Collectors hoping to find a newly released box of football cards under their tree this holiday season might be getting 2017 Panini Contenders. The annual issue is scheduled to make its return in hobby box form on December 29, highlighted by the usual array of ticket-themed autograph cards. A retail version, typically with one hit per box, is expected to arrive a few weeks earlier.
Each hobby box of Contenders will have 24 five-card packs with five or six autographed cards in each (at least one or two on card), along with one parallel and 18 inserts at a cost likely between $135 and $150 online. Each case will contain 12 boxes.
The 400-card base set will include Season Tickets, Rookie Tickets, Rookie Ticket Variations, Veteran Ticket Autographs, and Coaches Tickets.
The Rookie Ticket Autographs have been a staple of Contenders for many years but collectors will also find sequentially numbered Playoff Ticket, Championship Ticket, Cracked Ice Ticket (# to 25) and Super Bowl ticket versions to chase. 1/1 Printing Plate parallels will also be available. Draft Class Autographs will feature first year players and include Gold (#to 17) and 1/1 Platinum versions.
Veterans and past greats will sign for the Legendary Contenders (# to 49 or less), MVP Contenders (a checklist of 20, all # to 49 or less), NFL Ink (look for Gold and Platinum versions) and the new Veteran Ticket sets. Sophomore Contenders features autographs from the 2016 draft class.
Insert sets will include Rookie of the Year Contenders, MVP Contenders, Legendary Contenders, Team Quads and Round Numbers, which pairs top rookies picked in the same round of this year’s NFL Draft (numbered to 99 or less).
Among the major hits will be Golden Tickets, the 14k gold 1/1 and Silver Tickets which are numbered to 2.
Rookie Ticket Swatches will be a memorabilia card insert found only in the blaster boxes sold at stores like Target and Walmart.
You can see 2017 Panini Contenders football boxes for sale here.