Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 Score Football Review

Wow, it's been twenty five years of Score football already... a very impressive tenure! With this release Panini celebrates Score's silver anniversary by giving collectors a rookie card design that they love - the '89 Score design. Panini has packed this year's Score product with a ton of things to find. Today I'll be opening up a jumbo box containing ten packs. Doesn't seem like a lot, does it? Well, it is when there are FIFTY cards per pack!!! That's right... FIFTY! They didn't skimp on filling these bad boys up.

Base Card Design -
Simple, simple simple. That's what I think of when I look at the Score base cards. There really isn't much to them. You've got your standard photo, player and team name, position, and brand logo. That's it. The design is definitely no frills, but that doesn't equate to ugly or bad. It's nice and clean and pleasant in it's own way, but it's definitely not very memorable. This year's score does what a lot of lower-end cards do nowadays; it employs a white border. I miss the old days when companies used color or specially designed their borders to look different. That's what helped collectors like me identify the year a card was made. So many cards, especially in the 80's, were recognizable by their borders alone. I would love to see a return to that with these lower-end products. But obviously that's not going to happen here with 2013 Score Football. 

2013 Score Football does have one thing going for it in a major way though - it's photography. I was really impressed flipping through the cards and looking at the photos. There is a great selection of unique action photos to be found. That was definitely a nice unexpected pleasure. Just check out the Colin Kaepernick shown above. That's a great shot in the middle of what looks to be an intense play.

The card back continues with the theme of 'simple', but this time it's too much so. With no borders or lines, I feel like the graphics and text will somehow just fall off the card. A good word to describe the back would be 'fragile'. I need to see more going on with it, and I need to see it somehow be more together in it's design. The back just doesn't cut it for me, and I'd be happy never to turn these cards over.

The Airmail subset is composed of quarterbacks. In the jumbo box I opened, these cards made up a portion of the cards found after the inserts. There's really not too much to say about these cards. They look like base cards except with the Airmail logo sitting atop the player's name. Score has always had subsets to go along with the base cards, but most of the time they featured a Season Highlight or some sort of award. This Airmail subset's sole purpose seems to be to give the set more cards of quarterbacks.  Not necessarily a bad thing as the most popular position is the quarterback, but it would have been nice to have a more relevant tie to the football season like cards of years past.

The Franchise is another subset of the main set. Like Airmail, these cards simply have a Franchise logo above the player's name. In the past, Score had Franchise insert cards that were collector favorites. These cards don't live up to those, unfortunately. I get the feeling that these cards were inserted to sneak more stars into the set.

Road to the Super Bowl is a subset that definitely has relevance to football. These cards feature last season's Super Bowl champions - the Baltimore Ravens. Each card has a special logo along with the Super Bowl XLVII logo. They may not be the best looking cards, but I appreciate these more so than the Airmail and Franchise cards. I'm sure Raven fans will enjoy remembering last season's path to the title through this subset.

While I felt disappointment with to varying degrees with the last three subsets, I have the exact opposite feeling with the throwback '89 rookie designed cards. Panini obviously knew these would be a huge attraction for collectors as photos of these cards adorn the box. These are sweet looking rookie cards. Though the design is simple, it is bold and stands out. This design stands the test of time; a real testament to a day when companies put everything they had into one set of cards for the entire year. They had to be good, and they were. I'm very glad to see these retro rookie card design here in this set. They, for me, make this set worth buying - and they give the design score a nice little boost up!

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
The box states there there is one autograph or memorabilia card per box. Boxes that I have seen opened tended to have more than that. This review box from Panini had three total autographs but no memorabilia hit. Each jumbo pack opened will have the rookies, inserts, and hits sandwiched between two stacks of base cards.

The main insert card found in 2013 Score are the Hot Rookies. These cards feature a rookie set on a red and orange graphic composed of their team logo and a close-up photo of the main photo. By itself, the card really pops and stands out nicely. Using these bold colors definitely was a shout out to insert cards of the past. I could definitely see myself pulling a card like this out of something from the 90's. My only issue with these cards happens when they are all put together. When that happens, they just turn into a big mush of orange. Perhaps using team colors instead of just orange would have differentiated the cards better.

The parallel version of the Hot Rookie insert looks amazing in person. It's very difficult to tell from the scan above, but if you look closely, you can see the little grains of color that dot the card. Each dot reflects light in a different way, creating a vast field of color that sparkles on the face of the card. It's an amazing effect to see in person. This particular effect is found here on these Hot Rookies numbered to 99 as well as base card parallels also numbered to 99.

Speaking of parallel cards, there are many to be found within the Score set in a variety of different colors and printing techniques. Some parallels simply have a shinier foil while others have different border colors; and there are those with both different foil and different borders. The most limited card  in this jumbo box was a red bordered/foiled James Laurinaitis card numbered to just 30. It's surprising to find cards numbered this low in Score... but I know that there are parallels with an even lower print-run than that available for collectors to pull.

The rookie card parallels are especially exciting for me. It's awesome to see the variety of color available. How awesome would it be to have a complete rainbow of a 2013 Score rookie? It would look pretty amazing together I'm sure.

Here's what one of the rookie cards looks like with an autograph. Though it's a sticker auto, the white space that Panini leaves for it makes it look ok overall. The card design works well with an autograph on it. The standard rookie autographs are unnumbered, but there are serial numbered variations available.

Besides the rookie autos, collectors can find Score Inscriptions like this T.Y. Hilton card. It's a very simple autograph card that uses a simple football field design nicely. This is the kind of design I think works best for Score. It's not complicated and gets the job done while still being colorful and interesting.

