Filed under: Beckett Media, Card gallery, First look, NFL | Tags: 2010 Panini Epix Football, NFL Trading Cards, Panini
Boasting a plethora of downright dazzling printing technologies, Panini America’s 2010 Epix Football is sure to command a special place in the hearts of collectors who coveted the concept when it first arrived more than 13 years ago.
When it hits hobby shops next Wednesday, it may just capture the hearts of a whole new audience, too.
Although it’s a been-there-done-that idea, Epix feels rather, well, epic — partly because it’s been gone for far too long and partly because its blast-from-the-past parallels and namesake inserts feel unlike anything else in the football market today. It’s an absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder type of thing that just works.
In a hobby perhaps overly preoccupied by autograph and memorabilia content, it’s nice to see a product deliver that plus whiz-bang print wizardry simply for whiz-bang print wizardry’s sake. Epix packs an appealing variety of visually-stunning effects with unique appearances that seem to change depending on how the light hits them.
According to Panini America Football Brand Manager Carlos Torrez, the product’s base-set Silver, Gold and Platinum parallels are produced with a holographic pattern UV-coating called “holokote.” Each card surface produces a mesmerizing pattern in direct light. Blessed with the luxury of direct sunlight, that effect is only intensified. (For the record, even the product’s Tim Tebow-graced packaging is printed using holokote.)
Holding a holokoted Epix card is like clutching one of those beloved Mattel hand-held electronic football games, but with the added benefit of color photography. For those who don’t know what that is, I pity you.
As for other random thoughts from an early box of 2010 Panini Epix Football . . .
* True to its mid-1990s roots, the product’s namesake insert includes Epix Game, Season and Moment versions produced Orange, Emerald and Purple hues. Which color of which highlight is the scarcest? Collectors will have to figure that out on their own.
* The special printing effects on the Epix cards feature such snazzy, scene-setting nicknames as “Racers” (Epix Orange Game, Epix Emerald Season, Epix Purple Moments), “Moon-Lava Pattern” (Epix Orange Season, Epix Emerald Moment, Epix Purple Game) and “Circular Wonder” (Epix Orange Moment, Epix Emerald Game, Epix Purple Season). Those names will mean a whole lot more once you actually see the technology they’re intended to characterize.
* Although the box promises a total of four autograph or memorabilia cards, we pulled five (three memorabilia cards and two autographs); the fact that two of our three jersey cards were one-color Mark Sanchez swatches was offset by our Technicolor chunk of Randy Moss‘ unadulterated material bliss. There are just two words for a card like that: “Sick patch!”
* We landed our stated allotment of Rookie Cards but, something shockingly, pulled exactly zero from players who attended the 2010 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere. Just weird, that’s all.
* The base design carries something of a Threads feel, but the fabric background is a nice touch.
* Our two rookie sticker autographs (Jarrett Brown, Derrick Morgan) are nothing to write home about, but the Spellbound insert absolutely is. Nice use of bold imagery in concert with a big letter.
* Finally, it’s good to see Darrelle Revis — easily the most talked-about defensive back since Deion Sanders — get some card love compliments of the Ball Hawks insert. Other defensive players highlighted in the set include Troy Polamalu, DeMarcus Ware, Will Smith, Charles Woodson and Patrick Willis. There are also Ball Hawks Materials and Prime Materials versions.
Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional information on 2010 Panini Epix Football.
Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.
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