Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reviewing a Free Box of 2011-12 Panini Titanium Hockey

2011-12 Panini Titanium Hockey

Product Overview:

CASE BREAK (16-box master case)
- One Rookie Card numbered to the player's sweater number!
- One Home Sweaters autograph, featuring a pair of game-used swatches!
- Three Hat Tricks triple memorabilia cards!

My Experience
During the Stanley Cup Finals Panini America was giving away free boxes and cards to a select few followers they chose at random on Twitter. One of the prizes during Game 2, I believe, was a box of the brand-new 11-12 Titanium Hockey that 4 lucky Panini followers would end up getting to bust. The next morning I found out that I happened to be one of the four chosen during that night’s contest.

Earlier this week the box arrived and when I got home from work I sat down and eagerly tore through it. With only 5 packs per box and 4 cards per pack I knew it would only be mere moments before I was done opening the packs and needing to decide whether this product would be worth the $100 price tag that it retails for.  In fairness you really can’t really deem a product good or bad over just one box.

Dubbed as a poor man’s “Upper Deck SP Game Used” you are guaranteed 5 autographs and/or memorabilia per box.  My box consisted of 3 memorabilia, 2 autographs, and 1 numbered parallel out of the 20 cards.  To me that was better than my last box of SPGU where I received a memorabilia in every pack and an autograph of JS Giguere for $150.

The first hit I pulled was a GU piece of JVR. Despite being a Flyer I do like the kid so that’s not too bad. What I didn’t realize in the pack was also a Spectrum Red of P.K. Subban. I guess going through the pack so fast I didn’t pay attention to the foil and never saw the numbering /99 so this was a nice added bonus as I went back through the packs but can’t help but feel that I’ve either become too used to Panini’s products that the shiny card just seemed like it was another base or if I just had a brain fart as I tried to get through the whole box to see what all was in there.

In the second pack I hit an autograph of Carey Price. I figured this was a card that probably sold in the $20-25 range which would be around the average cost per pack, so far the first one to appear on ebay sold for $22+ shipping. For the record I’m not that kind of breaker but I do like to keep tabs on value in case I do ever need to part ways with my pulls.

In the third pack I hit my second auto, this time a New Wave of Viktor Stalberg. I follow hockey pretty closely but don’t recognize the name. Chalk this up to your common base auto that you’d expect to receive in just about any product. Also the New Wave reminds me of some Topps autographs, maybe like Game Day from Topps Football.

Pack four yielded another memorabilia card, this one numbered to 199, Hat Tricks which consisted of three members of the Carolina Hurricanes (Zach Boychuk, Jamie McBain, and Justin Faulk).  The card reminds me of a triple memorabilia from another product from another sport but I can’t put my finger on which one. Also these fall at 3 per case.

Pack five yielded the final game used card, this of Ryan O’Reilly.

My Thoughts
When I finished breaking it I did feel a bit disappointed, regardless of it being free or not. At first I didn’t feel like this was a product I’d want to pay $100 to bust and I’m hoping that by the time the National rolls around in Baltimore it will be closer to a $70-80 break. However after seeing some of the cards that others pulled I will say that this product has a lot of promise and there are a ton of inserts that obviously weren’t pulled by me. Also rookies are numbered to just their jersey number, and fall at ONE PER CASE, so completing a set of Titanium hockey will not come easy.

As a sports card collector I’m not a big fan of sticker autos but can accept them if done right and the player’s auto isn’t cut off. While the stickers don’t always look great the fact that the background where the stickers are placed is white does help ease the look.  The Private Signings, which are a cross-brand autograph insert that has appeared in quite a few products,are really sharp looking and all on-card. This is much like the original Skybox Autographics but the design hasn’t changed, which I think is perfect. I also approve of them using prime and patch differently than I've seen in the past...the patches are amazing.

One draw back to me is that they didn't include a checklist in the box. I'd have loved to know what exactly was available without going to their site or ebay but as you'll see in the pics that follow there are some big names with some great looking cards.

Randomly Inserted into Packs
Spectrum Ruby/Gold (100 cards) - See Ruby above

Rookie Draft Selection Parallels (100 cards)

Game-Worn Gear (99 cards) - See above
Game-Worn Prime (91 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Patches (100 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Autographs (63 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Prime Autographs (49 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Patch Autographs (64 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Dual Memorabilia (50 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Dual Prime (46 cards)

Game-Worn Gear Dual Patches (50 cards)

Four Star Memorabilia/Prime/Patches (20 cards)

Hat Tricks (30 cards) - See above
Hat Tricks Memorabilia Prime (29 cards)

Hat Tricks Patches (29 cards)

Quad Memorabilia (47 cards)

Quad Memorabilia Autographs (25 cards)

Six Star Memorabilia (25 cards)...kills me to put that punk ass in this blog but its a good looking card

Rookie Reserve Dual Memorabilia Autos/Prime Autos/Patch Autos (25 cards)

Home Sweater Autographs (30 cards)
Home Sweater Prime Autographs (29 cards)

Home Sweater Patch Autographs (30 cards)
Road Sweater Autographs/Prime Autographs/Patch Autographs (30 cards)

Third Sweater Autographs/Prime Autographs/Patch Autographs (15 cards)

Draft Day Autographs (50 cards)

Rookie Dual Signatures (30 cards)

Marks of Honor (20 cards) - beautiful set

Titanium Reserve Autographs (50 cards) - See above
New Wave Signatures (50 cards) - See Above
Private Signings (38 cards)

Private Signings Platinum (9 cards)

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