The Beckett Blog


First Impressions: 2010 Panini Threads Football by Tracy Hackler

Perhaps more than any other product on Panini’s pigskin roster, it is Threads that has struggled the most to gain a definitive identity with collectors, tossed about in the company’s sea of venerable brands that includes Prestige, Elite, Classics, Contenders and Certified.

While that likely won’t change when the 2010 edition of Threads goes live next Wednesday, give company officials the highest possible marks for knocking conventional card design on its side – literally – with the industry’s most memorable horizontally oriented base set in quite some time.

It’s a rather small accentuation in the grand scheme of things, but it feels revolutionary from the first pack because collectors are so accustomed to pulling just another vertical base card.

Not in 2010 Panini Threads.

The horizontal card fronts place a premium on mostly stunning photography that offers more than normally meets the eye. For vivid examples of this, check out the base-card images below.

Of course, the visual oasis of Threads’ veteran horizontality only makes the vertical imagery used on the non-Rookie Premiere rookies seem woefully inferior by comparison. Luckily, the base cards far outnumber the rooks.

The insert lineup includes a few highlights – Gridiron Kings and bordered Gridiron Kings for sentimentality’s sake, Generations, the design of Rookie Collection – but doesn’t necessarily impress from top to bottom.

The autographed-letter gimmick seen on the Rookie Class insert has officially been overdone (by all manufacturers). Jacoby Ford’s scribble on the “O” we pulled is virtually illegible, although that’s his fault, not Panini’s.

But even in the best-case scenario, the inserts in 2010 Panini Threads likely would’ve taken a back seat to the base cards anyway. And for a brand still searching for an identity, that’s OK.

Come back Friday for a Box Busters episode on 2010 Panini Threads.

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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1 Comment so far
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Design looks great. Excellent job from Panini, always innovating.

Comment by Gellman




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