This weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Toy Fair for the first time and I must say, I never had so much fun with toys I was not allowed to play with. As I walked the floor I came upon Panini which is known for their various lines of trading cards and sticker albums, many of which I own. I introduced myself to Clarke, one of the sales representatives in the booth and told him I was a collector myself. I noticed his table had two mats with Dragon Ball Z cards laid out on them. He explained the cards were part of a new game they released containing two starter packs, Dragon Ball Z: Evolution and Dragon Ball Z: Perfection. Having watched Dragon Ball Z and played card games when I was younger, I was impressed by the set. There are packs of twelve and boxes of seventy depending on how fast you want to build your collection and find rare cards. The mat is sold separately from the cards and provides a good way to play without ruining the cards. Evolution and Perfection are out now with more sets on the way.
One of Panini’s main product lines is sticker albums featuring professional sports teams and their star players. They are great products for children who want to have fun collecting and playing with stickers and for the sports fan in general. They are currently produced for all four North American sports and soccer and will be produced for NASCAR in the near future. For the non-sports fans, there are sticker books featuring Disney characters, superheroes and a new character, Yo-Kai Watch. These are great products and are very affordable which is what makes Panini great.
Last but not least in the Panini booth was their massive collection of trading card lines. Clarke told me that Panini, starting next season, will be the official trading card of the NFL. This is big news because it means the NFL’s partnership with Topps has ended after sixty years. The best part about Panini trading cards is you get so much for such a small price. There are multiple autographs and other special cards in such frequency you are almost guaranteed to get one in the next pack you buy. The Contenders line, which features pro athletes in college, has two autographs in a box of cards that costs only $20. Their newest line is a college team-specific boxed set which contains cards of the school’s most famous athletes in various sports. This too is only $20 and comes in over ten different schools.
I would like to thank Clarke for showing me around and telling me everything about what Panini has to offer. They are a great company and their trading cards are perfect for the collector who wants that special card as fast as possible without spending a large amount of money. I have been a card collector since I can remember and there were times I would come close to finishing a whole set before I even got a special card. The sticker albums are excellent for kids and are even a fun way to introduce them to trading cards and sports. For more information on what’s available from Panini, you can visit www.paniniamerica.net