Panini America Brings Out the Big Guns to Unwrap 2011-12 Crown Royale Hockey

When a product as big, bold and highly regarded as 2011-12 Crown Royale Hockey releases (as it did this week), a normal episode of Panini Unwrapped simply just won't do. No, for a product like this, you bring out the big guns.

When a product as big, bold and highly regarded as 2011-12 Crown Royale Hockey releases (as it did this week), a normal episode of Panini Unwrapped simply just won’t do. No, for a product like this, you bring out the big guns.

So Panini America’s Tracy Hackler is joined in this special four-box epsiode of Panini Unwrapped by in-house hockey royalty Karvin Cheung (the company’s Director of Product Development) and NHL Brand Manager Al Muir and NHL Assistant Brand Manager Tim Trout.

The best part? After you’ve watched, please leave your comments on the break (your thoughts on this year’s product, constructive feedback, your favorite part of the set, etc.). This time next week we’ll select some of the best comments and award the hits from this break.


23 Replies to “Panini America Brings Out the Big Guns to Unwrap 2011-12 Crown Royale Hockey”

  1. Wow, SO many neat things to pick from. The Heirs To The Throne die-cut swatch cards are truly unique. I also really liked the Scratching the Surface autos on a simulated rink. Panini is first-class as always! 🙂

  2. Awesome video guy and an even better product. I picked up 4 boxes yesterday and had enough fun that I may have to grab a few more boxes soon. The Vinny Private Signings is my favorite from your break, but they are all great.


  3. The complete line of Crown Royale is, hands down, a winner with some of the most attractive cards made. The Silhouettes are amazing in person, scans of the cards don’t come close to how impressive they look. I agree with you, those Heirs to the Throne die cuts are fantastic. I’m on the fence about the design change with 2011 and 2012 so boldly on the sides of the base cards. Perhaps a thiner, more regal font would help but it definitely separates these cards from past Crown Royale releases.

    As a side note, I think our neighbors to the north are great, but we do have some collectors here in the USA that love hockey cards. I include myself in that group. Collectors who are missing out on these cards or this great sport are missing on a lot of goodness.

  4. I have been anticipating this set ever since I opened up my last box of 10/11 Crown Royale. I have got to say that 45 Silhouette cards as opposed to 12 from last year really wets my whistle (I love the addition of the veterans). The Silhouette is easily one of the best cards in hockey. I am also noticing a LOT more patches and prime jerseys this year compared to last. I only have 2 items of “constructive feedback”:

    1) It would have been nice to see the Parallel cards serial #d

    2) No Jeremy Lin cards.

    The silhouettes and patches are FAR more important to me than the serial #s and I cannot wait to open up one box of Crown every single weekend until Summer. This is a home run Panini, well done!

  5. I don’t get excited about Hockey cards, but the design, quality & bang for buck elements bode well for future Hoops, Football and Baseball products. The die-cut mem’ cards are suhweet!

  6. This product looks as good, if not slightly better then last years. I love the idea of veteran Silhouettes and that some major names were included in the set.

    I prefer collecting the old school players for the most part, so it was nice to see more of them included this year, both with thier own subset and somewhat mixed in on some triples and smaller subsets.

    My only complaint this year is the lack of serial numbering, Crown is very much a mid-level product, and to have box breaks that don’t include a single serial numbered insert/auto/mem feels a little weak for the money spent per box.

    I love the private signings, and have enjoyed pulling them over the last year or so. I’m curious to see what Panini comes up with next. The cross-brand promotion and hard signed autos will be tough to beat.

    Vinny is a pretty solid auto to pull, I’ve always liked him after watching him portray Jean Beliveau in “The Rocket” a few years ago. Mark Ricci made an AWESOME Elmer Lach in that film as well.


  7. this years Crown Royale the best product for any sport period and this video proves why once again. The Silhouettes are the most incredible cards out there and i may only own one…but i keep it with my good stuff because its so attractive and the Heirs to the Throne die cuts are terrific!!

    Keep up the great work and good luck topping this years crown royale releases next year…but i bet you guys will find a way!

