Here we’ll offer our two cents on the best football cards to target this year with our Top Football Card Brands 2021 list. While the following collections are modern age heroes, there is a long and storied history when it comes to football cards. In order to get a full scope of it, we must go all the way back to the late 1800s. In fact, the first football player featured on a trading card came out in 1888. The lad who made history was a college football player from Yale University by the name of Henry W. Beecher. While you may not know the name, the card was distributed by an organization called Goodwin & Company.
That first football card came in a set that included other random sports. However, it wasn’t long after that the first collection of trading cards to consist entirely of football players was printed in 1894. It featured 35 college football players from the Ivy League. At that time, football cards were generally used to promote other items such as breakfast cereal, ice cream, and doughnuts. Not necessarily items anyone would associate with athletics and fitness in today’s world. At any rate, football cards would start gaining momentum after World War II. Brands such as Topps, Fleer, and Post Cereal were some of the first to produce cards featuring professional players.
Years later, an upstart new player emerged that any card collector should know quite well. Upper Deck would become the first company to be licensed by the NFL to produce trading cards. An honor they would hold for nearly two decades until its run ended in 2010. 5 years later, Panini would seize control of the industry by gaining exclusive rights to produce trading cards for the NFL. However, Panini’s run is now coming to an end as well after a bombshell announcement recently sent shockwaves through the industry. In a few years, Fanatics will become the exclusively licensed NFL card beginning in 2026. While the future looks bright for Fanatics, we are still in Panini’s hay day. As you can tell by the names featured in our Top Football Card Brands 2021 list!
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Top Football Card Brands 2021: Available Now
2021 Panini Prizm Draft (Check Price)
Panini Prizm is a football brand that has withstood the test of time. It will continue to do so in 2021 and has already rolled out its collegiate collection known as Prizm “Draft”. The Prizm logo is displayed prominently in gray and Trevor Lawrence is featured in the center of the pack in his Clemson Tigers home jersey. There are 8 cards per pack and 5 packs in each box. Additionally, the Panini Prizm Draft has a Blaster Box. It has 30 cards inside. There are 6 packs per box with 5 cards in each box.
Best Value Brand: 2021 Pro Set (Check Price)
Pro Set is a trading card brand that revitalized its football collection after a 30-year hiatus. In 2021, the classic Pro Set trademark has been revitalized by Leaf Trading Cards. And boy are we happy about that. The cards have a vintage feel and stay true to where the brand left off decades ago. And what better player to lead the revival than 2021 first overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence! The card shown above put Pro Set back on the map and we for one are hoping it sticks around for a while.
Best High-End Brand: 2021 Panini Gold Standard (Check Price)
Our Top Football Card Brands 2021 list goes from the best value brand to the best high-end collection. So far. The set is incredibly exclusive with a limited checklist. Basically, it’s ALL killer and NO filler. You’ll pay a steep price to get your hands on a hobby box that only contains 7 cards. However, 5 of those 7 cards will either be autographed or include memorabilia so the price could very well be worth it. AND THEN SOME. The Trey Lance card shown above is one of the most sought-after items in the collection and we’d expect that continues well into 2022.
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Top Football Card Brands 2021: Coming Soon
As we just made clear, Panini is the king of the hill when it comes to football cards. And the brand’s Top 2 collections are Panini Prizm and Panini Select. In that order. While Prizm is still the flagship set, Panini Select has been attempting a bit of a coupe de tet in recent years. The collection has a very distinguished logo that can be seen on its hobby boxes. As far as the hobby boxes go, you can expect to find 5 cards in each pack with a total of 12 packs per box. Meanwhile, the Panini Select Blaster has 6 packs per box and 4 cards in each pack. In addition, the Panini Select’s MEGA BOX option has 10 packs per box and 4 cards in each pack.
While Panini Select is on the move for the top spot in Panini card brand dominance, Prizm still reigns supreme. The flagship collection has been the innovative force in the industry for nearly a decade and is sure to continue that trend in 2021. We’re expecting MASSIVE amounts of interest when it’s finally released as 2021 is one of the most exciting NFL rookie classes in recent memory. Strike quickly if your local hobby shop has some in stock because they WILL move fast.