14 February 2017

Pack of the Day 156: A Box of Panini Prizm NASCAR from Steel City Collectibles

Happy Valentine's Day! I don't like Valentine's Day, but I know there are probably some people out there who like it. To me it just seems like a way for marketing folks to extract money from people's wallets. In spite of those feelings, I picked up a couple of things for my wife. I try to show my appreciation for her every day, but you kind of have to do something on Valentine's Day because everyone else is doing something on Valentine's Day. It's a social expectations thing, even if you oppose the commercial aspect of the thing.

We took our kids to see The LEGO Batman Movie this evening. It was a pretty good film, although there were some slow parts to it. I think the kids liked it, and we enjoyed it as well. I ate too much popcorn, and that hasn't settled well. I do that every time I go to the movies.

A couple of months ago, I bought several boxes of old WNBA cards from the Steel City Collectibles website. I haven't sorted, scanned, or posted about those cards yet, but I'll get around to it. Included in the package was a scratch-off card that got me $10 off my next order. I debated for a while on what to get, and eventually settled on a box of 2016 Panini Prizm NASCAR.

This stuff is prototypical Prizm, although if you're used to the baseball version you might be shocked by all the logos that appear on the NASCAR cards. So many logos! A logo-less NASCAR set would be pretty silly. Just a bunch of folks standing around in onesie pajamas, and pictures of brightly-colored cars. I don't even know if they could leave the numbers on the cars, as many of them seem to have a particular font or style to them. Anyway, Panini has the NASCAR license, so we don't have to worry about that. I think I got around 55 base cards in the box, which leaves around 25 inserts, parallels, and my three promised hits. Much of the base set is your basic driver card, as illustrated by fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. up there.

There are also a few pictures of actual cars in the set. Danica Patrick announced today that Aspen Dental is taking on more races and becoming the primary sponsor of her # 10 car after the legal dispute with Nature's Bakery over payments owed to Stewart-Haas Racing. Kind of a messy ending to what seemed like a pretty good pairing of driver and sponsor. Unfortunately, money ruined that relationship and it looks like it isn't something that can be repaired.

The Daytona 500 car looks all right. I do wonder how far ahead Panini is in the planning cycle, and how long it will take them to make the sponsor switch on Danica's cards. I'll be keeping an eye out for that.

The Champions subset appropriately celebrates people who have won the NASCAR Championship. Pretty self-explanatory. I think most of the photos in this subset are similar celebration shots.

Driver Introductions is the subset that shows off waving, high-fives, and low-fives, as exhibited by Tony Stewart here. It's also an excuse to get popular drivers into another card on the checklist.

The final subset in the checklist features some NASCAR Hall of Famers, like Terry Labonte here. The final card in the set features all of the 2015 Chase drivers and the final standings, but I don't think I pulled that card in this box.

I pulled ten basic Prizm parallels. I scanned them all individually, probably with the intention of eventually filling in any hole I found in the Trading Card Database photos. I may have even uploaded some of them, but I can't remember at the moment if that is the case.

These are your pretty standard holofoil parallels. They are shiny and prone to picking up visible fingerprints when you handle them. I hate fingerprints on my cards, but it seems like any time I handle a shiny card I wind up getting at least a fingertip somewhere on the surface. I'm not going to wear cotton cloves while handling my cards, though. I'll leave that to other folks who are more uptight than I am.

I am running out of stuff to say, and there are still like three more rows of these things. This is where I begin to question some of my decisions. I could just delete a few photos (I deleted the scans of the card backs a few minutes ago - they look like the regular base cards, except they say PRIZM in that little box under the Panini name), but that feels like wasting the effort it took to scan and crop them. And what if there is someone out there just aching to see what a Matt DiBenedetto Prizm looks like? I have to please that person, because there probably aren't a lot of folks who are going to pull any of these cards and run them through the scanner for all the internet to enjoy, They are too busy looking for sick mojo hits and looking at pricing on bulk cotton gloves.

I do like it when card makers actually feature the cars on their cardboard. Ideally, the set would be a little bigger (or I guess Donruss NASCAR could do this) and feature cards for all the drivers and all the cars. They could even do the triptych idea from like 2011 Press Pass Stealth, where there are three cards for each team, featuring driver, car, and crew on the fronts and a puzzle that shows the team hauler on the back.

Here are the last two base Prizms. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is not waving, high-fiving, or low-fiving anybody in his Driver Introductions photo. That's not gonna win the hearts of the fans, Ricky. You've got to know what to do with your hands if you're going to be a race car driver. Darrell Waltrip closes this section out. He looks relieved that I'm done talking about these things.

