What’s Hot in the Shop: 2012 Panini Playbook Football Draws a Crowd

by Mike Fruitman

Ok, ok, ok.  You all are almost done with my heaping praise onto any 2012 NFL releases and I am just going to savor the final few products like a fine wine (truth be told, I am more of a Jagermeister person, but there is no fine/not so fine Jager).

Last year Panini Playbook surprised many collectors by offering one booklet card in each four pack box.  The response was huge with boxes flying off the shelf upon release and continuing to move incredibly well at more affordable levels when I am able to bring them back into stock.

This year Panini kicked things up a notch by adding a second booklet card to each box , and shredders seem to be flocking to play with Playbook even more than last year’s model.  Personally I think that anytime a manufacturer can add more value to a product, it is a great thing.  There are few more rewarding moments owning a store than seeing incredible hit after hit emerge from the packs I offer.  That having been said, I wish that Panini had not added more content to this product than they did last year. Yup, I said it and I could not mean it more.

Box 2012 Panini Playbook football2012-playbook-football-bookBy bringing the same recipe to this year’s release and adding some rookies we all know so well, shops would have had a product that would have sold incredibly well.  By adding a second booklet, Panini is possibly tampering with one of the few remaining golden gimmicks left in the industry.  Something tells me that collectors will not mind all the additional 360pt singles in the least and I just hope it does not lead to an early demise to this very popular card style.

Playbook actually offers no real base cards.  Every single features either an autograph, relic or is a booklet card making each of the four, single card packs in a box worth stopping to watch.  Please don’t think that a card has to fold out from this set to be valuable.

Looking at the traditional card checklist, some of the possible veteran autographs will surely go for more than many of the booklet singles.  Some of the highlights include signed singles of Super Bowl winning QB Joe Flacco /49, Cam Newton /20, Peyton Manning /49, Charles Woodson /15, Eli Manning /5, Ben Roethlisberger /20, Adrian Peterson /20, Colin Kaepernick /20 and many more.  Even more impressive is how each of these players and many others have 1/1 black autographed parallel versions.

Playbook’s Accolades autograph series should also generate quite a bit of interest.  There is a mix of retired and well established players including Joe Namath, Junior Seau, Frank Gifford, Bruce Smith, Howie Long, Terrell Davis, Dan Fouts, Paul Hornung and many others.  Check out the like this oneBarry Sanders Accolades card up for bid right now.

Panini Playbook Tackles

I am guessing by now that you are probably ready to read on about the booklets and I do not blame you in the least.

The Playbook Material Booklets offer a great selection of mostly multi-player relics featuring a mix of players from the same team, Pro Bowlers, favorite colors (ok, just kidding there) and others that group players by position.

Others simply focus on individual players from various eras and all are individually numbered to 99 or less, like this one.

One of my collectors pulled this Doug Martin.

2012 Playbook Doug Martin book card

Not only does it look incredible, but it also educated us that some jerseys are apparently made in Honduras.

Of course the 2012 rookie class gets the booklet treatment and many of these will go well into the three figure range.  Looking at Andrew Luck alone, he has autographed relic booklet cards numbered to 25, 25 (yes again), 99 and 99 a second time. Here’s an RGIII auto that just sold that just sold.

The rookies also get special attention in the Rookie Mammoth Materials Set.  All (but Nick Toon for some reason) are numbered to 75, but what should get collectors stoked are the 1/1 NFL shield versions.  Anyone care to guess what the Luck or RGIII 1/1 patch cards might roll for?  Something tells me hitting one of those monsters might just cover what it takes to bring in a 10ct case.

My guess is that my two direct cases of 2012 Panini Playbook will be gone come the end of the weekend and I cannot wait to see some incredible booklets and hopefully some sweet non-booklet singles emerge from my boxes.

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. See his eBay listings here.  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 [email protected]