Panini America Recalls 2012 “Gladiators” in this NFLPA Rookie Premiere Rewind
One week from today, a healthy contingent of Panini America officials will be stationed strategically across the field inside the historic Rose Bowl as 40 of the top picks from the 2013 NFL Draft don their NFL uniforms for the first time to participate in the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere.
The made-for-football-cards event has become one of the single most important days in the trading card industry during the last two decades, and the 2013 edition promises to pack the standard allotment of pomp, circumstance and season-long ramifications. You can expect complete wall-to-wall coverage of the 2013 NFLPA Rookie Premiere and its accompanying activities all next week right here on The Knight’s Lance. But before we take a look ahead to next week, we thought we’d take one final look back at last year.
If you had to add up the number of truly compelling images Panini America photographers capture at any given NFLPA Rookie Premiere, your answer would swell well into the thousands. Some, however, leave more of an impact than others. Take, for example, the dramatic imagery captured last year for the 2012 National Treasures Football Gladiators insert. Truth be told, I didn’t even know those images existed until I saw one surface during the Quality Control process for the product — and was immediately blown away.
In the weeks since National Treasures released, the 22 cards on the Gladiators checklist — with their elegant holofoil touches and sequential numbering to just 15 — have performed quite well without the added benefit of autographs or memorabilia. Beckett Media currently lists the heaviest hitters in the set at $135 (Andrew Luck), $100 (Robert Griffin III) and $80 (Russell Wilson).
But given the scarcity, it’s possible that many collectors have yet to truly enjoy the set’s photographic greatness in its entirety. The following gallery, however, should change all of that. Enjoy.