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Special Panini Unwrapped Double Feature: 2012 Cooperstown & 2012 Signature Series

November 8, 2012

Late yesterday afternoon, Panini America’s Tracy Hackler sat down with company baseball aficionados Mike Payne and Ben Ecklar, one after the other, to bust some early boxes of the long-awaited 2012 Cooperstown Baseball and the live-today 2012 Signature Series Baseball.

Two dramatically different products, both with their own considerable merits and packed with enough pop, pomp, circumstance and history to appeal to baseball fans and collectors of all ages and experience levels.

In the following special Panini Unwrapped double feature, Payne and Ecklar provide tons of insight and behind-the-scenes skinny on how these two product came about. To help complete the experience for you, we’ve also provided the complete checklists for both products.

Here’s the 2012 Cooperstown Baseball checklist: 2012 Panini Cooperstown CL xls

Here’s the 2012 Signature Series Baseball checklist: 2012 Panini Signature Series CL xls

After you’ve watched both videos, please offer your take on them — which one appeals more to you, what you like most about each one, what you like least about each one. Really, we’re just looking for your candid feedback. In exchange, we’re offering three boxes of each product as prizes.

We’ll give you a week or so to offer your feedback before selecting six winners. Thanks in advance for your participation. We look forward to hearing from you. Now, onto the double feature . . .

2012 Cooperstown Baseball

2012 Signature Series Baseball

44 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2012 10:44 am

    Really love the Cooperstown set. Probably gonna try and put the base set together! Great stuff, guys! Love the direction your Baseball products are headed!

  2. Bryan Goldstein permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:11 am

    Thanks for the double video day! Looking at both sets I have to say that I am heavily leaning towards the Cooperstown. There is just so much to like in that set. The history there is amazing and the simplicity of some of the inserts is perfect for the type of produc it is. I love the look of the plaque cards and the induction year wood cards. I actually like the fact that there are no mem cards in the product and instead there are cards that show the items from coopertown. Its a great way to include the items in the set without making cooperstown and Baseball historians cry. Overall, great job! With regards to signature series, I am not a huge fan of the base cards. Not sure what it is, but the design is not my favorite. It might be my dislike for the up close and personal photography, but that is not to say others would not like it. I do like the design of the Auto cards though(how could you not like the rated rookie one?!). So overall Cooperstown is, in my personal opinion, the better product.

  3. November 8, 2012 11:19 am

    Signature Series was a bit of a disappointment for me, personally. For that price point to be pulling three autographs of rookies or prospects, would be a bit of a letdown.

    Cooperstown, on the other hand was great! I LOVE the history of baseball, and this product truly pays tribute to that. Of course, I would like to win a box of this, but I will also be purchasing a couple, regardless.

  4. November 8, 2012 11:43 am

    Both products look outstanding! I can’t wait to get some Cooperstown. When you guys did the preview, they had a picture of a cut signature. Hey Tracy, do you know what the odds are for pulling a cut signature?

  5. November 8, 2012 11:44 am

    Just the fact that the autograph checklist in Cooperstown is all HoF’ers makes it more appealing. Rookies and prospects are sometimes nice to get. but if you know you are getting a hall of famer, that always would sway my opinion if I had to chose just one box to buy. I also liked most of the inserts in Cooperstown as well as the parallel cards. For me, Signature Series just didn’t have enough punch to it in terms of veterans and hall of fame players. Also I am not to big on the manufactured patch autographs, the game ball auto’s are quite nice, but I believe both of those types of auto’s don’t necessarily belong in a product with a price point that high.

  6. Robert permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:46 am

    If I had to choose between the two, I would certainly go for the Cooperstown Collection. I am very nostalgic and just being able to read and see the history of the game is what inspires me. I like getting autographs of people that rarely sign due to their unpopularity or just simply that they have never been asked to sign. That is what intrigues me about this new product. Sure, it is nice to get a Dylan Bundy auto but I’d much rather get a Gillick auto because I know I would be one of the few to have his auto.

    Otherwise, Both products look great and am just hoping that Panini soon signs with MLB to get that dual license so all of the cards have the true uniforms and logos on thier cards like they so rightfully deserve so.

  7. hudsonfan15 permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:59 am

    After watching both videos I can confidently say both have merit, however Signature Series is the clear choice for me. While I would normally trend away from prospects and towards retired players for their security in accomplishments already in the record books, the format of SS does it for me. As I get older and because I live in a relatively small place, I have neither the patience nor the space to hang onto unwanted cards. Therefore the one pack thrill of SS benefits my particular collecting habit. Bottom line is that both products are well imagined and executed, I look forward to seeing both on the hobby store shelf soon. Thanks as always Tracy and everyone @PaniniAmerica!

