Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 Panini Prestige Football Review

The first cards of the football season are here! Panini has released 2012 Prestige, and this is the first chance for collectors to get their hands on some officially licensed cards of the new rookie class. The box features highly touted Colt's rookie Andrew Luck which should be a huge draw this year for football card fans. Thanks go out to Panini for providing this box for review!

Base Card Design -
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:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
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.

The Draft Tickets autographed cards show off a very unique design. These cards come in design that looks like they just filled out some sort of form on their draft day. It's definitely a departure from what we usually see in terms of an autographed card. The Chris Givens above is an on-card autograph rather than sticker auto, so that's cool. I'm very pleased to see that on-card autographs are available in Prestige.

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!

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

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.

Overall Rating:
(Not an average)

Check out my box of Prestige!


  1. i dont really like football or follow it but i really love the look of these cards and all other football cards it makes me think if i want to collect football - Ultimatesportsfan19 (youtube)

    1. Nice cards

  2. im not a big football fan,but these cards look pretty nice. also, 24 packs a box should give you a lot of cards which in my opinion is always good.

  3. i actually like it .. not normally a FB fan, but these seem very simple!

    YT - canucks112785

  4. i dont collect football but it seems really cool and the designs of the cards!


  5. Panini really stepped up this year with prestige, in previous years prestige has been a product that had rookies not in there pro uniforms. I really like how this year prestige has all of the rookies in there pro uniforms either from the rookie premiere or mini camp shots. I also really like how they have on card autos and it shows that panini is trying to get on card autos in there mid to low end products.


  6. I collect a little bit of Football, but I think that the prestige from last year looks nicer. But still these are basic and would make me want to buy them.

    Youtube Name EOJ18

  7. This year, Panini really did a great job with this Prestige set because the design looks really nice. I love on card autographs because it adds a bit more uniqueness to the card since the player actually had the card in his hand at one point, rather than just signing a sheet of stickers. I will be purchasing some of this product for myself because I do like it so much and I cant wait to see what else Panini comes out with. thesabresfan3636 (youtube)

  8. I really like the prestige football products and Im really impressed in this product. Panini has really stepped up there game and have made really unique inserts and other cards and they are getting lots of good feedback because of it.

    Youtube: MattsSportsCards

  9. i dont collect football but i follow it. i like the base card design . also the jersey cards look unique and cool . i think panini has stepped up there jersey cards .
    youtube name : vancanuckman1234

  10. I know nothing about the NFL but it looks really cool.

    YT- TheCanuck91

  11. The base cards look really nice! I like how it shows the whole body of the player. I don't really collect football, but I think this is a great product for football collectors

    flamescollector(YouTube username)

  12. i like football. my favourit team is the broncos and the jets. my favourite player is tim tebow.
    i dont realy collect football but yeh.
    the cards look really sick!
    thanks to u and panani for the contest:)

  13. I recently started colleting NFL sportcards, Specially the youngsters(same in NHL,like the young talents before they get to pricey for cards). This set looks good! Base card design looks great and must say the jersey cards looks stunning!

    Youtube: MrThendro

  14. I quite enjoy the design of the autograph cards. The jerseys pieces are kind of small but they still look nice. It looks like another quality product from Panini!

    Youtube: 14opc

  15. I really like that rookie form like auto. I find that cool how it says his team and draft round and pick. I also really like draft city destination cards. Really neat design to them.


  16. its an ok product i like the hits i really like the rookie autos

    youtube: hockeykid_97

    1. youtube is hockeykid968
      sorry i messed up thats a different username

  17. Those football cards look really good. I think Panini is really starting to release better and better products that are great for collectors.

    Joffrey LupulFan

  18. This is a way better product then last year i really like it. This years prestiage out dos last years by a mile.


  19. From ashy to classy, 2012 Prestige just looks so much better than last year's cards. 2011 I got because they were free, but I may end up buying a box or two of 2012.

    GO RAMS!

    - reebz0r

  20. im accualy a big football fan my fav team is the cowboys and my fav player is tony romo. i might start collecting football cards


  21. im a huge football fan but i dont know much about football cards but i do really like the design of this product!

    Thanks luke!

  22. The design of the cards is really awesome, base, autos, jerseys or whatever, the design is very incredible. For what contains a bos, it's pretty nice, there are couple of nice cards and I do like the product.


  23. I don't really like the look of the base cards. But I really love the design and the look of the drat tickets autos and the drat city destination. Overall it's a pretty nice product.

    thank you