Saturday, June 29, 2013

2013 Panini Prestige Football Review

Prestige is the first mid-level football card product to come out for Panini. Collectors know that this product showcases the new rookie crop in a major way. The set is loaded with first year players cards. Though Prestige has a pretty modest price tag, it does provide some decent hit content. In year's past, Prestige has underwhelmed a bit in the design department - not really living up to its prestigious moniker. Let's see what Prestige serves up this time around.

Base Card Design -
The new Prestige base cards have definitely taken a step in the right direction. I was pleasantly surprised at how refined they looked when I opened my first pack. These base cards have a tasteful look that incorporates some smart design choices. First, the player photo. Rather than a broad action shot of the player, the designers chose to focus solely on the subject of the card. The result was a larger, clearer image of the represented player. The player is in action, so there is definitely an intensity element on display; and all that intensity is distilled into the large photo - it's pretty awesome. To further focus collectors' attentions on the player, Panini has wisely ghosted out the top portion of the card and made the bottom of the card flooded with a darkened team color shadow. You can't help but to look right where these two elements meet - the center. Lastly, the fonts and graphics used are classy. They have a retro flair to them that matches well with the Prestige logo.

The back of the card is also a step in the positive direction for Panini. I have traditionally not been a fan of Panini's spartan, boring backs. The Prestige backs do have a touch of the old Panini 'phone-it-in' style at the very bottom, but the rest of the four-fifths of the card is great. The grayscale image of the player looks sweet on the white background, and the jumbo sized card numbering is a fun little choice.

Each pack of Prestige will come with at least one rookie card in it. The rookie cards share many similar elements to the standard base cards, but are different enough that they stand out. In terms of card design, the rookie cards have that same color partition. The difference here, though, is that with the rookie card, the background has less of that whiting effect used with the base. It's almost as if the players are in a heavy fog rather than engulfed in fog. I like it; it's a nice tie to the base design. The only parts of the rookie card I have issue with are the two rookie logos. The rookie shield in the top left corner is uninspired and is visually bland. And the large rookie logo above the player's name is an eyesore. Everything else looks so tasteful, it's just too bad that the two rookie designators mar what could be a near-flawless design concept.

Special parallel variations exist for some rookie cards like this one of Eddie Lacy pictured above. I think this variation is pretty similar to the base rookei card, but other variants have dramatically different photos. Be careful when sorting through your cards and see if you come across these parallels.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
The outside of the box promises four memorabilia or autographed cards per box. Besides hits, collectors are treated to parallel cards and inserts as well. Though the main thrust of Prestige is with the new rookie class, there are plenty of veteran hits to find as well. Overall there is a nice mix of both.

Panini has done an excellent job making use of foil in all their recent card sets. They have used it so much of it that I believe they have just about perfected the process. This Prestigious Pick foil insert of 49er Marcus Lattimore looks great (it definitely loses its mojo going through the scanner). The gold foil really shimmers, and the burst pattern in the background adds dimension to the card. You can find a few of these, along with another burst foil insert called NFL Draft Picks, inside the box.

Acetate is another special form type of card that Panini has chosen to put into Prestige. My box came with two. Both were die-cut in different ways, but both looked great. If this were the early nineties, these cards would probably hold some significant value. Though they probably won't ever be big money cards, they are cards that are creative and nice additions to anyone's collection. And they still are fun cards to pull from packs. Acetate and foil cards - I still definitely have a soft spot for them in my heart!

There are some 'filler' insert cards to be found like this Draft City Destinations card of Geno Smith that don't have foil, acetate, or die-cutting... and basically comes on the same stock as the base cards. These cards aren't terrible, and in fact, some present some pretty interesting nuggets of information, but because they lack those extra printing elements, they just aren't that exciting to pull. With cards like these that have no bells or whistles, there has to be some absolutely timeless design or amazing photography to hold collector interest. Anything less leaves these cards destined to be banished into the common bin, and forgotten forever.