  8. November 8, 2012 12:23 pm

    Guys awesome Job again. I’m really not a Baseball Collector, but I would go out and Buy a Box of the Cooperstown. I’m only 45 minutes away from there and I have been there a few times. I think you did an Excellent Job of capturing everything there and to bring it to people who can’t make it there. Thanks Again and Looking forward to getting a Box.

  9. Lamont Nicholson permalink
    November 8, 2012 1:30 pm

    Signature Series appeals to me more. The rainbow design cards looks fantastic! When I saw the box break video the rookie signatures really stand out as collectables along with the baseball signatures. Awesome product!

  10. John permalink
    November 8, 2012 1:40 pm

    Having on-card autographs of Hall of Fame players (Cooperstown) versus mostly manufactured patch autos (signature series) is a huge difference between the two products, in my opinion. I really dislike manufactured patches and other “sticker auto” alternatives, so any time Panini (other companies) can produce a product with on-card signatures, I’m on board.

    The closeup player images (signature series base cards) and images of the Hall of Fame items from Cooperstown are both really neat ideas, The design concepts are creative ways to get around not having team logos and/or upsetting the Hall of Fame by cutting up historical material.

  11. brad f permalink
    November 8, 2012 1:42 pm

    love the double feature. my thoughts on both products would be that, depending on retail cost to buy, id probably be more inclined to buy sig series over cooperstown. i liked some of the designs and cool info that cooperstown brings but im more or a new gen collector. i have heard of most if not every guy in cooperstown but my area of collecting. i will say that i have heard alot of great things coming from other collectors about it! sig series is just more up my alley! love the hector, huge giants fan, kershaw although hes a dodger,boo, is nice. love that it was on card. but my fav card i think i saw you guys pull was the dual bradley/bundy! IMO, being under age 30, sig series is really nice! thanks tracy and panini for showcasing products and letting us enjoy!

  12. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    November 8, 2012 3:19 pm

    Loving both products..only a matter of time guys when we will see that MLB license heading your way hopefully!!

  13. Andrew McKay permalink
    November 8, 2012 4:09 pm

    I like the idea of the Cooperstown for those of us that have never made it down there but as a personal collecting preference I am excited for the Signature Series, the game ball auto cards are pretty sweet. I am not a big fan of the on material auto as I find some of them look like they run a bit or are not as clean as on card. I will be for sure needing to get some though to add to my Jay’s collection.

  14. November 8, 2012 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the double-feature guys! Can’t wait for baseball again in 2013.

    COOPERSTOWN: I would probably try to put the base set together as I think the cards look great! Love the B&W and then sepia SP idea. Great pictures of the museum pieces and I like the plaques! PS-Please send Pat Gillick back to Philadelphia to help out the Phillies this off-season!!!!

    SIG SERIES: I like the look of the Rated Rookie and other logo auto cards. I prefer the ball-signed ones overall, though. They just look cool. How about some SSP (stubble short print) cards of the regular cards hahaha! I like the up-close look of the regular cards. Great personality! Autograph-wise I’m not too keen on getting 3 younger player autos in a box/pack, but if there are more like the one with the Kershaw or other more established players, then that would be good.

    Thanks again!!

  15. Nick Rader permalink
    November 8, 2012 5:21 pm

    Cooperstown has some nice photography and the Medal of Honor subset is super nice. The Sig Series base set is amazing I LOVE IT!!!. The manufactured patch autos ehhh. And the game ball auto scare me because over the years I seen them fade. What type of writing implement was used on those tracy? Marker or pen?

  16. Panini Collector 4ever! permalink
    November 8, 2012 6:56 pm

    Great work as always Panini! Overall I think Panini Signatures wins my vote over Panini Cooperstown and here’s why:
    For Cooperstown Baseball I love the Cooperstown SIgnatures, but the sticker auto adds a little bit of cleyshay to it. As well as the cooperstown famous moments autos. My favorite insert though for Cooperstown would definetly be the Cooperstown bronze history insert #d to 599. It reminds me of a plague in the hall of fame! Super cool. Also, not to mention the Famed Cuts insert, which definetly draws lots of my attention. Also another disclaimer for Cooperstown would be the base cards. They are very dry and bland. Sure it fits the 50s theme but does not characterize what I’m looking for as a collector. The class patches are cool, but not of real jerseys, so I have to give that a downgrade. Lastly the credentials inserts were cool falling only 2 per box, but had a drap, white background to it that really did not scream I want to be a great insert. Cooperstown Baseball in my opinion still gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.