  8. I’ve already been in a pair of case breaks of this product and it looks like as big a hit as it was last year. I love the Private Signings subset, it is one of my favorites throughout all your product. How few and far between are the Crown Jewels inserts? I’ve heard case tossed around, but they seem more uncommon than that. I love the idea of veteran silhouettes. Great looking cards. When can I expect to see an Andy Miele rookie card? He debuted back in November and the Coyotes need a little more love. Excited to see a Bissonette auto in this product.

  9. Hi Panini,

    The Crown Royale product is one of my most favorite Panini products every year (and this is coming from a primarily Upper Deck fan). The Silhouette cards were a refreshing addition to the hockey market last year and made a huge impact on the secondary market. The Private Signings set is also incredibly visually-appealing and are extremely collectible. I also liked how Panini decided to include Alex Pietrangelo autograph cards in their product for the first time. Besides letting me discover that he has changed up his autograph for the 10th time since he was in juniors, it adds some great looking cards to my collection. The base card design is also second to none in terms of creativity and innovation. Here are my two points of constructive criticism;

    1) I would have liked more insert sets numbered this year. In my opinion, serial numbering makes the cards for collectible and appealing plus it makes them perform better on the secondary market.

    2) With the unique base card design, I think it would be possible to create a small “puzzle” that collectors can put together to form a larger image (e.g. 11/12 Upper Deck Black Diamond Jersey Cards).

    Thank you again for bringing innovative ideas to the hobby and I’m looking forward to possibly purchasing a box or two later this week!


  10. The Trio swatch card of Minnesota players was a really great pull. I appreciated the mix of Wild and North Stars in there!
    I’m looking forward to being involved in Tyler’s early March box break where 2 boxes of crown royale will be broken like the bread over faspa!

  11. Beautiful product Panini! The prime jerseys and autos look great! Crown Royale is my favorite hockey set of the year, even better than last years, which i thought was unbeatable! I will for sure be buying a few boxes of my favorite product! Love it Panini!

  12. Being from Toronto, aka Hockey Capital of the World, we’ve been a bit side tracked this week after getting swept up in LINsanity and his late-game heroics. So a good hockey break is just what I need to get back into the Hockey mindset. Crown Royale has been a favourite of mine from the old Pacific line, also including Invincible, so it’s great to see Panini producing them now. I love the Heir to the Throne die-cut cards, it’s an appetizer to the die-cut “Prime Numbers” set in this years Elite (btw, Elite looks awesome, I hope you expand the Social Signatures set into other sports)! Love the hit per pack! Another LINsane Panini Unwrapped video, keep it up 🙂

  13. Set look awesome! Great improvements. Only problem I have with it is the Signature Silhouettes. Awesome idea but in my opinion it takes away from the Rookie Silhouettes a little bit. Either way great product!

  14. wow!
    incredible looking product!
    as an Alex Ovechkin collector (Caps are our local team here)
    those cards look great!
    only thing better would be a auto card of the Great 8
    The Tim Thomas card looks sick as well, me being a fan of goalies too
    The designers really outdid themselves with this product
    i await to see someone pull the first RNH auto from this product
    i definitely will be buying some boxes of Crown Royale!

  15. Love the look of the set again. I hesitated dropping money on a box last year, but I plan on buying one this year. I love the die-cut and uniqueness of the set. I also loved that Joe Vitale auto card you pulled. The one disappointment I have this year is no numbering on the cards. Thanks for another great product overall.

  16. Love the pillar die cut jerseys. Nice little wrinkle for the set. Increasing the amount of silhouette cards is also huge! Best cards of last year bar none. I do think serial numbering is going to be missed with a mid-level product like this, but reducing the parallels was awesome. All the different color versions became frustrating last year.

    Definitely best product of the year so far. Already through almost 1 case and probably going to go through another.

    Hats off boys.

  17. First off those Heir to the Thrones cards look absolutely SICK! I love the design of theses cards as well as how they feel and look in person. A lot of times cards look nicer in scans than in person, this is not the case with this product, the memorabilia cards feel thick and the blue AUTO’s are a very nice touch. Overall great break and it looked like a blast! Thanks again for giving us a ROYALLY great product!

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