If you are just starting out in the sports card market and you’re still learning about all the brands and names in the business, then this is the place for you.
Here, we are going to be taking a close look at the sports card manufacturing company Panini to learn more about them and how valuable their cards are.
That way, you can understand more about Panini and decide if their cards are worth your time and money.
So, let’s dive right in!
The History Of The Panini Company
Panini started out in the early 1960s as a company in Italy that produced different types of collectables including comics, stickers, and trading cards.
The founder, Giuseppe Panini, was a collector himself and saw a lucrative business in the selling of figurines.
After he and his brother purchased a collection of figurines from another company, the brothers went on to sell the collection independently and made a huge profit.
Because of this success, Giuseppe Panini founded his own manufacturing business that made and sold figurines.
The company Panini first found success in the 1960s for their soccer sticker collections and found a huge audience with children. Children began to use these stickers as playing cards, making up their own games.
Then, in 1970, Panini purchased the rights to a publishing house and made the first FIFA World Cup trading cards to celebrate the 1970 World Cup.
This was the first time Panini sold their products outside of Italy and they started a whole new craze that swept the world.
From then on, Panini has only found success.
They have partnered up with huge companies like Coca Cola to create digital sticker albums, released exclusive editions of trading cards, and have acquired licenses to produce official products for the Olympics and FIFA.
In 2009, Panini became the exclusive trading card partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and they also purchased the assets of one of their closest trading card competitors, Donruss.
This prompted Panini to form a new subsidiary of the company known as ‘Panini America’ which still exists today.
Now, Panini America is one of the best manufacturers of valuable trading cards in a range of different sports including hockey, basketball, soccer, and American football.
The company also holds official licenses for more huge sporting leagues and organizations including NFL, WWE, FIFA, and the NBA.
Overall, it’s clear to see that Panini has a long-standing and impressive reputation.
They helped kick off the sports trading card craze in the 1970s and 80s, and still are one of the leading manufacturing companies with so many licenses and agreements under their belts.
This means that they are responsible for creating a lot of official products and have access to things like player signatures, so they can create some of the most sought-out after trading cards in the sports card market.
No company is completely perfect and Panini themselves have faced some controversy over the years for various reasons.
Some cards have been mislabelled, others included ‘autographs’ that weren’t actually done by the players themselves – such as with the fake Takkarist McKinley autographs back in 2017.
After that, it was revealed that an autopen had been used to sign Dak PRescott’s 2016 Panini Prizm rookie cards, prompting collectors to look for more uses of autopen in other Panini cards.
Then, in 2019, it was revealed that Luka Doncic’s mom autographed some of his Panini cards for him – a huge blow for collectors!
Not only that but Panini have also come under fire for selling ‘event-worn’ memorabilia alongside some of their more rare trading cards, but there’s a whole controversy around ‘event-worn’ memorabilia that goes beyond Panini.
‘Event-worn’ memorabilia refers to a piece of clothing worn by a sports player for a photo shoot and is then sold on, despite it never being worn during play.
If Panini are willing to be this deceiving with their memorabilia, then what are they willing to do with their trading cards?
More Panini Controversy
Well, another huge controversy that came to light was with Panini’s more expensive trading card sets.
Some of their National Treasures and Flawless packs were sold for hundreds of dollars with the promise that a card in each back would include a diamond or emerald embedded card.
However, some collectors found that their cards included fake gemstones, leaving them feeling misled and unfairly sold a fake product.
All of these controversies have made many collectors come to distrust the Panini company as they deceive devoted collectors with fake autographs, misrepresented products, and even mislabelling cards with wrong names, jersey numbers, and more.
All of this paints an image that the company doesn’t even know what they’re doing or even care – a long cry away from their founder’s values, who was also a collector himself and knew about the value of legit and authentic pieces.
Is Panini A Good Card Brand?
Overall, yes – Panini is one of the biggest brands of sports trading card manufacturers out there and they produce hundreds and thousands of legit, sports trading cards.
Many people love to buy, collect and sell their trading cards because they are some of the best of the best.
However, in more recent years, Panini have come under fire for misleading collectors for some of their trading cards.
Fake signatures, using autopen, fake gemstones embedded into cards then sold for a ton of money – all of these controversies have led to a lot of collectors distrusting Panini and their products.
Despite this, many continue to sell and buy sports trading cards made by Panini and some of their products have even sold for thousands of dollars.
It’s clear that you have to be careful when thinking about purchasing a Panini product.
It’s hard enough that there are plenty of people who will try to sell you fakes and scams, but it’s a huge blow when the companies themselves are selling misleading products.
However, most of these ‘misleading products’ are often just mistakes here and there. Panini still makes plenty of great cards that you should collect.