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This Just In: Chris Johnson’s 2008 National Treasures Football RCs Finally Go Live!

April 10, 2012

A lot has happened in the four seasons since the electrifying Chris Johnson began captivating fans and collectors as a first-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008. There was that promising 1,228-yard, nine-TD rookie campaign, the CJ2K phenomenon created by his spectacular 2,006-yard sophomore season, another 1,364 yards in 2010 and last-season’s holdout-hindered 1,047-yard, four-TD effort.

Through it all, the one glaring omission from Johnson’s stunning body of work has been live versions of his 2008 National Treasures Football Rookie Cards, originally inserted as redemptions when the product released in late January of 2009.

But 1,166 days, 7,071 total yards and 42 total touchdowns later, that’s about to change in a big way. Panini America officials today announced that they have finally started redeeming Johnson’s most important trading cards following a prolonged roller-coaster ride that included lost originals, long delays, costly remakes and, finally, the oddly saving grace of sticker autographs.

The circuitous path to this point — like any trademark long Johnson scoring jaunt — has been a mesmerizing journey that started with a misplaced original shipment. From there, Panini America officials scrambled to remake the cards only after confirming that there were enough pieces of Johnson-worn jersey remaining from the 2008 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere.

They then waited . . . and waited . . . and waited to reschedule another signing. As it turns out, that process took the better part of two years. But once a signing was agreed upon, the tough decision was made to utilize sticker autographs for these important cards. After all, the prospects of another lost shipment and no more memorabilia likely meant that these cards would never exist.

Today, they do. And this week, they’re being shipped to those patient collectors who’ve been waiting.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Gilman permalink
    April 10, 2012 3:28 pm

    I was worried there wouldn’t be a Knights Lance today! Some sweet looking cards. Chris is one of the most exciting players in the league and the fastest. Hopefully he can come back strong this year. He struggled some last year. But it will take a good season by Jake Locker as well. Or teams will focus on Cj2k

  2. dalton permalink
    April 10, 2012 3:28 pm

    how where the origanals lost,sounds like the origanals had jerseys but did they have autos? if the origanals are ever found is there a way to differante between the two (i think the lost shipment would be way more valuable), also if origanals are found does that mean every card will be a duplicate ie: 2 differant 1/99 cards? thanks

    • csm4panini permalink*
      April 10, 2012 8:12 pm

      The ones we will be sending out are sticker autos.

  3. Jeffrey permalink
    April 10, 2012 3:36 pm

    Wow. Congratulations to those that waited it out and are now going to get these cards! True Patience.

  4. Eliyahu permalink
    April 10, 2012 3:47 pm

    Glad they are made but the sticker part is a joke. Could’ve easily been done years ago. Don’t buy the stories. Just schedule the signing and make them properly “next time”. Thanks for giving no word on beaubois yet.

    • csm4panini permalink*
      April 10, 2012 8:13 pm

      Beaubois’ stuff is signed and will go out very soon.

  5. Micah Distel permalink
    April 10, 2012 3:48 pm

    wonder how many people had given up on getting this. nice to see you got them though!

  6. April 10, 2012 3:52 pm

    What great commitment to the customer to go through all these steps in order to complete these redemptions. Given his success and the collectability of the National Treasures RPA set this is a fantastic announcement, it does beg the question: will Panini honor a redemption from that set that has yet to be redeemed online/through the mail from a collector who knew of the variety of issues with the item and until now has held off? Thanks Tracy!

    • armyatc22 permalink
      April 10, 2012 5:35 pm

      Tom this is still unacceptable..4 years for them to “change” what the card is suppose to be, Come on man…Yes its good that they are finally getting something out the door but how many people are waiting on these? I know when CJ was holding out I requested a replacement and got a Marino NT auto /15 for it and im pretty sure a lot more people had the same idea after years of waiting.

      • April 11, 2012 12:48 pm

        Alex I respect your opinion but there are supercollectors in our community who would attest that it’s better to eventually produce the actual card they wanted then to leave them twisting in the wind until they break down and accept a compromise (ask East Coast Chad). You made the decision to stop waiting and that’s fine, you ended up with a nice PC card instead which should be an ideal result for you. At least you got an adequate replacement unlike the nonsense some other companies try to pull. There couldn’t have been that many of these in total since the print runs in NT are so small so that makes it even more respectable that they are still concerned enough to pursue this for that long, if I were in their shoes I would be inclined to settle up with those who were waiting, cut my losses and move on since it’s such a relatively small amount of requests in the grand scheme of things. But Tracy and company were dedicated enough to spend time, energy and money to get collectors something fairly comparable to what they were owed and I respect and appreciate their efforts.

  7. Nick Gauder permalink
    April 10, 2012 5:23 pm

    Nice cards! Im not waiting on any of these cards but its good to know that you guys at Panini never give up and try your hardest to get all redemptions made and shipped to your customers no matter how long it takes. Keep up the great work!

  8. Marvin Bell permalink
    April 10, 2012 5:50 pm

    Wow, finally after 3 years and never getting a replacement, im finally going to get this card…Little disappointed that they will not have the on card signitures, but atleast Im getting a really nice card…Thanks Pannini

  9. Howard Wheeler permalink
    April 10, 2012 7:56 pm

    I think they should have waited till his play and effort get even worse. Nothing like releasing a card that 2 years ago would have been valued almost 5x’s as much or more

    • April 10, 2012 8:34 pm

      We would have loved to release the card two years ago. For that matter, we would have loved to release the card live in product in 2008 National Treasures. But circumstances dictated that we had to wait. We’re releasing it now because it’s the earliest we could release it.

  10. April 11, 2012 3:37 am

    awesome effort, at least you are getting it out in the end. Especially when it would have been easier to just ignore it.

  11. sportsmktgguy permalink
    April 11, 2012 10:00 am

    The original cards were lost by the player. As you can all imagine – National Treasures is not a simple product to remake – it’s designed to be made once (hence the value). We were fortunate to have had enough material left on the mem front, but as highlighted we were very hesitant to resend the cards and risk them being lost or misplaced again.

    It’s unacceptable for us to ever have a redemption of this caliber outstanding for so long. That’s not our goal when we enter into commitments with players and begin to build our products. The Chris Johnson redemption issue was one that came up in countless meetings and what we could do to resolve it. Now that CS falls under the Marketing division – we chose to address and resolve the issue as best we can. The overwhelming question was do we continue to keep him as a redemption in the hopes that we would someday be able to sit down with him or do we do the best we can to deliver the card, which was long overdue to NT fans and collectors that were lucky enough to pull it.

  12. April 11, 2012 12:09 pm

    What happens to the CJ’s that collector’s have chosen to replace due to the wait? Like, how do those cards get out there since I’m guessing all 99 are not redeemed at this point.

    Also, since someone brought up Roddy B, how is that hard to get a sit down with him when he plays 30 or so minutes from the Panini HQ? Just seems like someone would be able to grab him during a home game and get him to sign. I realize that I’m simplifying the process here and that the reality has to be more complicated then this. Just curious, thanks.

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