by Rich Klein
Since we've begun writing these box reviews an important sea change in major card company releases is not having to rely on league licenses for products to be developed and released. In fact, we have been told by some card company representatives that the lack of a license is actually a benefit as a wider range of subjects and photo types can be included. 2013 Panini Golden Age is no exception to that newer mantra as although some of the existing Panini licenses are used, others are not.
Panini does have a license with the Baseball Hall of Fame and the NFL among others and we noticed those being used in this product but they also were able to include a wide range of subjects. I noticed Abraham Lincoln, Jean Harlow, much of the Bad News Bears cast and even Frank 'The Peerless Leader" Chance in the base set when I was opening the packs.
The base cards feature an early 20th century style design with the subject's photo in the middle with their name and reason we know them underneath the photo. The backs feature a brief biography of the subject person.
Scattered among the other cards you'll pull are cards that mimic some of the classic issues of the past such as T206, Bread for Energy, American Caramel, Delong, Exhibit and others.
The cards come in six card packs which are 24 to a box. My local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) has these boxes for $74.25 and is just about sold out of a two case purchase. Leading on-line retailers are currently between $55-60 for a box. Each box promises one autograph and one relic per box.
So how did we do?
Base Cards: 102 of 150. No duplicates or any short print photo variations.
Carolina Brights Green Mini Parallels: Max Baer Jr., Johnny Bench, Lyman Bostock, “Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Jean Harlow, Helen Wills Moody, Barry Switzer, Bill Terry.
Carolina Brights Brown Mini Parallel: Seabiscuit
American Caramels Blue Mini Parallel: Gary Lee Cavagnaro, Bill Freehan, Ron Guidry, Bob Hope, Harry Houdini, Bobby Hull, Jim Kiick, Abraham Lincoln, Rocky Marciano, Joe Morgan, Laffit Pincay, Knute Rockne. Three Stooges.
American Caramel Red Mini Parallel: Steve Stone
Najda Mini Parallel: Penny Marshall
Delong: Rocky Marciano, Elizabeth Montgomery
Exhibit Box-Topper: Frank Chance (these are nice and I'm surprised they don't sell for more on eBay)
Headlines: Miami Dolphins (Bob Griese), Stan Musial
Playing Cards: Johnny Evers, Bob Gibson, Goose Goslin. Evel Knievel, Bo Schembechler, Jan Stephenson, Hack Wilson, Dawn Wells.
Tip Top: Red Grange
Golden Age Memorabilia: Tim McCarver
Not a bad haul at all. We were somewhat surprised by the second autograph in the box so that was an unexpected bonus and pulling a Bobby Hull makes one feel pretty good. On autographs alone, I think I've got about $45 worth of cards. I'm a big fan of issues such as this, Allen and Ginter as well as Goodwin Champions. They’re fun and there’s nothing wrong with a little American history.
At the current pricing levels, the cost per card comes down to about 40 cents per card which in today's market is not a bad number at all, although the value for 2013 Panini Golden Age remains in the quality of autographs and relics. There are currently over 2000 singles, lots and boxes on eBay.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]