those first few boxes to generate some buzz – and that will be intentionally created by Panini. Once people start to realize what they have gotten themselves into, the tide will turn.
Im not sure if anyone understands the stark difference between what is required in a Basketball product and what is required in a Football product. At the very least, Flawless Basketball had VERY little rookie content (which allowed for a lot of the configuration success we saw). This is NOT possible in football, and you can bet that there will be cards that will be box break killers. With 7 hit cards, you will need to average close to 200 bucks per card. If one of those cards is an Allen Robinson auto, things are not going to work.
Lets also run down the big names in football, because these names are going to dictate what is going to be possible, along side the required rookie element – Montana, Emmitt, Rice, Brady, Peyton, Favre, Rodgers, Marino, Russ Wilson, Luck, Elway, Manziel, Bortles, Watkins, Bridgewater. Outside of that, you are going to need to fight after initial release to crack 100 bucks on an auto or relic. Most of the big names will have to sell at DOUBLE their current average selling price to make a difference. Even with the players mentioned above, prices can struggle after the first few weeks. In all reality, there will likely be needed inclusion of multiple players from that list PER BOX, not just on a case hit basis. With the consistent devaluing of every position outside of QB, value is going to be stretched pretty thin as it is.
In Basketball, the list is may not be longer, but the big cards sell for SIGNIFICANTLY more money due to the international market that the sport has. That means when you hit Kyrie, Durant, Kobe, Lillard etc, they will sell for more than any of the big names from the attached football list. The only thing that other sports have going for them stems from the lack of products in this space over the last few years. Especially when it comes to on card autos.
Think about it from this perspective – VIP bottle service at the club is a common amenity for nice venues. Considering you can get the liquor at the store for a LOT less money, there should not be much appeal to it. They are literally charging you for the experience, and the visibility of your spot among the high rollers. Here its basically the same concept, because what you pay for is definitely not what you are getting. You are paying for the experience, and I dont understand how anyone can support that. It has never been acceptable to do so in cards before, and yet here we are.
“I dont know if you are seeing this, but my cards came in a metal briefcase. That means something bruh.”
Without a huge return from those big names, especially in terms of cards that are going to sell for over the cost of the box itself, you are just not going to have the same return as basketball. Remember, these big cards will be sitting next to Jamaal Charles, Cordarrelle Patterson, and other players/rookies that will dilute a checklist that cannot support that price tag. I love me some CPatt, but man, he is not someone that is worthy of a 500 dollar ebay bid. Seeing that he is going to be joined by the likes of Terrance Williams, AJ McCarron, and Paul Richardson? The storm clouds are a brewin!
Group breakers may have a field day with this product, regardless of the price tag, and that might end up being the saving grace of Flawless Football. Without a group break element, this product could not be sustainable.
The other element that has to be considered is the release date (10/31), as there could be potential for a shit ton of redemptions with the way Panini has been running as of late. That doesnt even begin to factor in the lack of time for rookies to have success. No guarantee that Manziel will have even hit the field by then. No guarantee that there will be ANY breakout rookie by that point. There isnt so far.
From what pictures have been showing, the cards are all hard signed, which is awesome, but the release is a month away! They had better get their fucking shit together if they expect people to walk away satisfied. Nothing like opening a box that costs the same as a mortgage payment and getting 3 redemptions for your biggest hits, right?
Bottom line, even if you are pulling a Brady or Manning in every box, their cards are not going to sell for the kind of price that will allow for a big enough return. In fact, the trend in football is pretty apparent – as the player collectors get their chase cards, the price can drop by up to 50%. That goes doubly so for guys like Odell Beckham, who will be all over this product.
I hope I can eat my words here, because collectors are a weird bunch of people. The things they support on a regular basis tend to baffle me, and it could potentially work out well if the checklist isnt as watered down as it looks. Maybe they have found loop holes in the licensing to allow them to work around the lower tier rookies that are destined to plague a product like this.
Regardless, I love the way this set looks, as I think the cards are awesome. But I think Panini has made some decisions as of late that show that they have no fucking clue how to maximize their reach. They have also found out the hard way that what works in Basketball doesnt always work in football, and vice a versa. At some point someone is going to realize that its a good idea to start including coupons for lube and astroglide with their products. Maybe then, things can get better.
Dont just look at the cards – LOOK AT THE PLAYERS: