Buzz Break: 2017 Panini Contenders football cards (blaster box)

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The box: 2017 Panini Contenders NFL (blaster box)
Where to buy: (all formats)

Packs per box: 5
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 40
Base set completion: 
34 of 100 (34 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Notable names pulled on base cards: Marshawn Lynch, Odell Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski, Larry Fitzgerald, Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles, Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, Andrew Luck

Insert cards: 5 (all in gallery below with some base)

Legendary Contenders (1) – Steve Young
Rookie of the Year Contenders (1) – Samaje Perine
MVP Contenders (2) – Kirk Cousins, Eli Manning
Round Numbers (1) – Sidney Jones & Kevin King

Autographs/Memorabilia: 1
Green Rookie Ticket Swatches Variation (1) – John Ross III

What’s Buzz-worthy: You get a few more inserts in blasters this year — five in our box vs. two last year — but Contenders really does feel very similar to 2016. You get a ton of base cards from the 100-card set and then have a shot at autographs or memorabilia cards with one or the other per blaster. The memorabilia cards here are blaster-exclusives. This one has again arrived in advance of its hobby counterpart (Dec. 29) so there’s not a lot to check out online right now, but this box was helped by its hit being a horizontal variation hit. (At least that’s what I think it is for now based on last year. A second box you’ll see here at a later point had a vertical jersey card and online volumes seem similar.) The assortment of base card stars here wasn’t as flashy as recent breaks here — thinking Playoff and Donruss — so this one does definitely carry a different feel compared to those in both that and insert card volume. The base card fronts are a rendition of the ticket routine but the backs were shockingly devoid of a basic stats pack and bio info, though those haven’t been in play here fully since 2012 and it was still basic even then. (I still don’t like that.) With the base set presence being so heavy in a box here, it just feels like those cards need to carry more info — and a 100-card set (with SPs atop that) feels small, too. Granted, thinking big-picture here, Contenders really is a brand where people are shredding for their autos and potential short-printed ink. Although this is a favorite, it feels like it needs shaken up a little — either moved more toward just hit packs or to a model similar to Panini’s other brands with a collector emphasis with a full array of inserts and a larger set that you can expect to find cards from all parts of it in every box. That, along with all that ink, might make this one even more popular than it is now (it is popular) and has been in the past. For me, there were other brands that felt like more-impressive blaster breaks.

Product Grade: B+
Box Grade:
 A- (thanks to the variation hit)
Fun Grade: B

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One thought on “Buzz Break: 2017 Panini Contenders football cards (blaster box)

  1. emuhisnfog December 15, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Wonder what the odds of an auto instead of/in addition to a jersey card are in these. Used to love the blasters because they had the redemptions for the SP’s in the set. Then they added jerseys, cracked ice, silver, gold, aluminum, and tin versions of everything–and I lost interest…

    Liked by 1 person

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