Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2013-2014 Panini Prizm Review

Hockey collectors had a sneak preview of Prizm in last year's Rookie Anotholgy... and now the full-release of Prizm is upon us! Prizm is a mid-level product that all collectors can afford to try - whether in pack form or by the box. Those who love a chrome-type look should especially enjoy these cards. Prizm has been a hit with Panini's other sports releases. Let's see how it does with hockey!

Base Card Design -
The Prizm base cards are fully-foiled and come on a relatively thick stock. It's not heavy like Dominion or Prime, of course, but these cards have a nice solid feel to them. If you compare them to Topps' Chrome products, these are noticeably thicker and do not have the problem of bending that those cards do. The Prizm base cards lay flat and keep their form very well. In terms of design, the chromed look lends itself well to a modern look, and Panini has done just that. The graphics and fonts are very modern in nature - they are slick, elongated, and give the cards a 'fast' feel. The border of the card uses simple shapes and textures to frame the player. And the full-color player looks great popping out of the chromed out border. I think it can be difficult to make really unique designs with a chrome-type foil, so if Panini continues to release Prizm in future years, I'll be interested to see how the designs change to be unique from year to year.

The backs of the Prizm cards have some strong design elements to them. In previous Panini hockey reviews, I had criticized the bland nature of their hockey card back designs. I am not a huge fan of the Prizm back, but it is noticeably better than Panini's other efforts. It definitely shows that they are concerned about making a good looking backside. With these backs, I like the fact that similar design elements such as the player name are mirrored from the frontside. The card numbering space is big and bold... that's a plus. And I enjoy the team colors used as an accent. All good things for sure. My real qualm with the back is that there is too much wasted border space. I wish the center graphic and vital information was expanded out a bit more. Everything to me just looks a little squished, when it didn't have to be.

Rookie cards make up the back-end of the Prizm base set, and there are quite a few of them! One hundred to be exact. Rookie cards come one-per-pack and share the same design as the base cards. The only additions these cards have are the two rookie card logos. One is a small shield that denotes the double rookie class, while the other is just the word 'rookie' in large font. Getting the exact rookie you want in a box can be a challenge as it would take five boxes with perfect collation to complete the rookie set.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Prizm is a product that will not be known for its hits. Collectors will find only two sticker-autograph cards per box, and no memorabilia hits. Nope. No jerseys. No patches. I think Panini is really trying to push and bring back the popularity of the parallel card with this product. Will it work? I'm not sure, as hockey collectors haven't really gravitated heavily towards parallel cards. But that's what Prizm is really banking on, because Prizm is all about parallels.

The most basic parallel card is the Prizm parallel card. I know, I know... that sounds goofy as the cards are all called Prizm... this card has a holo-foil look to it when placed in light. Check out my box break below to see this card in all its shimmering glory. These Prizm rainbow foil cards are not numbered, but they can easily be differentiated from a standard base card when seen in person. Collectors who follow other sports will be reminded of Topps refractor cards. This is definitely Panini's take on a refractor. I'm sure other collectors will still call them refractors even though I'm sure Panini wouldn't like that. I guess it's like going to a non-McDonalds fast food restaurant and asking for McNuggets. They'll know what you're talking about, even if they don't call it that there.

The orange parallel cards are very sweet looking. The cards have a bright orange border that really pops. I only pulled one in my box, but in buying five packs more I was able to pull another one. The orange parallels are limited to just 50 serial numbered copies each. It's a great looking parallel card that I think collectors will enjoy chasing. Besides the orange parallels, there are purple cracked ice wrapper redemption parallels, green, blue, blue pulsar, red, red pulsar, gold, and finite versions of the base set and rookies. Does that sound like a lot? Well, it is! Blue parallel cards are Wal-Mart exclusives while Reds are Target exclusives. Gold cards are only found in hobby and are limited to just 10, and the finite versions are the one-of-ones. Player collectors like myself are going to have a heck of a time tracking all these down!

Initial Impressions is an insert set focused on the new rookie talent. This little set is a great way for Panini to add in a few more cards of the rookies. From a design standpoint, I really do like the Initial Impressions logo and the heavy texturing going on in the background.

Not to be left out, many of the insert sets are also graced with parallel versions. As you can see from the Schultz card above, it's the basic Prizm variation. Orange, gold, and finite versions can also be found. I must say that the parallel rainbow foil does make the cards look a ton better. Scans of these rainbow foil cards look much better too!

