I feel like a crotchety old man, but there’s just too much about the hobby that’s no fun these days. Topps’ whole 2010 release schedule ended up being a huge disaster because one guy got injured. Well, that’s how they’ll try and spin it, but the real problem is the poor level of quality control which is amplified by the lackluster customer service. I’m sick of the empty promises and PR prattle being spewed forth from sports card companies. Don’t even get me started on all of the illegal shenanigans that Upper Deck tried to hide from collectors.
On January 7th, Panini posted on their blog about “The State of Redemption Cards.” Long story short, it was more PR fluff from Panini’s VP of Operations stating that they’re going to try and improve the process for fulfilling redemption cards and ultimately eliminating them completely.
Panini recently released their high end product 2010/11 Timeless Treasures. There are five cards per tin and most tins contain 2 jersey cards and one sticker autograph. Check out this case break on the Blowout Forums. There are 15 boxes per case. In 30 boxes this person pulled 20 redemption cards. Amongst those redemption cards is one for Kobe Bryant. That would be Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant. If Panini can’t get their spokesman to sign then what the hell are they doing? All I know is that card had better be on-card and not a sticker. His third case had 7 redemption cards in 15 boxes which is better than his first two cases. Ouch. Why would anyone go anywhere near this stuff? Yes, there are some beautiful looking cards, but you’re better off ponying up the cash for the singles if you really want them.
Maybe releasing this set in this state was the straw that broke the camels back and led to that posting on the blog, but this release as one of your top products is embarrassing. 38 autographs in 30 boxes in the first two cases and 20 of those autographs are redemptions. 17 autographs in 15 boxes in the second case and 7 of those are redemptions. So, 10 out of 45 boxes had two autographs while 35 only had one. These are terrible percentages all over the board. Around 20% of the time you’re only going to get one auto and 50% of the time that auto is going to be a redemption card. That’s after paying $80 - $100 for a tin of 5 cards.
So, it looks like I’m going to go another year buying minimal Panini basketball product. They overvalue the jersey cards that they put into products and it overinflates the prices of their products. I’d love for Panini to prove me wrong, but right now their products just aren’t worth it.