    Now on the other hand, Panini SIgnatures Baseball was an out of the ball-park hit. I could only think of pros for this one and not a single con:) First off, the base cards are unique featuring the player’s face on the front. The autographed patches are beauties as well as the autographed logos. The basic autographed cards are outstnading mainly in part due to them being on-card autos! My favorite even though not on-card, was inevitably the double rookie autographed cards #d to as low as 25!

    Thanks again Panini for being so generous. Keep up the great work and continue to make evveryones lives better:)

    • November 8, 2012 7:14 pm

      Really appreciate the feedback. Just a few things to point out: The vast majority of the autographs in Cooperstown are on-card; the few exceptions being those deceased Hall of Famers for whom we had sticker inventory. Also, due to factors beyond our control, the embroidered patches were not produced and were replaced with the wood cards.

      Not trying to change your opinion, just wanted to get those two important points across. Thanks again for such candid feedback.

      • Panini Collector 4ever! permalink
        November 9, 2012 3:06 pm

        Glad to hear about that-Thanks Tracy That does make Cooperstown Baseball better:)

  17. November 8, 2012 7:30 pm

    Well first i wanna talk about the Cooperstown Product! I think its great that Panini has made a product on the Hall of fame and the cards speak for them self! I love it cause it shows the roots, greats,and records of the game! Im not crazy about the light green in the induction cards probably could of came up with a better looking concept! Now the signature series has a little bit for everyone the cards look great and dont look like any of the products released this year! That black back ground wit the blue almost makes the cards glow! The bad thing is that there could have been more insert sets! But out of the 2 it has to be Cooperstown, Its a interesting set with lots of History!!!!

  18. Brady permalink
    November 8, 2012 8:04 pm

    I like the Cooperstown set. I’ve shied away from baseball since I’ve gotten back into collecting b/c it seems like most autos are draft picks that may or may not make it to the big leagues in a few years. I just don’t feel like I get the value out of a box like I do football or basketball. That being said, I actually picked up a few packs of Cooperstown today and like that I know the players. I LOVE the on card autos and think the wood cards are a cool touch(I pulled the Brooks Robinson induction year card & it looks like wood). I think it would’ve been a nice touch to add some players who most are on their way to Cooperstown soon(Jeter, A-Rod,Halladay, etc.) And just to give you something different, 170 is a weird set number :).

    In regards to the signature series, it’s really hard for me to spend a big chunk of money on just a few cards. Without a guarantee of the cards being established players, I’ll end up shying away from them. They look nice though…

  19. Matt Day permalink
    November 8, 2012 10:13 pm

    I love these videos. They get me so pumped for the products.

    Really two great and different products. Because I’ve never been to Cooperstown, this collection is really of interest to me. I could imagine it’s like taking a little bit of the “Village” home with you.

    And the signature series looks incredible with the autographs and the photographs. What a classy looking product…this will stand the test of time..I’m sure of it.

    So my verdict, I love ‘em both!

    Thanks for sharing the videos with us.

  20. Patrick Bassett permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:14 pm

    I love the rated rookie autograph manufactured patches, and also to add the game ball autographs, just so unique and really amazing, ties together the memorabilia aspect of feeling the card and the amazing autograph detail to add to it, great design, love this new product and the great changes from last years football signature series, i just have nothing bad to say about this product, and i look forward to possibly buying a box or two.

  21. Phil W permalink
    November 9, 2012 12:39 am

    After watching both Panini Unwrapped videos, I think Cooperstown Baseball is the better set. It was nice to see how Cooperstown Baseball has the old/vintage look on all the cards and their historic backgrounds. The short prints also add a nice feature to the set. I would like to see more autographs in a box however. For Signature Series, I liked the use of the Rated Rookie logo for this past year’s rookies. My main criticism would be the overall design of the base cards, as the design doesn’t really appeal to me in my opinion. Although the dark setting enhances the player’s emotion, I think the photos were taken a little too up close. Overall, I’d definitely spend the money on Cooperstown than on the Signature Series in hopes of obtaining some nice piece of baseball history.

  22. Brian permalink
    November 9, 2012 8:22 am

    Loved both sets but think because of the history behind both i would lean towards coopers town. Although i will most likely get boxes of both at some point.

  23. November 9, 2012 8:47 am

    Wow a two’fer of unwrapped!

