Buzz Break: 2017 Panini Illusions football cards (hobby box)

From time to time, Buzz will break a box of something and post the results here. Like this and want to see more? Or maybe there’s a box you’d want to see busted? Send Buzz an email at

The box: 2017 Panini Illusions NFL (hobby)
Where to buy:

Packs per box: 11 (10 standard packs and one encased card box-topper)
Cards per pack: 5
Cards in this box: 51
Base set completion: 
40 of 100 (40 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Notables on base cards (naming the current player only) – Ezekiel Elliott, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, J.J. Watt, Andrew Luck, Marcus Mariota, Ben Roethlisberger

Insert/short-print cards: 6
Clear Shots (1) – Steve Atwater
Illusionists (1) 
Jordan Howard
Living Legends (1) 
Terrell Suggs
Mystique (1) 
O.J. Howard
Matching Numbers (1) 
Marshall Faulk & Adrian Peterson
Trophy Collection Green (encased box-topper) (1) 
Amari Cooper (/25)

Autographs/Memorabilia: 5
First Impressions Memorabilia Autographs (1) 
Corey Davis (redemption)
Rookie Endorsements (1) – Cordrea Tankersley (/150)
Rookie Endorsements Blue (1) Tarik Cohen (/50)
First Impressions Memorabilia (1) Marlon Mack
Rookie Reflection Dual Patches (1) 
John Ross III & Curtis Samuel (/100)

What’s Buzz-worthy: The aesthetic feel and approach here is familiar to a few brands from the past but this is one that has a high-end feel without a high-end price considering how it delivers five hits, an encased insert box-topper and some other simple touches. The inserts are all on acetate and have some strong looks with non-traditional color schemes, while the base set pairs stars of today with their teams’ notables from the past — something I really like as it gives me more names on the cards to appreciate or latch onto for whatever reason. The card backs talk about both players and compare the two in a simple package that’s stats-free and a different approach. The printing quality here is top-notch with thick stock and holoboard that helps both photos on the card fronts jump off the card. The hits here are all also foilboard with plenty of flash and some simple parallels that give you a challenge and allow for most boxes to deliver scarcity. All in all, it’s a familiar and comfortable release that doesn’t stick to a traditional formula — and that’s why I like it. This particular box probably delivered average results but it still felt like it was a good rip.

Product Grade: A
Box Grade:
Fun Grade: A

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