In the months since Panini America first unveiled its show-special "Tools of the Trade" memorabilia cards during the 2011 Toronto Spring Expo with mammoth swatches of event-used towel from the NHL All-Star Game, the concept has picked up steam in a big way.
In the months since Panini America first unveiled its show-special “Tools of the Trade” memorabilia cards during the 2012 Toronto Spring Expo with mammoth swatches of event-used towel from the NHL All-Star Game, the concept has picked up steam in a big way.
The company proceeded to fan the flames during August’s National Sports Collectors Convention by incorporating crazy-prime pieces of oversized team towels used by the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson at the 2012 NFLPA Rookie Premiere.
It was those limited terrycloth titans in particular that seemed to generate the most sincere “ooohs” and “aaahs” in our booth during the National. But even more importantly, they cast light on what other possibilities might exist in the non-traditional, player-touched memorabilia arena — and ultimately paved the way for even more uniqueness coming inside next week’s 2012 Black Friday promotion.
This time around, the top NBA rookies and one NHL youngster — including Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Austin Rivers and Chris Kreider— get the team-towel treatment, complete with plentiful prime pieces and cool card-back photos showing those towels in sweat-removing action during the 2012 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot and 2012 NHLPA Rookie Showcase, respectively.
But the real Tools of the Trade history-makers in the 2012 Panini America Black Friday set are cards of Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo and Dez Bryant embedded with huge pieces of each player’s . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . team-issued equipment bags. To be sure, the cards provide a unique new addition to the Tools of the Trade genre and continue the tradition of picturing the intact item from which the card was made on the back.
You can check out all of the new Tools of Trade cards in the revealing gallery that follows. Stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for additional pre-event coverage of the 2012 Black Friday promotion. You can access our other preview galleries here, here and here.