Darrell Waltrip hot box! In addition to the regular base cards, there are these SP base cards featuring famous racers of the past. Darrell Waltrip shares the number 17 in the checklist with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. There are also parallels of the SP base cards.

There are various colorful parallels in the set, like this Blue Flag Prizm of Tony Stewart. It is numbered # 20 / 99. It's nice when one of your better parallels in a box happens to be a person you collect. My Tony Stewart collection isn't something I really work on actively, but I am happy to hold on to any of his cards that I come across.

I also pulled this Gold parallel of Richard Petty's SP base card. It is pretty rare, numbered # 03 / 10. I'm not a huge Petty fan, but there's no mistaking his fame and his results on the track. It's pretty cool to get such a low-numbered card, though. It could have been like a # / 199 card of Keselowski or something.

I got two regular Competitors inserts and one Prizm parallel. Danica Patrick was one of them. I think this is probably a double or triple of this card. I don't know for sure, though.

Denny Hamlin was the other I got. I have a love/hate relationship with FedEx. I worked for them for a couple of years in between my first overseas deployment and being hired on in the building where I currently work. I liked working there for the most part, but when the economic downturn happened things changed a lot and it seemed like the company did a 180, and not in a good way. So that comes up when I see Hamlin's cards.

Logano was the Prizm parallel. I don't really have an opinion on Logano.

I got two Qualifying Times inserts in the box, one regular and one Prizm. Jimmie Johnson was the regular one. This insert features drivers who have won the pole position at some point. I like that these cards feature the driver and the car, and I kind of like the diagonal slashes in the design.

Danica Patrick makes another appearance here, with about the thousandth card to bring up her 2013 Daytona pole. It was a pretty big deal, but you'd like it if your highlight reel featured something more recent.

Winner's Circle is an insert that features every race winner from 2015. This is a good idea for an insert set in a NASCAR product. I hope it continues from year to year. 

I got two regular and two Prizm cards from this insert. I got one of each with Joey Logano on the front, although they are not duplicates. They highlight different victories. This one is for a victory at Talladega.

Here is a Jimmie Johnson Prizm. He figures pretty heavily in the checklist for the year as well, with a handful of race wins to his name for the year.

Finally, the last non-hit card of the post is the other Logano I mentioned above, this one for a win at Watkins Glen in August.

My first hit is a basic race-used tire relic from Kasey Kahne. It is not numbered or anything. The back of the card describes his performance in one particular race from 2015, but doesn't really mention whether the tire comes from that race. So maybe it did and maybe Panini just selected a race from 2015 to recap so that there would be something interesting to read on the back of the card.

The second hit of the box is a Matt Kenseth tire relic. This time it's a Red Flag parallel, numbered # 23 / 25. It's a pretty shiny card, and has a nice low print run. Too bad it's a driver that I don't have any feelings about either way.

The final hit of the box continues the Matt Kenseth trend. It's an autograph card, and again it is a parallel. This is the Green Flag version, numbered # 35 / 75. It's a pretty nice card, but again, it suffers in my book by featuring a driver that doesn't do much for me.

Overall this was a pretty solid box. I got a couple of PC cards, including a Danica Patrick Prizm insert and a numbered Tony Stewart parallel. Two of my hits had print runs under # / 100, and I also pulled a # / 10 parallel of Richard Petty. That's a pretty good bunch of pulls. I enjoy this product in spite of the relatively boring 'Wall of Silver' Prizm-ness of the base set. It's even better when I can get a discounted box.


  1. Nice review. I wish my scanner could pick up the Prizms as well as yours does. It's funny, I did three hobby boxes and a blaster and I have not gotten a single Qualifying Times cars. Did get lots of Kenseths though.

    1. That is a weird trick of collation. I would figure you'd have to get at least one, especially out of so many Hobby boxes. I remember some of your posts responding to pulling Kenseth cards.

  2. Great review and a solid box. Can't ask for more. That Petty is pretty sweet... but the Kenseth auto takes the cake.

    1. Yes, this was a good box of cards. The only thing that would have made it better is if the names on the hits had matched up better with my favorite drivers. I can't complain about this one.

  3. Have you seen previews of Donruss Racing? Lots of racing to choose from now!

    1. I actually have their preview post open in another tab right now, but I haven't had a chance to look through it yet. I do like the variety of stuff that is available right now, but I could easily see myself getting burnt out and overloaded after a couple years of these back-to-back-to-back releases.