Does the Panini Rewards Program Mean the End to Redemptions?

Does the Panini Rewards Program Mean the End to Redemptions?

Redemptions are a very touchy subject in the hobby. In many instances, it can mean a long wait on some exciting (and not exciting) cards. The Panini Rewards program, which they unveiled during their keynote address at the 2014 Las Vegas Industry Summit, looks to change the way redemptions are done.

The basics of the program are that instead of redemption cards getting inserted into packs and boxes, collectors will find random points cards that can be cashed in immediately through an online rewards store. Or, if collectors want to save up for a specific item, they can do so and get something bigger.

More cards will be made available through Panini Rewards as players sign and return them. Panini will also include memorabilia and special experiences as options. Towards the conclusion of the presentation, Warsop hinted at the possibility of offering up a chance to meet Kobe Bryant as a possibility.

So while this system certainly alleviates wait time, does it actually eliminate redemptions in Panini? It depends on how you look at it. Points cards aren't connected to specific players, so the limbo of holding your breath and wondering whether a player will sign is gone. Collectors can also get an autograph sent to them right away. But at the same time, getting a points card won't give collectors the same instant rush of landing an autograph or redemption card.

It also raises questions as to whether checklists will evolve. Will players initially slated to be in a set who don't return their cards on time become Rewards-exclusives if and when they do return their cards?

Looking into the long-range, though, it could potentially bode well for long-term values of products. Points cards don't expire. So if you look ahead in the future, if a year has a weaker crop, points cards that could be used for other stronger products.

Panini Rewards points cards come with a QR code that can be scanned via a smartphone app. For those without a compatible phone, they can also be used on a standard computer as well.

The Panini Rewards program kicks off in May with 2014 Score Football and will continue to roll out with other basketball and baseball products.

Panini also announced plans for an autograph and patch database that will allow collectors to easily identify and authenticate their cards. Announced as being aimed at hits in high-end products, cards will be photographed from the top and bottom as they are made.

These cards have a QR code that, when scanned, allow collectors to see the images of the cards as they were made. This should curtail the possibility of fake patches being swapped in, signatures being altered or other counterfeiting.

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. As someone who cant afford to collect much dont have any problems with the current system. Sure its unfortunate that you have to wait a bit longer for some players to sign and a few have to be replaced but that doesnt diminish the exctement pulling a redemption in my eyes.

    I have concerns about Panini Rewards will work but I will wait for more info

  2. Despite having to wait erroneous amounts of time to receive the card i redeemed I don’t have a problem with that process. Infact I never did have an issue with the process. My strife was the LONG waiting periods. If signed cards are “going to be made more available” in this new process then what is the difference with them signing in the “old” redemption system versus the “new” redemption system? It sounds like Panini is changing the “redemption card system” to benefit themselves by curving it to their standards to make it easier for themselves. So, I bust a box/pack of cards and pull a “points” redemption card and will have to check daily to see which player auto cards are available? Sounds like a lot more work for the collector and less for Panini.

  3. “I have concerns about Panini Rewards will work but I will wait for more info”

    Yep, same here. Good thing they are starting with Score football. That’s one product that isn’t worth my money. I’ll let others test the water first.

  4. I don’t like it. Everyone will save or go for the star players first. Say when the first 200 eddie lacys run out, no one will really want anything else I think for the majority. It hurts spreading out big names being split evenly. This will also put a nail in the case/box breaking phenomenon, how do you spread out redemption points to teams bought? you can’t. I personally think they should not put someone in the redemption’s checklist if they don’t have it yet and let collectors get signed cards instantly. They should put the player in set when they do have the autos/jerseys ready. That would make people fish more in different sets if a player’s auto was in it and not in another. Thanks

  5. I hate to be a skeptic too early as information has not been fully released…BUT…this program does not sound good so far. Taking a proactive view of the program, this leads to big questions: #1 Card manufacturers, Panini included, have always told consumers that the market determines the value of cards/players. Companies have always taken this stance, then change their mentality when you are requested to send info for a replacement card. That being said, will this points system determine values? Panini has the ability to now place a value on player cards (i.e. Adrian Peterson is 150 points and Gio Bernard is 50 points). #2 Will cards be live in products? Will LESS cards be live in products? #3 If I only purchase 1 box a month, do I have to compete with those that can afford cases of cards each week? #4 How is this program different from the current system? If I purchase a redemption card of my favorite player from someone, I have staked a claim on the card hoping for it to be fulfilled. The current process leads to a “free-for-all” system. If I want a player but don’t have enough points or I’m not fast enough to redeem, I lose my opportunity to grab my favorite player’s cards. Why would I buy a box of cards or join a group break now?

  6. Panini points are a ripoff they replace a auto with points then charge very high shipping to replace a card they meanfully and willfully left out of a pack i am on a very limited budget so it sucks i could see the shipping if points were a extra and did not replace a auto card also lower points cards are left over junk

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