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Video: Panini America Takes Ryan Kesler’s Game-Used Stick from the Ice to the Insert

September 26, 2012

Seven months ago today, Panini America’s Alex Carbajal and Tracy Hackler embarked on a most fascinating voyage. The objective? Document every painstaking step required to transform one game-used hockey stick from Vancouver Canucks superstar Ryn Kesler into a rare handful of unique trading cards.

The journey began in late February with the short drive from Panini America HQ to Dallas’ American Airlines Center, where Kesler’s Canucks were taking on the Stars. Following Vancouver’s tough 3-2 overtime loss during which Kesler scored the game’s first goal, the Canucks’ center, true to his word, emerged from the visiting locker room with game-used stick in hand.

In the 213 days since, that stick has been de-taped, estimated, expedited, sliced, diced, embedded, autographed and, just last week, hand-inserted into random boxes of 2011-12 Dominion Hockey, which releases on Friday. The best part? We had a camera rolling every step of the way.

Now, for the first time anywhere, we present the video diary tracking one stick’s extraordinary expedition from the ice to the insert.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Jay L permalink
    September 26, 2012 1:26 pm

    product acquisitions manager – best job ever lol cool video!

  2. Andrew McKay permalink
    September 26, 2012 1:30 pm

    So very awesome to see the whole process. Congrats Panini you guys are awesome.

  3. September 26, 2012 1:53 pm

    Spectacular video, I always wondered about the whole process on how the cards were made after we secured the game used material. I wonder what player people would want to see if we did it for baseball?

  4. Nick gauder permalink
    September 26, 2012 2:14 pm

    AMAZING video guys! That was so cool seeing those cards put together! Great job panini!

  5. September 26, 2012 2:25 pm

    From someone who actually likes factory tours, this video was absolutely fascinating.

  6. September 26, 2012 3:03 pm


    2 things:
    1) never delete these from youtube!
    2) underrated part of the video: the G-A-T-E-S nameplate and tag patches.

  7. Matt permalink
    September 26, 2012 3:11 pm

    I loved this video and have always wondered how some of these cards were made. I also loved how Kesler got involved with the process! It’s Panini’s level of communication and sincere love for the hobby, along with continual improvements to their products that they are rapidly becoming my favorite company for sport cards. I can only hope that soon Panini will have a contract to produce MLB cards and I can see their passion carry forward in that sport too! Thanks again for the vid! Well done!

  8. Jim Carey permalink
    September 26, 2012 3:14 pm

    Super job Panini-those cards look amazing!!!! Can’t wait for the Panini Unwrapped episode to see what you guys pull. Keep up the great work! Collecting cards just gets better and better:)

  9. September 26, 2012 3:42 pm

    I love these behind the scenes videos

  10. Robert permalink
    September 26, 2012 6:24 pm

    Wow. That is such a cool job. Please send me an application so I can do some of your product acquisitions up here in the NJ/Philly/NY area. I would just love to be a part of this franchise and being able to see how it is done is just icing on the cake. Well done good and faithful Panini servants 🙂

  11. Matt Day permalink
    September 26, 2012 6:45 pm

    What a great video! Can you say Emmy??

  12. Lindas1st permalink
    September 26, 2012 7:07 pm

    Great video. This is just another anecdote as to why the hobby as a whole has fallen in love with Panini. They continue to give us the inside view and use social media to expand the hobby. And that can only come from hobbyists who love the hobby (not executives and accountants), which Panini has smartly employed. I would guess there isn’t a lot of profit upside to do something like this, just something that Panini knows a collector would love to see. Again, great video and keep up the good work, guys.

  13. September 27, 2012 12:19 am

    I really enjoy the videos you share with the hobby world. This one is by far my favorite.

    Would love to see one highlighting the designers of your products. The guys sitting in front of those computers coming up with some tremendous card concepts.

    Thanks again.

  14. September 27, 2012 6:01 am

    Great video! These behind the scenes vids are utterly awesome!

  15. Jacks permalink
    September 27, 2012 8:49 am

    There is a 100% that card will dive the second someone pulls it from a pack.

  16. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    September 27, 2012 9:41 am

    Was well worth the wait!! Great work guys with the video and the behind the scenes look.

  17. September 27, 2012 10:24 am

    Awesome video! Thanks for letting us take a look behind the scenes. Definitely consider doing this for future cards!

  18. Jason Stoner permalink
    September 27, 2012 12:47 pm

    Great video guys, I love how you are so much more fan/collector friendly then the other companies.

  19. September 27, 2012 4:51 pm

    I love how you guys STICK to the quality products you produce. Get it? HA! Thanks Tracy!

  20. September 28, 2012 8:28 am

    Awesome!!! Great Job Again!

  21. September 28, 2012 2:11 pm

    Reblogged this on 99goals and commented:

  22. September 29, 2012 6:27 pm

    That was great stuff, guys! I thoroughly enjoyed watching that video. It would be really cool if the person who gets any of those cards gets notified about the video and can finish it for you (assuming they didn’t watch it the first time).

  23. September 29, 2012 6:36 pm

    The Elite Laser cutting video was cool also. Panini should consider making a full-length video on the process. I think we’ve all seen cool videos on how things are made (like baseballs, etc). How much cooler for how trading cards are made?


  1. Anonymous
  2. How Panini America turned Ryan Kesler’s game-used stick into a series of hockey cards (VIDEO)
  3. Knight Time: Official Blog of Panini America Still Going Strong Two Years Later « The Official Panini America Blog
  4. Must-See Gallery: Panini America Takes You Behind the Scenes at the Production Facility | The Official Panini America Blog

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