NOTE: Please read the following post knowing that Preferred costs almost 200 a box.
Well, Preferred is out, and we finally get to see the garbage that Panini felt necessary to add along side the silhouettes in these boxes. Because the only card anyone wants is the silhouette, in the past, they felt it gave them a pass to include nothing but visual diarrhea in the rest of the product. Its been so bad in some years that I have seen shelves filled with Crown Royale boxes from other years, and that was when this set was significantly cheaper per box.
Here are the hits up so far:
This means for the grand scheme of things, Panini has increased the price of the box, but Im not seeing much else they added to justify such a huge hike. Not to mention, when you study the checklist, its easy to see that someone could buy one of these boxes and walk away with less than ever. Since the only thing people are chasing are the box hits, one would expect the normal rookie crop, plus some nice veteran names that add significant value to the case hit. Instead we get Jaelen Strong, Byron Jones, Mike Davis, Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor, Jeremy Langford, and others that literally have no business being throw ins in a product like this. At 80 bucks a box, where this will likely end up? Sure, toss them in.
I get that these players have leftovers that need to be used to recoup some of the comical losses that card companies knowingly set themselves up for at every rookie premiere (not just Panini either), but that is what trashy retail products like Rookies and Stars is for. Not Preferred. Last time I checked 3 plain jersey swatches a Silhouette of a scrub and 3 sticker autos is not preferred at all. Its the complete opposite. That’s what most of these boxes will turn out to be.
Oh lets not forget points. Everyone’s favorite autograph replacement is making its way into another super premium product, and I still cant understand what makes Panini think these cards are acceptable. Even if they replace one of the scrub autos that was mentioning above, it feels like you are being shorted. It feels like shit. Not surprisingly, if you get 250 points, the value of the card is like 5-10 bucks. When it costs 5 bucks to ship any reward, that sucks up quite a bit of the value of the card, no? But fuck it, lets put it in this product that costs double what it should!
Lastly, I want to spend some time on Stare Masters. Yes, some time in the last 6-12 months, someone on the Panini team thought it would be a fun exercise to bring back this subset, that was first used during the mid 1990s in donruss products. For some reason, this time in card history has been of much inspiration to Panini in the last few years, because they know nostalgia is a powerful drug when you literally have no ability to create nice things on your own. What they dont get, is that the set was fucking lame back then, and makes even less sense now.
Bottom line, Contenders is on the way. You know that all the Panini robots and group breakers will tear off body parts to open as many boxes as possible. Its going to be insane, and there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to open this junk. Dont. Lock your credit cards away with a timer until then, and put your fingers in your ears until you can open those packs. Nothing will be worth your time to open before that, and its essential that you dont fall for the bullshit that Panini’s adverblog will crap out daily. There is not a Dak every five boxes. There are not Zeke Elliott autos flowing like rivers as shown in their breaks. You will end up with a single color Mike Davis silhouette, and you will wish you had saved your 190 bucks to spend on a product actually worth a damn. Trust me. Save yourself the heartbreak.