Thursday, June 28, 2012

2011-2012 Panini Rookie Anthology Review

Here comes something very interesting out of the Panini camp - Rookie Anthology! After a very successful and collector approved product in Titanium, could Panini come up with another winner so soon? We'll find out as we delve into a box of Rookie Anthology and see what kind of cards come out... and yes, there will be quite a selection of different cards to be found within this unique product.

Base Card Design -
Has Panini been reading my card reviews? Well, it sure seems like it! The Rookie Anthology base cards are great looking for many of the reasons I have stated before. These base cards are clean, crisp, and modern. The first thing I'd like to mention is the perfect use of foil on these cards. The product logo, team logo, player name, jersey number, and position are all highlighted with gold foil. The use of foil is restrained and not over the top. It does a brilliant job of imparting a premium feel to the card. I also love the white background and team color scheme on the front. The cards have an overall brightness to them that help them really stand out. Job very well done here Panini!

The back of the base card is pretty sparse compared to the front. Whereas the front is full of eye-catching design elements, the back is somewhat lacking - there just seems to be a lot of dead space on it. I also am not a fan of the card number placement. As you can see, the card number is placed in the dead center of the card. This would make a bit harder for set collectors to sort and put together in my opinion. In terms of design, it's unique... in terms of functionality... not so much.

For a product called Rookie Anthology, you'd think the entire focus of the set would be on rookies. Well, aside from the base cards, pretty much the rest of the set is rookie focused whether it be this year's rookie crop or highlighting veteran players' rookie seasons.

The standard rookie card in Rookie Anthology are the Rookie Treasures cards. The design on these cards (especially the logo) harken to the National Treasures or Timeless Treasure lines in Panini's other sports offerings. Though the Robert Bortuzzo card above is a short printed patch variation of the Rookie Treasures, you can see the basic design scheme of the card. There are two pieces of player-worn material along with an autograph. There are three levels of rarity when it comes to these cards. The top tiered rookies are limited to 99 copies, the next tier is to 199, and the last tier is to 499. All the patch variations are limited to just 15. In terms of look, these cards are very classy. Everything about this card is elegant and worthy of being a super premium card.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Rookie Anthology is unique in that it 'updates' sets that Panini has already released. You will find rookie cards from Limited, Certified, Pinnacle, Contenders, and Crown Royale in this set. For the set completers out there, if you thought you were done with your Panini set from earlier this year... think again! There are now more cards to chase and add to your set. Panini has included Luxury Suite cards within boxes of Rookie Anthology too. Though they did not release Luxury Suite as a stand alone set, it's neat to see it a part of this mash-up of products.

Aside from the rookie update inserts, Rookie Anthology has it's own branded sets of inserts. The Rookie Rivalry player-worn dual jersey cards is an example of this. Here Panini features two players who may have a rivalry with each other. Reading the back of this card doesn't really make it apparent why these two particular players would have a rivalry though. I think these cards are just an excuse to get a couple of jerseys on a card and feature some of the rookies. Maybe one day there will be an actual rivalry between these two guys! Who knows?!? In terms of card design, the card is nice, but nothing special. Though a limited short printed patch variation of the card would potentially be pretty cool... there isn't one in this case. These cards only come in jersey form.

A more veteran focused jersey insert is the Draft Year Combos set. In this jersey set, two players from the same draft year are put together on the same card. Each card features game-worn material from each of the two players. I personally prefer this to the Rookie Rivalry set. It's always nice to see players from the year that they were drafted - many of them have grown-up and changed so much in such a short period of time. As for card design, the top/bottom look works well here. I like how the draft position is clearly labeled on the front of the card. Having the draft year die-cut for the jerseys was also an appropriate design choice.

Aside from these two inserts, collectors will also find the popular Private Signings autographed cards, Pinnacle Starting Six jersey cards, and even bonus autographs in boxes of Rookie Anthology.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
Panini's Rookie Anthology is a really fun break. I was skeptical about Titanium and I was skeptical about Anthology, but Panini really surprised me in a good way with both products. With Anthology, you get one insert/hit per pack along with a bonus pack per box. There definitely seems to be value to be had here. The base cards are nice and this product will be a must for collectors who want to finish off their Panini sets.

At a price of about $100 per box, I think it's about right. The only drawback of this product is the extreme focus on rookies in a year when there just isn't a large crop of top tier guys to collect. But that being said, there are still some amazing cards of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, and the rest to be found. I bet any collector would be happy with a Rookie Treasures or Luxury Suite card of them!

Overall Rating:

Check out my break of 11/12 Rookie Anthology at D&P cards:


  1. Let me know if the Bortuzzo is available for trade. I have a list of cards available here:

    I can be e-mailed at matt-pederson(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

  2. This product looks really cool. I like the Rookie Rivalry cards.


  3. i really like this product and i think you get a good bang for your buck.i like how the bonus pack contains one hit for sure.i also like that it focuses on rookies. i got two packs today luckily the bonus pack was there so i bought the bonus pack and another pack and i got two hits that were really nice.i love this product and i hope to buy more of it.


