Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2016 Panini Football: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Recently, I wrote about my birthday blaster splurge.  The final product in that purchase was 2016 Panini football.  As I was trying to decide which products to buy, I settled on Panini because
       a) it offered more cards per box, and therefore a better chance of completing the set
       b) it was a retail-only product, so I felt like I wasn't missing anything with a blaster as opposed to a hobby box, and
       c) I thought the design looked good after I looked up some images online.

In hindsight, I regret the decision.  I was disappointed with the cards from the get-go.  But, I am relatively close to completing the set, so I will continue.  But now I wish I had gone with the 2016 Absolute.

Base Cards:

The design is actually one of the ugliest I've seen.  The weird playing-card design on the border is ugly, and it never varies; every card is the same thing.  The border color matches the team, however.  The picture is small, allowing the hideousness of a border to dominate the whole visual image.  So why did I choose to collect this set?  Because all of the images I saw prior to my purchase were of the the parallel you see on the right.  It's shiny, and the shininess subdues the ugly border and gives the starring role back to the photo.  What you are actually seeing is the Knights Templar parallel, not the base.  Silly me.

The back has its own issues.  The information is scant: one season of stats, no size or college or NFL service time, and a number that is dang near impossible to read.  What number is that?  (51, by the way.)  I shouldn't have to strain my eyes just to number my cards like I'm looking for some Topps short print in the fine print.  All the way around, I'm not happy at all with the base cards.

Shining Armor Parallel:

I thought the Knights Templar was the shiny base and this was the rainbow-y, refractor-y parallel, but no, there are actually different types of shiny.  I'm telling you, if the Knights Templar were the base and the Shining Armor was a the parallel, I'd be singing a somewhat different tune right now.

Chainmail Parallel:

This is a sort of prizm-type refractor parallel, and is less common than the Knights Templar and Shining Armor.

Bravery Parallel:

Bravery parallels are numbered to 199 and fall roughly 1 per blaster.  I believe there are different colored  parallels besides these green, as well.  But they still just look like the crappy base.


I pulled one insert or parallel in every pack.  Some of the insert sets were actually pretty good, while others did nothing for me.

I pulled only one Royal Family insert, and this is NFL royalty, indeed.  I can't think of a more prominent family in football.  The Matthewses are prevalent, the Rooneys and other owners have been influential, but 3 top-notch quarterbacks will give ultimate status to a football family.

 I mentioned this in an earlier post, after my trade with Sport Card Collectors, that I would be completing this set.  It's a pretty good design, and the checklist is great.   After my purchase and a couple of subsequent trades, I've got 7 of 20 cards.

Accolades is the other insert set I'm trying to complete.  It features NFL greats and some of their greatest accomplishments.  I actually pulled 2 Favres and 2 Rodgers in my 3 blasters, and I still am only a quarter of the way through the set.  I have both these insert sets, along with the base, on my wantlist.

I really like this set, too.  But I don't like to chase every insert set, so this one I decided against.  But it is one of my favorites.

I don't like this set too much, though.  I don't really care to see guys at a track meet with neither a college nor a pro connection.

I really think Panini is doing a great job with its NCAA license in its NFL products.  This insert doesn't make much sense to me, though, other than it seems to be trying to further this set's knight theme.  I still like the full college uniforms, not airbrushed.

The Hits:
There is one hit per blaster.  Here are my four.

This is the type of stuff I fully expected to pull: simple small jersey relics of not-so-big-name rookies.  I only got two of those, though.

My third hit was a relic of Jameis Winston, numbered to 199.  Not a bad pull.

And I couldn't believe it when I actually pulled an autograph.  And it's of a guy I've never heard of!  Who plays for the Jaguars!  What joy!  Seriously, though.  I figured any auto would be a tough pull in this product.  But the real story here is that signature.  I do believe that is the worst signature in my collection.  Only one name is even attempted, and really, it wasn't attempted beyond the first letter. 

So, I'm kind of stuck collecting this set, but I don't care much for it.  It was cheap, and it turned out being much cheaper than I expected.  What do you think?  Am I being to hard on it?  Let me know your thoughts.

By the way, all the cards you see here except the Legends of the Shield inserts are available for trade.  Hit me up if you're interested in something.


  1. While not ideal, I don't think the set design is quite as bad as you make it out to be. I can certainly name a quite a few that are far worse in overall appearance. Those Legend of the Shield inserts are really nice looking and I'm really digging the Chainmail parallels.

    And I really hate to say it, but that auto might be the worst I've ever seen. If I were you, I would send a "what the f***" email to Panini, because putting something like that in your product and calling it a "hit" is really uncool.

  2. I like that Shepard and Manning brothers card.

    I did get an auto of a nobody in my box from the Rams. But yours is a upcoming DE at least. I did pull one of those Offensive Player Of The Year cards.

    I think my favorite part of this product is the parallels. But who doesn't like shiny.