A Rapt Wrapper Redemption Highlights Panini America’s Thursday at the National

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- If, by chance, you've inexplicably been unable to find the Panini America booth at the 32nd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention, just follow the trail of foil wrappers.

Chicago-based freelance writer Dan Campana contributed to this report and will file updates and images to The Knight’s Lance throughout the week. 

ROSEMONT, Ill. — If, by chance, you’ve inexplicably been unable to find the Panini America booth at the 32nd Annual National Sports Collectors Convention, just follow the trail of foil wrappers.

Those shiny remnants will lead you to redemption heaven, where Panini America lovers have spent the first two days of the show busted case upon countless case of their favorite basketball, football and hockey products to pick up the much coveted redemption packs.

Some do it in small doses — a box of Zenith Hockey here, a box of Prestige Football there. Others go all out — breaking multiple cases of everything from Totally Certified Basketball and Donruss Elite Football to the big boys, Gold Standard Basketball and National Treasures Football and Basketball.

All you need to know about the Panini America redemption process can be seen in the overflowing garbage cans and smiling collectors.

“We loaded them up this year,” Panini America’s Scott Prusha offered as a reason why collectors have pounced on the redemption offerings. Fast fingers are needed to break huge cases, but no hands were too tired to start busting redemption packs.

Early redemption hits on Thursday — the first full day of the show — included a 1-of-1 Mark Ingram Sketch Card, a Cam Newton autographed patch card and a 1-of-2 Tim Tebow autograph that had Panini’s own Tracy Hackler briefly distracted from the frenzy surrounding him. One collector from Washington proudly showed off his big hits, which included a 14K John Stockton card from Gold Standard and a much sought-after redemption hit.

Exactly how crazy were things? Prusha could barely put into words his reaction to the response collectors have already shown to this year’s redemption program.

“The line has been overwhelming, we’ve already filled up like 10 trash cans,” said Prusha, offering this simple parting advice for National show-goers planning on attending the Panini America booth the rest of the week:  “Get here early.”


33 Replies to “A Rapt Wrapper Redemption Highlights Panini America’s Thursday at the National”

  1. Next year, Panini needs to produce and give away a card at the National that’s the same size as the Kobe that you had at the Hall of Fame.

  2. I wish i was able to go, but i had to go out of town for work. Panini looks like they did a great job, and what a pack redemption program. i went to the last national in chicago and no card company created as much buzz as panini. great job guys

  3. Man, I don’t think I could hang with some of these guys busting cases! I’m more of a guy that buys mostly a pack or two since some of my local shops have been closing down (or only offering boxes and not single packs for sale). Within a close distance, I’ve been limited to Target (ugh) and they hardly ever have any Hockey cards. 🙁 Mostly Basketball, some Football, and some Baseball. And Pittsburgh doesn’t even have an NBA team! I want hockey cards dang it!

  4. WOW! There were some CRAZY pulls! The fans must really enjoy the adrenaline when pulling such great cards as a thank you for supporting your product. Simply amazing support for the fans!


  6. I was there Thursday and busted 4 boxes of Rookies and Stars football to get 20 foil packs. I got two AJ Green autos out of my box (one /10), a Cam Newton auto and a Kendall Hunter jumbo patch /10 and then I got a Jacob Markstrom patch auto and a Tim Thomas auto /5 from my foil packs! It was a ton of fun!

  7. I actually use empty wrappers for divinding up the different Panini brands in my collection. They are a marker. And its cool to see them a few years down the road.

  8. I’m with Tim. So many treasures pulled and waiting to be pulled!

    And there ought to be a prize for the fastest box-buster at the National. It would be really interesting to see how fast some of these guys can go when there are wrapper redemptions on the line.

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