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Best Panini Football Card Brands – Review, Best Cards, Pricing

Best Panini Football Card Brands

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If you’re looking for the best Panini football card brands we love where your head’s at. When it comes to sports cards, there are quite a few names that have made a huge impact on the hobby over the years. While the relevance of some brands has faded over time, there are a couple of mainstays that dominate the industry. For example, Topps and Bowman have been baseball card stalwarts for decades and remain just as relevant today. But when it comes to basketball and football, both of these iconic brands take a backseat to Panini.

In order to look at the Panini Group’s history with trading cards, you’ll have to to go all the way back to the early 1970s. At that time, Panini released a sticker album based on the 1970 World Cup. And if you know soccer, you can understand why the Pele sticker became a legendary collectors item. Over a decade later, Panini would also gain notoriety for a collection celebrating the 1986 World Cup. Then in 2010, Panini released a Champions League edition of soccer cards that featured 22 clubs and 350 cards. To say this collection was a smashing success may be an understatement. That year the Panini group would sell 10,000,000 packs of FIFA World Cup cards in the United States alone.

While the success of its soccer cards put Panini on the map, it wasn’t until 2009 that Panini would start its evolution to the industry titan we know today. That year Panini acquired a license from the NBA to produce trading cards and became an official partner of the NBA. Once that iconic deal was in place, Panini soon became the official football card of the National Football League and now offers a variety of different NFL card brands for collectors to choose from. And while each brand has plenty to offer, the following are our favorite three.



Related Content: Best Panini Basketball Cards 2021



Best Panini Football Card Brands : Top 5


Panini Prizm 

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Since it’s debut in 2012, Panini Prizm has gained more and more prominence and currently holds the title as Panini’s flagship brand. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Prizm football cards are desired by anyone who’s serious about the hobby. The cards are sleek, shiny, and have a firm feel that screams quality. As far as value goes, autographed cards and numbered “Prizm” parallels are what you’re hoping to find as you tear into a pack.

Our favorite investment for the 2021 season is none other than Rookie of the Year winner Justin Herbert. We’re expecting even a bigger second year performance along with a playoff run. If we’re right, look for the values of Herbert’s cards to skyrocket. The Orange Disco Prizm above makes for a great moderate range investment.


Panini Select 

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Panini Select has become an incredibly sought after brand in recent years. So much so that it is competing with Panini Prizm for supremacy among the best Panini football card brands. The cards are defined by their distinct golden borders and weighty feel. And if you couldn’t tell by the looks alone, take a peak at what hobby boxes go for and you’ll understand that these cards are absolutely dripping with quality.

At the moment a hobby box will cost you around $1,175.00 but you can expect that to change in years to come if the strong 2021 NFL rookie class turns out to be as successful as everyone thinks they will be. For instance, the 2017 NFL Panini Select hobby box with Patrick Mahomes rookie cards now sell for somewhere around $8,000. Therefore, the hardest decision you might face is whether or not to open that box or hold onto it for a long term investment.

As far as cards go, we LOVE the idea of investing in the Blue Prizm Joe Burrow rookie card featured above before the start of the 2021 season.


National Treasures 

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National Treasures is an incredibly high-end collection that simply cannot be left out of the best Panini football card brands conversation. The set features less cards than most brands but offers some of the rarest gems in the hobby. In fact, the collection is so rare that a box only comes with 8 cards. Therefore, you can expect to find some high-value items as you rip that box open. And with each box containing 3 autographs and 3 relics, you can rationalize the lofty price of around $3,500 per box without too much effort.

Another 2020 rookie that we love going into 2021 is Tua Tagovailoa. While he certainly didn’t match Herbert’s performance, Tua showed plenty of glimpses of what he’s capable of going forward. You won’t have to pay anywhere near the price of Herbert’s rookie cards either. However, that gap could narrow in a BIG way if Tua turns in a strong second season. The autographed patch card shown here is a great option if you’re thinking Tua rises to stardom in 2021.


Gold Standard 

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To say Panini Gold Standard is making its impression felt in 2021 is an understatement. The cards are visually striking and ooze quality upon first touch. On top of the feel and looks, they are also one of the first sets to feature the 2021 rookie class in their new NFL jerseys. Something everyone has been waiting patiently for.

As far as the cards go, you’ll find a variety of options including autographs, inserts, and patches. So no matter what you’re in the mood for you should have no trouble finding it within the 2021 Panini Gold Standard collection. However, there is one thing that is sort of limiting when it comes to this set. You must LOVE GOLD!


Donruss Optic 

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Last but not least we have the ever sought after Donruss Optics collection. An off shoot of the regular set, Optics is world renown for providing a high end card that can rival the likes of both Panini Prizm and Select. The cards are crisp and glossy with a style that will catch the eye of any collector. And let’s not forget about the rookie cards. The iconic “Rate Rookie” logo is featured at the top in the classic blue color that made it famous.

When it comes to prices, these don’t get cheap. While hobby boxes cost less than Prizm, you’ll need to consider the amount of cards you receive. For instance, a Prizm box includes 144 cards. Meanwhile. Optic boxes only give you 80. So while a box of Optics might be a grand cheaper, it’s actually more expensive than Prizm on a price per card basis. Sure, a steep price to pay but with high prices comes HIGH VALUES. Therefore, if you’re looking for a card to back the truck up on, Donruss Optics should be towards the top of your list.



Best Panini Football Card Brands Value Plays


Panini Chronicles 

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When it comes to cheaper options, it’s hard to beat Panini Chronicles. The collection offers a wide array of many of the best Panini football card brands so expect each pack to be filled to the brim with variety. For example, the card above may say Prizm at the top, but it really came out a box of Panini Chronicles. In addition to Prizm, you can expect to find just about every other brand found on this list all within your freshly opened hobby box. So if you’re a proponent of the old saying “variety is the spice of life”, Panini Chronicles is going to be right up your alley.



Tua Mosaic

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While Mosaic certainly isn’t cheap. we’re listing it as a value play as the card’s overall quality rivals that of Panini Prizm all while being quite a bit cheaper. For instance, a hobby box of 2020 Panini Prizm Football will run you somewhere around $1,800 smackeroos. Meanwhile, a Mosaic hobby box will only set you back roughly $1,400 while at the same time providing more cards than you’d receive with a box of Prizm. Enough said?



Best Panini Football Card Brands Honorable Mention



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Contenders has been one of Panini’s best sellers for years now and you can bet your bottom dollar that trend will continue in 2021. The collection is known for its “Ticket” style with each card reminding you of a ticket stub to the big game. Talk about getting you in the mood to party!

As far as prices go, Contenders is incredibly similar to Prizm. Which is the reason why this doesn’t quite make our Top 5. Don’t get us wrong, we love the collection. However, it falls short in both style and card quality when compared to Panini Prizm. We always encourage variety, but for our money we’d rather snatch up that Prizm box. But then again, beauty as always in the eye of the beholder! Or the cardholder, that is.




Other Cards to Target From the Best Panini Football Card Brands


Patrick Mahomes Rookie Card

Trevor Lawrence Rookie Card

Trey Lance Rookie Card