Wednesday Panini is unleashing 2012 Black Football, a high-end football product that will run $200 for a 12 card pack/box.
Box Break:5 Autograph/Memorabilia cards (At least 3 will be autographs)
2 Base cards
2 Rookie cards
I don’t know what it is about black and cards but when you use a black background the cards just seem “better”, it makes the player stand out, when signed with a proper pen (gold) it makes the autographs pop and relics seem more visible.
Upper Deck set the standard with the original Black product, which they released in 2009, but after they lost their NFL license they were not able to capture the collectors attention with their 2011 release using the NCAA license even though they had a solid checklist and a pleasant design. Panini is now taking their shot using the Black name (note that Upper Deck’s Black and Panini’s Black are two different products and are not connected besides having the same name).
Panini did a nice job with the design, the base cards have an interesting design (it actually reminds me of car seats, not sure why) but they have a uniform flow throughout the set and using gold pens for on-card autographs and blue pens for stickers (gold and silver stickers) make the autograph cards stand out nicely. About the only thing bothers me is that a number of the cards that were previewed on their blog show single colored swatches, something that you would not expect from a limited high-end product. If you drop $200 for 12 cards you deserve multi-colored relics or patches, not a dime-sized white swatch. I am also wondering if the Captains patch cards are game-used patches or if they are manufactured patches like Topps Manu-patches that they inserted in blaster boxes this year.
There are a couple of cards that caught my eye. Ray Lewis with a double red swatch (I am guessing a Pro Bowl jersey) and a Raven’s Triple Materials card where Ed Reed’s swatch appears odd, almost looking like padding from a shoe. It does not have the texture of a jersey swatch or a piece from pants.