Panini’s Shocking & Temporary Coup

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. This week, Panini America managed to rule the entire world of sports cards with the debut of 2022 Panini WWE Prizm. I cannot remember the last time a sports card debut had this type of impact since 1997’s top rookie brand, Bowman Chrome. WWE Prizm carried that type of hype and so much more thanks to social media. Is 2022 Panini WWE Prizm the biggest sports card brand debut of all-time? A case could be made to just that and sadly, this will be only be temporary as WWE kicked Panini to the curb even before their first release in favor of Fanatics.

As of Friday, unopened boxes of 2022 Panini WWE Prizm, which were just under $1,000 at the time of its release, hit as high as $1,300. That’s a box that comes with just 12 packs, a total of 144 cards (two sticker autographs) and a small sample of parallels. If you think that price is crazy, 1-pack group breaks were pushing as high as $200 earlier this week. The hype is absolutely insane but like most things, it can’t last forever. However, if you are one of the lucky ones with a sealed box, WHATEVER YOU DO, do not ever open it. You’re likely to make a fortune once the dust settles on this storm.

Panini America has flat out bested Topps Company and soon Fanatics in just one single try, at least in the wrestling market where MLB logos don’t come into play. Topps created $14,000 super high end products for WWE but ultimately failed the WWE market. To me this has to give Fanatics every possible sign that Panini’s brands, at least in WWE & NBA, cannot die out. If ever there was a shred of fear in my heart that Panini America would survive Fanatics’ monopoly, it is right now. Thanks to the enormous success of WWE Prizm, Panini America has now got to be on Fanatics’ $$$ radar.

Don’t get it twisted, the WWE Prizm market will crash and come back down to Earth but the hype of this debut will live forever and if Panini isn’t purchased by Fanatics and Topps takes over the license again, every collector will be dying to ride the Prizm wave once more. WWE’s decision to sign an exclusive deal with Fanatics could lead to WWE trading cards once again gathering dust on retail shelves all over the country. Here’s hoping, UGH … I can’t believe I am about to say this … I hope Fanatics purchases Panini America. There. I said it. I feel so disgusting. I need a shower.

4 thoughts on “Panini’s Shocking & Temporary Coup

  1. I’m a firm believer of people should collect what they want to collect. And I’d love to pull a shiny Prizm card of Ricky Steamboat or Mr. Fuji (if they even exist). But no way I’d ever spend more than two or three bucks on a pack of this stuff. $200 for a pack is just crazy (to me). That being said… I’m glad there are people out there who are excited enough about cards to pay that price.

  2. Brett Alan

    I didn’t realize that the WWE had made a deal with Fanatics. Makes me wish they had kept the wrestling “living set” going with independent and retired wrestlers in the meantime.

  3. I understand Prizm at the MSRP. They essentially offer a case worth of hits in one box without all of those messy base cards. Panini’s focus has always been on parallels and manufactured scarcity over autographs.

    It is crazy to see the Panini hype when Chrome and Finest have been around for a couple of years in WWE and they have colored parallels along with well-done autographs. It’s just that with the higher price tag, it appeals to a completely different type of “collector.”

    The true collectors will stick to picking up singles on COMC and SportLots. I grab color match green Celtics Prizms for cheap because they look great, but I can’t afford anything basketball wax these days.

  4. Pingback: Oh, How the Mighty Fall | The Baseball Card Blog

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