Numbered and unnumbered parallel cards can be found in Prestige. Shown above is an Extra Points parallel card numbered to just 100. Different parallel cards come with different color configurations. I really like the fact that Panini chose to foil the entire card. An entire set of Prestige in foil would look amazing, and this can be accomplished by collecting the just one of the parallel sets. The foiling used on these parallels is similar to that of Panini's Absolute brand.

Here you can see an autographed Extra Points Parallel card of Matt Scott numbered to only 100. It's a sticker autograph, but that's about what you'd expect in a mid-end product line like Prestige.

What was a bit unexpected was the availability of on-card autographs. Usually on-card autographs are reserved for higher-end products. So it's really awesome to be able to acquire on-card autos in Prestige. This autographed version of the NHL Passport insert of new Viking Cordarrelle Patterson is great. The on-card autograph paired with a visually interesting design makes this card really stand out. Panini did a really nice job with these.

In terms of memorabilia content, the Prestigious Picks jersey cards combine foil and cloth. I remember really enjoying the foiled memorabilia card out of Panini Brilliance Basketball a little while ago. This is the same concept. It's great that Panini decided to have more all-foil memorabilia cards. It's a pairing that just isn't seen often enough. Perhaps companies think that there should only be one special treatment and not the other, but as you can see here, foiling a memorabilia card is a worthwhile idea.

Foil isn't used for all the memorabilia cards in Prestige, so I'm glad Panini at least came up with designs that look good for the cards without it - this design isn't the standard boring, cookie cutter fare. The DeMarco Murray jersey card above shows a great deal of artistry in its design. From the sepia background to the cut of the jersey hole, this card has that extra going for it to make it stand out.

With so many inserts, parallels, printing plates, memorabilia, and autographed cards, collectors are bound to find something they like when they bust Prestige this year. In this preview box alone, there were numerous examples of well thought out cards. Collectors should be pleased.

Overall Rating -
Prestige has been a brand that I have tended to have lukewarm feelings about. It was never a huge stinker, but it wasn't very exciting either. In the past two years, Prestige has taken a strong step forward. At its price-point (under $100/box), Prestige delivers a solid value with the opportunity to nab some worthwhile cards of the new rookie class (veterans too!). I definitely think Prestige is a product worth your time if football is the sport you collect. It's also a great entry point for collectors looking to get into football card collecting.

Overall Rating:

Check out my box of 2013 Panini Prestige Football:


  1. Love football! Big fan of the Steelers. Panini Prestige is always a nice box with nice looking cards. Thanks for the review !

    Youtube: ColossalCollector

  2. Nice review! I'm a big Giants fan, so I'd like to get my hands on a Ryan Nassib rookie card. This would be a great product to get him in!

    Youtube: MrCardCollector97

  3. Cheap packs for kids with hits! Love draft city destinations! Like jersey cards but hate sticker autographs!
    My YT : Martinspridstavlaet

  4. Really like Prestige. I'm a 49ers fan, and it looks like there is a ton of 49ers cards in this products, so I will probably be getting some of Prestige!

    YouTube micerule934

  5. like the product but i was dissapointed with the small amout of hits and not the best players. everything else looks great though.

    youtube: Canucks Rule

  6. Not really a guy who opens a lot of football. Seems like there are some nice hits but i'm wondering if regular rookies keep their value since they come one a pack.


  7. With one oncard and one sticker auto per box, compare with Topps Museum baseball at 200$/box for this: 4 Packs Per Box, 5 Cards Per Pack. (1) On-Card Auto & (1) Auto'd Relic Card Per Box! (1) Jumbo Relic Car & (1) Quad Relic Card Per Box, even if I mixed sports.

    Definitely, 2013 Panini Prestige is a better choice for someone like me who collect 4 sports.

