Continuing with the avalanche of releases we move quickly onto football. For fans of the gridiron this could well be an interesting week. At the top of the list is Panini’s Clear Vision product, followed by Upper Deck’s CFL release, and Leaf’s latest round of autoed mini helmets.
2016 Panini Clear Vision Football
Panini’s Clear Vision is a step away from traditional football cards, as it is acetate only. This is a strategy that has worked elsewhere and continues to be popular with collectors. However with only 1 numbered hit per box resellers are going to be disappointed.
Starting off with base, the main set totals 100 cards, all with variants numbered under 99. Added to this is a set of 70 rookies in a tiered system of rarity. These consist of 3 tiers numbered out of 999, 399, and 99 respectively. As a hockey fan I can’t help but notice the similarities to Upper Deck Ice, and wonder if it is intentional.
This year’s edition of Clear Vision doubles the number of autos to include 4 per 18 box case. The highlight of this auto crop is the short printed Visionary Signatures set. It gives collectors a shot at names like John Elway, Peyton Manning, and Joe Namath, which will give fans something to get excited about. Rookie autographs are featured heavily in the form of Clear Choice Jersey Autographs and makes use of the full 2016 rookie class.
Memorabilia hits in Clear Vision Football are a mix of rookies and veterans. Panini also provides a selection of mem from the 2016 draft class, which is a chance at future stars. Collectors had better hope that the decent mem showing makes up for an anemic amount of autographs.
Inserts average 1 per box, which is disappointing. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about them, so the lack of them doesn’t make sense. The only insert that even seems to be worth mentioning is Clear History which provides player histories based on their teams.
With a price in the $65usd area this just doesn’t seem to be a good investment. With low odds for hits across the board, I’d classify this as a purely in store product. By this I mean that a pack here or there could be ok, but with only 6 packs of 3 cards in each box value doesn’t cut it. Breakers should avoid this one and I will be surprised if it does well.
I wonder if Panini really put any thought into this product as it seems impossible to find value. The title may say Clear Vision, but I only see clouds for this one.
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2016 Upper Deck CFL Football
American football fans may not know quite what to make of this set. The CFL (Canadian Football League) is Canada’s version of the NFL. Made up of 9 teams the league is popular among its fans and it’s nice to see Upper Deck acknowledge that.
The surprisingly large base set (163 cards) includes 2 short sprint subsets, as well as a high gloss variation (#/10). The SPs are broken into Defense/Special Teams, and All Star categories. The High Gloss variation mirrors UD hockey products and covers the entire base set.
Due likely to the smaller market for the product, premium inserts aren’t as numerous or noteworthy as other sports. UD Game Jerseys average 2 per box and have a 30 player checklist. As with most Upper Deck products they also have a short printed patch version to chase (#/15). Other mem hits include the OPC Team Logo Patches that fall at 1:128 packs.
On the autograph frontier the base autos fall at 1:98 for the regular set and 1:256 for the Defense/Special Teams. Add to this the All Star category, which is is a numbered set /25. The big chase autos are the CFL Script set which is limited to 15 copies each. Redemption cards (ugh) are also available with a 6 card rookie set and a 12 card veteran update set. Given Upper Deck’s record on mainstream redemptions I shudder at the potential wait time for these.
Upper Deck continues its trend of late, by looking back on collecting history. Retro OPC inserts fall at 1:3 and feature old school designs with modern players. Additionally the 2015 Grey Cup Champions set examines the history of the reigning champions, the Edmonton Eskimos.
With a price in the $90cdn range this set provides some resale value in the Canadian market. However this market is small so it is more likely that the product will appeal to personal collectors. With only 9 teams box breakers may have troubles with it. Overall I’d say it’s your average Upper Deck product (dings for sure), but a good buy for fans of Canadian Football (Go Als!).
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2016 Leaf Autographed Mini-Helmet Football
Stepping away from cards for a moment it’s time to take a look at Leaf’s mini-helmet release. In what has become an annual event for the company, these autographed mini-helmets are highly anticipated. Each box is sealed with no indication of which NFL players is featured inside, meaning every box is a shot at something special.
Consisting of former stars, Hall of Famers, currents stars, and top rookies, the set is a good risk. Ranging around $87usd collectors have a shot at some big names, which should provide excellent resale opportunites. Names advertised include Emmitt Smith, Tom Brady, Joe Namath, and Terry Bradshaw. From a purely collectors point of view this looks to be a great product for NFL fans of all ages.
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