Sunday, March 3, 2013

Retail Review #38 (10/11 Panini Pinnacle Blaster)

The second of my three blaster Pinnacle blaster is up to bat! After going hitless with my last two Donruss boxes, I'm looking forward to finding something in here. Pinnacle has always been a fun break that yields a good amount of unique looking base cards and interesting inserts and parallels. I feel like the past few breaks have been a bit on the blander side... will this box break that streak with something exciting? Let's find out.

Price - 
3 for $19.95

Packs - 8
10/11 Pinnacle Packs

I've stated before that I think Pinnacle was Panini's answer to Upper Deck Series 1 and 2. The price points are very similar, and there is a strong focus on photography. Unlike Upper Deck 1 and 2 though, Pinnacle breaks out into its own with is wide array of card varieties and quirky nature. In terms of variety, collectors can find all sorts of things - foiled parallels, jerseys, autographs... and even non-hockey player cards.

And in terms of quirky-ness, Pinnacle is a brand that did away with putting statistics on the back. Instead, the cards have a write-up of the photograph on the front - there are not many card brands that do that. Though very untraditional, it's a great idea to attract newer collectors into the fold. Instead of trying to pour over numbers, a little story to go along with the front of the card makes for very easy access into the NHL experience.

Let's go ahead and break this blaster box open and see what spills out!

Review -
I have to say this was the most fun break I've had in a Retail Review in a while. The Pinnacle box had eight packs in it, which made the experience last a little longer, and the insert cards came out at a pretty decent clip. And unlike my last couple Donruss boxes (which have a similar price point), this box (and all my other Pinnacle blasters) had a serial numbered hit in it.

Besides my main hits, I also was able to pull one rookie and one Nufex parallel card. 10/11 was an amazing year for rookies so there was a good chance at a top name... but unfortunately my Ice Breaker rookie card was not of a notable player (Stars goalie Richard Bachman). My Nufex card, however, was of a pretty notable (infamous) hockey player - Sean Avery. I have to say that I'm not a fan of Avery and all his antics, but the card looks pretty cool at least. But that's not good enough to make my top three this week.

Here's what made the top cards in this break:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Duff Goldman Card No. 3 (Fans of the Game Set)
I watch the Food Network... A LOT. Shows like Chopped, Mystery Diners, and Restaurant Impossible are great fun. Duff Goldman was the main star of Ace of Cakes. Though that show wasn't one that I particularly liked, it's fun to be able to pull a card that represents the Food Network family of programming. When are they going to feature a Sharks fan? Panini should make a card of me!!!

#2 - Mike Richards/Pavel Datsyuk Card No. 1 (Team Pinnacle Set)
This was an insert card I had no clue would come out of this blaster - it was a VERY NICE surprise. Team Pinnacle cards have always been a hard pull - from the 90's until even now they are a rarer breed of insert card. I remember Gretzky/Lemieux Team Pinnacle cards being in the hundred dollar range. Now this card is not even close to that value, but it's a cool card nonetheless - sweet, sweet pull for a blaster!

#1 - Jordan Staal Card No. JST
I snuck a peak at the color scheme of the card and was hoping Crosby... but Staal is a still a very nice hit. These Threads jersey card have a simple and cohesive design that is very pleasing to the eye. The colors, the orientation of the graphics, and even the font blend well with each other. I like it so much I'm actually considering possibly going for this insert set! That's what a good design can do... it makes collectors want the cards. If you have any of these 10/11 Threads cards, shoot me a PM!

Overall Value -
I have to give it up for Pinnacle - it's a great value at the moment - especially if you can get a box like this one. Of course, there was no huge dollar card here, but the break was very enjoyable. When choosing between Panini's two mid-lower-end brands - Pinnacle and Donruss, I have said that they were pretty close... but my recent breaks have made Pinnacle pull much farther ahead in terms of which box to go for when having to choose between the two.

Let me know what you thought of my 10/11 Pinnacle blaster down in the comments below. What have you gotten out of these blasters? I'd love to know!

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!


  1. Got a couple of 10-11 Pinnacle packs free with an order once and pulled the same Richards/Datsyuk card. Had no idea they're a tough find. Kinda bugged me though that only one side had the foil and the other side was plain.

    - reebz0r

    1. yea, it would be nice with both sides foil. they also used to be paintings on the front. those were the days.