After one year on the shelf, Panini America is hoping for an Absolute turnaround in 2016.
Panini’s 2016 Absolute football will be released on September 7. In 2014 the product was not well-received. As our box break revealed that season, one live autograph in the ’14 product was “a bit disappointing,” and that probably contributed to Absolute selling for below cost later in the year.
2016 Panini Absolute Basics
A hobby box will cost in the $145 to $175 range, depending on the retailer. The hobby box will contain three boxes, with five cards per pack (that’s an increase from 10 cards in the 2014 version). Panini is promising five autograph or memorabilia hits per hobby box in 2016. That will include one Rookie Premiere Triple Materials autographed card, a multi-piece memorabilia card, a regular relic card and two additional signature cards. There also will be one retired player, a rookie, a die-cut insert and a parallel in every hobby box.
The base set has 100 cards, but collectors will be looking beyond base cards with this product. The base cards do have a metallic-like stock, and along with short prints, are numbered to 499 for both veterans and rookies.
Tools of the Trade, Leather and Lace
Among the hits in Absolute, Tools of the Trade is coming back which has generally been a popular memorabilia card program. This subset includes memorabilia like pieces of gloves, helmets, footballs, shoes, pants and jerseys. Scarcer pulls include Tools of the Trade Materials Double, numbered to 99 or less; and Triples, also numbered to 99 or less. Quads are numbered to 25 or less, while a Five relic is numbered to — you guessed it — 5 or less.
Leather and Lace is comprised of two relic items — the laces of football shoes, and leather of football. These cards will be numbered to 99 or less. Hall of Fame Jersey autographs will feature some of pro football’s top names on cards numbered to 99 or less. Iconic Ink is another signature card, numbered to 199 or fewer, with Dual and Triple versions (numbered to 50 or fewer) and Quads (10 or fewer).
Mark of Fame Autographs, Glass Goes Football
A case hit exclusive to hobby boxes are Glass inserts, which Panini used in its 2015-16 Absolute Basketball product.
Panini is hoping that a year’s hiatus will be beneficial for Absolute, and that more hits will lure collectors back. Perhaps the opening weekend of this year’s NFL season, which coincides with the release of Absolute, will put collectors in the right frame of mind.