Immortalized is an insert set based on players who have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup. These cards are nice because they feature die-cutting. Many hockey collectors enjoy seeing the Stanley Cup on their cards, so I'm sure these cards will be appreciated by many. Panini has included both retired players and current players in this set. As with all the other Prizm sets, this one has parallel versions of itself.

Pivotal Players is another insert that can be found in Prizm. This is set of cards that I'm not as big of a fan of. The design of the card is pretty pedestrian, and while it's nice to get more star players, they do seem a bit unnecessary. I don't see a point to having these cards in the set. Other inserts that are in Prizm that I didn't pull were Endless Impressions and Net Defenders. The Endless Impressions cards are of all-time NHL greats. And of course the Net Defenders are cards of goalies. Both of those sets seem to be good additions, I think there was just one too many insert sets... and that one too many was the Pivotal Players.

As I have already mentioned, each box of Prizm will come with two autographed cards. There is a huge variety of autographs that you can pull, but getting a big named star or rookie will be difficult as they are most likely short-printed. The autographs are on-sticker, and the cards parallel the look of the base. They are decent looking cards, but they don't stand out in a meaningful way. It's my opinion that they are there to add a little value to the boxes, and entice collectors to purchase the product. Like I said, I really think Panini is looking for collectors to collect parallel cards again. Getting these autographs is sort of a bonus.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
Hockey collectors are a group that really likes their hits. That's what entices us to purchase the cards. I think Panini is trying to change that perspective with this Prizm release. Panini has put in a huge amount of parallel cards to chase with Prizm. If collectors do indeed go nuts for them, they will have to go to Target, Wal-mart, and send in wrappers to get all the cards they want. Collectors in other sports have gone nuts for parallels before, so maybe hockey collectors will too.

If the parallel cards do turn out to be a hit... then Prizm will be a good long-term collectible product. If it doesn't, and collectors are soft regarding the parallel chase, then Prizm may peter out quickly because there isn't much hit content to find per box - only two autographs (with the likelihood of getting a good one pretty low).

I think Prizm is a wait and see type of a product. As it stands at release, it's pretty affordable for a box - you're looking at around or less than a hundred dollars. But is what you get in it worth that hundred? It all depends on how the parallels do!

At the price, I'd definitely get a box or two to give Prizm a try. But I would hold off buying tons of it until I was sure the value and demand is there.

Overall Rating:

Check out my box break of 13/14 Prizm Hockey at D&P Cards in Sacramento, CA:


  1. Love Prizm, nice break

    YT: desarge44

  2. I really like Prizm, but it lacks hits

    YouTube micerule934

  3. Really like prizm, but it lacks hits and especially the price it is paid for.
    Youtube: Graboguru

  4. I dont know, I dont really like the prizm, im definitly NOT getting it. it looks VERY hit or miss,Ive seen an OVI auto pulled WITH a galchenyuk in the same box, and then ive seen people get just awful boxes, for the money its a risk im not willing to take

  5. Prizem has a really cool design, but they put 100 rookies with only a few being good. The rookie autos are going to be interesting, good players will be hard to come by.


  6. Prizm has a really sleek and cool design. The autos could be better, but its what you expect.

    Youtube: jtayl132

  7. great lookin problem might consider picking it up great break luke

    you tube canucks rule

  8. I like the design and look of Prizm. The concepts are good and it's a very solid set. However, the sticker autographs are a bit of a turn off, but it won't stop me from picking up the Sateri items.


  9. The design on these cards are the nicest I seen the prisms are sick and the oveckin card was sweet love this product 10/10
    Youtube Josh k

  10. Sort of reminds me of the old McDonald's hockey cards. Yt; Christian legault

  11. Awesome stuff, love the immortalized

    SCF egghead529

  12. Frankly, I'm not impressed at all with the product. Not much variety and the fact that all it has going for it is the fact that its chrome-y. You may get lucky and pull a PRIZM version of a card that you have already gotten in the same box, a real treat. I loved PRIZM in small doses as with Rookie Anthology, as a product on its own though, it cant hold its own.

    YT: Thesens8

  13. prizm is a great product. im not sure if im going to bust any myself. the thing I really like about this product is the look of the cards. Although there are not many hits and it is hard to get good ones, the parallels is what really saves the product. In a way I think you can compare this product with fleer retro. I am not a huge fan of retro, but prizm looks better, is cheaper, and I think It would be a better break. thanks for the contest!
    Youtube- bruinsma888

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. really really love prism and i love the base cards and autos

  16. I love the look of the cards but that is about it. Prizm as a bonus pack was by far superior than Prizm as a standalone set.

