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The Sports Bookie -- Opening a box of Panini Limited football

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Yes, I've been a hobby box-opening fool this weekend. Received three boxes from Panini America to review, which I've already done on my blog at tbo.com. This is a recap of what I received.

At approximately $100 per hobby box, Panini Americaís 2012 Limited Football offers one pack with seven cards. The good news is that Panini promises at least three autograph or memorabilia cards in this high-end product, with at least one autograph per box.

The bad news, in the box that I opened, is that one of those hot cards was a redemption card. That means a waiting period, and if you are like me, a delay of several weeks or even months can be aggravating. In fact, it drives me crazy.

Nevertheless, thatís something that collectors grudgingly have to accept.

Here are the particulars: the set has 100 base cards, 50 Legends, 50 Phenoms and 35 Material Phenom rookie cards. The base. Legends and Phenom cards have three parallels: Silver Spotlight, numbered to 49, Gold Spotlight (25) and Platinum Spotlight, which is a 1/1. The Material Phenoms have just gold (25) and platinum (1/1) parallels.

The box I opened contained a Silver Spotlight card of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.

The most intriguing card in the pack I opened was a Stadium Stars insert of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, numbered to 99. This piece of game-used memorabilia was not a swatch, but a piece of a helmet that Simms purportedly wore during his career. A very interesting card, to say the least. I like it, it feels like plastic and it looks like plastic.

The autograph card featured Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who had six sacks this season.

The redemption card was for a Materials Phenom rookie card of Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd.

I was really hoping to pull a Game Day Materials card. It has that classic look of the program that one can buy at a stadium on game day, along with a game-used swatch. It looked very sharp; I will have to keep looking.
Other types that are available to collectors are Inked, which has a blotchy, out-of-the-inkwell black-and-white feel about it. This insert will be autographs only and will feature past and current stars. It has a very interesting look.

The other insert to look for is Hog Heaven, which will feature football swatches signed in silver and are numbered to 10.

The base cards in the pack I sampled included Bucs running back and kickoff return man Michael Smith, who only saw action in Tampa Bayís season opener against Carolina; 49ers running back Frank Gore, who is Super Bowl-bound; and Cowboys running back DiMarco Murray.

There are plenty of opportunities to pull a nice card from this set. Obviously, seven cards in Limited limits a collectorís choices, but the possibilities remain. Itís up to you as a collector as to whether to gamble on them.
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