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Panini previews Rookies & Stars football

Posted May 21, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated May 21, 2013 at 06:44 PM

Panini America previewed its 2013 Rookies & Stars football set Tuesday, giving a respectful nod to the past. The set, which hits the shelves in late August, traces its roots to 1998’s Rookies & Stars, the first Leaf product released under Playoff.

This year’s model shows just as much promise as the original.

A hobby box will contain 24 packs, with eight cards per pack. Panini is promising four autograph or memorabilia cards — with at least two autograph cards guaranteed—per hobby box. There also will be 24 rookie cards, six parallels, and inserts: two Statistical Standout, two Touchdown Club, two Game Plan, and two Crusade. There also will be two additional inserts or parallels.

Crusade and Game Plan are two insert sets that were in that original 1998 offering. The 2013 Crusade and Rookie Crusade cards will be features on different colored parallels, numbered to 99, 49 and 5, along with a 1/1.

Rookie Materials Signatures will showcase the top rookies of 2013 and will have Longevity and Team Logo foil-background versions. All Rookie Premiere Slideshow Signatures will be numbered to 125 or less, while All Team Chemistry dual-signed cards will be numbered 99 or lower.

One relic card I believe is interesting and different is the Cross Training Materials insert. This card features statistics from a player’s best skill set, and the insert has standard and prime versions. Cross Training is also a descendant of that 1998 set, although it was labeled “Crosstraining” back then.

Rookies & Stars will hit hobby shops and retail stores just as the NFL preseason kicks into full gear, so the timing is great and interest should be high. It never hurts to reach back into the past to showcase the present (and future).

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