  4. I have been waiting for this to come out for a while. I Really like the bonus pack, it really makes me want to buy this.

    YouTube: EOJ18

  5. Looks pretty nice Panini has really stepped it up this compared to last years products. If your ever doing groupbreaks pick the New York Rangers. I pickes them and got 3 luxury suite jersey stick cards, rookie jersey auto(LS), a silhoutte, and a whole wack of other jerseys and inserts!!


  6. hi luke. i personaly think this product is a good one for set builders/ people that like rookies. the desighn of the cards look awsome but there are sertane things people wouldnt like about it. that there tomany guys that wont ever play a full season or be big name players in it. thank you for another amazing review and contest.

    youtube user name: Priceforthewin

  7. Dang, nice break and the set looks really cool, nice clean and crisp base cards. If you want to trade for the John Moore you can hit me up at "". John Moore went to my High School and is from my hometown so I am kind of a fan of him.

  8. Already got a box on the way as soon as I saw Crown Royale's silhouette autos are included, love those cards, so it would be great to pull one. From what I've seen though this whole set oozes class so I'm really looking forward to it.

    - reebz0r

  9. Nice break and I really like the other rookies in it is like s2


  10. nice box, its like rookie update and its interesting. nice how it involves the regular rookies and then the newer rookies like hagelin, kassian, leblanc etc...

    my grade 8.5/10


  11. I think this product is great. Rookies everywhere. Really nice for people that try to complete rookie classes for the 2012 season or any season. Really nice looking cards.

    Youtube Username- CelticBocker37

  12. nice product love the concept of the product but as u said very ud felling to it love that panini is doing it to and great for rookie collectors


  13. I really like the product i think it's tied for the best 11-12 box with Contenders.
    I love the look of Rookie Treasures i got some pack of Rookie Anthology and got a Rookie Treasures of Patrick Wiercioch.

    Youtube Username- TheCanuck91

  14. I like the concept and the hits they give but I don't very like the rookies of this year, for example pinnacle. The other thing I didn't like in your break and others that I saw, it's the bonus pack. I'm not a fan of luxuary suite and I tought the bonus pack was going to be more awesome. The design of the cards are very nice and I can't say nothing about this but if all the packs were hits, it would be great.


  15. this product is like rookie update . u could get a few good players like ryan ellis or loui leblanc . i like the base card design .
    youtube : vancanuckman1234

  16. Rookie Anthology was really great for this year! I really like how they updated the other panini product cards in the set! Panini and Upper Deck really should do products like this way more often!

    YouTube Username- TheYoungARTISTFTW

  17. nice reviewmy youtube name is spartoin117

  18. it was a great product you get a chance for some great pulls its alot of products combined i loved it

    youtube name: hockeykid968

  19. These base cards are so nice, all though the do remind me of upperdeck cards.

  20. Nice product, I like how they are taking the idea from UD Series 2 and bringing newer rookies from previous products and putting them in this product which is a really good idea.

    Youtube: MattsSportsCards

  21. I think that this is a nice product, with a chance at something nice. I like the idea of having a set with multiple sets in it.
    Youtube username: SJSharkzz3

  22. being a ranger collector, the bonus packs seem to have a plethora of rangers luxury suite stick/jersey card. unfortunately the fact that they didn't number them is a huge drawback. also, why would hagelin's phenoms card be double printed /598? seems like some sort of mistake. also they forgot to put the stickers on the devante smith-pelley patch autos and the gudbranson so you can send it to panini and they will affix the sticker.

    youtube username: aronowm2

  23. i actually like it. IMO its UD series 2 , but cleaner, and sleek looking. (though it is 100X better than s2) as for your review luke, A+ as always :)

    YT- canucks112785

  24. This is easily one of the greatest products made by panini. I find them to be one of the best card companies out there.

    YouTube- beastsunleashed

  25. I really like rookie anthology, I like how it updates the rookies in past products. Panini has really made some nice hockey products this year.


  26. i really agree with your review and i think the whole concept of putting rookie's from all sets in it is cool!!!

  27. What can be said about probably the best things mixed (rookies/jerseys/autos) i really like this product i find it good with hits, the base are really cool designed,good job paini -LeafFanDom12

  28. 1. The niemi card makes him look like the hunchback of notre dame.
    2. Most of the rookies are no-names, which makes me a bit sad.
    3. I'll probably end up buying a box of this stuff anyways. Thanks for doing the contests, as always.


    Joffrey LupulFan

  30. Wow this is a very nice product with a unique concept to keep things fresh. very well done on the review.

  31. Product is very nice- Rockiesphan17 is my you tube

  32. Very solid product and a great review! I would rate the inserts higher than the base cards though, Panini did a good job making a rookie-focused product with interesting inserts and jersey designs that didn't get too repetitive. I thought the backs of the base cards were too plain and should have got a lower score.


