Back in Black, for the first time…

It is Black Friday 2011 plus 2 and the mad dash to find great deals is starting to subside. Black Friday is a strange occurrence, a grand celebration of materialism and thrift. If you look at the research you see it’s not even the biggest shopping day of the year, that distinction belongs to the saturday before Christmas. Also the great deals are rarely all that great. Personally I think it is a conspiracy by the media and retailers to sell flat screen TVs. I was in a Walmart on Black Friday once and saw a dude with no less that 6 giant flat screen TVs on one of those flatbed carts you see at Lowes. Based on his dress and pattern of speech I am going to say he now has the most pimped out place in his trailer park.

This Black Friday was a little different. Sure we had the lines of people outside Target and Walmart, and the obligatory story about someone dying in a Walmart, but we also had these.

Panini launched their black Friday give away, basically a hobby shop version of their popular National Card show promotion. If you bought one of the select boxes of cards from a participating shop you got a certain number of packs. To say it was successful is a bit of an understatement.

The cards can be seen all over ebay and are selling very well. Value of cards from the 2 card packs ranges from a few bucks up to the hundereds. Here are a few scans I pulled off ebay.

The base set is pretty simple but nice.
The Cam base has been selling right around $10 and the Nugent-Hopkins closer to $20. The cards have a nice classic look, a very Panini look.

They also gave us the first taste of their MLBPA cards.
Hmmmmmm. What to say about these. To be honest this is probably the worst looking card of the entire release. AG just looks silly here. Many of the players are shown in uniform pants and a single color T-shirt and it doesn’t work all that well. They remind me a little of the cards you used to get free when you bought a pack of 9-pocket sheets.

They did use the same design on some college guys with success.
That’s a fine looking card right there.

The basbeall cards aren’t the best sellers. I think everyone is still waiting to see what Panini does with the MLBPA in Contenders in January before making any moves.

What are good sellers are the Super Bowl endzone pylon cards. Panini have been teasing these for almost a year and didn’t disappoint.
A nice solid design, good photo selection, great player selection and a unique mem piece make for a top notch set. Even some of Panini’s most staunch critics have been quick to applaud these cards. I find the pylon pieces fascinating. These falls into three distinct categories. Patches from logos on the surface of the pylon, orange surface pieces, slightly lighter colored orange interior pieces. The Woodson is the last of the three. You can see the pylon must be a smooshy softer foam material on the inside due to the air pockets. Call me weird but i find that interesting.

Panini released cards for both the Packers and Steelers. As a Steelers fan I can’t ever own any of these cards. I don’t want a card of the Packers highlighting their victory over my boys, or a Steelers card from the Super Bowl they lost. That’s just a personal thing though. Even lesser name dudes are selling in the $20-30 range.

The king of the entire release is no doubt this guy.
The Aaron Rodgers patch pieces are huge. This one sold on ebay for $250. There are auto versions but none have yet to sell.

Another card that is pretty interesting is this guy.
They are selling around $50 and look pretty cool. A auto of the newly elected HOFer is always a good thing. There is also a Tebow DVD themed card in the set.

There are a number of other seemingly random cards inserted in these packs. Manu-patch autos, draft day patch cards, Elite auto, and so on. Panini seemed to empty out the storage closet into this offering. I don’t mean that as a dig either. The diversity of stuff in the packs is part of what makes them so cool. One of my favorite cards I came across was this.
I really like the design and colors. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the little “58” superimposed over his leg.

One card I saw I am not too excited about though…
I am sure you could sell it for a mint, but still. Luckily my daughter is far too young for Beiber-fever, but when she does reach her tween years some new teen heart-throb will have rolled around.

Kudos to Tracy and the boys at Panini for a great promotion. I am sure the other manufacturers will follow suit next year, and that is a good thing for collectors.

So did anyone pick up any packs? What did you get?



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