Panini Makes Big Announcement Surrounding the Future of Patch Cards

Panini was really making waves at the Summit this week, which has been the case for the last few years.

I already posted my thoughts on the new Panini Rewards Redemption Program, but I want to cover the other piece of news, which I find to be that much more interesting and beneficial for EVERY collector who buys Panini Products.

Over the last few card years, the quality of patches released in products has grown to an almost unsupportable level. As game used jerseys have become commonplace and lost values, companies have relied almost exclusively on finding ways to keep them as a valuable part of a product’s checklist. One way to do that is to introduce more and more crazy patches in as many cards as possible. Prior to that, logo and multicolored patches were so rare, that any quality patch was enormously valuable above and beyond the normal card. Whenever something gains popularity in this fashion, the scammers come out of the woodwork to find ways to exploit it. What happened was the removal of the low quality patch from the card via a variety of techniques, and replacing them with some of the logo patches that were are now all used to.

Because so few cards had logo patches, and many of the fakes looked almost identical to one another, it was easy to tell when something wasn’t real.

Many companies tried to work against faking patches, some by encapsulating cards, others by listing the patch content on the actual card themselves. None of these worked well, as the criminals always found a way to take advantage of the people who weren’t in the know.

Fast forward to today, after years of problems. One of the ripple effects of this new era of patch quality is that it is no longer easy or possible to tell the good fakes from the real cards. Because the practice has been around for so long, and because any card in any set can have a crazy patch, we are at the mercy of these idiots.

All these cards are high numbered:

2012 Panini National Treasures Russell Wilson Logo Patch Auto /49

2011 Exquisite Cam Newton Logo Patch Auto RC /99

2012 Limited Joe Flacco Jumbo Logo Patch Auto /10

2012 Panini Black Nick Foles Auto Patch Logo

For a long time, collectors have asked for a database sponsored by the manufacturer to showcase each card. Up until yesterday, no one was able to make that happen. Well Panini is taking a bold and needed step forward in adding a QR code to the back of each prime patch card to be linked to an image of the card at packout. This is a huge step in combatting fakes, even though it doesn’t solve the whole problem. It solves enough of the problem that the rest almost becomes moot.

In fact, I used to cover fakes on my site all the time, but its just not feasible anymore. That is a shame that I cant be the person I used to be, as everyone needs education on these matters. You cant tell, and this is going to be great.

I sincerely hope this becomes a main focus for Panini in their product development, and I am eager to see what happens when it comes into play next year. There are so many patch cards from each product that I am curious to see how they will be able to execute this problem, but I almost don’t care as long as it happens in SOME capacity.

When you see how many of the hobby’s biggest cards are now unable to be purchased because of fear over fakes, this is huge.

There was also talk at the summit around adding photos of the game used jerseys to the back of the card in which they are used, also a big deal. There is a lot of talk, mostly unwarranted, surrounding the authenticity of game used material in cards, and this should help alleviate that situation somewhat. Although we still have to take the company’s word in some cases about the source of the jersey, we now have more of a roadmap to confirming authenticity of our swatches. This doesn’t solve the usage of event used material, which has become its own monster, and wont likely solve that any time soon.

My thoughts are simple. There is no reason for Topps, Panini or anyone to knowingly defraud their customers on the authenticity of game used material, regardless of guarantees on the back of the card. It just isn’t worth it, especially with the amount of access many of the companies have directly to the locker rooms in the major sports. Topps has piss poor wording on their cards to CYA, but I don’t see that as a risk. No one will be or can be perfect in a venture like this where there are more fakes than real material. One of the companies will get burned eventually, but it just does not make sense to risk it. We have all heard the stories about UD and their shady business, but I am forced to believe this is a different time.

Panini has tried sets that source GU jerseys to a specific game, and they haven’t done any better than non-sourced material. It just doesn’t do much for the average collector. That doesn’t make it any less of a nice to have, but we should all be realistic.

As much of a hater as I am over the previous announcement, I absolutely love this.

3 thoughts on “Panini Makes Big Announcement Surrounding the Future of Patch Cards

  1. To me there are a couple different issues involved.. Lack and certification of true game used material and the increase in the amount of these manu patch cards.

    I never understand the premium placed on the patch cards from NFL rookie premiere. When a player “wears” 3000 jerseys in a day and all those patches are available where is the value? And as teams revamp their unis to more “modern” look there will be more patches and multi color swatches available. Just wait til all unis look like a Nascar fire suit…. Patches for everyone!!

    As long as the statement on the back of the card reads something like “this swatch is not from any specific game or event” I dont care that there is a database of what the card looked like at packout.

    If the companies are not wililng or cost prohibited to include items that are game worn by the player pictured on the card and back it up with specific and direct statements then what difference does it make? If its a manu patch from the rookie premier or the silly college “jersey” pieces UD puts in the cards, it doesnt really matter.

    The leagues and teams have a stake in this also especially when there is a one company exclusive like in baseball and basketball.. All the teams sell purported game used items directly to the public on their team web site. Worst case the card companies could get items directly from the team and state as much on the card backs. Or the league could have a trading card uniform promotion where all the unis from a specific game went directly to the manufacturers for their use in any product or promotion the companies wanted like Panini’s new points based redemption…

  2. I was literally thinking of you when they made that announcement. Seems like a great move to me.

  3. I just recently bought an encased Flawless Drew Brees patch auto 3/15 from eBay. As I’m sure you can find it on the sold page, the patch is incredible! However, there are those who call this Flawless set not so flawless and that the patches are manufactured and fake.

    I’m fairly new to the collecting game…stepped away for a while…but is there any validity to those who cry fake or “manufactured?”

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