Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2011-2012 Panini Limited Review

Panini releases it's first higher-end product of the year with 11/12 Limited Hockey.  You get one pack of cards in a small box.  Is it worth the price?  Let's find out!

Base Card Design -
This year's limited base card surprised me greatly - they were not what I expected them to be at all.  For those who haven't seen Limited before, the base cards are traditionally on very shiny foil board similar to that of Certified.  This year's Limited hockey base are not.  They are on a standard, thin glossy card stock with a few touches of foiling near the bottom of the card.  The cards look nice, but I would think for the price paid for them, a foil board treatment would have been appropriate so that collectors would feel they got a more premium card for their money.

That being said, Panini has come out with a very pleasing base card design.  The base cards have a mature look to them.  In a way, they remind me of last year's UD Ultimate Collection.  The players are in full color while the background of the card is in shades of black, white, and grey.  Having the players in color in contrast to the background really help make for a stunning looking card.  Other smart design choices are notable as well.  The bottom border of the card features the player's name and team.  This portion of the card utilizes nice, clean lines and thin, modern font.  I appreciate the small amount of foil around the name to highlight it.  Panini shows a lot of restraint here.  It's very nice and subtle, not guady or overdone - like I said earlier - it's mature looking.

The upper portion of the card features the Limited logo as well as a 'fade to ice' backdrop.  The Limited logo looks very classy, but as it stands, is very flat on the card.  I've mentioned it before for other Panini products but I'll mention it again... putting foil on the logo would really class up the card.  They have already put a bit of foil on the bottom of the card so I would think it wouldn't be too much to do the same with the logo.

Finishing off the top portion of the card is an interesting 'fade to ice' look.  I'm not sure if this was purposeful, but it is the same design choice they used with Certified this year.  It's certainly not a bad thing, it looks great, but I just wonder if it was a purposeful tie to their other brand or just a coincidence.

The backs of the base cards are horizontally oriented.  They feature minimal stats as well as a write up of the player.  I think the backs of the base cards are pretty busy, but in a good way.  There is a lot going on and a lot to look at.  You will also find the serial number of the card on the back.  The common base cards are all numbered to 299.

As with previous Limited releases, Panini has chosen to include retired players as a part of the base set.  Usually these cards are featured after the current players, but this year they take up the first portion of the set - cards numbered 1 through 50.  These cards share the exact same design as the standard base cards except that the players are in black and white rather than in color.  I can understand the choice to do this, but I personally would rather have the player in color.  As they are, the players and the backgrounds blend too much for my liking.

Phenoms rookie cards make a return to this year to finish off the main set of cards.  Like last year, Panini has manufactured a patch of cloth with a logo on it for the player to sign.  I've noticed that this type of card is a favorite among the designers at Panini.  In football products, they have players sign a leather type material.  In basketball they have team logo cards as well.  Though this year's Phenom cards look better than last years, I am just not a huge fan of them.  It's hard for me to find a reason for the cloth inclusion.  Since the piece of cloth was not worn by the player or used at an event, it simply doesn't have any meaningful place in my opinion.  The cloth doesn't even represent any facet of the game aside from the logo being on it.  I would be fine with the players simply signing on the card and be done with it - leave the extra cloth for the clothing manufacturers!

Base Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Each pack/box of Limited will come with three autographs and/or memorabilia cards.  Along with the base cards, you may also pull themed insert cards.

This insert card of Martin Brodeur is called Crease Cleaners.  Obviously this insert set features the star goalies of the NHL.  The inserts within Limited usually come in different variations with this one being the most basic.  You will find when you open up Limited that each type of insert will have one with no autograph or memorabilia and others that include them.  For player collectors, you will need to find out what variations of the cards your player has.  Unfortunately, the checklist included with each box of Limited does not specify the different tiers and variations of the cards.

One thing that I would like to mention is that Panini has done a better job of masking the areas where jersey pieces, patches, and autographs should be on inserts.  In past Limited releases, many of the cards had large areas of blank space where higher level variations would have autographs or memorabilia.  The Brodeur card seen earlier is a good example of that as well as the Joe Thornton patch card shown above.  This jumbo jersey card features a sweet piece of prime jersey.  Another variation of this card would have an autograph below the swatch where the Sharks logo is.  Now, Panini would fill in the space with team logos in previous releases, but this year the space feels smaller so that it doesn't feel as much like something is missing.  It's not perfect, but I sense that Panini is making an effort to make their cards better.  I know a lot of collectors did not like those large blank spaces on their cards - me included.

Probably the most common type of memorabilia/auto card will be the base card variations.  These are simply base cards with added autographs, jerseys, or patches.  They come with various levels of rarity and are quite a challenge to put together for player collectors.

