The Kings are here — and for Panini America, this beat goes on in football.
If you get that 1980 musical reference, then you’ll understand why Panini is switching to glide from baseball to football.
For the first time since 2003, Panini America will offer Gridiron Kings football as a stand-alone product. Panini officials recently announced the move in the wake of its Diamond Kings baseball product, which also returned as a stand-alone earlier this year. Tuesday, Panini revealed more specifics about its football product.
A hobby box of Gridiron Kings, scheduled for an early October release, will consist of 12 packs, with eight cards to a pack. Panini is promising one sticker autograph and memorabilia card per box. Collectors opening a hobby box also can expect to find seven rookie cards, three Red Frame rookies, a Blue Frame base card and rookie, and a Red Frame Limited Lithos card.
In addition to the artistic feel Panini attempts to create in the design of Gridiron Kings, autographs will be a big draw. Autographed rookie inserts like Sketches and Swatches will combine a player’s signature with pieces of memorabilia. Rookie Studio Signatures will be numbered to 249 or less and will be available in several parallels like blue and black.
While touting the future, Gridiron Kings also will pay tribute to the NFL’s past. Sovereign Signatures will combine autographs and memorabilia of some of the game’s greatest stars. These cards will be numbered to 249 or lower; Prime (25 or less) and Laundry Tag (1/1) cards are pack possibilities, too.
The same setup is available for the Performance Art insert. These cards will sport a jumbo swatch, and the theme of the card will revolve around a memorable performance by the featured player.
Stat Kings Signatures, numbered to 125 or less, will feature the league’s stop stars, along with All-Time Stat Kings Signatures, which honors the NFL’ s record setters.
Dual Signatures will combine star teammates, including rookies from the 2015 NFL draft. There will be five versions of this card: base, numbered to 125 or less; a Red Frame parallel (49 or less), Blue (25 or less), Green (10 or less) and Black (1/1).
Nicknames will take center stage in the AKA insert set, as the card will feature a player and the moniker he has earned through the years. And Art Noveau will showcase memorabilia worn by members of the 2015 draft class.
This year’s Diamond King baseball was an attractive set. Panini is hoping for a similar reaction in Gridiron Kings.
The sticker autographs are definitely a negative — on-card is always preferred — but Panini is hoping that Gridiron Kings’ artistic design will carry the day.