We're pretty sure it's the first time a major trading card company has actually offered an inside look at exactly how cards go from uncut sheets to packs to unopened cases.
Panini America has been allowing unprecedented inside looks at the entire process of card creation for several weeks now, but its latest video is probably the most interesting. The company's blogger, Tracy Hackler, shot about nine minutes of video showing the entire process. He followed the cards as they moved on a massive collection of machines to show 2010 Gridiron Gear from uncut sheet to blaster box to case.
For collectors, it's pretty fascinating, even if you could probably visualize the concept in your head.
You see the 'slitting' process, the sorting process, the wax-packing process, the shrink-wrapping boxes process and the case creating process. We see white-gloved workers taking cards off the machine and stacking them. We see packs getting wrapped, backed and boxed.
After watching the video, though, we're left with a few observations.
First, if you're thinking of starting your own trading card company, you might want to get an estimate on equipment. The size and scope of the machines here is staggering.
Second, collectors could never hold a position on the production line. They'd be too busy looking at the cards coming out and forget to do what they're supposed to (think of the famous 'I Love Lucy' episode where Lucy and Ethel get jobs in the candy factory).
Third, it's absolutely amazing that more cards don't arrive in stores with dinged corners when you see them bounce and turn on the long road to packville.
Enjoy the video...then click here to see the cards at their final destination--eBay.