Panini America caused a stir late last football season with the inclusion of real 14-karat gold Golden Tickets in 2010 Playoff Contenders Football. The concept paved the way for similar innovation in 2010-11 Playoff Contenders Hockey and helped launch the stand-alone 2010-11 Gold Standard Basketball. In early November, Panini America will bring more gold to the gridiron with the brand new 2011 Gold Standard Football.
“We’re still so early in the life cycle of this concept and no one else is doing it," said Panini America NFL Brand Manager Carlos Torrez. "There’s so much innovation left to deliver, and you’ll see a lot of it delivered in this product."
The announcement Friday generated quite a bit of online discussion over the weekend. Embedded pieces of 14-karat gold etched with team, NFL and Hall of Fame logos will be joined by authentic diamonds sprinkled into a few lucky packs.
While many collectors love the product design and the unique touches like the little diamond embedded in the 'ring' on the Aaron Rodgers autographed "Ring Signatures" card, others were disappointed by the number of sticker autographs that adorn what will certainly be a high end product. However, Panini did secure on card autographs from all of the first year players at the NFL Rookie Premier.
Each 12-card pack will deliver three autographed cards numbered to 499 or less, two memorabilia cards numbered to 299 or less, three Base, Rookie or Legend cards numbered to 299, and four additional inserts or parallels numbered to 299 or less.
Product highlights include:
* On-card autographed Rookie Cards from the 36 players who attended the 2011 NFL PLAYERS Rookie Premiere numbered to 499 or less
* One card embedded with a piece of real 14-karat gold etched with a team, NFL shield or Hall of Fame logo in every 15-box case
* Inserts such as Bullion Brand Logo Signatures (numbered to 5 or less), Double Standard Signatures dual-autograph cards (numbered to 99 or less), NFL Shield Signatures 1/1s and Golden Anniversary Material Signatures (numbered to 49 or less).
* Super Bowl Ring Signatures insert tipped with a real diamond and numbered to 10 or less. There are also four Super Bowl Ring Team cards featuring six diamonds per cards.
Here's a peek at some of the cards that will be available later this fall: