At this very moment (provided you’re reading this on Wednesday), Wes Elliott, Micah Layton and other members of the Panini America Product Development Team are hard at work at the production facility across town engaging in the early stages of packout for the highly anticipated 2014 Immaculate Baseball. Luckily for all of us, Elliott’s been keeping us up to date on the packout proceedings with a steady stream of emails featuring one stunning image after another.
In the gallery that follows, we are in turn sharing those images with you — partly because we want you to see what all of the Immaculate buzz is about and partly because we want you to feel like you’re right there on the production room floor with Elliott, Layton and the rest of the team.
We love NFL rookies at Panini America. We love interacting with them at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere every summer. We love the fact that with their potential and their performances, they drive sales of every NFL product we make every year. But you want to know who loves NFL rookies as much as we do? Pepsi and football collectors.
Indeed, the folks at Pepsi get just as excited we all do about NFL Rookie performances each week during the season. And that’s exactly why once again this season, for the fourth straight year, Panini America and Pepsi have joined forces to help promote Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week voting and Panini America NFL Rookie Cards.
Even as the collecting world awaits next week’s release of 2013-14 Flawless Basketball, the highly anticipated final release of the 2013-14 NBA collecting season, Panini America officials also have one eye firmly fixed on the bright prospects of the 2014-15 NBA collecting season. And as has become tradition, the product that will tip things off — in a big way — is traditional favorite NBA Hoops Basketball.
2014-15 NBA Hoops Basketball is slated to arrive in hobby shops on October 15 and will feature a revamped box configuration (12 cards per pack, 24 packs per box) that delivers two autographs (including one autograph from a member of the vaunted 2014 NBA Draft Class), one memorabilia card, 36 Rookie Cards and 72 inserts or parallels (including 10 numbered cards).
Pssst . . . Panini America’s fabulously, famously high-end Flawless brand that redefined what a super-premium product could be in basketball is coming to football — and it’s bringing the precious gems, the sickest patches, the on-card opulence and the wow-factor wizardry that made the briefcased brand an instant classic on the hardwood. Due out October 31, 2014 Flawless Football will arrive in 10-card briefcases that deliver seven autograph cards, two memorabilia cards and one slabbed card embedded with a real diamond or emerald.
Every card in 2014 Flawless Football will be numbered to 25 or less and the product is equipped with some of the most spectacular memorabilia and autograph chases that the football card industry has ever seen, with checklists that feature the greatest current stars, the hottest rookies and the game’s most decorated legends.
The first thing you notice about Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is his freakish physique. The 6-6, 240-pound frame that somehow seems even bigger. Massive mitts roughly the size of iPads. The athletic ability that defies conventional wisdom. After all, players that big simply aren’t supposed to be able to do what Benjamin does. But Benjamin does.
He did it for Florida State in the BCS National Championship game last season, snaring the title-clinching touchdown toss from Jameis Winston with 13 seconds left in a thrilling triumph over Auburn. He did it again last week in his NFL debut, grabbing six passes for 92 yards and another game-winner, this time with a sleight-of-hand, how’d-he-do-that? 26-yard number from Panthers back-up Derek Anderson that helped secure a 20-14 victory over Tampa Bay. In the process, Benjamin earned Week 1 2014 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors.
It’s been two long weeks since our last episode of Panini America’s vaunted “Where Is It? Weekend,” and that can mean only one thing: It’s time to do it again and give Panini America collectors and avid readers of The Knight’s Lance another chance to win some sweet cards. For this exciting installment of “Where Is It? Weekend,” we’ve hidden six smaller, perhaps-somewhat-manipulated versions of the Panini America knight helmet logo that appears at the top of this post — and we’re giving you until tomorrow night to find them.
This time, the prize pool includes three boxes of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball and some sweet single cards from both Immaculate Basketball and 2013-14 National Treasures Hockey. There will be 10 total prizes.
To suggest that this was quite a productive week for the Panini America basketball team would be a gross understatement. A week that began and ended with the QC and packout processes for 2013-14 Flawless Basketball was filled in the middle with Wednesday’s blockbuster release of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball. In fact, things were so hectic that we almost forgot to film this episode of Panini Unwrapped. Almost.
As it turned out, though, we carved out some time late in the week to grab a few boxes of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball, a trusty cameraman (Wes Elliott) and Keith Hower to bring you this must-see episode. It’s not everyday that you pull an on-card autograph of the legendary Bill Russell. But we did. To see what else we pulled, check out the complete video below. After you’ve watched it, check back with The Knight’s Lance tomorrow to find out how you can win that Russell . . . or a few other sweet cards from this break . . . or an unopened box of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball.