What's in a patch? Some collectors were putting their detective skills to work and pointed out that some "game-used" cards in 2014 Panini Flawless Football, a product that tops well over $1,000 per single-pack box, might not match the label.
Panini has acknowledged the problem. They've confirmed that some of the patch cards are from event-worn (photo shoot) jerseys and not game-used pieces as they were labelled.
First confirmed were patch cards for Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Alshon Jeffery. This includes all versions of the Patches cards, including parallels. According to the card maker, autographed patch cards were affected by the error.
A couple of days later, they confirmed more event-worn patches that were labeled as game-used:
- Joe Flacco - Patches Platinum 1/1
- Calvin Johnson Jr. - Patches (13 of the 25 base versions), Patches Platinum 1/1
- Andrew Luck - Patches Emerald #/3, Patches Platinum 1/1
- Cam Newton - Patches (2 of the 25 base versions), Patches Gold #/10, Patches Emerald #/5
- Ryan Tannehill - Patches Gold (1 of the 10 cards)
Panini also said they are currently investigating Terrel Davis and Tajh Boyd cards that appear to have swatches from the wrong team.
Exchanges are addressed as part of a company statement from a November 20 blog post:
Collectors possessing any of the mislabeled 2014 Flawless Football cards mentioned above are encouraged to contact Panini America Customer Service via email at email@example.com. Panini America officials have thoroughly evaluated the situation to identify 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. Company officials also will pay to have impacted cards returned to Panini America via USPS or FedEx.
A full statement from Panini's CEO, Mark Warsop, has also been posted on their blog.
In light of this and increasingly vague language about where the memorabilia on a lot of cards (from all companies) come from, do you fully trust relic cards? What do you think could be done to make them better? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.