by Mike Fruitman
Just over a week ago, 2012 Panini Prestige NFL hit hobby shelves with tons of anticipation and so far, it has been more than living up to the hype.
While previously released products like Bowman Signature, Upper Deck and other have sold incredibly well, Prestige for many really kicks off the collecting season. Last year’s release started off slowly without the benefit of autographs from #1 pick Cam Newton, but that seems to be a thing of the past as 2012 Prestige includes autographs from all the hottest new rookies (at least all the ones who are starting the year on the hot list).
Prestige boxes continue to offer one rookie card per pack. The folks at Panini have once again gone deep into the rookie pool with 100 different first year players possible. With it hitting shops later this year than previously, Panini is finally able to offer rookie cards from either the cards from their Rookie Premiere Photo Shoot or of players at least holding their jerseys.
Another popular returning feature of Prestige is a total of four autographed or relic cards in each box. This Andrew Luck autographed Prime Patch card eclipsed the $400 mark. Not to be outdone, this Robert Griffin III auto rookie also generated double digit bids and a $400 price.
For those who are willing to take on the master set of this release, the real challenge comes from the Extra Points Black Autographs. Somewhere out there in some lucky packs are 1/1 autographs of such superstars as Matt Forte, Von Miller, Calvin Johnson, Sam Bradford, Mark Ingram and others.
Many hobby shops use early NFL releases like Prestige as a barometer for ordering cases of current year products for a season. If the early success of Prestige is any indication, 2012 might go down as one to remember.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike's Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week, focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]