    The Cooperstown cards look great you can easily see how much time and effort was put into creating the set. The photography just blows you away whether it be a stock image or one taken of memorabilia or around the village. The amount of stats and facts that the cards look like they contain is absolutely awesome. Love the amount of co-operation and obviously respect that has gone into it between the Panini and the Hall.

    Signatures is a very nice set that as you said captures the players a bit! The close shots of the players faces is pretty cool, the autographs on those cards are very well done as well. The Inkredible cards , double rainbows and signature on baseball cards are impressive as well.

  24. November 9, 2012 10:03 am

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOVE Signature series product / it’s an absolute HOME RUN.The photography is awesome and auto format is even better-RATED ROOKIE PATCH AUTO is my favorite but the others (RR Ball,MLB LOGO PATCH) are different from the norm and very appealling.Keep up the good work!!!! (BUNDY/BRADLEY dual auto my personal favorite)

  25. November 9, 2012 10:05 am

    I enjoyed Cooperstown the most out of these two products. Cooperstown has a fun contest, unique individuals signing the cards (like the announcers), and I love the photography of historical baseball items one may not usually witness on a tour of the museum. The only aspect of this product I didn’t enjoy was the parallel, ‘shard’ cards. I find the reflective treatment to be gimmicky and overly used by other companies; this being said, I know a lot of other collectors who would disagree with me here. The other negative comment isn’t all that negative, instead I wonder if in future products you could include cut autographs from players who have passed away? I think that would be a fantastic and fitting inclusion in this product.

    Signature Series appears to be a fun product with lots of on card autos in each pack, which is something I love! The close up photographs of each player are fantastic! The images have a gritty realness in them like the gridiron cards -again, fantastic! My only complaint is that there seems to be too many rookies included. I would rather see more current players included even if they aren’t all Bautista’s or Kemps’.

    Great looking products, and win or loose I know I’ll be busting some of these! Hope to see you guys get a MLB license soon!

  26. Brian permalink
    November 9, 2012 10:19 am

    Really like both products. I think the Cooperstown set really shows the history of the game well. I think that this will be great for younger collectors as they will be able to learn about the history of the game that they love today. Its great to see announcers, owners and other hall of famers getting attention as well. I really like the intensity of the images in the Signature Series. This portrays the players in a way that has not been attempted by any other set which really makes Panini stick out. Great stuff!

  27. November 9, 2012 2:38 pm

    Just watched both videos and while there are inserts in the 2012 Cooperstown I like (wood cards and on card autos) I would not be overly excited to get photos of buildings in the village and pictures of old baseball stadiums. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the pioneers of sports, it’s just that if I am spending my hard earned $ on a product I need it to be more current and guys who can put their John Hancocks on the cards today. For that reason I would say that the 2012 Signature Series would be my favorite of these two products. The Rated Rookie signed cards and the game ball autos look great and I would be happy breaking a box of that anytime. The base cards with head shots look like a auto would go nice on them also. Thanks for the videos and keep it up Panini! We appreciate it.

  28. Ryan E permalink
    November 9, 2012 10:00 pm

    The Cooperstown release is a neat idea. The relic photo cards are sharp! Your team put in a bunch of new ideas for cards and I appreciate that. Some, like the relics, were great. Others- wood cards, village cards, not too appealling for me.

    Of the two sets, the Signature Series is definitely my top choice. Can’t go wrong with the awesome auto cards. But actually the most eye popping cards are the black base cards. Very cool!

  29. Ernest Hebert permalink
    November 9, 2012 10:15 pm

    Cooperstown…
    So many great things with this product…the Plaques with the spot UV/glossy I know for a fact that is cool…lol…Wood cards a plus I have always liked those from years past…cracked ice/shards again cool…..Scenery cards I really like because they are not just of anything time was taken to obtain the right image from the couple I have seen …aside from the auto’s the hottest cards in the set that really really appeals to me are the colorized cards they are just simply fantastic……..P.S. everyone comes down on Cobb, sharpened spikes gotta ask why he sharpened them probably because everyone tried to take his head off…lol..

    Signature Series…
    The up close and personal look I am a fan of need not ask why…I am one for expression many times with full bodied shots you lose out on the facial expressions…
    The proof cards are nice..and the game ball cards the signature looks nice and clean were they signed with ball points?
    Over all the both brands have good things going for them but if you ask which I would prefer I would have to go with Cooperstown just so much more going for that set…

  30. Mal permalink
    November 10, 2012 9:01 am

    I’ve been waiting for Cooperstown, and from the packs I’ve opened I’m not disappointed. They’re just gorgeous – great black and white shots, just enough old-timey filligree to make it look classic without looking busy, good looking logo – and the crystal cards look great in person. I plan to collect this one like crazy. You asked what we like least about each set, and for me it would be the Credentials insert. A wall of text without any images just isn’t that appealing – as The Incomparable said in the video, “it’s real simple, but real factual!” You all have to know that that’s not much of a sell. But the other inserts make up for it.

