Can 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts Fill a Void Left by 2012 Topps Tribute?
When 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts Baseball arrives, many collectors will be looking for it to fill a void left by a less-than-stellar 2012 Topps Tribute checklist. Currently pre-selling for just a little more than 2012 Topps Tribute, each box of 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts comes with five total autographs and memorabilia cards. After the brand's three-year absence, it will be interesting to see if 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts emerges as the year's best legends-focused set.
Many collectors that ripped into 2012 Topps Tribute found themselves still wanting. While Topps Tribute raised the bar on manufacturing, it dropped the ball on the hits, a major selling point for the set. While the cards themselves are visually appealing, the autograph checklist was watered down with lots of current players that don't belong in such a high-end set. The relics cards are also far too plain, often offering a basic white swatch.
Therefore Panini finds itself in a place to fill a void. With its agreement with the Baseball Hall of Fame, Panini can deliver what many high-end baseball card collectors really want: relics from iconic figures that have the look and feel of the history of the game. Collectors want to see relics with dirt that could be from Jackie Robinson stealing home or a pine tar-stained bat from Stan Musial.
Of course, no product is perfect. With Topps' exclusive MLB license, Panini's baseball products can't have logos. However, many of the preview images have shown compelling pictures that are stronger than what's been seen in Panini's first couple of baseball sets.
Both 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts and 2012 Topps Tribute have promoted themselves as sets that are about both the history of the game and its legendary figures. 2012 Topps Tribute did so with mixed results. Now it's up to Panini to really deliver on both fronts.