Surprisingly, there is a crazy ton of very nice memorabilia cards to find within boxes of 2013. I have seen breaks with tags and prime pieces of material. It looks like though Score has the outward appearance of a very low-end product, Panini has been able to sneak in some very high-powered cards to chase in it.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
2013 Score is a real surprise. Though there are some elements that really fall flat, mainly with the base set, all-in-all this year's Score delivers in some amazing ways. First, Score scores a touchdown with their throwback '89 rookies. Those cards in the product make it a fun buy already. But secondly, autographs and amazing memorabilia make this a must-buy product for all collectors. There is just too much good stuff to be found in Score this year to ignore.

At under $100 per jumbo box, this is a good buy that will land you some hits as well as a ton of cards to look through and enjoy.

Panini has done a marvelous job of starting off the 2013 football card season with Score. It's the perfect product to tide you over until the new football season starts back up.

Let me know if you got anything good out of 2013 Score Football! Feel free to comment in the comments section with your thoughts on Score Football or my review of it.

Overall Rating:

Check out my box break of 2013 Score Football:


  1. Tight end? He wishes. Now girls having tight ends I can dig.

  2. I really like score this year, this product always predicates itself one being simple and classy when it comes to the design of the cards. I really like the look of the base rc's this year, but I wish the rc autos were on card they would have looked a lot better. Overall this product is a great cheap product to bust

    Youtube- Connor Rylatt

  3. Wow really want 13-14 score to be like this, all those rookies!!!


  4. I always like score football because its really cheap and fun to open. This year, the base cards look great and so do the hot rookies, and red border cards. I do think the autos are ok, but definitely could be better. I'm not a big fan of the normal rookies simply because I'd prefer a full action shot of them. Overall, I do really like this product YouTube: MrCardCollector97

  5. Great hit on the TY Hilton! As A Colts fan that last pack was great with that and the Luck 50/50.

    Thanks for the review!

    WVColtsFan (SCF)

  6. Davis Auto is one mean looking auto card. I wonder if they all look that mean.

    Hot Rookies is cool it is a nice throwback. I love the colour and the design very cool looking card.

    The parallel cards are nice, they are a little different seems a little girly to be honest with the over the top sparkles but hey maybe they are trying to get girls into collecting.

    Overall I do like this product for it being a lower end product. I would collect this set but with Score Hockey coming out soon I might have to put this one on the back burner.

    I would rate this a 9/10 based on value and what you get.

    Youtube: Starnsfan00

  7. Really this is kind of a copy of Topps Jumbo Football based on the number of hits, packs per box (10), and cards per pack (50). But I do like Score this year because the autographs are a LOT more common than as I would say last years Score. Panini is doing a great job with their products this year.

    Youtube: jtayl132

  8. This was a good move on Panini's part to have a jumbo box option for a base line product like Score.

    Especially in football, having those four signatures in a box of recently drafted players will make the market and also the hype for an otherwise underwhelming draft class have more zest. In addition, the card design is simple and I think is not too flashy.

    My only flaw is that they went to the flimsy Topps-esque card stock, but that is expected for a product that delivers with strong subsets and even the opportunity to land patch autographs of many draft picks from 2011 and 2012.

    Overall I say this product is a 9 out of 10. It's a great start to the NFL collecting season and I may scoop up an Eric Fisher autograph (he is from a town near me) or any Lions autos.

    YT name: MotorCityAutographs

  9. I like Score every year for every sport. Even though it is low-end its 99 cents/pack and you can't go wrong with that

    1. I totally agree with you, but this year packs are priced at 1.99

  10. Swwet product, love the retro rookoes and I like all the numbered cards

  11. I love score cards to use for IP autographing! Score is good for kids because its cheap and you get out of it many cards!

    YT martinspridstavlaet

  12. I love the look of the Rookie cards in this set...Takes me back to the old days. I was also surprised at how many autos you got in the Score jumbos. Nice reivew of the product! Thanks!

  13. The rookie cards look awesome compared to what you would see in other sports, like hockey score. The different variations of inserts are sweet and the amount of autographs you got in that box is great. This box looks like a good box for somebody just getting into collecting football, you get it all too. Inserts plentiful, autographs and rookies, what more does a collector want? I rate this product a 9.5/10
    Great review Luke!

    YT- bmurphy1325

  14. Love the retro design. This product is kind of simaler to topps baseball jumbo.


  15. Hey Luke.

    To start, I must say, I have never been a huge fan of the Retro look. But I must say, with Score, I liked it. They really made me feel old. All jokes aside, it is really cool.

    The whole 50 cards per pack seemed a little ridiculous to me. However, you gotta love it. It's weird and we all like weird. Well, to some degree.

    The design is stellar if you ask me. The whole retro look really made it's name true in this product. You can almost see texture through the scans.

    Sorry for the short comment but I have been spending about an hour looking at your videos, etc, and it's time for me to step outside the blacksheep217 zone.

    Take care and another awesome review, Luke!

  16. Looks to be another great product. The 50 card pack really makes it worth while to buy seperately. The rookies are awesome and numbered cards are neat to see in score.

    Youtube: 14opc

  17. A Score Product with a few hits/box? Exactly what I want for the hockey version! A Score Product with only jumpo packs? NOOOOO! I want to open packs, and by pulling maybe 5 similar rookie cards at once doesn't give as much appreciation to every similar card. Though the design is ok, and I especially like the parallells of any reason. I'm not being that excited of the base green rookie cards for example, but the Purple parallell looks great to me! Why? Maybe because you get a big stack of common rookies in every pack, and that single Purple card stands out!

    Youtube: Majlfp

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