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Collect call: 2013 Panini Prestige football

Posted Jun 29, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Jun 29, 2013 at 12:47 AM

Football collectors looking for a set that is affordable and with a decent amount of hits might be attracted to Panini America’s 2013 Prestige set. A hobby box falls in the $80 to $90 range, and with 24 packs and eight cards to a pack, it offers set builders a chance to pick up cards of the newest rookies and tested veterans.

Panini promises four relic or autographs per hobby box, and guarantees that two of them are signature cards. The hobby box I opened was true to the average, with a pair of sticker autographs and two relic cards.

The nicest of those four was a Denard Robinson Prestigious Picks Materials card, a platinum parallel numbered to 49. While I am not a big fan of the silver foil that dominates the left side of this card, I was pleased to get a three-color swatch of the Jaguars’ rookie out of Michigan.

The other relic was a more sedate, one-color swatch from Cowboys rookie receiver Terrance Williams. This is another Prestigious Picks Materials card, numbered to 399. There are 40 different cards in this subset.

The relic cards were designed in a horizontal format. The base set and Extra Points rookie autograph cards are vertical. Here are the particulars: a base set contains 300 cards, broken down into 200 veterans and 100 rookies. There are nine short-printed variations, including card No. 301, which depicts fictional rookie Leon Sandcastle. For the veterans, there are Extra Points parallels in purple, numbered to 100; green, numbered to 25; and 1/1 printing plates.

There is more of a variety of Extra Points rookie card parallels, including blue and red, purple numbered to 100, gold (50), green (25) and black (10). Printing plates are 1/1 cards, and for an added bonus, there are signature printing plates (also 1/1s).

The hobby box I opened produced 145 base cards and 24 rookie cards, which is a nice head start if you are building a set. The insert sets as a whole were not impressive, except for the die-cut, acetate NFL shield cards.  The shield card has gold foil at the bottom, and the player is superimposed against a background that contains the NFL logo. The card I pulled from this subset was Bucs running back Doug Martin.

It’s a pretty card.

Prestigious Picks is a 40-card subset that generally falls three to a box. My hobby box yielded four — including former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills — plus a black parallel of Johnathan Franklin numbered to 25.

These things balance out. Typically, a hobby box would reveal three NFL Draft Picks cards, but this box only had two. There were three of the 40 NFL Passport cards, and four of the 40 NFL draft tickets (plus a
parallel of Quinton Patton numbered to 100.

Stars of the NFL is another die-cut, acetate insert, but it does not succeed as well as the NFL shield cards. It could pass for a trophy of some sort, but it just does not resonate with me. Perhaps it does with other collectors.

The two autograph cards I pulled were on-sticker signatures and included former Florida State wide receiver Xavier Rhodes, who was drafted by Minnesota; and a purple parallel signature card of 40ers rookie Marcus Lattimore, numbered to 100.

While Panini strikes out on a few ideas in this year’s Prestige set, for the most part it wasn’t a bad effort. It’s affordable and should not take too many boxes to complete the set. The NFL shield card is a nice addition, and when a multi-colored swatch is found on a relic card, it’s very satisfying.

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