Monday, March 13, 2017

Nothing is Absolute

...unless you're talking about a certain Panini football product.  I have bought very little new product thus far in 2017, and the trend doesn't appear to be going away.  My first unopened packs that I cracked this year was a blaster box of 2016 Absolute football.  It's product that I generally avoid because it tends to be a small base set (100 cards) rounded out by a bunch of rookies that are nearly impossible to find.  The end result is that after a few packs, the duplicates start piling up.  But this year, I really like the design, so I settled on one blaster and decided to call it good.

Typical of the product, there are 100 base cards in the set this year, 50 retired players (numbered to 499), and 50 rookies (numbered to 499).  A blaster contains 8 packs of 8 cards, with one insert or short print base included.

Pack 1:

The first pack brought me an extra of the one base card I already owned of this product, Jordy Nelson.  The design is good; I like the shininess and the use of colors.  It would be nice to have a background in the picture, but the design behind is attractive enough.  At first, I thought the Greg Olsen was a parallel because it is just similar enough to the base design, but upon closer inspection, I realized that this was an insert set.

Pack 2:

I've recently become interested in starting a Heisman winner mini-collection, and this pack brought me three Heisman winners.  Does anybody know all three?  The Earl Campbell is not only a shorter printed retired player, but a Blue Spectrum parallel to boot.

Pack 3:

Here is a Khalil Mack pack attack, with the base and the Xtreme Team insert.  I like the Xtreme Team look, but I'm wondering why they needed two separate photos on the front, which feature the exact same photo twice.

Pack 4:

Before I even opened anything from Absolute this year, I already had my sights set on the Unsung Heroes set.  It's not my favorite design.  When I put it in my binder, the names are upside-down.  But I like the concept and the checklist of the set.  I now have 2 (Woodhead and Brett Keisel) and would be interested in any others.

Pack 5:

Here is another Red Zone insert.  I think I know somebody who might have an interest in this one.  My favorite in this pack is the Jeremy Maclin, though.  I love that even though they cut out everything in the photo except the featured player, they kept the ball in the air on this card.  I'm not sure if/how this catch was made, but it appears to me that it may have been bobbled or off of a tipped pass.

Pack 6:

What is Jay Cutler doing?  He looks ridiculous, and that's just as well, because as Packers fan, I always view him as ridiculous.  I want to hear from Bears fans: are you happy he's gone?  Do you expect Glennon to be an upgrade?  I'm curious.  The T.Y. Hilton is a Blue Spectrum parallel, but I didn't notice at first because the blue foil fits in so well with the team colors.

Pack 7:

Here's a blurry photo featuring another former Bear and another Xtreme Team insert, one that I'm keeping for my new Heisman mini-collection.

Pack 8:

Sterling Shepard finishes up the box, but not the rookie base.  That means I found exactly zero rookies in this blaster.  The final tally looks like this:
  • Base: 56 of 100
  • Retired: 0 of 50 (unless you count the parallel toward the set)
  • Rookies: 0 of 50
I definitely like the look of the set, but it's senseless to try to break more product trying to come anywhere near set completion.  I'll still chase down the Packers team set and the Unsung Heroes insert set, but I won't be breaking any more.  This is one product which I liked, but have no desire to complete.


  1. If you are speaking of me with the red zone insert and the shepard, I threw that part in, I am on board!

  2. Yeah, I never understood the use of an "echo picture"...