The Beckett Blog


Panini America Giving Epix Its Own Football Card Set by Tracy Hackler

Mention the word “Epix” to veteran collectors of baseball, football, hockey and racing cards and you’re as likely to get a look of fond remembrance as you are a glare of genuine angst. Indeed, the polarizing insert program boasts a mildly perplexing, multi-statistical, many-hued history with origins dating back to 1997.

What it’s never had is a full-blown brand of its own. Until now.

On Thursday evening, Panini America confirmed that it will launch 2010 Epix Football as a 235-card, heavily paralleled stand-alone product in late September, conceivably as a replacement for Gridiron Gear.

The Epix idea first burst onto the scene during the 1990s insert boom as a Pinnacle Brands‘ brainchild. Collectors across multiple sports quickly became dogged pursuers of the insert, lured by both the flashy, colorful design of the cards themselves as well as the accomplishment-based, player-specific concept of the chase.

Fans of Epix struggled at times with figuring out how the colors — primarily emerald, orange and purple — melded with the respective statistical categories and scarcity levels. Clearly, though, the insert was popular enough to earn a memorable — albeit brief — run in football. It appeared in 1997 Pinnacle and 1998 Score before going on mothballs for six years. In 2005, Donruss Playoff (now Panini America) revised the Epix name for an insert in Zenith Football.

Five years later Epix returns with a vengeance, equipped with a trademarked printing process known as “HoloEmboss,” which, according to Panini, “is an award-winning technology that creates a unique foil appearance without the use of holographic foil; the hologram appears on top of the printing as opposed to underneath, giving it a subtle and unique appearance.”

Oh, 2010 Epix Football also includes eight cards per pack, a $6 pack SRP, 18 packs per box and these features . . .

* A 235-card base set with 100 regular cards, 100 Rookies and 35 RPS Rookies, including the signed “field” piece inserts first unveiled in Gridiron Gear last season

* Every pack of the product will include either an insert, parallel or rookie and every box should yield two autographs, two memorabilia cards, three parallels, nine rookies, one Epix insert and five additional insert cards

* Each of the 100 players in the base set will also have Epix Game, Epix Season and Epix Moment insert cards and Materials, Prime Materials and Signature parallels

* Members of the the Dallas Cowboys‘ 50th Anniversary Team will sign Lettermen patches for a unique 30-card insert; Panini also is including a “Who Dat” Letterman insert honoring the Super Bowl-champion Saints

* At least two other insert sets in the product are Rookie Campaign (35 cards and including a Signature Prime Materials version) and Rush Hour (20 cards and including a Prime Materials version)

Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional information on this product.

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


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