    Signature series looks like fun, but I don’t know if it’s something I’d pick up – as someone commented above, it seems to be pretty rookie heavy and for something like that, it depends on the price point. But they’re nice looking cards – what I like a lot is the extreme, tight closeup. It’s a really clever way to get a unique look for the set, show a lot of personality from the player, and avoid the team logo all in one swoop. Just a smart design.

  31. Geoff Goebel permalink
    November 10, 2012 9:12 pm

    Let me start off by saying thank you for the preview. I’ll; start with my take on my absolute favorite of the two. That would be Cooperstown. Hats of to all involved on that! I am a fan of not only the game, but of the history and tradition of baseball and i was impressed by how well that was captured in this product. Seeing an auto of Marty Brennaman the best sportrscast for the Reds the first mlb team made my day! The postcard photography cards of the village are great and the plaque and equipment cards are a great glimpse into the museum setting that is Cooperstown. I cant give you something i don’t like about it because I’ve liked everything I’ve seen. I do have a suggestion though. How about Cooperstown tickets? A card of a HOF that resembles a vintage game ticket of a classic game. For example a Carlton Fisk game ^ ticket card of the 75 series. My take on the rookie tickets card for this product.

    Now on to Signature series. I love The portrait style photo’s but the lack of anything else is the draw back to me on the non patch cards. After all guys you know the action photography is what made Gridiron so great this year! I do really like the Rated Rookie patches as i’m sure most do. I couldn’t get enough Ken Griffey jr. Rated Rookie cards when I was younger so those cards bring me back. The Mlb logo cards are nice too but I’d like to see more variety in the non hit cards. I think it would make Signature a lot more appealing to fans of particular teams or set builders.

    All and all two great products from one outstanding company. Thank you Panini!

  32. Panini Always permalink
    November 12, 2012 10:08 am

    Great work Panini! I like Panini Signatures better than Cooperstown because of those awesome autographed patches! Cooperstown Baseball also just is too bland for me;) Thanks again for the generous giveaway.

  33. Vincenzo Lucarelli, Milan permalink
    November 14, 2012 8:52 am

    Hello Tracy, Those two were great videos. Both series will find their admirer, but I vote for the Cooperstown. In detail: I find amazing all the different Auto card presented, with a special mention for the Cooperstown and the Game Ball Auto, but it’s a “simple” insert card that I like the most, the Ballparks in Cooperstown. I have always collected this kind of images. Since you asked for the least liked cards, I found the Credentials insert a bit astract while in the Signature Series, well, I like to see action images and here we have only portraits, good to recognize the players in case you met them in the offseason, but not much more. I Hope to be helpful.

  34. November 17, 2012 5:25 pm

    Any word on the winners yet??

  35. Jason permalink
    November 20, 2012 1:53 am

    Cooperstown is amazing, I have been waiting years for a set like this to complete. I think I am going to try and complete a master set of all the SP’s, auto’s and inserts outside of the cut auto’s. Curious what are the odds of the “Iron Horse” and the “Georgia Peach” Inserts? Also what are the approximate quantities available of the Famous Moment Signatures, they are not numbered right? Also is there plans to add to the set as new players are inducted into the hall? Guys like Maddux, Frank Thomas, Glavine etc.

  36. geoffgoebel permalink
    November 21, 2012 2:32 pm

    Just an afterthought now but signature series having Pete Rose signatures in it, my favorite player of all time is also super sweet!

  37. geoffgoebel permalink
    November 23, 2012 11:50 am

    Were the winners selected on this one? Wasn’t sure if they are messaged or its posted here. I know one thing this is on SWEET giveaway!

  38. November 23, 2012 6:18 pm

    Have the winners been chosen yet??

  39. Kyle permalink
    November 23, 2012 9:33 pm

    I hope I’m not too late! But for me, definetely Cooperstown! Plain awesome!

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  1. Special Panini Unwrapped Double Feature: 2012 Cooperstown & 2012 Signature Series - Blowout Cards Forums
  2. Contest Winners Picked; Black Friday Packs Still Available at iCollectPanini.com « The Official Panini America Blog

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