Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Panini's Black Friday Promotion

We are just a day away from Thanksgiving which means we are only 2 days away from Black Friday and the insanity that it brings. Panini has taken the excitement that comes with the day of deals and has built their Black Friday promotion to ensure the ultimate advertisement for their products. Over the past couple of years Panini has worked to deliver a diverse and encompassing set that has something for almost every collector.
This list is a collection of the cards that have already been previewed by Panini on their blog but does not include everything that can be pulled from the packs.
Some of the 2012 Panini Black Friday cards are already begining to show up on eBay, currently around 325 listings, so you can get an idea of what is out there.
A couple  of cards that I have come across that Panini did not release images:
- Colored Blank Backs: Some people are saying these may be printing plates but there are no markings indicating if they are plates or if they are short prints/numbered.
Base Set:
This year the base set consists of 50 cards, 23 veteran cards and 27 rookie cards, all #/599. The set contains athletes from the 4 major sports. In addition to a large variety of autograph and memorabilia cards there will also be a 21-card Panini Collection set, 20-card Kings (Diamond Kings, Gridiron Kings, Court Kings and Ice Kings) set, a 2 card Elite Series and a 6-card Thanksgiving Classic set which features players who will be playing on Thanksgiving Day.
The base cards are uniform in design; the same borders are used throughout the entire 50 card set with the only differences being team logos and colors. There is a difference between the veterans and rookie cards with the vets utilizing a vertical layout and the rookie cards having a horizontal layout. This makes it easier to recognize the differences.
Base Inserts:
Next up is the 21-card Panini Collection which highlights some of the top athletes in their sport. Again there are stars from the 4 major sports plus a late addition of Biz Markie, who was a guest DJ at Panini’s VIP Party during the 2012 National.
The Kings inserts are based on the original Diamond Kings sets; this 20-card checklist includes baseball (Diamond Kings), football (Gridiron Kings), basketball (Court Kings) and hockey (Ice Kings) players. There is a mixture of 10 veterans and 10 rookies from the respected sports. The design remains the same through all of the cards; there are no differences between rookies and veterans.
The 2 Elite cards are also based on the original Donruss Elite cards, I am not sure of the theme but considering the players, RG3 and Kyrie Irving, it may be based on trophy winners- Heisman and ROY.
The Thanksgiving Classic set is a 6-card set that highlights players who are scheduled to play on Thanksgiving Day. There are three games this year with the standard Detroit Lions (playing Houston Texans) and Dallas Cowboys (playing Washington Redskins) games but now there is the game on the NFL Network. Since 2006 the NFL Network has shown a third game that includes two floating teams that change each year. This year’s game is a match up of the New England Patriots versus NY Jets.
Cracked Ice Inserts:
The Cracked Ice autographs are a limited edition parallel of all non-relic base cards and inserts. The cards use Panini’s Cracked Ice technology and include an autograph. I am not certain of numbers but you can figure these are quite limited.
Memorabilia/Autograph Cards:
One of the oldest and most love relic cards, Tools of the Trade, continue with a twist. This time we are seeing large swatches of event-used towels. The cards contain a large piece of a towel that was used (let’s just say “touched” to be safe) by the athlete at an event. The events include the 2012 NFL Rookie Premier, 2012 NBA Rookie Shoot and the 2012 NHL Rookie Showcase. The Tony Romo and Dez Bryant cards will include pieces cut from an equipment bag. I do have to say, this is an original idea and while some may not care for the use of towels I think it is pretty cool and would be quite excited to get my hands on some of these cards.
The Super Bowl relics made their first appearance last year and continue this year using both end zone pylons and footballs. There are both autographed and non-autographed versions. New this year is the Super Bowl MVP cards, which include a pylon relic on a card for the last two Super Bowl MVPs- Rodgers and Manning.
Hat Relic cards. When players are drafted in the NFL and NBA they are usually handed a team hat to put on or take promotional pictures with while they are standing on the stage and draft hat relics have been done before but they are still pretty limited (along with shoe relics) when you look at hat relic cards in comparison to jersey relics. Personally I would rather have a hat swatch over a plain white jersey swatch any day. There are both autographed and non-autographed versions of the draft hat cards. 
Gordie Howe Jumbo Patch. Panini designed a card that includes jumbo patches from the specially made jersey that Gordie Howe wore at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game when he made an appearance for Panini to announce his new agreement with the company. The back of the card shows Gordie Howe wearing the jersey while signing autographs.
Continuing with Panini’s year-long Kobe Bryant Anthology set they are including a card which has a jumbo swatch from his game-worn warm-ups.
There is a 2-card Shoe Relic set which contains pieces of shoes that Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger wore during the 2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot.
There is a 6-card set containing Over Sized Jersey Relics worn by Kyrie Irving, Andrew Luck, RG3, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton and Jake Locker during the NFL Rookie Premier or Rookie Transition Program.
Happy Holidays. During the NFL Rookie Premier Andrew Luck, RG3 and Trent Richardson were each asked to wear a Santa Claus hat that was the team's color and included their team's logo. This 3-card set includes  jumbo relics from the player's hat.
Panini closes out with autographed Manufactured Patches. This is one of those “You like them or you don’t” products. One of the biggest problems, besides being manufactured, is that the ink can bleed in to the fabric. I like these cards; it is a cheaper way for collectors to get a hold of their favorite star’s autographs.
There are a couple of different versions, there is a pink NFL Crucial Catch version, a league logo version and there is a team logo version. As far as I can tell there are only basketball, football and hockey players included, I did not see any baseball players. But Tracy Hackler may not have included pictures of all the manufactured patches so I do not know the final checklist.

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