  33. Rookie Anthology is pretty cool. I really like the base card design but most of the update rookies are unknown except for a few like Zack Kassian, Cody Eakin etc.. I really like the look of those Rookie Treasures. They look really nice and remind me of the sweet shot/opee chee premier rookie jersey autos that upper deck used to come up with. This is a pretty cool product, might try some myself.


  34. i love the look n idea of this product n hope to get me some or at least some shaws n smith
    yt name-hockeyleafs100

  35. Rookie Anthology is pretty neat. I see they include rookie cards from all sorts of products which to me is meh. I dont really like the fact of what they are doing because it lacks creativity however everything else is top notch :) I especially like the rookie rivalry cards those are neat.
    thanks luke1


  36. This product was a great idea by Panini and i really think it will do well overall. I love the design of the base and i think you get good value back for the price point. The only downfall is that there is pretty well no good pinnacle rookies and that they are almost useless. Thanks for the contest!


  37. I never heard of this product before and still don't know much about it. I probably would probably buy this product for a cheaper price. The base cards are pretty sharp and clean. The idea of this product is interesting and is a good idea by panini.Overall I rate this product 5/10

    - teeheekid1

  38. I bought a box of this product. I like fact that it comes with a bonus "hit" pack, in which there's a good chance to get a piece of a player's stick. Very cool Rookie Treasures cards too. I hit a Phenoms 11-12 Limited auto and was glad b/c I avoided buying that product (Too much $ for only 3 hits) I'd rate this product an 8/10 too!!


  39. I think Roookie Anthology has a good concept, where you can get rookie cards from products where they didn't take place at first. The National Treasures cards looks really nice, and are also my favourite cards out of this product. The names of the other hits are a bit too weak to be very excited of...

    YouTube: Majlfp

  40. In my opinion, Rookie Anthology is a solid product but I still think Titanium beats it. The base look really clean and I think any collector would have tons of fun chasing after each card. My favourite sets are the Rookie Treasures & Rookie Rivalry cards because they are really neat and appealing. I like the idea of how Panini added updated rookies from other products such as Contenders, Pinnacle & Crown Royale. Overall I'd rate this product 7.5/10.


  41. Love anthology besides pinnacle rookies

  42. Tht message 2 mins ago was from jonathantoewsfan19

  43. Overall, I think Rookie Anthology is a great product. Like the concept of giving some of the rookies that weren't on many different sets a chance to be on previous ones such as Pinnacle, Contenders and Crown. The look of the base cards are great, love the clean look. Also like the National Treasures Rookie Jersey Autos. If I were to rate the product, I'd give it an 8 as well. Great review Luke!

    HockeyCardFan1000 on Youtube :)

  44. I think it is an awesome product!!! The base card design is very clean.

    Thanks again for the contests!!!


  45. I think that rookie anthology is an ok product, not bad, but not amazing. I personally think that the base cards look awesome and very clean though.

  46. Lobe the clean design of rookie anthology but not too sure about the pinnacle rookies since it's a $100 dollar product it should not have something thts $50 dollars a box or something like that jonathantoewsfan19

  47. rookie anotholigy is sick!]
    inserts and rookies-9
    draft year jersey-9.5
    rookie rivalry deul jersey-9.5
    deul jersey auto-9
    thanks for the contest

  48. pinni has really steped up thire game latley they could defently be on to of the trading cards lists every year with stuff like this


  49. For me I am not the biggest fan of Rookie Anthology, only because I am not a big fan of the players that are pulled within a box. Although I can understand why some people would be more excited than me! For example a player like Hagelin who came in late in the season didnt get the opprotunity to get in the older products. This product mixes his cards from those products for his collectors!

    - jtgoleafs

  50. i think its a pretty nice product i just dont like getting so much pinnacle and other stuff... and im not very fond of some of the hite either but its still a nice product!

    Thanks Luke!

  51. This is a really nice product. I really like the idea to add the design of other product in this set. I really like the look and the design of the draft combo. The base cards look ok.

    thank you

  52. I really like this product. The base cards are really nice and love the design of them. i also love those rookie rivalry cards. They have a nice look to them. I already made a comment but i dont think it worked, so if you see a comment with the same youtube username just ignore it :)
    youtube username: reimer134

  53. I like base cards they're very cool but INSERTS worst panini insterts ever. ;P . But Patches are cool

  54. Im interested in the Crosby patch you have for trade

  55. Hey! Which is better. Rookie anthology? Or panini elite??

    1. I would buy Anthology over Elite. Anthology has some pretty nice rookie auto jersey and patch cards. It also has some sweet Luxury Suite bonus cards available to find. To me Elite was pretty stale.

    2. Thanks! That's what I was leaning towards! Love the reviews!

  56. New web site is looking good. Thanks for the great effort.