Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sneak Peek At Panini's National VIP Cards

Panini has decided to keep it simple with their National VIP set, a 6-card checklist. So far they have released images for the first 4 cards in the checklist; RG3, Andrew Luck, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kyrie Irving. Panini is holding back two “mystery” cards that will only be released to the public on August 1st at the convention.

Seeing that the four cards include the some of top draft picks from basketball, football and hockey I would expect the final two cards to be baseball prospects. My best guess would be Yu Darvish and maybe Mike Trout. What I like about the cards is that they are based on the Diamond Kings inserts that have become part of the Donruss/Panini legend.

Is anyone else wondering why Panini has included the spot metering circle on Irving's card? When I first saw the card I thought it was a water mark but I took a closer look and that is full-on the center focus from a camera's viewfinder. None of the other cards carry the marking.

Panini Redemption Trade Up- National Convention Program

Panini will also offer a redemption “Trade-up” program during the National Convention where collectors who are waiting on overdue redemptions can do a trade up at Panini’s booth. They felt this will give frustrated collectors the option to get something of higher value instead of waiting for their outstanding redemption.

The program layout:
Collectors must have redemptions that are outstanding a minimum of four months (April 1st, 2012). If possible, collectors are encouraged to bring print outs showing their outstanding redemptions, this will be verified by Panini’s CSMs.

Redemption cards will have their value determined using Beckett prices by Panini’s CSM team and will be separated by sport

Outstanding redemption card’s prices can be combined to a max of $400 or they can be redeemed individually

Once a price has been determined by Panini and accepted by the collector, the collector will have to sign a release form agreeing to the random pull replacement

Grab bags are separated by price levels and sports. Each grab bag will contain an autograph or prime memorabilia card and will be separated by sport and set price points- $50, $100 and $200

Some grab bags will contain replacement cards with higher values, for example some $50 bags will contain cards as high as $80, some $100 bags will contain cards as high as $140 and some $200 bags will contain cards up to $250 in value.

Some grab bags will contain onsite redemption cards that will be good for boxes of product that you can exchange for the box at that moment.

The program will begin on August 1st and will only run from 5 PM- 8 PM

This is a nice offer on Panini’s side, it will give collectors the opportunity to get something out of an overdue redemption card that may or may not ever show up. There are both an upside and downside with the program. For a collector who pulled a redemption of a player who they did not care for either way this can work out in their favor because they could end up with a player they collect or a player that will offer decent value. The downside is if a collector has specific player redemption and are tired of waiting months or even a year, they could end up with a player of no interest to them. Just because two players have the same Beckett value does not mean they are equal in the eyes of the collector.

Doing a quick search, I selected a mid-priced ($120.50 w 4 days left) Panini Limited Glass Cleaner Kevin Durant autograph redemption and within a $10 range of that $120 price there is a Ron Harper Limited Trophy Case auto-relic, a Dave Cowens Preferred Choice auto, a Grant Hill Limited SP autograph and a Alonzo Mourning Preferred Choice auto. Yes some of these are asking prices and not actual prices and yes some of them are limited and yes there were also Blake Griffin auto-relics, Chris Paul auto and Kobe Bryant autographs but no matter how you sell it someone is going to get the crap in exchange for a meaningful redemption.

Because of the uncertainty, if I had a delayed redemption for a specific athlete that I collected, I would hold on to the redemption and hope that it comes through some day. I would happily wait on a Durant autograph then take my chance on possibly pulling a Dave Cowens auto even if the Durant is un-numbered and the Cowens is #/5.

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