This set seems to be Panini's answer to Topps' Allen & Ginter and Upper Deck's Goodwin Champions. Both of those releases have gone to show that there is definitely a market for those old-timey-looking cards, but Panini takes their release in a slightly different direction.
Here, not only is the look of the cards vintage, but the subjects are, as well. All 146 cards feature athletes, actors, and other pop culture figures of the past. From what I opened in my hobby box, this appears to definitely be a baseball-centric set, but there are plenty of other sports as well.
Anyway, here's a look at what I got.
Baseball: There are plenty of hall-of-famers and other players of prominence, but the refreshing thing here is that we aren't seeing the same photos that Topps and Upper Deck have been rehashing year after year. I especially love the photos used on the Robinson and Musial cards.
There's also a WIDE range of non-baseball subjects. Here we have football, basketball, a president, actors, actresses, an athlete/actor, a diver, a boxer, a race card driver...
a horse, a horse owner, a triple-crown-winning horse owner, a track and field star, w writer, a jazz musician, and a plane.
My favorite non-baseball ones have to be these, though. All three Stooges each have their own card, plus a card of the trio together. We also get cards of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two investigative journalists who were responsible for breaking the news of the Watergate scandal.
Well, it just wouldn't be a vintage-inspired set without those minis, would it? Like some of the others, Golden Age has a couple of different back that they use for the mini cards. Their base mini is in tribute to the Broad Leaf Cigarette Brand that was on the back of some of the T-206 cards.The base mini is printed with black ink on the back, while there is a much more rare version printed in blue.
Here are the black-backed Broad Leaf minis that I pulled form my box, including the only hockey player in the set, Gordie Howe.
Panini also references a former company producing tobacco-era cards with blue and red backed Croft's Candy variations, paying tribute to one of three companies on the backs of 1909 E92 cards.
I got six of the rarer minis, with Maureen McCormick being my lone blue back Broad Leaf Cards.Frank Howard and Jean Cruguet are blue back Croft's and the Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, and Jack Johnson Cards are all red back Croft's
Each box also contains a box topper, which will either be a tribute to classic movie posters or a felt pennant that pays tribute to the 1916 BF2 Ferguson Bakery Felt Pennants. Mine was a pennant of Ava Gardner. Not bad.
As far as inserts go, there weren't a whole lot of them in a box, which is kind of the way it should be. If these card are supposed to be special, after all, they should be treated as though they are special.One of these sets is Headlines, which I found two of: Richard Nixon Resigns as President and Bobby Fischer becomes the first American World Chess Champion.
Other inserts include Batter-Up, which folds out as a pop-up type of card with a silhouette around the subject. The two I pulled were of golfer Walter Hagen and thoroughbred Man O' War.
The last of the inserts was a one-per-box Newark Evening World of Jean Cruguet,the jockey who raced Seattle Slew to the Triple Crown in 1977. This set is based on the 1907 Newark Evening News Supplements set.
Each box also contains one Historic Signatures autographed and one Museum Age memorabilia card.
My Museum Age card is of Mary Pickford, an actress from the early 20th century. According to the back of the card, Pickford had appeared in nearly 200 films b the time she was 20 years old. She is also known as being one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
I really lucked out with my Historic Signatures auto, landing one of racing Legend Richard Petty. Petty is a 7-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and a 7-time Daytona Cup winner. He retired from racing in 1992 and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a part of its inaugural class in 2010.
Lastly, I also received an extra special surprise in the form of a case hit. For this issue, they don't produce a super-rare card, instead, including a buyback card from the 1930s or 1940s. Mine was a 1933 Goudey card of Tony Piet from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He may not have had a long career of any consequence, but it's still a really cool card to pull and is now by far the oldest card in my collection.
Well, there you have it for this break. considering how many baseball players are in this set, I thought they were very smart with the photos they chose and how they were able to obstruct or erase the team logos without making it too obvious.
I would definitely recommend this product for anyone looking for something different. My one box got me about 77% of the set, so I'm not sure if I'll get another one or just buy singles, but either way, this is a very fun product to open.