Panini America now says at least 205 cards in its pricey 2014 Flawless Football were incorrectly labeled as having game-worn jersey swatches and it’s trying to determine whether there are other issues with the $1,000 per box product.
The company said late Thursday that it has determined 37 additional cards featuring stars Andrew Luck, Calvin Johnson, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill are actually patches from jerseys the players may have put on during a photo shoot.
Earlier this week, a total of 56 Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Alshon Jeffery cards were revealed as carrying non-game worn patches. Panini insists it didn’t put the wrong type of patch on the cards but rather the text on the front of the card itself was incorrect.
Panini admitted to the problem after collectors on a message board began questioning whether the Wilson patch cards were indeed game-worn because the swatches did not carry proper stitching.
Panini stated it began researching Flawless after a staff meeting on Tuesday and says it discovered other cards that were incorrectly labeled ‘game worn’ because they carried event-worn patches. They include:
Andrew Luck: Four total cards (three from the Patches Emerald parallel and one from the Patches Platinum parallel)
Calvin Johnson: 14 total cards (13 from the base Patches insert and one from the Patches Platinum parallel)
Cam Newton: 17 total cards (two from the base Patches insert, five from the Patches Emerald parallel and 10 from the Patches Gold parallel)
Joe Flacco: One card from the Patches Platinum parallel
Ryan Tannehill: One card from the Patches Gold parallel
Panini stated game-worn material was used for the remaining print runs of those players’ Patches cards.
The company says it is currently looking into whether at least three other cards (two Greats Emerald parallels of Terrell Davis and a Patches card of Tajh Boyd) “that appear to include mismatched pieces of material”. In other words, jerseys with no connection to those players may have been used to create their cards.
According to a blog post, “Panini America officials will continue to research the situation and will work directly with individual collectors holding those three cards — and any others that might surface — to rectify the situation.”
The issue is especially embarrassing for Panini, which recently landed the NFLPA exclusive license beginning in 2016 and considering the price level of one briefcase/pack of Flawless. However the company is promising to try and make amends with those who have cards that aren’t as advertised. There has been no indication from Panini that other sets may have had similar issues but it’s likely collectors are now more closely scrutinizing any patch cards produced by card manufacturers that may be labeled ‘game worn’.
Panini is promising to do a better job of making sure such a glaring error doesn’t happen again. The company stated:
“We’ve spent most of this week thoroughly exploring and reassessing our processes and procedures, not just to identify what happened with this particular product, but also to strengthen every step in the product-development process to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” As part of that process, we uncovered additional cards that we’re impacted and we wanted to be proactive in bringing them to the attention of collectors.
“This week’s experiences, while not ideal, have only strengthened our focus, our desire and our commitment to doing things the right way every time; mistakes happen, they’re part of any human process. We are truly sorry about these mistakes; but we are grateful that our collectors were able to shed the light on this issue to allow us to look deeper into what went wrong in the process. Our intent is always to get it right and properly identify whether a patch is event-worn or game-worn. We evaluated the ‘event-worn’ vs. ‘game-worn’ strategy on a number of occasions — and while this process is much more detailed — and have determined that this was a better scenario than just identifying every patch as ‘player-worn.’ As always, we are committed to making this right for consumers.”
Collectors who have any of the mislabeled 2014 Flawless Football cards mentioned above can contact Panini America Customer Service via email at [email protected]
Panini America officials say they’re considering three possible solutions to address the issue with consumers holding these cards: Buying the impacted cards back from consumers, offering consumers a replacement of equal or greater value or, if possible, rebuilding the cards with game-worn memorabilia. The company says it will pay to have impacted cards returned to Panini America via USPS or FedEx.