Personally, I'm not sure where I stand on a product like this. I enjoy the idea of getting cards from sets that come from other sports, but I'm not sure this is the way I like it done. I think I actually prefer the way Upper Deck does it - by adding just one or at the most two brands to a current release as an insert. For example, packs of Black Diamond this year had Exquisite cards as a bonus. Chronicles, for me, has way too much for my brain to handle!
With the huge variety of sets comes a smaller variety of players. What I mean by this is that you'll find the same star players over and over again. Because Panini wants to cram as many sets in as possible, the individual set checklists can't be too big. I found this to be true with the group break I joined for Chronicles. I got card after card of Fernando Tatis Jr - not that I'm complaining about that! But it makes me wonder if these card will have much of any value.
For about $100 per box you get a very nice hit selection. There are about three autographs and one memorabilia card per box. That is a very nice price breakdown with some excellent rookie signature content included. Depending on the brand, autographs can either be on-card or in sticker form. For those who enjoy buying by the pack, Chronicles is great in that 4 out of the 6 packs from a box should contain a hit. I'm not sure there are better odds of that other than the guaranteed hit products out there.
Adding to the big mix of different cards you can get are the parallel variations you can find. Not all cards have a parallel, but many of them do. Above is a red wave parallel of Bryce Harper numbered to 199 out of Titan. Titan is one of the card types that has a huge amount of parallel cards. Speaking of Titan, that's a brand that I have not ever heard of before, but it looks a lot like Panini Prizm to me.
Some of the more recent releases haven't had much relic content. Stuff like Prizm and Optic didn't include it. Though I'm not a huge fan of getting plain jersey cards, sometimes they can make for a nice hit. This Absolute triple jersey of Ramon Laureano was great. I especially like it since each piece of jersey is a different color. Nicely done by Panini on this one.
America's Pastime is a set that Panini had a few years back and is not in Chronicles. I don't think this set was too popular with the hobby so its inclusion here is good. It's nice that the set designers had the opportunity to give an updated look to a set that hasn't been around in a while. This particular autographed card of Daniel Ponce de Leon is acetate. It looks much better in person than in this simple scan of the card.
One of the higher end brands out of Chronicles is Spectra. You can immediately tell these cards are nicer because of their thickness. These cards also feature full foil on the front and on-card autos. Spectra is an expensive buy in other sports so being able to hit some out of Chronicles is pretty sweet!
- If you like Panini brands, this product will give them to you in droves.
- Lots of hits per box.
- The price is nice.
- There may be a few too many brands in this product.
- Player selection can get repetitive.
- Concern for future value of rookies out of this set.