2011 Panini Crown Royale Hockey Review

by Rich Klein

The card collecting hobby has seen tons of changes over the years. Many card companies have come into the market or have left. One of the longest running companies that used to produce cards but no longer does was Pacific 2010-11 Crown Royale hockey unopened boxTrading Cards.  The original company is long gone, but some of what they churned out lives on through other companies and brands, both in name and spirit, including 2010-11 Crown Royale hockey card issue.

Those who have been around the hobby for awhile will remember the owner of Pacific was Mike Cramer, who was extremely rare in this business as he was a true collector before going into the card production side.

While Cramer got great publicity at one time for purchasing a decent copy of the T-206 Honus Wagner card, he was also quite the collector in other sets which did not garner him the some notoriety. He was an avid fan of the the Pacific Coast League Zeenuts cards which were issued for more than a quarter century before World War 2.  Cramer actually had one of the very best collections of that difficult set as well as many other treasures in his collection.

As a hobby though, we know him better for his time running Pacific.  The company’s set designs and innovations have actually held up very well, even though they’re not always recognized by the mainstream.  They were originally produced from 1997-98 to 2003-04.

The design of Crown Royale involves die cut cards designed to look like a crown. It’s one of the most recognizable in the hobby and after acquiring the name, Panini used it on both its NHL and NBA lines in 2010.

This year’s hockey version of Crown Royale is a very simple product in many ways. Boxes include five packs with four cards in each pack.

The 175-card base set is all die-cuts and if you love that style, you’ll love this set.  The 175 card base set is divided into three subsets that include 100 of the NHL’s top players, 15 ‘Regents’ which are retired greats still active in the game and 60 rookie autographed cards under the Rookie Silhouettes Signature Prime Materials and Rookie Royalty Signatures banners.

There are, of course, several insert sets as well and Panini carries the ‘royalty’ theme throughout the product.

Although there is no guarantee on the box as to how many hits a collector receives, the product does seem to be yielding a fair number in each box. A good example of that is my local card store already exhausted his original order at $95 per box and is in the process of restocking.  Online retailers and eBay sales are currently between $85-90 per box.

Here’s what we pulled:

Base Cards:  12

Panini Crown Royale Bradley Mills autoShort Prints: Luc Robitaille #106 Legends #d to 499, Bradley Mills Signed Rookie Card #174 #d to 499 and Kyle Palmeiri Signed Rookie Card #172 #d to 499

Legends: Joe Sakic

Calder Collection (#d to 99): P.K. Subban

Lords of the NHL (#d 499): Jonathan Toews

Scratching the Surface (#d to 100): Ilya Bryzgalov auto

Royal Lineage {Patches #d to 50): Kyle Okposo/Evander Kane/Wayne Simmonds.

Not a bad group of 20 cards at all and with three autograph cards and one memorabilia card providing the major hits and the four smaller hits as well. We found a total of eight hits of some sort in 20 cards; about 40% of what we opened.   If a player hits .400 for a season, he’s probably going to make the Hall of Fame.  Although card sets don’t usually make a “card” Hall of Fame, there is no doubt that Crown Royale product could be considered a major star by collectors.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]