Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010-11 Panini Certified Hockey

Information about the 2010-11 Panini Certified Hockey has been released and this set is all about the hits and not a bad price for a box either.

Schedule Release Date: September 22, 2010
Box Configuration: 5 cards per pack, 10 packs per box
SRP: $ 100/ per box

Box Break:
1 Autograph
2 Memorabilia Cards
An additional Auto or Memorabilia card
1 Mirror Red Parallel
4 additional parallels or inserts

This is Panini’s first attempt at hockey since coming to the US, originally Panini was expected to release Score Hockey as the first hockey release of the year but that apparently has been delayed so the honor of Panini’s first hockey release will be Certified instead.

First, this looks like a re-tread of 2009-10 Certified Basketball. The awkward lines are there, the use of colors; the floating swatches and the sticker autos are all back. On top of that there are plenty of parallels, a Panini specialty. On the positive side Panini used some very good player images, which seems to be less and less common among recently releases across all companies.

Some of the inserts/hits are “Big Men On Campus”, which includes a jumbo swatch of young players from their college days. The “Junior Legacy” set contains dual memorabilia or autographs of players who came up through the Canadian Junior leagues. The “Masked Marvels” set contains memorabilia/autos of the top goalies and the “Certified Legends” set contains autographs of the legends of hockey.

One thing that is nice is that Panini is including the word “Prime” on multi-colored swatches/tags so this should help deter scumbags who remove single color swatches and insert multi-color swatches and sell them for a premium.

The Certified Legends set has autographs of some of the best to ever take the ice. Players like Howe, Lemieux, Roy and Esposito. These autos look like they are hard signed too, but I am not certain. I love this insert set, the sepia tone colors, an amazing checklist and if these are hard signed autos, this could be the big splash of the entire release.

There are Platinum Hot Boxes where all of the common cards are replaced by exclusive, limited edition parallels.

Parallels galore, way to many for set collectors.

Floating patches and sticker autographs.

My Thoughts:
Considering that this is Panini’s first shot at hockey since coming to the US, hopefully this is a learning experience for them. They cannot just take a basketball release, toss hockey pictures on it and call it a new set.

Some of these inserts could turn out to be classic hits if the design is recreated to where they become “more attractive’ to the collector, I am talking about sets like Junior Legacy and Masked Marvels.

I give this set a 3 out of 5, Panini is trying and they are new to the hockey scene so I cannot ding them to hard. If they can turn this around, re-design the basic elements of the base set and a couple of the inserts they could have a winner here. A reasonable price and a very good chance of getting some good hits make this a possible classic set.

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