Crown Royale is back again this year in the arsenal of Panini hockey releases. There have been breaks and reviews all over the blogosphere for the last couple months. I was only fortunate enough to get a peak at my first box of this the other day when a nice package arrived on my front porch.
There is a mixed review on this product. On one hand, it is almost priced out of the average collector's budget as boxes tend to hover around the $100 mark. This is, of course, $100 for 20 cards (carry the 2...) which comes out at a whopping $5 per card. There is also the fact that these are probably some of the gaudiest, most blatantly kitschy designs you will find in all of sports cards. On the other hand, the boxes offer up four solid hits per box of either autos, memorabilia, or both. Many of them are numbered under 100 and with the inclusion once again of the Rookie Silhouettes, there is a chance for some really big pulls. And...where the crazy design turns off some groups, it is a draw just the same for others.
I'm one of the others because I've collected the previous years sets, I picked up last years, and I'm heading down that path again this year. There is just something cool about that crown die-cut on the top of the cards. Plus, for me, I did real well with boxes of this stuff last year and most of the 2011-12 breaks I have seen have yielded some very nice items. So here goes
Base cards are the typical Crown Royal design we have come to expect. Silver foil crown die-cut into the top of the cards, with a player photo and some type of design to encompass the name and team. This years took an interesting twist with the two year panels on either side. I'm still not sure if I like those that way since they kind of detract from the card design. It almost seems like there should be an additional die-cut where those panels are.
I also pulled a base parallel. I wasn't aware that there was a parallel set considering all the other "chase" cards that were out there. But, I guess it just wouldn't be a Panini set unless there was at least one type of parallel. This years set features a RED version in addition to the main base cards. These are not serial numbered as one would think.
eft side of the patch along the shooting wing of the Thrasher. That's the only spot where there is red near the blue border. Regardless of where it came from, this is a very nice piece.
And the last hit, but by far not the least...