Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Collect Call: Panini 2012 Absolute Football
Posted Jan 2, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Well, that’s not a bad thing if you enjoy collecting those shiny foil cards. It’s not a favorite of mine, but many collectors do enjoy cards that shine.
And Panini America’s Absolute Football has a shiny look — and some foil.
A hobby box consists of four mini boxes, which contain five cards apiece. Panini promises two autograph and two memorabilia cards per hobby box.
There is a base set of 100 veterans, plus an additional 100 rookie cards. The base set is capped off by 35 Rookie Premiere Materials cards, and this has two extra versions — Jumbo Jersey Number and Jumbo Jersey Number Prime cards.
The design of the cards stays simple. A cutout action shot of the player is dropped into a shiny background that, upon inspection, is a soft-focus shot of a football crowd. The layout is horizontal, which I really like.
The veteran cards have the players’ names stamped in copper underneath their action shot, and the team name is set in small white letters against a thick copper stripe at the bottom of the card.
The back of the card uses a black-and-white version of the player’s color photo from the front, but only utilizes the top third of the picture. The previous year’s statistics are highlighted in one of the team’s major colors. So, for example, the 2011 statistics of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bass are highlighted in aqua.
The design for the rookie cards is actually much bolder than the veterans. That’s because the player’s last name is in larger block letters.
As promised, I pulled two autograph cards out of the hobby box I opened. The first was a Spectrum autograph card of Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris. The second one was a Spectrum card of Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, numbered to 75. Both signatures are on stickers.
There also were two memorabilia cards, but one had an added bonus. The first was a Rookie Premiere Materials Prime parallel card of DeVier Posey, numbered to 50. There are three separate swatches on the card in a lettered, “N-F-L” design. Each letter contains multicolored swatches of red, white and blue.
The second relic also doubled as an autograph card — a Tools of the Trade card of Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, numbered to 25. Game-used swatches of Redskins players are always colorful, and this card is no exception with a combination of burgundy and gold. The signature is also written on a sticker.
Absolute has its share of loyal followers, and this latest football product should be a popular one.