Good: Quality hits, Best early season hockey autographs in years, Perfect price point, Big name rookie autographs, You can tell Panini a great deal of effort into it, Handful of the rookie autographs are on-card (not all)
Bad: Card corners are easily dinged, Relics are rather weak, Sticker drop autographs, Mirror and Platinum parallels too similar
The Bottom Line:
When Panini first acquired the NHL rights to join Upper Deck in the hockey card game, many questioned whether they would take it seriously or simply mail it in. Certified is certifiable proof that they clearly mean business and are committed to providing hockey card collectors with high quality products. Whether you're a hardcore or casual hockey card collector, I highly recommend giving Certified a shot.
The card design isn't the greatest ever seen, but for an early season hockey card offering it shines. The only two complaints I have are not new to the Certified brand name, that being sticker drop autographs and relatively weak relics. Certified is essentially Panini's version of SPx, so don't expect to pull a crazy hearty patch auto rookie of Hall, Eberle or any other big name rookie, but that's to be expected with any $100 product so it's not the end of the world.
The checklist is as good as it gets for an early season hockey card offering. Certified delivers a high quality rookie auto checklist comparable to a poor man's SPx, which is saying something considering how much earlier it came out in comparison to past year's of SPx. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Nazem Kadri, Magnus Paajarvi, P.K. Subban, Tyler Seguin and a host of big name hockey rookies highlight the autograph checklist. The Masked Marvels insert sets are cool inclusions. The only real complaint I have with the checklist is the confusing parallel system.
Certified is an excellent value, delivering 4-hits and a host of parallels per 10-pack hobby box. Both Certified and Upper Deck's recently released Artifacts carry a box price of around $100, Certified delivers much more bang for your buck.You can tell that Panini put a great deal of effort and thought into Certified. Once hockey card collectors warm up to Panini, the value of the cards should warm up as well.
Certified is a thoroughly enjoyable product from top to bottom, it usually takes until Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey to have this much fun. If your looking for something new and a high quality early season hockey card offering, Certified perfectly fits the bill. I'm genuinely excited to see Panini's upcoming hockey card products, which is something I didn't expect to be prior to ripping a box of Certified.