I've mentioned it before that I'd like to see Panini get a contract with Major League Baseball to officially produce baseball cards. There are two big obstacles to this that I see, one which Panini doesn't have much leverage, the other in which they do. The biggest obstacle of course is that Topps' exclusive contract runs through 2020, according to Beckett.com. Unless Panini can find some reason for an antitrust suit, that contract will remain in place. The other issue is that I'm finding recent Panini releases to be pretty boring. Which makes me not to want to collect them while waiting for them to get a contract. I did a review on 2014 Donruss a while back. I called it dull.
Now we have Panini Prizm.
Granted the cards are more attractive than Donruss. I didn't buy any Prizm last year but compared to 2012 Prizm, the 2014 cards are better. The cards maintain the same silver borders but the photos now look like early Topps Chrome. It doesn't show in the scans, but when you move the cards to a certain angle you get a kind of highlighted border on parts of the card which I associate with early Topps Chrome.
There are 210 cards in the set (the last 10 being short printed) and many variations. I only bought a 3-pack with 15 total cards, and only got two variations. Variations include: Prizms (that's right, the card is Panini Prizms Prizms);
Black (numbered to 1), Blue (42), Blue Mojo (75), Camo, Gold (10), Orange Die-Cut (60), Purple (99), Red (25) and Red White and Blue Pulsar.
There are a lot of inserts of which I got two. Chasing the Hall.
I also pulled a Intuition insert:
There are 6 other inserts, each coming in 5 variations plus 3 autographed inserts with multiple variations. The autos are apparently all on-card. Oddly there are no relic cards.
One last comment. The cards, as the came out of the packs, had a thin, powdery substance on the fronts. It was easily wiped off but I wonder at the cause. Early Topps Chrome cards have over the years acquired a little bit of tackiness to them. This can be rubbed off as well, with some effort. I wonder if these Panini cards are already showing signs of degradation.