Panini Plates & Patches review…

The fine folks at Panini sent me a box of Plates and Patches to review. This is a product that has had some buzz around blog/message boards. When it arrived I was anxious to rip in and see what it was all about.
The presentation is realy nice. The box is textured plastic with silver foil embossing on the front and product details on the back.
You get nine cards, the box states “three autograph and one memorabilia card per box” My box had the three autos plus two mem cards.
The highlight of the set are the Rookie Patch Autos, these are slabbed in a magnetic holder.

I believe the msrp is around $150, but boxes can be found on ebay for around $100.

The first thing I noticed when I took of the plastic and security sticker and opened the top was how much it felt like I was opening a high-end product. The box lid opens up on a hinge revealing the obligatory Panini product checklist. Once you remove the checklist you get a peak at the slabbed card. In most cases it is a rookie patch auto, but in some cases it is a veteran card. I saw this.
I have pulled my share of redemption, but never one in it’s own magnetic case. I understand why it’s in the case, but it’s kinda funny.
I must say I was a little disappointed, not because it was a redemption but because I will have to wait to check out a rookie patch auto in person. I think these are some of the nicer looking cards out there. This is for Dexter McCluster, not a bad rookie to get.

I love the look of these cards, if you haven’t seen them check out the Panini blog. I would guess these will be some of the more sought after cards of this years draft class.

The rest of the cards are in a small box (think National Treasures).
I got three base cards, two numbered to 499 and one to 100.
These are nice looking base cards. The basic cards (numbered to 499) have an almost maroon metallic embossing that looks really nice in person. It adds to the card in a subtle kind of understated way. The team logos look nice and the little embellishments around the circle surrounding the logo add some class.
The silver embossed card is numbered to 100. Even though the silver has lower numbering the maroon looks cooler and stands out more.

Next comes this guy
Tebow is numbered to 299 and is part of the Rookie Blitz insert set. The more I look at this card the more it growing on me. I like the yellow line arcing from the top middle of the card down into the players picture. It is a nice element that helps break up the design. The picture on this card and others I have seen online are nice. I like action shots on regular cards but I do like a nice rookie insert sets that show the players with out their helmets. One thing I would say is the gold on the right of the card is a little much. I think it might have looked better if it was dark blue to the edge with just the letters in gold. But maybe I am splitting hairs.

Tebow marks the end of the non hit cards.

Next we have this guy
Dominique Curry rookie auto numbered to 249. These cards are alright looking. The autos are stickers and look nice in the lighter spot along the bottom. It has the same maroon embossing as the regular cards. I would guess there are parallel versions in other colors with lower numbering, but I didn’t pull any.

Next up
This is a jersey version of the Rookie blitz set. As jersey cards’ go this is a nice looking card. The jersey swatch fits well into the design, it’s not forced. The gold along the right side works on this card. On the Tebow it has his number in gold along with the team logo and side which makes for a lot of gold, with the jersey swatch taking the place of the number the gold on the side doesn’t seem as overpowering.

I will point out the back states this is a piece of a jersey card personally worn by Damian Williams at the rookie premier. Some don’t like event worn, but at least they remove any ambiguity by stating exactly what the piece is from (Topps are you listening).

Now we get to the big dogs.

We have this guy
A Chad Ochocinco (or is it Johnson again) Honors patch card numbered to 50.
The design is similar but not the same as the regular and rookie auto cards. One thing that jumps out is the picture is altered slightly to mute the colors. I guess this is to go with the Honors theme, maybe to make it look more storied. The blue metallic on the card is nice. It’s a lighter blue and looks really nice in person. If you look closely you can see that the dark brown background around the patch has a textured design like that of a football, a nice touch. The patch is nice, it looks like a small piece of an O from his name. I like that the patch window is round, I am not sure why but it just works for me.

The back states this is a game worn patch.

Last but not least is probably the best card of the box
Ronnie Brown jersey auto numbered to 5.
With all the elements this card really works. The embellishments around the jersey piece looks good and the auto fits nicely along the bottom. Props to Ronnie for adding the “23” to his signature. I really like when players do that. The card looks and feels like the solid hit it is.

The back states this is a game worn jersey.

One aspect of cards that is almost always overlooked is the back. These cards have very nice backs.
The horizontal lines that run across the cards do a nice job of separating the picture, blurb and stats. The logo in the middle above the stats is also a nice touch. In my opinion a good back needs three things: a nice easy to read number for sorting purposes, a blurb about the player with something interesting and basic stats. These hit all three. The blurb on the back of the relic cards is replaced with an explanation of where the piece came from. The backs have a similar look to Elite, they are very Panini/Donruss. My only gripe is that the picture on the back is the same as the one on the front.

The cards look great, the design is cool and really unique, it doesn’t look like anything else out there. It has an almost regal feel to it. Not an over the top regalness, more refined and subtle. I guess if Crown Royale is King Ralph then Plates and Patches is Prince William.

This product seems to have really gone for high quality at a lower price and hit both dead on, giving that quality and feel of the much higher end products for those of us that can’t slap down $300-$400 for a

I imagine these cards will be popular on the secondary market and offer a nice compliment to National Treasure.

Most importantly this was a fun box to open. This stuff is most defiantly worth a look. For around $100 you can feel like a high roller.


10 responses to “Panini Plates & Patches review…

  1. Those are pretty small windows for the patches and jerseys. They could have made those larger, for sure.

    I understand why the redemption is inside of the case as well, but it’s still hilarious, in a satirical way.

    I won’t even say anything about the sticker autos, but that’s generally what you get these days, especially with Panini.

    The packaging does look fancy though, and even though it shouldn’t matter, it does. I always like opening stuff with nice wrappings.

  2. That’s a nice looking set – and apparently a nicely presented box as well. Like Beardy above, I too find opening boxes with nice wrapping more enjoyable. Some boxes seem like they don’t even care to hold the product within, while other boxes seem to accentuate the product within. This box does the latter.

  3. There is something to be said for the experience of actually opening the cards, the notion of the journey vs. the destination.

  4. I like. Hell If anything you can use the magnetic case for the Ronnie Brown card.

  5. Nice breakdown! My only major problem with this set (minus the stickers and small windows) that the base cards have that whole “too bad there’s not an auto and relic over here” thing going on. It just strikes me as lazy design. Other than those 3 quibbles, it looks like there’s some good value in a good portion of these boxes. Lots of these high end things are feast or famine, of course, but at least there are autos in every box (unlike Supreme).

  6. I can’t help but disagree with you on this one, Kevin. But, I will spare your comment section the burden of housing my ramblings on why. I’ll use my own blog for that. I’ll just summarize saying that for a high end product that gives you cards at about $17 a piece, I would think that a collector would expect something more. This seems just like another mid range base card design with some foil stamping present to try and fool you into thinking it’s premium.

    • At around 100 per box on ebay I wouldn’t call it high-end. Its more of a mid-range product with some high end elements.

      • I see your point. Panini just make me angry and bitter, like the old man and his dog that sit patiently in a rocking chair on their front porch, waiting for someone to dare step foot on their property.

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