We are about 9 days away from the hobby release of 2014 Score Football, a set that many people have been curious about for a few different reasons. Of course, many of these reasons have very little to do with the cards in the product and more with the launch of the new Panini Rewards program, but I digress. 2014 cards are 2014 cards, and I am excited to get this new year underway, even if the set is about as unappealing as they come.
The first cards from the retail version of Score are already out, and many more will likely be coming as the week progresses:
Bottom line, I encourage you to go on Panini’s blog and read up on the Rewards. My feelings on the potential of this program have been well documented, especially considering what it will mean for player collectors. I have already been assured that the big players in each sport will still have normal redemptions, but I dont think its that simple.
This program could have been amazing if the collectors were offered a choice instead of being forced into participation. My stance has always been that it should be up to us if we want to wait for the redemption of the player on the card, instead of ensuring we will need to fight over limited copies in the store if/when they eventually show up signed.
Score is already a terrible product for more reasons than I can count on one hand, but this does take away from the issues with it. Although I really like the design this year, the pictures on the cards are horrendous, thus ruining everything for me. Who doesnt love players doing their best “Herp Derpson” face, right? I really would have liked these draft day cards to be done 100% but obviously Panini thinks that collectors dont want dynamic photography on the first cards of the year.
These actually look pretty damn good:
Secondly, I think its worth everyone’s time to peruse the rewards store. There are a lot of cards already loaded, none of which are attractive to most collectors. Although it is VERY early, this type of situation doesnt inspire confidence when a relic card of a crappy rookie from 2012 sells for 400 points. This had better mean that they are a bit more liquid with points in packs, or things are going to get ugly fast.
Again, let me stress that I understand this is the earliest stages of things, and that it will likely change dramatically. However, you would expect them to have their shit together enough to know not to load up on junk in the store the day of launch. I would have put some Panini authentic items in there from Luck, Durant and company, just to show that this is not a joke. Right now, im not operating with a lot of confidence – definitely not enough for me to go chasing down points cards when they start showing up on eBay.
With Johnny Manziel signing an exclusive autograph deal through Panini Authentic, lets hope there is some movement on more things being added to the fray. On the other hand, it may never happen too. There are so many questions right now that dont have answers that its relatively frightening. Panini is playing with thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of incoming goods from a base of people that are already unhappy with a lot of elements. To quell the storm, they are going to need a lot more than a few crappy cards.
Panini has A LOT to prove to people who understand that redemptions werent really the problem in the first place. The only problem with redemptions was what was going to happen when they were unfulfilled. Not a good initial impression.