Saturday, September 6, 2014

Box Break: 2014 Panini Hot Rookies

You know, if life were simple, I'd have posted this box weeks ago. But, it is not, so here we are.

I might as well post these three boxes of FOOTBALL CARDS, because tomorrow is the first Football Sunday of the year (and before you ask, yeah, I will likely be doing predictions again this year).

So yeah...Panini Hot Rookies

This box was one that I'd never really heard of, or at least the product. I didn't really know what to expect from a product like this, except, of course, hot rookies. However, my mystery contact still treaded on, giving me the box anyway.

As you can see, each box has four packs, but the way they did it was very odd. One pack has all the base cards, another pack has all the inserts, another pack has all the numbered cards, and the last pack has the big mojo hits. A bit odd, but I'll go with Panini here. See where they take me.

The base cards are basically shinier versions of the regular Panini set. Which...I'm a bit baffled by. I mean, if you're going to make a rookie-centric set, that's fine, but at least make it different from your flagship set. That way it'll seem like people are buying the product for a reason OTHER than the hits.

Here are the only base cards that I really care about, and believe me when I say there's a lot more than these. It's nice to see Darren Sproles in there as an Eagle.

These cards were also in Pack One, as they clearly didn't get the memo. Thankfully, they're Scorecard parallels, and they're both numbered to 99. I'd never heard of Levine Toilolo, but Derrick Johnson I had indeed heard of. So...I guess that's pretty good.

Here are two really nice inserts of Emmitt Smith and Julio Jones, which are actually pretty cool in terms of design and foil.

These are two Brothers in Arms inserts of the Broncos and Browns, two teams from opposite ends of the NFL spectrum.

While we're all here, here's a game used/autograph of Gavin Escobar. A shame that Panini's resorted to sticker autos. Also, it's a plain swatch, and a sticker auto--and the box has yet to realize that I am an Eagles fan. Moving on.

Now here are the aforementioned Hot Rookies. These are all numbered cards of players who have yet to even make an appearance in NFL uniforms, though those two HOT ROOKIE insert guys were nice enough to put some on. I guess the rest of these guys didn't get the memo. These cards are numbered to 99.

Meanwhile, these blue cards are numbered to 79. More helmet less college uniforms. I feel like I ripped a pack of 1960's Topps.

These GOLD cards are numbered to 50. And the flaw here as that I've never heard of either of them, AND they are of NFC East division rivals.

Ah yes, the proverbial Cherry on Artist's Proof insert of an Undrafted player, numbered to 35. Jeez, I mean his wikipedia says he's made the Rams roster, but unless he actually gets somewhere, I'm calling this a bad idea. Usually people wait until players get drafted to make cards of them.

And now, here are our two sticker autographs. D.J. Williams I've heard of, but they couldn't even get him in the right uniform, or even a photoshopped one. Plus, he sort of sucks now. Chris Borland's auto I don't have too much to say about, other than the fact that I've never heard of him. Still, it's numbered to 75, which isn't bad.

OVERALL: I wanted to like this box. I really did. However, it just felt really mailed in. The base set was basically just Panini 2014, the autos are stickers, the rookies are just hatless college photos, and there are numbered parallels of undrafted players. It was kind of effortless, which is very surprising for a Panini set. I'm a huge Panini supporter, but I wasn't very pleased with this box.

RATING: C-. Intriguing idea, disappointing execution.

So, that's one box down, and already I got a rookie-centric box, one that really didn't interest me because I'm not a rookie-centric collector. So I really hope my mystery contact keeps that in mind before giving me my next box of product.

COMING TOMORROW- A Box of 2014 Topps Bowman Football. I can't win, can I?

1 comment:

  1. These are basically tweaked and foiled Score cards. I have a Larry Fitz Franchise card that looks just like that - it came out of a Score blaster...