Thursday, November 8, 2012

Product Review - 2012 Panini Cooperstown

I popped into my LCS today to see if Topps Chrome football was in, unfortunately not until tomorrow.  I couldn't leave empty handed so I took a look around and saw a new product - 2012 Panini Cooperstown - and decided to pick up a couple of packs.  Since buying the packs, I looked up and watched a video of a couple boxes being broken on Panini's blog but thought I would show you my two packs and give you my impressions.

Each pack contains 5 cards and each box is advertised to produce 1 Auto and 2 Manupatches. Each pack should have at least 1 insert.   However, the video indicates they couldn't get the patches done quick enough to release the product in 2012 so they replaced them with wood cards.  They look okay on the video but I would probably reserve judgement until I actually held one in my hands.  I do think the lack of patch cards, even though manupatches are the most highly thought of insert, will eventually drive the price of this product down.  There are several inserts sets and I got 2 different ones I can show you from my packs.  There are also some sparkly/shiny Crystal Collection parallels /299 but I didn't pull any of those. 

Here are the base cards of my first pack:

I actually really like the design and enjoy the black and white photography.  I think it blends well with the borders.  The photos are more than just portraits, either in action or posted photos which I like.  It appears the Early Wynn picture is used on both the front and back but the other two are different photos, a big plus to me.  The Hall of Fame logo is cool to me and adds a touch of class.  There are a few sentences in the write up for each player which is nice but my only major issue with the base cards are all the copy-write text but I guess that can't be avoided.  Each player has one of year of stats listed (I am guessing it is considered one of the best) and also their career stats.  There are 170 cards in the base set with the last 20 being short prints (we always have to have SPs don't we?!).  The video showed that the 20 SPs use color photography.  The finish on these cards is nice, it is fairly slippery and shiny, not sure exactly how to describe it but the look very nice.

Here are the base cards from my second pack:
More of the same nice cards. As Lasorda isn't in the HOF, he doesn't have stats but his back lists 3 different accomplishments.  I am seriously contemplating going for the entire base set.  I may wait and see what the box price settles at before deciding to build it or just buy it online.  There are 4 McCoveys in the set which I will certain go after, a base, a Crystal Collections parallel /299, a Credentials insert and an Autograph /99.

Here are the two inserts I pulled, first from pack 1 is the Famous Moments card:
 In the video they indicate the HOF wasn't too keen on having memorabilia cards as they don't want things chopped up - makes sense.  I do think this is a nice insert set.  This showcases the bat Yaz used to get his 3000th hit.  this is a nice way to allow us to see a piece of history we might not otherwise get to see. I am a fan of the card design, both front and back.  I think the front looks very classy and again the back has a nice, informational write up.

Here is my insert from pack 2, a Credentials insert:
Here we come across my first, and only problem, with the cards I pulled.  I am struggling with the card not having a picture.  The Famous Moments at least showcases a piece of memorabilia.  While I like the year of induction, the vote percent and the accomplishments, a player photo really needs to be on the front to me.  How about a muted photo in the background of the player, even a portrait would do.  In typical fashion for this set, we see another nice write up for the player.  I am interested to see if these write ups are different from card to card of the same player. I do like the inclusion of the front of the Hall of Fame museum on the back of these.

If you have been paying attention all along you may have noticed I have shown only 9 cards when I stated you get 5 cards/pack.  I was lucky enough to pull the box auto hit in my two packs:
 My pack yielded an on card auto of Broadcaster Milo Hamilton.  I believe there are quite a few announcers in this product which could be a problem for some.  Since I got the auto in only 2 packs, I am pretty happy with the pull. I do collect HOF autos, but typically have left Broadcasters off my want list however this card will find a place in my HOF collection.  Very nice design, great space for the auto but not too much. Still get a nice photo of the person with some simple design touches.  This one is numbered out of 500 and I believe all the autos are numbered with a print run as low as 5 for Sparky Anderson - obviously must be sticker autos to a high of 799 for Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers.  Three are also 30 Famed Cuts Signtuare cards and Famous Moments Signatures from 9 players, 6 of them who don't belong to the HOF.

I was very happy with my 2 packs and like this product overall.  As stated early, the lack of patch cards may ultimately see this product drop in price.  There are 21,796 total numbered autos plus the Famous Moments aren't numbered so you figure there are 22,000ish boxes out there with one auto per box. I plan on keeping my eye on the price and jumping if the seem to come down.


  1. A Rollie Fingers auto you say??!!?? I like the design and I love all the historical info. Thanks for sharing. Did you get your winnings yet?

    1. Oh and a look around ebay, the Rollies are hard signed!!

    2. I also see Robin Yount has a few cards in this set! JOY! That will be all.

  2. I like the design, I like the autos, but I yawn...more Hall of Fame cards flooding the market.

    1. I agree with Jason ^. I like the design (especially of the base cards), like the Autos. I'll have to reserve judgement on the "wooden cards" but will pass on the manupatches (not a fan of those).

      I think the card companies need to cool it on a few things. They are flooding the regular sets they make with so many of the retired, the HOFers, and Old-Timers that when they make special HOF sets like this the excitement for them is not there.

  3. I gots to have me one of them Tommy Lasorda's.

  4. I picked up a few singles of these on Ebay the other day to add to my HOF PC's. I've been waiting for this set to come out for a few months, hopefully it can meet expectations...