July 23, 2011

Hobby Box Break and Review: 2011 Panini Zenith Hockey

This is definitely something new for me and pretty new for the blog. I have never opened a hobby box of hockey cards before so this was kind of neat to do. While I don't know many hockey players outside the big name players and the Rangers I did enjoy the good old Zenith design.

Each 2011 Panini Zenith hobby box comes with 10 packs, 5 cards per pack plus a bonus jumbo 5x7 collectible card. The set isn't overly large to complete: 1-115 commons, 116-140 legends, 141-185 rookies. Cards 186-225 are autographs, so I don't think we can really count those as part of the set. Box retails for around $75 give or take.

The base cards are just that, basic. While the design of the card is nice, I would prefer the full action shot to just the player on a plain background. Some sets I don't mind the plain background but I think these would look way cooler with the action shot. There were 43 base cards total in the box.

There are a bunch of subsets within Zenith, the first one I pulled was a Gifted Grinders, Derek Dorsett card. I dig it because the card shows him battling and "grinding".

The second subset card was a Crease is the Word card of Onorej Pavelec. This is a great subset of cards dedicated to the goalies of the league (at least that's what it appears to be). I wish this were a Henrik card instead. The card, despite being "shiny" is not serial numbered.

Next up we have a Moziacs card of the Nashville Predators - Ryan Suter, Pekka Rinne, and Shea Webber. Great concept for a subset however this card is extremely difficult to read and see the pictures. You have to kind of move it around until you get the right angle to read it.

The final subset card pulled was a Rookie Roll Call card of Mats Zuccarello which was already stolen by my brother. This is probably my favorite card out of the subsets, but this card is also very difficult to read. The picture stands out okay, but the writing should have been much darker.

Two Zenith parallels, both of them from the Oilers. The red parallel is not serial numbered, but the blue/teal one is serial numbered to 25. I absolutely LOVE the parallels, really makes me miss the old baseball Donruss Zenith cards.

There were 3 hits in the box, 2 memorabilia and 1 autograph.

Mozaics Los Angeles Kings Game Used Jersey card of Brayden Schenn. Again, not a fan of the design. This card is not serial numbered, and contains just one patch for the player I named, the other spaces just ave little logos.

Winter Wariors Game Used Jersey card of Antoine Vermette. Not going to lie to you guys, but this card is pretty boring both on the front and the back especially. Not serial numbered.

The autograph is a Yours Truly, Drayson Bowman card.
Pro: autograph is on card.
Con: it may be the most boring autograph card to look at on Earth. The back of the card looks like they stopped caring or ran out of time before the cards had to be printed.

For me personally, if I were buying this product to try and pull an autograph of my favorite player and it looked like this it would be bittersweet. While I would appreciate the auto (especially on card), I would be so upset that this is considered the "best" kind of hit, and it is the most poorly designed/executed.

Dare to Tear, bonus box topper: Felix Potvin

I had a good time opening the box, but I think $75 is a bit pricey for the content of the box. The autograph card design is really bothering me. I don't know why it's bothering me so much, but I really don't like it.

What do you guys think of this set? I'd like to hear from the people who collect hockey cards on a consistent basis because you guys are the ones who can voice a better opinion of this sport. My opinions are solely based on what is in front of me, with limited knowledge of hockey cards. The last time I bought hockey cards may have been around 92-93 when I used to pick up Rangers team sets as a kid.

Anyone see these at Target or Sports Authority yet? I never pay attention to anything other than baseball when I am in that aisle to notice if they carry blasters of this.


  1. There are blasters in the Wal-Marts here in Canada. I believe they are 5 or 6 packs for $24.95.

  2. zenith was an epic fail around here...

    did you tear? or no?

  3. Why do trading card companies insist on resurrecting bad ideas like Dare to Tear?

  4. Looks to me very overpriced for a bland looking set. Like Tunguska, I saw them at WalMart this month. Plus the hockey season is over, so why continue putting out 10/11 product?

  5. So, are you gonna tear that Potvin card and see what's inside?