Panini releases it's second little boxed set of the year... how does this compare to the last one?
Base Card Design -
The Score Rookies and Traded set's look comes directly from the Score base set released near the beginning of the 10/11 NHL season. And of course that's just the way it should be since it is really an extension of that set. In fact, the numbering of this set starts where the Score set left off.
The base cards in this boxed set come in two flavors: there are the regular Rookies and Traded base cards and the Hot Rookie base cards. The regular R&T base cards look exactly like the glossy cards from the Score set - the only difference being a large black and white Rookies and Traded logo above the player's name. This year's Score was designed to look like what it did in the 90's... and these cards do just that. The cards have a great retro flair to them that capture the spirit of the older sets that they emulate. The cards are clear, clean, and uncluttered. Job well done here.
This season ending set is a great way to capture players that were traded during the latter half of the season in their new sweaters. I know that I personally love to get the most current members of my favorite team in the home team's jerseys. This set provides the opportunity for that. It also provides opportunity to get cards of players that have returned to the NHL too - like Peter Forsberg. Forsberg came back to give it one more shot, but could only make a short stay in the NHL this past season. This Score set may be the last 'regular' card you can get of him.
Hot Rookies were a subset in this year's Score set and they are also found in the boxed set as well. These Hot Rookie cards have a different look than the ones previously release - these are better. Gone is the graphic background and generic geometric lines. The Hot Rookies available in the boxed set look more like the base cards and feature full action photos of the rookies. It's great to see the rookies in action on the ice in their NHL sweaters.
The base cards in the Score Rookies and Traded box set are a step up from their counterparts from the beginning of the season. I love the glossy feel on all the cards, the sharp design, and the improved Hot Rookie cards. This set's score improves upon it's bigger brother's.
Base Card Design Score:
Just like the All Goalies set released previously, this one has some incentives for purchasing it. It has inserts and cards to chase!
Gold cards come 5 per set. The gold cards feature a gold border around the card as well as a gold colored Rookies and Traded logo. The gold touches on these cards make it very easy to tell that they are a parallel version of the set. I'm glad that these parallels are easier to spot than those found in All Goalies. Also unlike in All Goalies, the gold parallels seem to be randomly inserted rather than getting a block of parallel cards in a row. It's nice to have a parallel to this set, but this gold card variation probably won't be something that is in high demand. They just add another card for player collectors to chase after.
An autographed card is probably the main chase card to get when buying a box of Rookies and Traded. I prefer to have autographs over memorabilia cards, so getting a guarantee of an auto is enough to persuade me to buy this set over the All Goalies set if I had to make a choice between one or the other. The autographs are on stickers that are simply stuck to the front of the base cards. There's no special design for these cards - so that's a little disappointing, but an auto is an auto. And at this price point, it's appropriate.
The final card I would like to mention is a special card that Panini included in the set. It's a Taro Tsujimoto Hot Rookie. This card is numbered like its part of the regular set but I consider it a chase card because it falls about one per case. I appreciate how Panini has gone to lengths to put cards like this in to their products. If you don't know, Taro Tsujimoto is a fictional Japanese player that Buffalo Saber's GM Punch Imlach made up during the 1974 NHL entry draft. This name is the stuff of legend. It's a GREAT story and if you want to find out about it, it's just a Google search away. Anyways, it's awesome to have a card like this in the set. There is a regular version of this card and also a parallel version. The parallel version is said to be nearly impossible to get because it has a ridiculously low print run.
Overall Rating -
The 10/11 Score Rookies and Traded set is a unique little item that is worthy of a purchase. There are many rookie cards of players who came into the NHL later on in the season as well as veterans in new uniforms. And if you have the entire regular Score set already, you must get this set to finish it off - along with the Tsujimoto, of course! The set won't set you back too much and it's fun to see what autograph and parallel cards you get out of it. If you happen to get the parallel Tsujimoto card, let me know! That would be an exciting thing to pull.
Check out my box of 10/11 Score Rookies and Traded below!