A couple weeks ago, I entered a contest on Panini's blog site - The Knight's Lance. It was a simple contest. Just answer this question...
Come up with a clever idea for future Score Hockey releases.
This was my answer...I think what the Score product does is gives the hobby a ‘throwback’ feel. What’s old is new again.BACK TO THE BASICS!!I think that type of set will please current fans, but will get people talking about hockey cards the way they were meant to be.I think to stay in the filter and mindset of the product, I would stay away from the giant ‘hit’ or huge dollar card. I think that those ‘extras’ would be better suited for other releases.I think Score should introduce a subset that celebrates the best the season has to offer. ‘The Year In Cards’ could take the best moments of the season, the best photos of the season, the most memorable moments and convert it into one heck of a subset. I would also promote this via multi-product.Have 10-12 cards prepared for the early release (Certified) and in each subsequent release during the season, have 10-12 cards added to the checklist. Documenting the best the NHL has to offer during the season. The best goals, hits, saves and milestone moments.By the end of the year, that would make one nice looking set.A slick, yet simple card design. It would be an insert (so a shorter print) rather than a serial numbered set. I think having the price point low is key as it represents what the product is all about.
I was kind of proud of my answer as I felt it would adapt well to the current Score product and demographic. As opposed to putting in high-end 'hits'.
I was happy to hear that my answer was chosen and that I would be receiving a prize.
Now, in the contest posting, they announced that the prize would be the 9 shortprint rookies in the product's release. Cards including Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Eberle, Nino Neiderreiter and Magnus Paajarvi.
I was a little disappointed when the package arrived today and inside was 15 unopened packs of Score.
Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand that these are freebies and not everybody received them, but I really think you shouldn't promote one thing and then mail out something else. Especially when you are a company new to the mix and looking to make a good first impression.
I plan on e-mailing Panini and thanking them for the packs. But I will also be commenting on what I thought I was going to receive.
So....here's a 'mini-review' of the new Score product. Since I was going to do that anyways with the blasters I recently picked up.
2010/11 Panini Score
When everything was sorted, I ended up with 77 base cards from the 550 card set (500 base and 50 rookies). It's a nice looking, simple design that pays homage to the 90/91 release 20 years earlier.
The photography is simple, but good. Full body shots lends to a lack of variety. Still, they mix it up a bit with the overhead shots (a bit too much almost).
I also like that they have brought back the 'Traded to...' or 'Signed by...' text to indicate team changes. Now that's throwback!
The horizontal cards look good too. That is until you put them in a binder and have them sit alongside the vertical ones. They don't blend too well.
The highlights cards are nice. A good representation of events that occurred both during the regular season as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs. These could have been branched off into their own separate insert set as opposed to a subset within the base cards.
These are the glossy versions. One per pack. Believe me. They are really REALLY tough to distinguish. You have to angle it to the light just right. Still, a nice parallel set to build for those inclined.
Unfortunately, there are also two other parallels of the base cards - the 20th Anniversary edition (which is indicated by '20th Anniversary' stamped on the front of the card) and the French version (which is indicated by a sentence in French on the back of the card).
In the 4 blaster boxes and these 15 packs I received, I have only pulled 2 Anniversary cards and no French backs. Tough ones to find.
On to the inserts. These Net Cam cards are nice looking, although the idea is old. It's a nice insert set to build with some solid names and some variety in the photos (believe it or not).
I might go after this set.
The Playoff Heroes inserts has a similar feel to the Highlights cards in the base set. A little redundant if you ask me. Not a terrible design, but not my favorite.
The player selection is solid and very well representative of the important players in the playoffs from last year.
These are the first two Franchise cards I have pulled. A nice vertical design with a colorful background rich in team colors. Simple, but effective.
On to the Rookies.....the Hot Rookies.
I have to say, maybe it's my getting up in years, but I have not heard of any of these guys. But, they have met the requirements to be included as an official rookie so who am I to argue.
The design is ok. The font style again is not my favorite (it reminds me of the die-cut letters from the Certified release). I like the colors and the push to make these an overly-unique looking card.
In my 15 packs, I pulled 6 regular and 1 glossy rookie (which is right on for the ratio of insertion).
Now, in addition to these cards, there are some other interesting insert sets (like the Sno-Globes...which I have yet to pull) and the Sudden Death inserts which focus on the OT aspect of the game. As well, there are autographed versions of the base cards as well as the rookies. A real plus if you can manage to pull one of those.
But, this product really caught my eye for the one simple insert set called Recollection Collection. Player cards from back in 1990/91 were signed and inserted at a super low print run. Yes, Trevor Linden is included. :)
But there are also guys like Bryan Trottier, Brett Hull, Martin Brodeur and Eric Lindros.
In fact, a recent ebay auction for the coveted signed Lindros card #440 ended at over $2000. Man alive that's quite the ticket to be pulled from a $1 pack of cards.
Overall, I think the Score product is a great set for those who want to build an inexpensive set. There are good inserts to be had as well as the opportunity to land a big hit.
And the price is right.