So today I ventured out to get my retail product for review. Instead of trotting across the street to the Target nearest me, I went to the Target in the college town of Davis, CA. I go to church in Davis so it was easy to just drive over there after service. Good thing I did as you will find out soon! It turned out to be a very blessed box!
$29.99 + Tax
Packs - 3
11/12 Panini Certified
Certified is not usually thought of as a retail brand. When I think of Certified, I think of a cube-like box that contains 10 packs that I can only get at hobby shops. I had heard about the Certified retail boxes from online forums and other peoples' breaks, but I had personally never seen one up close. To my surprise, the Target in Davis had a box of Certified sitting on the shelf along with a blaster of Zenith. Both were $29.99, but since Zenith was kind of a lame duck product I chose to go with Certified. Packs of Certified at hobby are about $10 each so a box of three is about right in terms of cost. The side of the blaster says that there is a guarantee of an autograph or memorabilia card contained so that was a nice incentive for me as well, though I think Zenith blasters have the same hit per blaster statement.
Let's see what I got in my 11/12 Panini Certified Blaster:
I like the Certified blaster quite a bit... and not only because of the massive hit I got. As I mentioned before, the price seems right for what you get. A typical hobby box of Certified will net you about 4 hits - so a hit in every 2.5 packs. In the blaster you get 1 hit in 3 packs. That's pretty close to the hobby version. Usually the retail odds are mind-numbingly astronomical compared to their hobby brothers. So I'm a fan of bridging the gap a little between hobby and retail here in this product. My only minor complaint about this break was the fact that 3 packs is such a small amount to open. The break was over before it even really began. Part of the fun of buying cards is opening packs. So only having three packs to break can be underwhelming. Getting the card I pulled today makes up for that in a big way though. Insert smiley face here!
For my top 3 cards this week I will pick the 3 best cards out of the break. Aside from the biggie there wasn't much else there of note. Here's the top 3.
Top 3 Cards
Well, Sid the Kid is probably the best base card you can get, so here he lands at number 3. It's unfortunate that base cards are worth so little to everyone out there now. Even in the 90's I would pull out the star base cards and put them in top loaders. These days all the base cards are typically thrown into big white boxes and just stored away, stars and all. This card will most likely join the rest of my 11/12 Certified base... either that or I'll throw this one is as an extra to someone I trade with. I do like the sweet third jersey he's sporting though. Love the blue and baby blue on those sweaters.
This Joe Mullen card is part of the Immortals subset of the main Certified set. Unlike the standard base cards, the retired players pictured here are in black and white. It creates an interesting flat tone to the card. What also separates this card from he rest of the base cards is that it is limited. Each Immortals card is serial numbered to only 500. Because of of it's short printed nature, Joe Mullen comes in at number 2.
Well, picking this as card number one was a no-brainer! Perhaps the most desired card of the set (besides possible more limited versions), this card is also worth quite a bit in street and book value. The design of the card is very pleasing - from the large die-cut 'rookie' jersey, to the foil enhanced background, to the autograph... it all comes together so well! What a card to find in a retail blaster in a small town in California!
Overall Value -
$29.99 is a high price to pay for a blaster of Certified, no doubt! It is on the higher spectrum of products you'll find in the card section of a retail store. It is certainly not the cheap-o loose pack re-packs that cost about $10, and it's not the standard $20 blaster either. It's a steep $10 more than that. But all-in-all, I think these blasters are a good value compared to what people are getting at the hobby level. I think these blasters are very nice if you want to get a taste of a hobby product, but don't want to buy a whole box or pick loose packs out at the LCS. I am very happy I found this at the Davis Target. Maybe I should just keep going there until my luck runs out!
Let me know what you thought of my 11/12 Panini Certified blaster box down in the comments below. Have you ever gotten anything good from a Certified blaster? I'd love to know!
Overall Value Score:
Every Sunday look out for another exciting installment of Retail Review!