Though I did not get many of them, there are quite a few different inserts to be found in Limited boxes this year.  Banner Season, Retired Numbers, and Captains Courageous make a return.  Private Signings can be found here too.  One of the more unique inserts are the Net Presence cards.  These inserts feature game-used nets.  Personally, I'm not interested in nets.  They don't really have a connection to a single player... it sort of has a connection to the goalie and all the players who have shot into it, but it's not a very personal item.  I'd be interested to see how collector's feel about these type of cards.  They actually remind me a bit of the game-used floor pieces in basketball cards.  Every basketball player has probably stepped on that piece and the only thing that makes it a part of the player is the picture on the card.  I don't know, perhaps more thinking is needed on these types of cards.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
This year's Limited is an interesting but expensive product.  It's the first premium product from Panini and the price certainly reflects that.  I enjoyed opening my box of Limited, but I think the cost of each box can be pretty prohibitive for most collectors.  At about $100 per box, it's a very risky gamble.  Typically a box of Limited will yield some kind of autograph or two, a jersey card, and maybe a patch card... maybe.  Usually a couple of the hits in the box are not very strong, and you would be lucky to get one card that is a winner money-wise.  So the best you can hope for realistically is one nice card and a couple of so-so cards.  Do you consider that risky?  I certainly do.

I see Limited as a high roller's product.  People that can afford it by buying boxes or a case at a time will get the most out of it.  For those (like yours truly) who can only afford maybe a box or two, I think it's too much of a risk.  I can say that I will buy products like this just to try out and have fun with, but if you're looking for good trade bait or a nice return, I would advise looking elsewhere.  Each case of Limited contains 15 boxes.  So getting a case hit in one or two boxes would be very difficult.

All in all, Panini has improved upon Limited this year.  There are definitely nice cards to be found.  I hope that a lot of collectors with deep pockets get cracking so everyone else can pick up the singles they need!

Overall Score:
(not an average)

Check out my break of 11/12 Limited at D & P Sports Cards in Sacramento, CA!


  1. The inserts in this product are beautiful, especially those Stanley Cup cards. I also like how (I think) all the inserts have autograph or jersey parallels. Love the design on these cards, and I think, after one day of looking at breaks, Limited is very much improved over last year. Another solid product from Panini this year.

    - ethannyk

  2. This years limited it so much better than last years! Its base design is very nice. The jerseys are very solid cards and are nothing too special, but the for the price it is worth it! It costs around $95 and you get 1 pack and 7 cards per pack. Panini did a great job in including a solid amount of hits in each pack. The inserts are very cool, especially the stanley cup ones. The Phenoms autos are the same as always! Panini created a great product this year!!
    Thanks for the review Luke!!


  3. i personaly love this tears panini limited hockey. the design of the cards are so clean and nice and, the new subsets that they added are spectaculair. definatly more bang for your buck! i extreamly like the net presence cards with the peace of allstar net in them they are phanominal. i realy enjoyed reading your revew as i do every time i read them thank you Luke!!!!

    Youtube name Priceforthewin

  4. I think this years Limited consistently gives a great value to all the collectors. I've seen many breaks and pretty much all of them were good breaks. Panini did a great job in making this product, many subsets are very unique such as the All-Star nets. For the price of a pack, you can't go wrong with what you are getting. Awesome review as always Luke!!

    Hockeycardfan1000 on YT

  5. Awesome review man. PM me on youtube i have an all decades Dany Heatley auto numbered /50 with his sharks jersey from dominion:). I think after seing this review i might pick up a box of limited.
    Youtube username- qwazsx1011

  6. Limited is one of my fav products, its like ultimate but better, get tons of interesting hits such as the ward/duchene net jtgoleafs pulled, they have a more wide variety of hits this year. One of my favourite parts of limited and this goes for all current panini products... the private signings.... put in to everything! just a random auto's thats always fun to pull! i definatley am going to try this product!


  7. From the breaks I've seen, Limited's base looks absolutely SUPERB compared to last year. A very classy card for a higher end product.
    The Phenoms haven't changed too much, and it's nice to see them rarer than before. Adds more of a chase to it.
    The best thing about Limited, though, is the unique memorabilia in it: Game used pucks, and game used nets.
    And the BIGGEST thing is the definite lack of redemptions compared to their first go-round last year.
    If I could afford to, I'd be busting a lot of Limited, but alas, I'm broke so I'll stick to my Score, Pinnacle, and Certified (when I can afford it).

  8. Whoops. Forgot my name.


  9. 11-12 Limited. Limited as always is a very nice product. It is a hit or miss, but so far out of all the boxes i've seen majority of them are all pretty nice :) I really like the net cards this year. Those were a great addition to the product. The only thing i truly dislike is getting only 3 base in a pack. It kinda sucks, but womp womp womp. I will try to get my hands on one a box maybe after chinese new year ;) hehehe



  10. i like the way limited looks this year. looking forward to geting some!!
    youtube username- reptiledude14

  11. I kinda like limited this year as it looks similar to last years product. It is hit or miss with them too as you could score big or not. Never a fan of the redemptions either but at least you can pull a RNH rookie phenom which is nice instead of being a redemption. I do like some of the insert sets such as the stanley cup signatures one which is cool Id probably give the product a 6 or 7 out of 10
    Youtube username: SlyStealth

  12. I love limited. it looks better then last years and also from what I seen you get at least 1 good card per box. So its not as much hit or miss as it was in the past. The base really stands out for me this year, looks amazing. The net addition was just a great idea, and I think that will attract more people then limited has in the past. For around 100 dollars a box, you cant go wrong!!

