Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: 2013 Panini USA Champions Baseball

First off, 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 should! They talk to you on Twitter, have contests on their blog and Facebook and the site is also fun to visit!

Box Break Down:
  • 24 Packs Per Box, 8 Cards Per Pack
  • Two Autographs Per Box
  • Three Game Gear Memorabilia Cards Per Box
  • Three Mirror Parallels Per Box
  • Look for Certified Mirror Black 1/1's
  • $66 per box



BASE CARDS:  The base card design is nice and states what this set is all about..USA Champions. Overall the base set consists of 187-card retired USA Baseball Alumni, top prospects and the current USA Baseball National Team players. Its a great variety and showcases all that's red, white and blue.

The simple design is very elegant however. Three different card borders, the fonts and color scheme, a waving flag thats watermarked behind the player featured is overly appealing to any collector. Panini also broke down the different colored borders as so, the Gold are veterans and the Blue and Red are of players that are either currently on Team USA or have played for them more recently.

And I wouldn't be able to give you a complete review without telling you how terrific the card backs were done. I don't have one pictured but its worth at least mentioning . It doesn't have the stats on the back like most baseball cards would, it has about a paragraph naming the players contribution to USA Baseball. The color scheme on the back, just like the front, continues to flow and fit the theme of rest of the set. Its not too often you get to read more of a card back than just stats.

I also think its finally nice to be able to bust packs of a product like this since most USA products used to come in boxed sets. Panini did a great job here making it fun to bust and not just to open a boxed set to search for the hits.




INSERTS: USA Champions also has two inserts of their own. Panini Pride shown above. Great design and sticks with the theme. USA Champions also has one of my all time favorite baseball inserts in Diamond Kings (though we didn't land any in our box here is a picture provided by Panini below)

Panini America 2013 USA Baseball Champions QC Gallery Part One (34)

If you like Panini Certified and Certified Mirror parallels and die cuts like me, then you will enjoy the inserts this product has to offer. The Certified in this product looks outstanding with the silver foil board and the flag blowing in the wind in the background. The parallels and die cuts glisten as well. This makes for some serious chasing fun.

AUTOGRAPHS: We got a great break of this product. Supposed to be 2 autos, we got three. The young guys from the Certified design you have already heard our love of that one.The Stars And Stripes design is quite outstanding too. I really like how they kept with the flag theme throughout the product. 

You can find autographs of  USA Baseball Alumni from the last 35 years including Jim Abbott, Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, Barry Larkin and many others! These are names we are all familiar with. And the cool thing is the photo used is what they looked like way back then. Another fun aspect of the product.

Another desirable thing about the autographs in this product is that they are all numbered. And not all to the same numbering. That will help the autographs on the secondary market become more wanted.


and BOOOOOOOOOMMMM SHAKA LAKA in the last pack of the box!


JERSEY/PATCH CARDS: Once again really like the flag design. I wished the bat piece was a little bigger like the jersey swatch one is. But overall its not too much of an issue. The HUGE oversized patch swatch is tremendous. There are around 1500 swatches just like this in the product overall also with the first-ever USA Baseball Bat Knobs - each a 1/1! You can also get Flag Patches game used as well.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Overall, I am very impressed. I didn't know what to expect from a break of this product til I saw it in person. From a distance it looked good but come on, it wasn't an MLB product. I most of the time would brush away a product like this but after opening it, I am not only left wanting more, I am telling you to bust it as well.

The Flag theme, the nice swatches, the chance at Prime hits, the Certified parallels, a nice checklist of players and you got a winner. This product is well worth a break for anyone. For around $66 you get 5-6 hits and a handful of inserts. Where else can you find this value? GO BUY SOME!!!

This is definitely a bargain break and one that has HUGE hits waiting to happen.

And once again Panini is proving why they deserve to be in the baseball card business. Would love to see them land a MLB license. Incredible things could happen.

RATINGS:  Bloggers Note: Our ratings are based specifically on the blaster, box or packs we opened and do not express what the overall product could bring. Ratings based on a 1-5. 1 Being the lowest and 5 being the highest.
                Packaging: 5
                Base Design: 5
                Insert Design: 5
                Memorablila/Autographs: 5
                Blaster, Hobby Box, or Pack Value: 5


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    It seems like Panini cards are not so much popular in Europe anymore :(