    If Panini have MLB licensed products next year. Next year or years, could be, much more harder for Topps . :)

    YT: Jean-Claude Des Champs

  8. in my opinion this is a very good product and like you said it is full of nice rookies which is always good and i really like the dye cuts and the foil rookie cards look great. The base cards are not that great but i can admit that they are better looking then lasts years and i really like the jersey cards the one with the foil on the sides they look really cool and the nfl passport autos i are cool and i think that its a great idea overall i like this product but i dont think that its the best that has come out this year i think bowman jumbo has been the best product that has come out is 2013 i think you should try one i think you would like it there is alot of color its really cool well nice review Luke and i love your vids keep it up

  9. I love the base and inserts in this product. I really like the draft city destination cards. I also really like the inserts. Overall a good product

  10. Hey Luke!!! This product has a very sharp looking base card. I love how it fades into the white. Really makes you look at the card. The rookies are also sharp with the Big writing of Rookie across the card. Really tries to tell people it's a rookie lol. Another great things about these cards are the pictures. Very good shots and nice action shots. I like how they have different pictures of the rookies because if you collect all manti teo rookies they will look really nice together.

    The Inserts: Well this product is full of inserts. The Geno Smith card is an alright looking card but I never really liked the sign cards. I don't know why but it just doesn't catch my eye. thoughts? Now that Robert Griffin 111 is an awesome looking acetate card. The NFL symbol with the clear and the diecut. WOW. A truly Jaw-Dropping card to me. I think they got that card perfect! On the Extra Points Auto the nice shiny card catches eyes but I find it no different then any other product. This card I would rate only a 7/10 but the numbering on the card is nice so I think that is a positive. The C. Patterson card is pretty reminds me of 10-11 Contenders Hockey. The on-card auto puts the cherry on top. Another great looking card here.

    The aaron Dobson jersey is also a shiny card but I don't like how this card looks like 2 different cards stuck together. The swatch is a little bigger than average but really only an average looking design to me. The Demarco Murray is pretty! With the swatch in the bottom corner and the face looking in the back. The Game Face is on. A perfect name to this card too "Gamers".

    Overall this product is nice-looking and I think worth it at that price. It would be nice to have those diecut clear cards autoed. Those would be sharp!

    Thanks Luke for the Great break! We all love them and want to win some free cards. LOL. I love your contests and never stop doing what your doing. Great pick by Sacremento in the draft!!! Lots of potential. GO SHARKS GO! GO SACREMENTO GO!

    youtube name: Riley Thomson :)

  11. Definitely a awesome product, but the rookie class is not as good as last years but sill some good rookies in this product.

    Youtube: jtayl132

  12. ok last year was my man ANDREW LUCKS year of football cards. I thought prestige was nice last year, but now this product is amazing. For the basecards there amazing. inserts and rcs design are good. Wish you got better hits.
    Thanks for what you do to the card community!

    youtube name: vancanuckman1234

  13. These are very clean simple good looking cards, they remind me almost of legacy inserts in anthology. Cool base cards


  14. i love this stuff its so cool im trying to get some for my birthday I CANT WAIT!!!
    Youtube: clarkeesportscards

  15. Awesome review Luke.

    I definitely like the base in this product. It is very nice. The foil also adds a nice look to the cards. The rookies and inserts are very nice as well. It is a clean looking product.

    Overall, I like this product even if I'm not a huge fan of Football.

    Thanks for the contest.

  16. Good and fair review. I think the "filler" inserts are getting a little too abundant but it's nice to see a wider range of on-card autos for a mid-range box like this. Can't wait to get my hands on one!

    youtube: bullers81

  17. Another good review.

    I do not collect very much Football but this is a product I would consider collecting.

    As mentioned in previous comments, there are a number of different inserts, I feel there are a few too many for my liking but the ones that are included are nice. I have found some products with loads of inserts tend to be very similar and plain. These are sleek and completely different.

    My two favourites are the Draft City Destinations. I don't know what it is about the sign in the background but I love the simplicity of it.

    My other favourite is the NFL passport card I think mostly because it looks like the Tough Times Hockey Card.

    Overall I honestly do like this product.
    I would have to give it a 8/10 base on the quality of the cards and amount hits you receive.

    Youtube: Starnsfan00

  18. One thing that is a bit fantastic of Prestige is..that I LOVE ALMOST EVERY SINGLE INSERT SET! I'm not that kind of insert guy but with Prestige Panini definitely have made a Product with great looking inserts such as Extra Points, Draft Passport, Draft Ticket etc. And even if I don't like the way the name is inscibed on the base cards I Think this is a great football Product!

    Youtube: Majlfp