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Panini America Recalls 2012 “Gladiators” in this NFLPA Rookie Premiere Rewind

May 11, 2013

Panini America 2012 National Treasures Football Gladiators (6)

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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2013 2:58 pm

    Just wondering for this year if there has been any thought to putting people in the lower stands for the rookie premiere (or is that really out of the card companies’ control). While I love the look of the Gladiators cards, a bunch of RC’s and rookie inserts from all companies (not just Panini) had empty bleacher backgrounds.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next batch of football cards. 2012 was great! Gotta get me some Barkleys!!!

    • Smithy the Card Smither permalink
      May 11, 2013 3:55 pm

      My point exactly! At least photoshop people in the stands to make it more game like. Other than that-the cards look great-

  2. Nano permalink
    May 11, 2013 3:36 pm

    Hi Mr Tracy, Has Panini done a BOX BREAK PARTY here in Dallas TX. Or an upcoming local event for Collectors.

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Matt Fastiggi permalink
    May 11, 2013 4:03 pm

    As a fan of the “Gladiators” set, I can say that I have accumulate 20/22 GOLD (#/15) cards on the list, and am only missing Russell Wilson and Brock Osweiler (Osweiler of which I have never seen #/15). Such an awesome set, and wish one day Panini would buy back this set and provide autos, like with NBA Hoops for this year 🙂 Would glady turn my in for that!

  4. Ryan W permalink
    May 11, 2013 4:26 pm

    Kind of disappointed they didn’t get a Bernard Pierce Gladiators card. Why only 22 of the 35 photo shoot participants?

  5. hudsonfan15 permalink
    May 12, 2013 4:35 am

    This is such a great looking insert set, still haven’t landed one yet but I’m looking for the 3 Colts guys for my collection. Thanks Tracy!

  6. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    May 13, 2013 1:10 pm

    What an amazing insert set. Very classy. I like them walking out of the tunnel. so cool!

  7. Michael Pereira permalink
    May 13, 2013 2:36 pm

    Funny thing is I was hoping Panini wouldn’t advertise these yet so I could scoop them up and complete the set. I absolutely love these and they are the exactly the inserts that I am looking for. Very rare with no auto and a with iconic photo of a player. It seems someone in Panini has been reading my posts about new ideas to bring to Panini and using them. Here’s another of my ideas you can use.


    And adds value to your hobby case because inserts are not considered hits so it’s like getting an additional hit that’s not autoed and doesn’t have a patch, but might be more valuable than the rest of the box.

    I’m currently 11 out of 22 finished, and i doubt I’ll be able to afford the big three in the set. Got most of the lesser names and paid top dollar for them as well. So the odds are against me to ever completing this set esspecially now that their is an article written about them.

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