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:

Panini’s 2019 National VIP Set (Something To Look At While Waiting In Their Customer Service Line)

I’m not a big fan of Panini.  Its been years since I’ve opened any of their products.  I think they’re sloppy, careless, and abuse their exclusive licenses to the max.  With all of that said, people continue to buy their stuff and complain.

Panini’s customer support (or lack there of) is so poor its almost impossible to get a hold of someone to talk to.  During the National Sports Collectors Convention its a common sight to see people lined-up at the Panini booth waiting to talk to a customer support representative.  I’ve seen people stand there all day.  Its sad.  Collectors don’t want to spend all of their time at the National waiting to talk to Panini’s customer support.  That time should be used for walking around, looking at all the cool stuff, getting autographs, picking-up singles, and opening boxes.  Its not like you’re going to be satisfied after talking to the Panini employee anyway.

While you’re waiting in that long line at the Panini booth, VIPs should redeem the coupon found in their package of goodies.  That coupon is good for a 10-card set that features Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and R.J. Barrett.  The tenth card is still a mystery, and will be unveiled closer to the start of the 2019 National.  I’m fairly positive it’ll be of Zion Williamson.

Panini’s 2018 NSCC 10-Card VIP Set

I don’t do much with Panini products anymore.  But here is a look at their 10-card set VIPs attending The National Sports Collectors Convention will receive.  A redemption coupon will most likely be found in VIP’s swag-bag which can be used to redeem the set at the Panini booth.

Panini’s 6-Card 2016 National VIP Set

VIPs attending the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, NJ will find a coupon in their package which can be redeemed at the Panini booth for a 6-card set.  The set includes Brandon Ingram, Buddy Hield, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Kenta Maeda, and Trevor Story.

Even though I don’t participate in Panini’s wrapper redemption program much, we now know what some of those cards will look like.  Wrapper redemption rookies will be numbered to 1,499 copies.  The base set covers baseball, football, basketball, and soccer.  I’m surprised NASCAR isn’t in there.  Then again we haven’t seen the autographs and relics yet.  With Prizm NASCAR coming out next month you’d think Panini would want collectors opening their newly acquired brand during the National.  Its very common for Panini to put poorly performing products on the list of products that qualify for their wrapper redemption program.  They do this as a way to help dealers unload a lot of that unwanted product.

 photo panini-america-2016-national-sports-collectors-convention-show-vips-brandon-ingram1_zpszsh6uv09.jpg

 photo panini-america-2016-national-sports-collectors-convention-show-vips-buddy-hield_zpsxqdtd5eb.jpg

 photo panini-america-2016-national-sports-collectors-convention-show-vips-carson-wentz_zpstypzpgnn.jpg

Deer in the headlights look.

 photo panini-america-2016-national-sports-collectors-convention-show-vips-jared-goff_zps6gx4gujq.jpg

Step 1 in professional football: Open your eyes.

 photo panini-america-2016-national-sports-collectors-convention-show-vips-kenta-maeda1_zpsm5yquxqw.jpg

 photo panini-america-2016-national-sports-collectors-convention-show-vips-trevor-story_zpsdiwlz1dm.jpg

Panini’s Rip-Off Strategy Could Benefit NASCAR Collectors

 photo rbobbytnborb_zpswuvaimdo.jpg

Collectors will get to see the first Panini made NASCAR cards within their 2016 Father’s Day promotional set.  Panini mainly holds these promotions to help dealers move all that unwanted product off the shelves.  Trust me.  There is a lot dealers want to get rid of.  Most of the products you’ll need to buy in order to participate will be ones that performed poorly.  The odds are good that Panini will bring back all those crappy products again next year because that’s what they do.

During the NFLPA Rookie Premiere last month, Panini showed off a lot of cards that we’ll see in their 2016 products.  One of their new NFL products is called Panini Origins.  Taking a look at it, you can clearly see its a straight up design rip-off of Topps Inception.  Panini has such a difficult time coming up with original content on their own.  Its bad enough that they have an NFL exclusive.  Ripping-off another company’s designs just shows you who should truly be allowed to make licensed NFL cards.  Don’t get me wrong, Panini Origins looks good only because it mimics the design of a Topps product.  This makes Panini look just plain lazy.  I use to be a big supporter of them, but all they do is copy others.

Getting back to NASCAR.  Panini’s rip-off strategy could benefit NASCAR collectors.  If they plan to rip-off designs made popular by Topps, why not apply those designs to NASCAR cards.  I wouldn’t mind seeing some Inception-like racing stuff.  Football fans may have seen these designs before, but certainly not NASCAR collectors.  If ripping-off designs is their strategy, at least use it for a sport that hasn’t seen it yet.

In addition to the 2016 Father’s Day set, Panini is suppose to be releasing four NASCAR products – PrizmCertifiedNational Treasures, and Torque.  We have yet to know when these will come out.  If anyone of them has the slightest possibility at featuring a ripped-off Topps design, it would be Torque.  Collectors sorta know what to expect when it comes to the three other brands.

I highly doubt Panini will follow through here with any of the suggestions I’ve made.  It would be nice if they came up with some original ideas, but that doesn’t happen very often.  I don’t expect as much on-card autograph content with Panini’s NASCAR products compared to what Press Pass had.  A lot of drivers have posted pictures on social media of them signing stickers.

Panini’s 2015 National VIP Set

Last year I didn’t do much of anything at the Panini booth.  Other than stop by to pick up my VIP set.  None of their required products for the wrapper redemption programs did anything for me.  Most of those required products weren’t too popular anyway.  Most likely they were required to help dealers move them off their shelves.  That’s one of the other reasons why they need to put on events like this every year.

VIPs attending the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago will find a coupon in their welcome package.  Simply take that coupon to the Panini booth and in return you’ll get a 6-card set featuring Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jahlil Okafor.

 photo 1a_8806_1492f5_pr-p1-p1-pdf-r300_zpsrr6pglsd.jpg

 photo 2a_8806_1492f5_pr-p1-p1-pdf-r300_zpsptevp5ei.jpg

 photo 4a_8806_1492f5_pr-p1-p1-pdf-r300_zps4gbplkhi.jpg

 photo 3a_8806_1492f5_pr-p1-p1-pdf-r300_zpsvbkzkz19.jpg

 photo towns15vip_zpsgu2uczzk.jpg

 photo oka15vip_zpsgttze3ol.jpg

Sports Card Info Is Runner-Up Winner In Panini’s 2014 NFL Player of the Day Hobby Blogger Promotion

 photo nflpod_logo_2014_hi-res1_zps14ea3920.jpg

For a second year in a row, I’m happy to announce that Sports Card Info is a runner-up winner in Panini’s 2014 NFL Player of the Day Hobby Blogger Promotion.  Remember that large contest held last October?  Well I guess Sports Card Info did a good job in hosting it.

As a runner-up winner, I won the following:

  • $100.00 in cash
  • (1) Kelvin Benjamin 2014 Panini NFL Player of the Day RC Jersey
  • (1) Blake Bortles 2014 Panini NFL Player of the Day RC Jersey
  • (1) Sammy Watkins 2014 Panini NFL Player of the Day RC Jersey
  • (1) AJ McCarron 2014 Panini NFL Player of the Day RC Jersey
  • (1) Mike Evans 2014 Panini NFL Player of the Day RC Jersey
  • Handful of 2014 Panini NFL Player of the Day promo packs – pulled autos of Asa Watson, Connor Shaw, and a Johnny Manziel jersey

Thanks everyone who participated!!!

 photo jmpodjersey_zpse9243415.jpg