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.
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Best Panini Football Card Brands : Top 5
Panini Prizm (Check Price)
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 (Check Price)
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.
National Treasures (Check Price)
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 (Check Price)
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!
Contenders (Check Price)
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 so if you’re not a fan of what Prizm has to offer do yourself a favor and check this set out.
Other Cards to Target From the Best Panini Football Card Brands