Before I start my review, I would like to say thanks to the WONDERFUL people at Panini America for providing us with this box to review. Here are many places you can find Panini America: official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook. If you don't follow them at all..you should! They interact with you on Twitter, have contests on their blog and Facebook and the site is also fun to visit!
Now onto the review:
BOX BREAK DOWN:
- 4 Packs Per Box, 5 Cards Per Pack
- 4 Autographs or Memorabilia Cards Per Box!
- 4 Rookie Cards or Rookie Parallel Cards Per Box
WITHIN THE BOX:
Anders Lindback Mirror Blue Parallel #d 43/50
Ondrej Pavelec Mirror Red Parallel #d 5/25
Milan Michalek Totally Certified Memorabilia
Matt Dumba Clear Cloth #d 60/100
Tanner Pearson Rookie Autograph
Viktor Fasth Rookie Auto/Mem Card
Micro-Etching...enough said. I have always been a fan of micro-etching technology which is why I am such a huge fan of this product. I was a little disappointed however that not all of the product was done in micro-etching as I felt the memorabilia and autographed cards felt a little out of place in this product because its usually all done in micro-etching. With that being said, despite lack of micro-etching, the designs we're well done.
One of my favorite designs of the product was the Clear Cloth jersey cards. The acetate use with the players head along with the design makes it stand out above the other jersey cards in the product. What would have made the combination even better would have been the adding the mirco-etching. I do think however Panini is on to something here combining acetate and memorabilia cards and I hope they carry it over to other products.
The memorabilia/autographed rookie cards look sweet done in the micro-etching. The design of these is also remade from its other sport counterparts. Usually Panini embeds the jersey swatch into the word ROOKIE that is written across the bottom of the card. I like the change up here. Something fresh.
Totally Certified delivers some of the greatest parallels such as Mirror Reds, Blues, Golds & Greens all sequentially numbered to only 25, 10, 5 & 1! You can also find the really cool Rookie Slideshow featuring an actual piece of photo film! These can also come as limited signed versions numbered to 20 or less
THOUGHTS: I like all that Totally Certified has to offer. Like I stated above, I was a little disappointed that all of the product wasn't done in micro-etching like past Totally Certified products, but it was still a fun product to open not knowing what you could unwrap with every pack.
Another minor thing to note, I was a little shocked of the lack of numbering on the autograph and memorabilia cards i pulled. The only one that was numbered was the Clear Cloth. I would have like to have at least seen the rookie autographed/memorabilia cards numbered to help their value.
I also wanted to note on a positive side of things, despite the single color swatches found in this box, not all boxes are the same. Panini made some sick patches and tags in this product. You can check out some of them on this link from Panini's Knights Lance blog and try not to drool too much:
Another positive is that the price is reasonable for Totally Certified as Panini shifted the amount of packs per box from 6 to now 4 helping the usual box price of $125+ to a more reasonable $75 or under. I think a lot of collectors will appreciate this and give the product a try.
Despite a few minor things I would fix with the lack of numbering on the cards and not being all micro-etched, the good price, great design, popular and valuable mirror parallels, a double rookie class, 4 hits sometimes even 5 I have heard, and big hits waiting to happen, Totally Certified hockey 2013-2014 is well worth the risk and skating to your LCS for.