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

From time to time, Buzz will break a box of something and break down 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 BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com.

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

Packs per box: 5
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 40
Base set completion: 
32 of 100 (32 percent)
Duplicates: 2

Notable names pulled on base cards: Myles Garrett (RC), Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Adrian Peterson, Rob Gronkowski, A.J. Green, Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson


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

Legendary Contenders (1) – Jim Kelly
Rookie of the Year Contenders (1) – Jabrill Peppers
MVP Contenders (2) – Ezekiel Elliott, Drew Brees
Round Numbers (1) – Brian Hill & T.J. Logan

Autographs/Memorabilia: 1
Green Rookie Ticket Swatches (1) – Samaje Perine

What’s Buzz-worthy: As said in a previous break here that delivered with identical volumes on all the inserts, 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 arrived at retail last week in advance of its hobby counterpart next week (Dec. 29). 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:
 B
Fun Grade: B (blasters just aren’t as flashy)

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to BlowoutBuzz@blowoutcards.com. 

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