Finally, after a long and brutal year of more than 30 NFL products and even more NCAA products, the year is over. The 2016 edition of Flawless will close out the year for the second time, and for the most part it is built almost identically to the previous 2 versions. I stand by my assessment that the price per box is insane, and should never be what it is, but at least chase content is included this year.
Here are some of the hits up so far:
The addition of NFL logos, brand logos and other types of chase content is absolutely necessary in a product like this, bottom line. Similarly bringing guys like Calvin Johnson and Randy Moss to the checklist helps too, but this stuff is still burdened by a price tag that no football product could ever support without group breakers.
In terms of design, the cards do look nice, and aside from some TERRIBLE Now and Then cards, the simplicity of the presentation is nice. I think this isnt as good looking as last year, which is extremely disappointing, but not at all surprising. For the most part, its colored foil on a stark white background, which doesnt really offer much as the most expensive football product in history.
Considering we literally JUST had NT released, its getting crowded during this part of the calendar for super premium product, thus diluting the market. Adding in the pre-draft junk that Panini is driving as well, and collectors just dont know what to do next.
I understand that Panini wants their license to be year round, but they need better planning around when the best products hit shelves.
If Flawless was wiped from the calendar next year, I would not be upset. With so many products now being built as Group Break based configurations, I just cant get behind the sprawl. Panini knows how unsuccessful their efforts would be without the breakers pimping their wares, and caters way too much of their calendar to that crowd. The singles market becomes flooded with people looking to unload, and everyone hurts as a result.
When you pull the best player available in your box, and cannot even cover your cost, there is a major problem. Panini is thinking, that it is a huge return on a group break slot, and moves on, but this is an inherently unhealthy way to function. I dont think its changing anytime soon, and eventually the bed will be made. Hopefully everyone is ready to sleep in it.