    Thanks for the contest!


  13. i think the cards look pritty good 8/10
    the card names are good and there low numbered wicht is good and bad:)

  14. limited is not my fav product but i like it but u dont always get the best stuff thats about it

  15. i definitely think that the product is a little bit better than last year but I probably wont be purchasing any of this. I think that this product is very similar to the Upper Deck Black Hockey from a few years ago.

  16. Great product.I like it better than last year. This is a hit or miss but you usually hit. Phaneufcollector3

  17. Hey, Its a great product, i just think they should lower the price of the product because most of the breaks of it i have seen havent got many amazing hits.
    This is brendar7

  18. This year I don't think Panini Limited did too well. For the price I would say that it's not that great of a deal. I would rather buy a box of Certified or Artifacts. Then again this product is really a hit or miss.

    Overall, I would rate this product a 7/10.


  19. I really love this product, even though you can have a pretty awful box for a high amount. But I saw the Patrick Roy's auto and other really nice stuff. I prefer Dominion, but we are at a very different level. But for the price, I would prefer buying spx or something like that.

  20. I really like the fat pack that these come in. You did a great review detailing the different subsets of cards.

    I noticed that you blog is starting to load slower and slower with every review. You may want to look into archiving some of the old posts, or switching to a better host for the site. Just something to think about!
    Great job!

  21. This product looks really nice this year, nice design on the cards, also there are net cards used from last years All-Star game which is pretty neat.

  22. For the Phenoms cards, I agree that an on card auto would be preferable, but I would guess that is not an option, and I would much prefer an auto on a piece of cloth than on a sticker.

  23. I think this product looks a lot nicer then it did last year the design is much cooler.

    Thanks so much for all of the contests!!!


  24. Remindes me alot of luxery auita, looka good but idk if i would get it, bit hit or miss. Rhe basecards are ok but i feel they are trying to copy the cup and dominion to hard

  25. This years Limited base cards are nicer, as are the inserts and jerseys. The only catch is that you won't necessarily get a good box, which at 100$ a box, isn't the way to go in my opinion. Still nicer than last year though

    Thanks for the contest again :)


  26. I should say limited is pretty good box to 100$! There is some oncard auto, some sticker auto! Some nice jersey and patch cards! Pretty nice looks base cards! I like those "STANLEY CUP CARDS" cards witch is on pack back! With Panini Limited you HIT or MISS! Definatly if you hit you get lot of $ back, but if you miss than you can get any $ back! I dont think about that, that you must sell your cards when you get them NO NO NO! I THINK ABOUT PC COLLECTIONS WORTH or just good cards for trade! If you hit you can great pretty good cards in trade with other person because hit value for Limited 2011-12 and other limited years is pretty great! Those rookie patch auto cards looks amazing! Reebok logos looks amazing and they are 1/1's! Shields are pretty awesome! Some of great stuff are there - Legends cards, those " Net Presence" cards, love them!!!
    But there is many things bad in limited! Why panini puted in cards with place for autographs without them? These cards looks bad and empty! Like here Brouder card! Cmoon it looks like some one has cutted of auto from card! I dont like how shield's looks like there are cut corners for shield small place for shield has leaved! Its not fun to collect them! From this aspect i better like ULTIMATE shields! But for Ultimate is different story! You can miss in 2/3 boxes in case and hit 1/3 boxes in case! Why panini again putted those "PRIVATE SIGNINGS" they will put them in every panini product! All right finally this years limited has not 6 redemptions per 3 boxes!
    But this years limited i like better than last years!

    P.S Luke you get two normal boxes!

  27. Limited is a really good cheap product
    Nice thornton


  28. The base cards from this year are nicer than last year. The phenoms rookie, to me were better last year. I think that last year you could get your money back easier than this year.I won't be bying a box for sure, but I will defenatly buy cards because they are really nice looking.



  29. I think that limited is a huge risk and that 9 times out of 10 you won't get your money back. However, I think that there are a lot of really nice looking cards that you can pull out of it. Personally, I think that the phenoms cards look pretty cool. I think that having a card with a big sharks logo, as well as an autograph, would look really cool. YouTube: danboyle13

  30. asowm product and the net presence card is sick and thick.over alll the card have a good value on ebay

  31. I think there should only be one base card espiacially because it's over 100.00 but overall it's an awesome product espiaccially net presence cards rkesler101

  32. i think the cards look sleek and stylish. you might not get your money back, but thats the risk of collecting hockey cards. i think it could of contained more cards. it just wasant enough. i might buy a box but i dont think so. i rate it overall 6/10.

    youtube MRwinner135

  33. Cool box. I guess you lucked out as a Sharks fan with the Thornton. I just opened one myself yesterday and got similar favorite-team luck, pulling a Jordan Staal Stanley Cup Winners Auto and a Sidney Crosby Prime Jersey.