I bought a box of 2016 Panini Unparalleled Football, sight unseen, on Black Friday. My initial reactions were “Huh?”, “Bizarre”, and “I can’t believe I bought this stuff.” However, these cards have been growing on me since I first opened them, especially as I took pictures for this post, and now I think they are “pretty cool” and “I’m glad I got them.”
The cards are certainly unique. The shapes and colors sort of remind me of those Phish concerts I enjoyed at the turn of the century. 🙂 Anyhow, I’d prefer a black or white default background for the cards (rather than the “pigskin brown”), but the default “rainbow spokes” refractor pattern is awesome. Looks like a bunch of laser beams!
This set is all about the refractors and parallels, to the extent that all the cards have refraction patterns in some sort of geometric arrangement, and 6 out of the 10 cards in a given pack are parallels. (A hobby box has 8 packs with 10 cards each, with 1 auto and 2 memorabilia cards “on average”.) Parallels vary in terms of color and numbering (Purple, Teal, Orange #/99, Red #/49, Blue #/25, Green #/10, Gold #/5, Black 1/1), and patterns (rainbow spokes, ellipse, wedges, diamond awe, rapture, Escher squares, Galactic Windows, and many more). That’s a lot of different possible combinations!
Further there are several neat insert sets you can collect, if you are so inclined. I’m still deciding which insert set to focus on. There are a lot of choices! In addition to the autos and memorabilia cards, there are the All Pros (20), Draft Diamonds (25), Dual Threats (15), High Flyers (15), In the Moment (25), Perfect Pairs (15), Pivotal Drive (40), World Class Records (10), and Zoned In (32) inserts. The Zoned In, Pivotal Drive, and Dual Threats inserts look best to me. Most likely I won’t go for whole insert sets, and will instead focus on cards from the Seahawks and my favorite players from around the league.
My box was heavy on Raiders, Dolphins, Packers, and Saints, and light on most other teams, for whatever reason. The autograph/patch was a RPS Kevin Hogan from Stanford (sssss….) in a Chiefs uniform (he is on the Browns now). The second memorabilia card was a Connor Cook dual relic RC (black patches) from the Raiders. The final memorabilia card was an…… Ezekiel Elliott relic RC (blue patch) from the Dallas Cowboys! Probably the biggest hit in the box.
Below are more pictures from the 2016 Panini Unparalled series. I think the legends and superstar cards in this set are cooler than the current players and RC’s. I’ll see if I can trade for more Seahawks (did get a Germain Ifedi RC) and just enjoy, trade, or sell the rest. Even in the process of writing this blog post, these cards have grown on me. 🙂