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The Trading Card Production Line: A Panini America World Premiere Video

December 6, 2010

I had the distinct pleasure of spending the utmost in quality time last week at our production facility in Allen, Texas, feasting on the sights, sounds and utterly blissful sensory overload that is the trading card production process. It was my first time to witness the wizardry firsthand.

And you know what they say: You never forget your first time.

I could’ve stood there soaking it in all day, but my trusty tour guide on this monumental morning, Stephanie Carlson, Panini America‘s Vice President of Production, had real work to do to ensure the product actually got out on time.

So I finally got out of her way and headed back to the office with tons of great footage to share with loyal readers of The Knight’s Lance for weeks to come, starting with, well, this.

In this exclusive behind-the-scenes look, we take you right to the production line to watch 2010 Donruss Gridiron Gear Football being cut, collated, packed and boxed.

Get your popcorn ready.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2010 9:50 am

    Great inside look at the production. Showing collectors aspects of the hobby they have never seen before. Keep up the great posts !

  2. Alexey Andreychuk permalink
    December 6, 2010 9:57 am

    The video is marked as friends-only.

    • December 6, 2010 10:33 am

      Something weird was going on. My apologies. Try it now.

      • Alexey Andreychuk permalink
        December 6, 2010 1:07 pm

        It works for me now. Thanks!

  3. Melissa permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:00 am

    Great video, would like some narrative to it though. (i.e. what’s “that” person doing, etc.) How are the jersey cards, white cards or autographs inserted? Also, how does someone get an uncut sheet of a particular set? Does Panini sell them or better yet….offer them as a redemption? Thanks for the video…cool to see the insides of card making.

  4. Nick Graff permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:30 am

    It amazes me how the cards go through this process and still be in perfect or near mint condition when someone opens the pack.

  5. juan oliavres permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:43 am


  6. RIchard Radke permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:48 am

    Now I know how some of my cards have bad corners. I’m amazed that they can even have undamaged corners with all the handling throughout the process.So thanks for the video. Since I worked in the printing industry, I recognized a few machines there. Still it was a great video to watch. Thanks Mr. Hackler for taking the card collector on a tour of how their cards get packed out to them.

  7. December 6, 2010 12:40 pm

    Very cool. I agree with some of the other readers. It’s amazing after seeing the process that the cards are mint when collectors open those packs. I didn’t think that many people actually touch the cards or packs in the process. It’s actually cool to see that the process is not entirely automated and there is still some human interaction with the product.

    I also agree with Melissa. It would be cool to understand how the inserts/auto’s/relic/parallels are inserted. Very cool video. Thanks for the inside look!!!

    • December 6, 2010 12:46 pm

      Glad you all are enjoying it. I’ve got tons of footage, so stay tuned. The next one I’ll do is the dropping of the autograph and memorabilia cards.

  8. Gridiron-Gladiators permalink
    December 6, 2010 1:15 pm

    Tracy you are ruining the hobby for me! I always pictured a Card Plant to be like Willy Wonka. You know jersey cards hanging from trees. Or umpa lumpa’s selecting just the right patch swatches for my cards, while Peyton Manning is standing there to hard sign each one right after its made. J/K keep up the inside-look stuff, I love it.

  9. bob permalink
    December 6, 2010 2:12 pm

    i want to know is how are the jerseys and autos created? Does a machine or human hands put the autograph sticker onto the cards. I would like to see that process

    • December 6, 2010 2:14 pm

      Footage of those processes are coming. But I can tell you that human hands are responsible.

  10. snarl permalink
    December 6, 2010 6:58 pm

    Very interesting video, something I’ve always wanted to see. As someone who majored in graphic arts and printing, I see no reason why I can’t do this, other than the thousands of dollars in equipment, and motivation, I’m all set! now could you release the Certified Hockey redemption info? 😉

  11. snarl permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:18 pm

    I checked the checklist on the main site, they still say TBD..

  12. December 13, 2010 12:10 pm

    It is great to se the behind the scenes production of my favorite hobby…sports card collecting!


  1. The Trading Card Production Line: A Panini America World Premiere Video - Blowout Cards Forums
  2. Panini America World Premiere Video: Collating the High-Dollar Hits « The Official Panini America Blog
  3. Knight Time: Official Blog of Panini America Still Going Strong Two Years Later « The Official Panini America Blog

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