So much about collecting has changed since the venerable Rookies & Stars Football brand first hit the scene back in 1998. Thriving for 15 years in any industry is a remarkable accomplishment by itself, but doing so in the hyper-competitive, hyper-creative sports card hobby is worthy of a lifetime achievement award. But when Panini America releases 2013 Rookies & Stars Football in late August, here’s betting collectors will find it award-winning for myriad other reasons.
For starters, there’s the return to glory of the landmark Crusade insert, which will bring back the authentic hypotnic designs and printing technology that made those original 1998 gems instant classics. There’s also the return of the unique Rookie Premiere Slideshow Signatures insert . . . and Team Chemistry dual-signed cards . . . and Rookie Materials Signatures . . . and Game Plan and Touchdown Club . . . and so much more.
You just knew that Panini America’s 2012 Cooperstown Baseball, one of last season’s most history-steeped baseball releases, would raise the bar with its highly anticipated encore. 2013 Cooperstown Baseball is slated to go live in mid August and once again this season will pay homage to the greatest baseball players of all time with another legendary assortment of on-card autographs, a rainbow array of Cracked Ice parallels and the addition of Cogan’s Disks, Cooperstown Lumberjacks wood cards and oversized box-toppers.
Each 24-pack hobby box of 2013 Cooperstown Baseball will deliver one on-card autograph (either a Cooperstown Signatures card or a unique Heroes Buy Back autograph), two Cooperstown Lumberjack wood cards (featuring a mix 0f Deadball Era players and Hall of Famers), six Green Cracked Ice, one Gold Cracked Ice (#’d to 299), three Blue Cracked Ice (#’d to 499), two Red Cracked Ice (#’d to 399), two Base SPs, 24 Colgan’s Disks, four Historic Tickets, three Museum Pieces and one 5 by 7 Cooperstown Lumberjacks Die Cut or Pennant box-topper.
I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong — and I was wrong about 2013 Score Football. I’ve said all along that this year’s 25th anniversary edition of the product might be one of the best yet. Turns out there’s nothing “might” and “one of” about it. In my humble hobby opinion, 2013 Score Football is, quite simply, the best one yet.
I got my first look at the hobby jumbo version of Panini America’s first 2013 NFL product of the season earlier this afternoon and have been gushing about it ever since. From the classic design of the Rookie Cards (and their Purple and Black hobby parallels) to the rich autograph and memorabilia content to the fantastic photography to the myriad collectible parallels, there’s a definite rockstar aura to 2013 Score Football (and absolutely zero redemptions) sure to send it rocketing up the charts when it releases later this week.
Panini America’s basketball big-hitters just keep coming. While many collectors still are enjoying the primest of pulls from recently released products such as 2012-13 Momentum Basketball, 2012-13 Past & Present Basketball and 2012-13 Preferred Basketball, the company has another must-bust NBA release planned to drop on Wednesday: 2012-13 Brilliance Basketball.
From a pure aesthetics standpoint, Brilliance boasts an enchanting combination of surface textures, old-fashioned embossing and finely finished surfaces that should appeal to collectors in completely different ways than the other products mentioned above. There’s also a wealthy share of autograph and memorabilia inclusions in Brilliance that will find a permanent home in many a collection.
PASADENA, Calif. — Perhaps Panini America Vice President of Marketing Jason Howarth said it best during a sun-drenched interview with NFL.com’s Crystina Poncher on the pristine Rose Bowl field Saturday afternoon: “The NFLPA Rookie Premiere is our Super Bowl,” Howarth said. In so many ways, Howarth nailed it.
Indeed, when it comes to the 2013 NFL trading card season, there is no more important event for Panini America than the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. The content captured during this four-day spectacle — photographs, autographs, memorabilia and relationships — will help drive Panini America’s NFL products for the entirety of the 2013 season and well beyond.
PASADENA, Calif. — Panini America is on location inside the historic Rose Bowl providing budget-busting coverage of the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Follow us on Twitter and the #ScoreRookie hash tag so you don’t miss any of the action.
LOS ANGELES — At one table, Denard Robinson played “MC Shoelace” and Quinton Patton spun the wheels of steel in a signing room they came to call “Club Panini.” At another, Matt Barkley discussed wedding plans across the room from Knile Davis and Tavon Austin, who quietly signed autographs while rapt in their new Panini America Skullcandy Crushers. Minutes later, Manti Te’o free-handed a colorful Chargers lightning bolt, Cordarrelle Patterson wielded an NFLPA photographer’s camera and Eddie Lacy was nice enough to show a stranger his most impressive necklace.
To be sure, Friday inside the Panini America player lounge at the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere provided another day full of scintillating highs, as many laughs as autographs and enough feel-good memories to last a lifetime.