With every new Panini hockey release, I fight off the urge to purchase a box, which is a fight I often lose. Their Rookie Anthology release came out a few weeks ago, which is actually a pretty cool idea. What they do, essentially, is update their other releases with rookies who made their debut after a product's release. They even go so far as to design these cards as a continuation of their previous releases (Contenders, Pinnacle, Crown Royale, etc.) and number these particular cards to go pick up right where the previous sets left off.
The only problem, though, is that I am not much of a prospector or rookie collector. Still, new, shiny, objects always grab my attention, so temptation was running high. I was able to subdue it, though, and kept myself to just one pack.
I will say that I LOVE The base cards. The majority of the card surface has kind of a matte finish, with a glossy silhouette where they player photo is. The design and colors are sharp and crisp, with just the right amount of foil to show off the player's name and team logo.
My base cards were of Evander Kane, Patrice Bergeron, Tim Thomas and Daniel Sedin. Each pack contains either a rookie card or a hit. My rookie was a Crown Royale card of Jarod Palmer from the Minnesota Wild. A bit of a dud, but I DO like how each pack has something in it, allowing pack rippers to avoid the dreaded 5-base-card Panini pack that I saw way too often in Certified.
I may not have gotten a hit, but I DID get two Penguins jersey cards from this set via ebay. The seller lives in Fargo, so I was able to save on shipping by driving to pick them up myself. The Rookie Rivalry dual-relic cards feature rookies from two rival teams, which is a pretty cool concept. I got Joe Vitale and Robert Bortuzzo from the Penguins, who share card with What's-His-Name from the Flyers and That-Other-Guy from the Capitals.
Earlier today, I purchased the complete 100-card base set for $13 shipped, which should keep me away from any pack ripping or box busting, which I was very happy with. When you combine the $5 I spent on the two hits and $13 for the set, it came to less than the cost of two packs of this stuff.
Sometimes, as much as new things excite us, we just have to cut ourselves off, and realize we can't go after everything.