The 2016 Panini Classics football set blends the past with the present, with nods to its ancestor (Donruss) and even an old rival (Topps). Donruss Classics debuted in 2001 with a 250-card set and ran for several years and this year’s edition will be the first in six years.
This year’s model hits the shelves on May 25 with a 300-card base set and an average of one autograph per hobby box. Price should be in the $75 range, depending on the retailer. A hobby box will contain 14 packs, with 10 cards to a pack. At least one card in every pack will be a rookie.
2016 Panini Classics Basics
The design has some nostalgia. Nothing fancy, but from the mock-ups I’ve seen the top part of the card shows a configuration (Rookies, Legends) that resembles the font used for the team name (albeit a little blurry) in the 1983 Topps set. You’ll also see glimpses of some other well-known Donruss sets such as 1987 baseball.
The 2016 Panini Classics football base set will include current NFL stars, rookies and legends. Panini also will make the product a little tougher for master set builders, with 40 short print variations. Panini will make it easier to spot the variations, as the card backs will sport bolder black ink.
The card stock appears to lean very old school.
Glossy parallels will come with bronze foil with the word “Glossy” printed on the card front. Red backs will include base cards, rookies and legends; the backs of the cards will be printed in red ink. Blank back parallels will be just what the name implies — blank, except for a team logo and legal lines. No name parallels shows the card front with the player’s name missing.
Autographs will be on stickers. Significant Signatures will basically be signatures on base cards, while Classic Combos Signatures will feature a pair of NFL legends on one card, like 49ers greats Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Buyback autographs will fall one per case (every 20 boxes).
Relic offerings will be featured in Sunday Star Swatches, Classic Material and Canton Collection Swatches. The latter subset will feature swatches of players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
With its large base set and blend of veterans, rookies and legends, the 2016 Panini Classics football set should have some appeal for those fans who like the past mixed with the future.
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