Friday, September 25, 2009

Product Review: 2009 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Football

Ok, I have waited to post this review to see if there was anything that could really redeem this set in my eyes, and so far there has been very little to do so. I saw a few boxes broken with pretty horrible results (unlike Beckett who had some great results, as usual) and I just cant find a reason why this set was done the way it was.


Aside from the rehashed RPM design and stale concept of the entire set, the actual design of the rest of the product's ridiculous number of subsets is horrible. Starting with the Tools of the Trade all the way through the War Room stuff, it all just screams typical Panini crap design. In addition to an awful look, each card features weirdly cut swatch windows and the ugliest of gaudy raibow fucking foilboard.

Since the RPMs are the focus of this set, Ill start there. The design is pretty much the same it has been since 2003 or whenever. It hasn’t really changed other than the fact that they now have as many parallels as Beckett has conflicts of interest in their magazine. Yeah, that many. You have the regular "NFL", a diecut of the NFC or AFC, their number, a jumbo jersey, a jumbo patch, a brand logo, a nfl shield, a jumbo jersey auto, a jumbo patch auto, a brand logo auto, and a shield auto, among others. The stupid thing is that so many of these parallels feature swatches that intrude into the player's photo, thus making the card pretty pointless and fugly. In addition, they used stickers for everything, so the black autos (some of which still feature college number inscriptions) don’t really work well on reflective board and dark colors. Also, the fact that almost EVERY parallel features those stupid and needless football swatches, makes me want to scream. I don’t care about some football that a player played catch with for two throws. It has less connection than including a napkin they wiped their hands on during lunch. DITCH IT.

Moving into the subsets, Panini has pretty much outlawed square swatches in their design, as if that would solve the problem of them placing them in horrible places on the cards. Unlike the other companies, however, instead of making symmetrical borders to the windows, they pretty much just cut them out like a five year old with their first pair of scissors. Then, when you think about the crazy lines on the card that Panini has been known for, and you can see where asymmetrical swatch windows would look ridiculous. Those swatch windows are often placed where they break the line borders on the cards, making it seem like they were not factored in when the card was designed. This is pretty common with Panini products, because they parallel every one of their cards to fucking hell. First they create the base card, parallel that 10 times, then add in a swatch, then add in an auto. Its all very backwards, and leads to an awkwardly balanced card.

The only redeeming part of the entire thing may have been the Absolute patches. These cards look good because they arent paralleled (big shock). They feature jumbo patches, placed correctly, and usually with multiple breaks in a huge window. It fits well, and makes me wonder why the set wasn’t done more like these cards. These cards will be prime for the patch fakers to exploit, but they look like they may be the only part of this set that actually had some thought put into it.

Rating =

Autograph Cards

The autograph cards in this set pretty much fit in with the rest of the crap that is featured ad nauseum in Absolute. They are rarely well done, and not one of them is on card. The stickers arent focused on like Topps' bordered boxes, but they are hard to miss on the rainbow foil board.

I would say that the Canton absolutes (a horrible conceived concept of a subset) is the best looking of all of them, but im not sure why they didn’t focus more on getting design filled with cards that could actually go well with the stickers.

The RPM autos are numbered to 299 and have five billion parallels, so the effect of pulling one is getting to be a lot less than it used to be. Then when you see some of the players STILL having stickers with their college number on it and you start to get even more frustrated. When you look at the jumbo swatch autos, its clear that there is just too much on the card to begin with, especially with the inclusion of the stupid football swatch in the corner.

Rating =

Relic Cards

Holy fuck, I don’t even know where to start.

The thing that most pissed me off were these pro-bowl tools of the trade cards, and it bothers me what people are saying in response to their addition to the product. First, none, yes none, of the pro bowl swatches are game used. They are all from an event that was held at the event. The same will be true for triple threads and everything else. These swatches will be a focus of a few more sets this year, which makes me throw up in my mouth when I think about it. Panini has singlehandedly taken a nice pull out of the set and turned it into a joke. The cards look stupid, and I cant even think as to why people are so excited over them. At least with the rookies, there is no choice, but with the vets, there is a choice. Event used crap should only be used when there isnt anything else, and to try to slip one through the five hole and make people believe these are real is junk.

Then, I saw the rest of the cards. I tried to find a relic card that wasn’t bad, and aside from the absolute patch set mentioned above, there is absolutely nothing. Most of the time, 3 out of 4 hits in your box will be a relic card, and you should see what some of them look like. None of them look like they were designed with a swatch in mind.

Lastly, enough with die cutting weird crap into the cards. Jersey numbers are one thing, but when you start diecutting the name of the fucking conference they play in, you are walking a thin line between shit like Sterling and Triple Threads and normal junk. Maybe this is just a signal to stop with the plain swatch cards.

Rating =

Value To The Collector

People freaking love this set because they are blinded by the swatches and autos they can pull. In reality, there arent many strong points in terms of memorable parts of the set, so everything kind of blends together. That means that there are no cards that really are worth buying these boxes for, and the value of the whole comes down considerably. The Auto'ed RPMs will hold value until Limited and the like, but once those come out, it will be tough to get much for any of them.

The boxes will cost more than average products, and its rare that you will make your money back. Because the set is so over dilluted with poorly designed jerseys and stuff, it will be tough to find boxes that will make you feel good about the purchase you just made. As with any product like this, its always better to buy the singles than to spend 120 dollars and buy this.

Rating =

Overall Impressions

To me, its pretty sad what Absolute has become. It used to be something that was a fresh start to the products with rookie material in it, now its just ugly, boring, and poorly conceived. Even the Tools of the Trade cards have sunk to a below bottom standard, and that makes me angry. Im hoping that eventually Panini gets the point and realizes what they are doing has put them at the bottom of the barrel for design in football.

Average Rating =

2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1. Topps Chrome (4/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Upper Deck Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Philadelphia (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Playoff Absolute Memorabilia (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Bowman Sterling Football (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Donruss Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
15. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
16. Leaf Rookies and Stars (0/5 GELLMANS - NR)


  1. Sorry, gotta disagree. I bought a couple of boxes yesterday and this is actually a really nice product. Lots of nice multi-color jersey relics, not just solid white or black mini patches that you find in crappy base products. For the money, this product really delivers, unlike some of the earlier Panini/Donruss offerings.

    I also like the fact that the rookie RPM's are low-numbered, unlike some other mid-to-high-end sets that number their cards ridiculously high. I got a Pat White numbered to 149 and a Derrick Williams numbered to 199.

    Overall, I felt really pleased with the product and didn't experience that empty feeling I get when I drop money on an insane mid-to-high-end item and get squat.

  2. Thanks for the counterpoint. I can see why some people like it, but I just hate it. Sorry.

  3. I hate the windows in this product, from the NFL to the completely unbalanced jumbo jersey cuts. It actually drives me nuts because i don't hate the design.

    On another note, I'm excited to watch my 49ers destroy your Vikings. It's so exciting because Gore won't be able to run against the interior, so it'll be up to Brett Favre to fuck it up.

    I really think Favre's got it in 'em.

  4. I havn't broken any of this product, but reading forum posts it seems really popular and people in general have been extremely pleased with the product. Been looking at breaks and I must say for the price this product is way better than avg.