Panini’s 2018 Illusions Football Autograph COA Mistake Continues To Screw Unknowing Collectors

In 2018 Sports Card Info helped to shed some light on this issue.  Even though not much has changed since the initial story broke, I believe its important to remind people that this continues to be a MAJOR problem in the hobby.  Especially when a collector was recently screwed out of $400.

On February 28, 2020 a Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends Autograph sold for $393.  Too bad the autograph is a complete fake.  Panini made the huge mistake of printing the message “THE AUTOGRAPH IS GUARANTEED BY PANINI AMERICA, INC.” on the back of a bunch of cards from 2018 Illusions that were never intended to be signed.  But yet these unsigned cards with the autograph COA on the back somehow found their way into the product.  We’ve seen this error popup on the Living LegendsIllusionists, and Mystique inserts.

Panini allowing cards to ship out with their autograph COA yet lacking the actual signature itself opens the door to all types of fraud.  And that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.  Loser scammers will sign the athlete’s signature themselves, and then attempt to pass it off as the real thing.  Because that COA is printed on the back people will believe its authentic.

As you can clearly see the autograph here is on-card.  MAJOR RED FLAG as the authentic cards use stickers.  Another indicator is the absence of a serial number.  It should be #’ed/10 or 1.

Panini simply stamped their autograph COA on too many cards here.  Some were meant for legitimate pack-inserted autographs.  Others received the autograph COA by mistake, and are just basic unsigned inserts.

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (front)

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Illusions Living Legends insert with a fake autograph (back)

This is what an authentic example should look like:

Preview: 2020 Futera Unique World Football (Live Images)

Futera is a card manufacturer that more collectors in the United States should become familiar with.  Last year they teamed-up with Onyx Authenticated to bring collectors 2019 Onyx/Futera Unique Baseball Prospects & Legends.  A collaboration such as this is almost unheard of in today’s hobby.  For many U.S.-based collectors this was their first introduction to the type of cards Futera creates.  I tried a pack and pulled a Julio Pablo Martinez 24ct Gold-Plated Metal Framed Phenoms Auto #’ed/9.  Unless he turns into the next Mike Trout, this card will remain in my personal collection just because of how well it was made.

I can’t talk about Futera without bringing up their Code for Collectors and Memorabilia Color Grading Services.  Code for Collectors allows you to see all of the details that went into making your specific card – photo of the card, date signed, materials used in making the card, etc…  Color Grading Services will tell you how many cards from certain sets have 1-color, 2-color, 3-color, etc… relics in them.  U.S. collectors would love to have services such as these.  They certainly help with identifying altered cards.

European football (soccer) is what Futera is really known for today.  2020 Futera Unique World Football is their next product set to release.  (4) packs come in a box, with a hit in every pack.  Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Virgil Van Dijk, Antoine Griezmann, Sadio Mane, Pele, and Diego Maradona are just some of the key players you’ll find.

Sales Sheet

Checklist

Until now the only images we’ve seen have been the mock-ups made for the sales sheet.  Sports Card Info was recently given a glimpse inside this product, and received actual photos of the cards to share.  No mock-ups here.  These are the real deal.  Enjoy!

Spontaneous Explosions, Fire Pits, & Bribes – THIS… IS… MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL!!!

An apocalypse is no excuse for that football game to go unfinished.  That’s what the people at Electronic Arts thought when they decided to release Mutant League Football for the Sega Genesis in 1993.

As you can tell from the box art, this is not your typical lifelike football simulation.  Radiation has caused humans to mutate, and the dead are rising from the grave.  The reason for the post-apocalyptic environment hasn’t officially been explained.  According to the instruction manual, the reasons were lost do to an alien invasion, spin control, a sloppy filing system setup by a temp, and/or BBQ sauce.  The investigation continues to this very day.

Playing fields can be made of rubber, toxic waste, ice, and rock.  You’ll find many hazards on these fields that you certainly won’t find on any normal gridiron.  Hazards include fire pits, landmines, and you can even fly off into outer space.  If members of your team hit any of these hazards they can easily lose health or even die.  If they die while carrying the ball, don’t look for any sympathy.  The opposing team will just pickup the ball as if it were a normal fumble.  Each team has what they call Nasty Audibles.  These involve using items such as jet packs, electric shocks, invisibility, and even exploding footballs to intentionally hurt players on the other team.  You can even attack the quarterback with the intent to kill.  If you eliminate enough players, the opposing team has to forfeit.  One of the most popular things you can do is bribe the referee.  You can do this twice per game.  A bribed referee will make fake calls.  This doesn’t last very long.  As soon as the first fake call is made, the other team usually kills that ref.

With all of this violence and additional features, I bet your thinking this game probably sucks when it comes to playing real football.  That’s not the case at all.  Its hard to find a game that has a good balance of comical violence, yet retains that excellent football game play.

Inside specially marked copies of the game you’ll find two trading cards.  Its cool to see cards included within a video game.  There were a few spin-offs.  They made Mutant League Hockey, and there was a Mutant League Basketball game in the works but it never saw the light of day.

Lyle Alzado would’ve done well in this league if it had existed in the real world.

If you play this game on full-season mode and end up winning the championship, the losing team spontaneously explodes.

Running for two seasons an animated cartoon was even inspired by these video games.  Along with the show came a series of crazy action figures.

Between 2017 and 2018 Mutant League Football received a revival for the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

Card of the Day: Harold “Red” Grange 1988 Swell Football Greats #42

Card of the Day: Jason Garrett 1991 Pro Set World League of American Football #31

Remember When CBS Made Football Cards?

CBS loves to keep reminding you of what you already know you’re watching.  If you took a shot every time they said “This is the NFL on CBS.” you’d probably pass out before they held the coin toss.  I remember Saturday Night Live making note of this back in the 90’s.  Kevin Nealon played Jim Nantz, and he kept repeating “This is the NFL on CBS.” over and over again.  “CBS proudly presents The Masters.” is another one you hear a lot.

Television stations are the last places you think about when it comes to card manufacturers.  For a very brief moment in 1989, CBS made football cards.  Now, this was not some nationally distributed product that came in a fancy box.  It was more like a 10-card set shipped in a few envelopes.

For those members of the 1989 CBS Football Announcing Team who either at one time played in the NFL or coached, received a card.  The players include: Terry Bradshaw, Dick Butkus, Irv Cross, Dan Fouts, Pat Summerall, Gary Fencik, Dan Jiggetts, John Madden, Ken Stabler, and Hank Stram.  As you can see, the cards feature an action shot of the person during their time in the NFL.  The photos were then placed on a green football field with a white yard mark.  On the back you’ll find a horizontal layout containing a head shot, biography, and stats all bordered in red.

CBS split this set up into two different releases.  Each issue has five cards.  They were sent out to various CBS representatives probably as a marketing tool.  Although they aren’t serial numbered, only about (500) sets are suppose to exist.  The price for an individual card and/or complete set can be all over the place.  It definitely is one of those oddball sets from the late 80’s.  The set’s official name is 1989 CBS Television Announcers.

Card of the Day: Doug Pederson 1992 Wild Card World League of American Football 5 Stripe #79