Panini Football Cards

Panini jumped into the NFL card trading industry in 2011 with several sets. Although their history is brief in the United States, Panini has produced some nice cards over the last decade.

Panini, officially titled Panini Group, is headquartered in Modena, Italy. Founded in 1961, it is more broadly known on an international scale for its production of stickers, magazines, comics, books, and other collectibles.

Benito and Giuseppe Panini founded the company in 1961 after a successful stint of selling previously unsellable figurines. Their company came to fame in 1970 when it produced its sticker album for the 1970 World Cup. The stickers have spread to multiple soccer leagues and different sports. They have grown popular in the United States too. Panini estimates that 10 million sticker packs were sold in the United States during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Panini Group has expanded into a multitude of areas including the vital internet presence, and it is a large company today. It employs over a thousand people, and its revenue is estimated to approach a billion dollars.

Soccer has been the focus of the company since its founding. Panini holds lucrative contracts with the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, as well as major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions, and Copa America.

In 2009 Panini moved decisively into the American collectible market. The company purchased the assets of Donruss. The NBA, NHL, NFL, and collegiate licensing soon signed on to the international powerhouse.

Panini releases several sets from each of these leagues every year. The number of sets can be over twenty in any given year for each league from affordable to ultra high end. Panini has filled a much needed presence in the NFL cards hobby. They produce a variety of sets a variety of sets from simple cards to the popular high end brands. This article will look at a few highlights and bright spots of these modern cards.

2012 Panini Black

The 2012 rookie class was praised. The cards from 2012 are well received as a result. The 2012 Panini Black was sold for $180 per box. Though it was a bit more expensive, the design, patches, variations, and overall quality made the set popular.

As with all black bordered cards, chipping is an issue. However, this set is known for being designed to maintain its borders well, despite the black color.

The major rookie finds that hold up today are the autograph cards of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson. The Andrew Luck card has been the most expensive, and depending on the variation, it can sell for over a thousand dollars.

2012 Panini Prestige NFL Draft Tickets

This set is a good example of a more affordable buy. There are 301 cards in this set: #1-200 are veterans and #201-301 are rookies. The cards are horizontally arranged. To take Andrew Luck’s card as an example, Panini show an action shot of the player with the Prestige logo on the right, and the ticket with his autograph is on the left. There are many different parallels and inserts as well.

Outside of the player’s named above, some other major NFL rookies from 2012 include Dontari Poe, Chandler Harnish, Robert Turbin, Shea McClellin, Eric Legrands, and Michael Brockers.

2012 Panini National Treasures

The 2012 Panini National Treasures is an ultra high end set. It was Panini’s most expensive football set of the year.

There were 335 cards in the set. Every card was numbered to 99 or fewer. There are 100 Legends, 100 Rookie Signatures, 100 base cards, and 35 Rookie Signature Materials.

As ultra high end sets go, every set came with eight cards. It came with a guarantee of three autographs and three memorabilia cards.

The major finds were Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. Luck’s card is the most valuable at an estimated price of $8,000.

While Andrew Luck is practically the most valuable card of any 2012 NFL set, it will be interesting to see over time how his sudden and early retirement will affect his card prices moving forward. A PSA 10 sold for $8,575 in 2017, and his cards have not dipped much since then.

2014 Panini National Treasures

The National Treasures brand by Panini continued to build a reputation as a great modern ultra high end set. Although it is more expensive, the set holds up for collectors who seek these ultra high end cards.

As with the 2012 set, the 2014 set was released in eight cards per box with three guaranteed autographs and three memorabilia cards. An unopened box will sell for about $900 or more today.

The rookie cards of Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr sell for two and one thousand dollars respectively. The cards for Odell Beckham Jr. and Teddy Bridgewater can sell for a few hundred.

2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks

The 2015 Panini Contenders Draft Picks began a deal between Panini and the NCAA. It is near exclusive. The set focuses on college players that would likely be drafted into the NFL.

Autographs are a major draw, and there are six autographed cards per box. There are several parallels such as College Ticket, Cracked Ice Ticket, and Bowl Ticket. It is a great middle priced brand that offers many prospect cards.

2016 Panini Prizm

The Prizm brand necessitates a section as one of the most popular brands across multiple sports in the trading card hobby today. There are 200 cards in the base set, and the set has a rainbow of parallels. Inserts include Rookie Autographs, Patented Penmanship, Rookie Introductions, Razzle and Dazzle sets.

The base cards of the rookies have not taken off to any degree, and they are worth looking into for a sleeper here or there because they are so cheap (no more than $40 at a Gem Mint 10 for big names). However, the autographs and Prizms will sharply affect value.

2017 Panini Immaculate

The Panini Immaculate brand is another high end brand. In every six card box there are five autographs or relics. It is nearly identical to the 2016 release. There are 100 base cards numbered to 99, and a Gold (x/5) and Platinum (1/1) parallels. Then there are a number of inserts, and the Rookie Patch Autograph subset has been popular.

The big rookie card from any NFL set in 2017 is Patrick Mahomes. His cards continue to rise. For this set, the Rookie Patch Autograph Patrick Mahomes can sell for over $1500. At the time of writing, there were several higher priced versions of this card on eBay, and Mahomes cards were selling well across brands.

2019 Panini Phoenix

By 2019 the Phoenix brand had been available for 4 years. Each box sold for $120, and it guaranteed a rookie patch autograph, another autograph, a Color Burst parallel, and one relic.

There are 200 cards in the set. 100 are veterans, and 100 are rookies.


Panini has continued to show its ability to produce a wide variety of sets for each sport. For football, boxes and packs come at a wide range of prices so that all types of collectors can be involved.