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2010-11 Score Box Break Review

November 24, 2010

The entry of Panini into the hockey card market is something I had been looking forward to since the day it was announced.  As I mentioned in my 2010 Toronto Fall Expo Review, I cracked a box of Score at the Panini booth as a part of their redemption program, so here is my take on what the product has to offer to collectors:

What I Liked
It reminds me of when I first started collecting.
The first thing I think of when I look at this set is how the design takes me back to when I first started collecting.  I got started in the hobby in 90-91 and collected almost every set that year including Score, so I do enjoy that the design reminds me of the hours I’d spend with my brother and dad cracking open packs and organizing our sets back when I was seven or eight years old.

The price.
I paid $25 for my box at the show, a price that made it a near impossibility for me to resist opening a box and seeing what Panini is bringing to the table for as competition for Upper Deck this season.

The set size.
While there is no way to get a full set in a box, you can’t expect to at this price point.  I actually enjoy value brands for this very reason as it adds some degree of challenge to collecting this type of set if that’s what you are interested in.  I enjoy hunting for those final few cards that are a part of any project, and this set suits that quite well.


What I Didn’t Like
Generally I try not to look for negatives in the hobby.  I’m in it because I love collecting and in most instances I can find enough positives to outweigh the negatives of a product.  Unfortunately, I struggle with that when it comes to 10-11 Score…

Recycling of the past.
Even though I said I liked that the design of the set reminds me of my early days in the hobby, it also leads to a major concern I have from what I’ve seen out of Panini’s hockey line up thus far and that is a glaring omission of any sort of originality.  Score, Sno Globes, Net Cam, Sudden Death, and Hot Rookies are all recycled names and ideas from companies that failed in this industry, and that list only includes what is featured in this product.

The parallels.
One word comes to mind when I look at each of the three parallels available in this set: ‘why?’ 

The Glossy parallel has no discernable difference from the regular card other than if you hold it to a light on a certain angle you pick up a bit of shine.  Through my first few packs in this box I didn’t have a clue which card in the pack was the Glossy one, all that I knew was that there should be one in each pack I opened.  To make matters worse, the Panini employee I was opening the box in front of apparently had no idea what was in the product at all, he thought I was asking him if every card had a glossy finish to them in general!

Pictured here are the three best players I pulled in the Glossy parallel set.  Notice anything different from the base cards?  Neither do I.

The 20th Anniversary and French Back parallels are equally as questionable for their inclusion.  For the 20th Anniversary parallel, perhaps Panini should have done something similar to what Upper Deck did and made the design of that set resemble the 90-91 base set and had an original design for the actual base cards.   And how many French Backs will end up in commons bins because that single line of French text buried on the back of the card was simply overlooked? 

The Rookie Card Checklist
Perhaps this is more a reflection of the watered down quality of player we see in the NHL now, but my haul of rookies was essentially a bunch of guys named ‘Who?’.  This is pretty common in early season releases since you get a bunch of also-ran minor leaguers who got their cup of coffee in the league late in the season, but it’s still frustrating as a collector to literally only recognize the name of one out the twenty-one rookies you pull from a box.  Without Eric Tangradi I would have known zero of their names, and the only reason I recognized him is because my brother is a Penguins fan.

Apparently the folks at Panini were bored writing about guys they’ll never hear of again too since Evgeni Dadonov’s card indicates the Right Winger was also a star goaltender in the Swedish Elite League.

Final Rating – 2.5 out of 5
There were some things that I really liked about Score, but a weak group of rookies, long-shot odds on pulling anything of significant value, and a lack of originality in terms of the look of the product and the overall themes of the insert sets left me with a not so great feeling about this set overall.  I’ll still likely I’ll crack another box down the road to try and finish off my base set, but that’s about the only thing drawing me back to it.

Thankfully the redemption program at the Panini booth at the Expo netted me a Stamkos card numbered out of 5 because without the money that I sold it for last weekend I doubt that I would be able to recover the $25 cost of the box with what I pulled.  Since my overarching goal right now is to make the hobby financially self-sufficient for myself, this product would have set me back a step in trying to achieve that.


And with that, another first has been accomplished at the blog as we give you our first product review and box break.  We’ll do plenty more down the road, mixing in some old stuff and some new stuff along the way.

Have you opened a box of 2010-11 Score?  If so, what did you pull and what do you think about the product?  Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment or sending us an e-mail at bb_bros [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Until Sunday’s month-ending Store Update post, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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