The Beckett Blog

First Look: 2010-11 Certified Hockey by Tracy Hackler

With a long-untapped arsenal of fan-favorite brands to pull from, the subject of what product should lead became a hot-button topic inside Panini America’s walls the second the company announced in late March that it was entering the hockey card business.

Traditional wisdom swayed things early toward the venerable Score brand. Ultimately, though, the power of a positive first impression won out.

“We went into this with our own ideas of what the first launch would be and what brand we wanted to reintroduce to the market first,” says Scott Prusha, Panini America’s Director of Marketing. “But we listened intently to distributors and other key partners within the hobby and the message was clear: ‘Come out with a bang. Come out hitting. Come out really making a bold statement.’

“That’s why we settled on Certified.”

In late September, Panini America makes its long-awaited debut in the NHL trading card market by delivering 2010-11 Certified Hockey, the first Certified brand since 1997-98.

Each box of the product (five cards per $10 pack, 10 packs per box) will deliver four memorabilia or autograph cards (with at least one autograph guaranteed), one Mirror Red parallel and four additional insert or memorabilia cards.

Other highlights:

  • Top prospects such as P.K. Subban, Nazem Kadri and Zach Hamill will appear on cards numbered to as low as 999
  • Legends such as Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy and Bobby Hull grace the autograph checklist
  • The product is buoyed by Certified’s calling cards – Mirror parallels in a rainbow array of colors including Mirror Black 1/1s and Mirror Ice cards featuring prime memorabilia pieces
  • Rookie Redemptions redeemable for cards of the hottest young players to debut early during the 2010-11 season
  • The inclusion of Masked Marvels cards featuring two pieces of memorabilia and an autograph

In advance of Certified’s release, Panini America officials will distribute six-card promotional sets exclusively to dealers in Canada and select parts of the United States in hopes of providing an appetite-whetting first glimpse at the product.

“We wanted to return to the nostalgia and uniqueness of sending out promo cards,” Prusha notes. “It’s a way for us to further introduce the brand, show people what the cards look like and get back to the roots of collecting.”

Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

some nice cards will put some of UD cards to shame!!

Comment by jj

very nice looking forward to these!!!!

Comment by blowoutcards

Looking at the new upper deck set makes you see that Panini rules! I won’t buy anymore upper deck. They treat their costumers like crap

Comment by James

Panini sucks. I don’t know how anybody can even compare the card quality/design with UD.

Look at the tiny piece of jersey swatche they use. They just waste card space with amateur designs and dumb lines.

Comment by Anthony

Have you seen how small the swatches are on the new series 1? Brutal! I like the 50% chance of Mem or Auto for $10. Also, I’m sick of UD.

Comment by Davey

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