    The Bonus Prizm had many colours/variations. It seems that the standalone only has 3-4 (Orange, Gold, Black). Of course there are other colours through retail and the wrapper redemption but why is there only 3 colours in a hobby box? I was expecting a plethora of colours similar to Certified (which it replaced).

    I won't comment on the autographs as this is an early release product so that gets a pass. This product could have been a lot more better.


  17. Nice base cards but autos should be better. YT BHawksFan45

  18. i like the way the base cards look and i like that how many rookies you get

  19. Pretty cool but not something I would buy. Lack of hits also but still cool

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

  20. I don't like how their are only two hits for the price of the box especially since their sticker autos.

    Youtube: andicardsnstuff

  21. Preferred last seasons Prizm design, these base cards look... off somehow. I like coloured parallel sets, but only when they are restrained. As a collector on the other side of the Pacific, having parallels restricted to wrapper redemptions and certain outlets is really off putting.

    (And ANOTHER Stanley Cup based insert set?!? D: )

    After going in on a case share for 11-12 Prizm Football, and the bonus backs in Rookie Anthology, I was really excited to finally get a proper Prizm Hockey release. Now... not so much.

    - Reebz0r

  22. I really hope Prizm does well, because I have always liked inserts and parallels, (as long as there isn't too many in the same set). I really like the look of the base cards, actually the whole set looks pretty nice. I have a few negatives with this product. First of all Rookies in every pack? How are they supposed to have any value when you are pulling the same players at least 5 times a case? They should have at least SP the high end rookies. And also Prizm Primz parallels? Who thought that was a good idea?

    SCF: Deschneid

  23. Prism looks like its here for the long haul! Well done review!
    YT - Skroeker24

  24. I'm impressed with the inclusion of a rookie in every pack. I like that you get something in every pack. If I bought a single pack for 6 bucks I'd want it to be worth it. I think it's priced fairly and worth it for the 2 autos. The cards feel fancy with their "prizm technology." I wouldn't go looking for the different colours and prizm parallels, seems like a waste of money and time. Overall happy with the product.

    YT - ryannturnaa

  25. I like it and It has a lot of my new pc player J.T. Miller. I just wonder how often the walmart and target exclusive cards will pop up. Very excited to try and complete this rainbow. Also excited because Millers first 1/1 card is in this set

  26. I can tell you that these cards are cool! but too buy a box of it i dont know about all that.


  27. I think the foil look and the different color cards are really neat! I would like to pick some up soon
    YouTube: MrCardCollector97

  28. Love the look of this product! Amazing!

  29. Prizm is pretty cool, I just think that it would be worth it if there were jerseys and patches, at my card store, 6 bucks for pretty much a rookie is not worth it, unless you get lucky with a hit.

  30. The user name you can't pronounceSeptember 27, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I think it's great that Prizm now is a lone standing product on the hockey market. Even if many of the inserts look pretty much the same way and some aren't that exciting, I think the base cards with a great quality feeling and all their parallells is maybe the reason why I like Prizm. The autos are many times not that exciting, with pretty no name players. That maybe is the biggest weakness with Prizm.

    Youtube: Majlfp

  31. Prizm looks amazing. It has the best base cards. Im not a fan of all the color variations. I don't really wanna collect all those. It seems all the autos are sticker but that's ok considering this product has zero redemptions. I do wish they put some memrobilla in this product though. Overall itsa interesting product. It reminds me of Elite. This product isn't for me but I do think its a great way to introduce the double rookie class. I don't really like the inserts much either. I do likt the goaltender and cup inserts though. Overall I like Base and rookies. Just all the Variations for everything is a little extreme and I have no interest in collecting them all. I do hope to see them make more cards with the prizm technology.

    Youtube: Capitals103

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.


  33. nice cards I like how there shiney but I don't like the sticker autos and I like how you can trade in your packs for cracked ice cards

    youtube: TheHockeyCardCollector

  34. I really like the look of Prizm but it lacks hits and if im paying $100 bucks for two autos that aren't that good. Im just going with singles on this product.

    Riley Thomson

  35. I will give the initial 'outbreak' of Prizm Hockey a 7 out of 10. I wanted to give them "a go" with 2 retail boxes to start *just to test the waters....needless to say, the Walmart and Target PULSAR versions are very nice and I was able to land a nice AUTO hit of Jordan Nolan in one of the retail blaster boxes. I will agree that the variety is lacking a bit and to get every color under the sun seems almost impossible. Out of 175 pulled cards (thus far between my son and I) I will say the 'doubles' rounding out at 35 seem high. For the additional AUTO's I may end up with one more splurge with a hobby box from my local card shop for $60 bucks to finalize my urge.....