It might be Tuesday, but the stars of Sunday are racing to get into your collections. The green flag has waved over the Panini Prizm NASCAR Racing Cards product, a fun little product that promises to intrigue the average collector. With the Chase for the Sprint Cup just over a month away it is prime time that collectors start grabbing their favorites. With 1 auto, 2 memorabilia, and a promise of something in every pack this product is sure to thrill from start to finish.
In the past, I have been critical of companies that include too many parallels in a product, however I make an exception for sports such as NASCAR. With much fewer releases being available for this sport than others, such as hockey or baseball, it is nice to see the fans have an opportunity at an array of cards. Additionally Prizm has always been one of the lower end products, which takes the sting out of shelling out for big buck to only get parallels. As always Prizm products are chromed, but again this feels appropriate for a racing product.
Panini Prizm NASCAR Parallels
We may as well address the parallels right away, there are a ton of them in Prizm. As is usually the case with Prizm products there are Red, White and Blue Prizm parallels as well as a normal Prizm holofoil version of the base. These are essentially shiny base cards and have no numbering to them. There is however multiple short printed base parallels. These are Green Flag (/49), Blue Flag (/99), Camo (/95 or less), Red Flag (/75), Rainbow (/24), Gold (/10), White Flag (/5), Black (/3), and Checkered Flag (1/1). All of these parallels have the Prizm holofoil appearance applied to them. With a total of 99 regular base and 1 16-driver base there are plenty of options for set builders and rainbow collectors. Add in an 8 card short-print base set (Prizm, Gold, Checkered), and there is a vast array of base cards to collect.
Panini Prizm NASCAR Autographs
Prizm has never been known for its focus on autograph cards, but nonetheless there is one in each hobby box. The primary source of autographs for this product comes from the Driver Signatures Prizm set. This 64 card set (plus parallels) features names that cover the entire spectrum of NASCAR racing. These autographs range from relative unknowns such as William Byron and Kate Dallenbach, all the way to superstars such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Add to this legends such as Rusty Wallace, Ned Jarrett, and Donnie Allison and you have a collection of autographs that any NASCAR fan would want.
The second autograph set in Panini Prizm NASCAR is the Patented Penmanship Prizm set. This 12 card set does away with the little fish of the first set and focus on the big names. Fans can expect to see Dale Earnhardt Jr, Danica Patrick, and Richard Petty among the signers. Considering the secondary market value on some of these names, this promises to be a popular set. As usual these cards also come with a variety of short printed parallels.
Panini Prizm NASCAR Memorabilia
NASCAR has always been a sport that lends itself nicely to memorabilia cards, with a nice variety of platforms to choose from. Firesuits and racing tires are the two that Panini Prizm NASCAR focuses on. There are two sets of firesuit memorabilia to chase in Prizm, each with it’s own crop of numbered parallels to choose from. Both sets use similar checklists, with some changes as to driver and order. Names that do appear on both include Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Danica Patrick. Additionally the “Team” checklist has a higher numbering system than the non-team list.
The “close, but not quite” similarities that differentiate the two firesuit set are also present in the race used tires set. Each has its own, slightly different checklist. And each has a different numbering system for the parallels. The big names to search for here are Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch, and Tony Stewart. Personally I like these sets better than the firesuits, simply because they are unique. Many sports include pieces of balls or pucks, but there is something fascinating about knowing that the piece of rubber in your card was going 180mph.
Panini Prizm NASCAR Insert sets
Like most sports card products Prizm relies on its inserts to make collectors feel as though they got something for their money. With each pack promising either a parallel, and auto, a mem card, or an insert, these cards ensure that no one leaves empty handed. The insert sets also have much fewer parallels, with Prizm, Gold Prizm, and Checkered Flag Prizm being the only options. These sets include Blowing Smoke; Champions; Competitors; Machinery; Qualifying Times; Raising the Flag; and Winner’s circle. Someone names, such as Dale Earnhardt Jr can be found in most of these sets (except Champions), while others such as Richard Petty are much harder to find. The Winner’s Circle set is the cap to the product, with each card featuring the winner of each of last season’s 36 races.
As I have said before I am not a huge fan of parallels, but in a product such as this they are essential in order to extend the product selection. Personally I feel that Prizm is a product that is better suited as a single pack purchase product, and is ideal for brining kids into collecting. The bright colours and shiny holofoil cards are stimulating and remind us of the speed of the sport. With each pack guaranteeing at least a parallel kids won’t be leaving disappointed. Older, more experienced collectors may want to look at National Treasure, which will be out later this year. Unfortunatley NASCAR does not offer a wide variety of choices for trading cards, so collectors will have to go with what they can get.
Those interested in Panini Prizm NASCAR can expect hobby boxes to be in the $75usd range. For this collectors get 20 packs of 4 cards each. The box should include 1 auto, 2 mem, 3 numbered parallels, 2 Competitors inserts, 1 Competitors parallel, 2 Winner’s Circle inserts, and 1 Winner’s Circle parallel. Case hits are considered to be autographs of Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, or Danica Patrick. This product is also available in blaster form for the budget-minded collector.
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