Today, Panini released images from 2011 Rookies and Stars football, a brand that I have said needed to be axed completely off the face of the earth. Although the brand name has been around forever, the concept and content of the set is usually so forgettable, that it completely blurs together with the rest of the mid end slate that Panini usually crams down people’s throat. This year’s set makes the above even more apparent, as its obvious that Panini has dedicated little effort into making the brand viable again. Even though there will be lots of rookie focused content in this terribly named product, its not something that wont be available elsewhere for a better price and better design work.
The main problem I have with this set has always been the manu-patch autos that populate a good handful of Panini’s entire calendar. They have been so prominent in the calendar that the value of the cards has dropped almost through the floor. For this year’s set its basically MORE content related to these patches, and it literally sickens me that Panini is putting forth this little effort in making the product fresh. The base design is also relatively comparative to last year’s offering and there really is ZERO reason why anyone would waste their money on a product like this.
Secondarily, it looks like Panini is continuing the refusal of going out of their way to parallel their insert sets to hell. They show you the auto jersey parallel of both of the sets they preview here, but you have to realize that 95% of the checklist will be those crap jerseys and patch cards that sell for a buck. In addition, they continue their obsession with weirdly placed swatch windows that will not look right without the sticker, as well as designs that feature all sorts of weird lines and shapes. Im guessing there will also be some “Rookie Orientation” themed set, as well as a studio set. Nothing ever changes in Panini-land.
You know, its odd, as Topps is obviously dedicated to moving forward with on card content, Panini is definitely thinking that they can sit on their ass and not work towards a greater goal. They don’t seem to get that better designs and more innovation will add to their collector loyalty, that they should ditch crap like this and offer new products that don’t reak like a stale fart. That’s basically what I get out of shit like this.
Here are the photos: