The 2012 Prestige base cards have been tactfully and tastefully designed. Though Prestige is a lower-mid-range product, the base cards carry themselves with a lot of class. There is much to like about these base cards. Let's take a look at what makes them so pleasing. First of all, you'll notice that the front of the card is basically split in two parts... an action photo of the player and a sidebar with information and logos. The player photo is well done with each card featuring a large close-up image of the player. The sidebar, though, is the portion of the card that I like the most. The hue of the sidebar matches the team color, and the white logos and fonts really work to create a modern looking element to the card. I also appreciate the big team logo affixed under the brand. The bottom space for the player's name looks great as well. I love the ultra thin font for the first name in black and the thicker, team colored font for the last name. There's a lot going on with the design of this card. And I am very impressed with how it came together so well.
The back of the base cards have a streamlined look that mirrors the front. Being the back, the designers have cleverly flip-flopped some of the color schemes. Notice that the player photo is now in black and white whereas the team logo is in full color. Little things like this show real care in the product by the company. Some collectors may feel that the stat portion of the card may have been too streamlined as there is only one line of stats for each player.
The rookie cards in Prestige share almost the exact same design as the base set. This is unusual because companies nowadays usually make the rookie cards stand out dramatically from regular base cards. I actually don't mind them looking the same as base because that's they way they used to be back in the golden days of collecting. That was cool - maybe a company should try doing it like that for just one product in their line. Anyways, back from that tangent... the rookie cards here replace the player's position with their draft information and the word 'rookie'. Also, interestingly, the team logo is in full color on these cards. Autographed variations of the rookie cards like the Nick Toon card above are available for collectors to find in boxes.
Base Card Design Score:
According to the front of the box, each hobby box should yield four autographs and/or memorabilia cards. In the box I opened up I received 2 of each type of hit as well as quite a few insert cards.
One of the most unique inserts found in Prestige are these Draft City Destinations cards. They are oriented horizontally and depict a sign showing the distance from where the rookies were to where they are going. I think this is an incredibly unique idea. Give whoever designed this card a raise! Or at least employee of the month status... or something! This is an insert that thinks outside the box without adding foil, memorabilia, or autographs. Now unfortunately, these cards won't sell for much, but I love the idea behind it.
A more standard insert is the Prestigious Picks set. Again, Panini makes use of horizontal orientation for these cards. These cards are very nice and have a classy look. This particular card reminds me of the designs in their high-end National Treasures product. Unlike some of the insert cards found in Prestige, these cards have foil board backgrounds that help them stand out from the other inserts within the product.
As with many of Panini's inserts, the Prestigious Picks can also come with memorabilia pieces and/or autographs. Though the Joe Adams shown above only comes with jersey piece and is numbered to 299, other versions are much more limited.
Every product has to have their 'standard' jersey card... and this is what we have here with the Gamers insert cards. Like many of the other cards in Prestige, these cards actually carry a bit of design goodness to them. I appreciate how all the Gamers cards have a full color photograph of the player fixed on a black and white background. It's a little bit artsy! Like with the Prestigious Picks, these cards also have variants with better game-used material within like patches or even laundry tags.
There are many, many more inserts to be found in boxes of Prestige. And many of theses inserts will come in different varieties - numbered, signed, jersey, patch, tag... I think it'll be fun to crack boxes and see what exactly comes out for you!
Overall Rating -
For the first taste of football cards of the season, Prestige hits on some very good notes. It's definitely not a high-end product with crazy hits, but it is a product chock full of what collectors have been wanting since they watched the draft - THE NEW NFL ROOKIES! It's a great product to start off with that won't break the bank. Down the road, I can see Prestige being left by the wayside with fancier products, but for now, being the only thing out there, it'll be a winner in the short term. The good thing is, there are some very well thought out inserts to be had and to enjoy. If you are into football, this Prestige is what you'll want to get your hands on as soon as possible.
(Not an average)
Check out my box of Prestige!
Check out my box of Prestige!