2021 Prizm Football Review

2021 Prizm is finally set to release on January 26. The Cardlines 2021 Prizm Football review is here to examine football’s most significant release of the year.

But the price is steep. At $1250 per box, is Prizm football a rip, flip, hold or pass?

Prizm Football Product Introduction

I could have skipped this section. After all, Prizm needs no introduction for most collectors.

That said, if you’re new to the hobby, here’s what you need to know: Prizm is, without a doubt, the most popular sports card product for both basketball and football cards. The secret of the product has always been simple. Prizm combines mass appeal with a reasonable price point.

Now the formula is a bit different. $1,250 for a box is not pocket change. However, each box contains 144 cards. Many other brands that are considered “high-end” deliver 6-10 cards at the same price or more.

Additionally, Prizm maintains its popularity by reaching the mass market. You can find blaster, hanger, and mega boxes at your local Walmart or Target. Unfortunately, you have to pitch a tent in the card aisle to land some lately.

Either way, blaster boxes typically resell for $100 to $150. Thereby collectors wanting a taste of Prizm without paying four figures can buy-in. Think of it this way: The new Spider-Man movie might not win any Oscars, but it’s crazy-popular because it’s something everybody can enjoy.

NFL Prizm blasters have inspired many long lines at Walmart (get some on eBay).

A History of Prizm

A responsible 2021 Prizm Football review should start with an introduction of the line. Prizm was released in 2012 as part of Panini’s promise to provide innovative improvements to the hobby. Turns out it was. The opti-chrome set introduced the “prizm” card – the answer to Topps’ trademarked “refractor.”

In the early years, the prizm cards came in simple varieties: mainly silver, green, red, aqua. Since then, Panini’s added new color options every year. So today there is an extensive prizm rainbow. However, most are available only in hobby boxes.

Still, the silver prizm cards are in all Prizm products. They are the single-most iconic rookie card for just about every modern player. A PSA 10 Silver Prizm is as good as it gets for a long-term investment of a non-numbered card. And that fact that anybody can go pick up a box of Prizm at Walmart and potentially pull a silver prizm star rookie bolsters the Prizm gold rush.

Prizm has been in print for 9 years now. However, keep in mind that Prizm and “prizm” cards are not the same thing. Many cards include the latter: Select, Optic, Mosaic, and many more. In this way, Prizm is the grandfather of modern opti-chrome cards.

The 2021 Prizm Football Review Of What’s New

Unwrapping a box of 2021 Prizm Football is guaranteed to be a rush. After all, the potential for a great pull is immense.

This year there is more to get us excited. True to form, the hobby boxes again introduce new parallels: orange wave, navy camo, and forest camo.

If you’re into collecting rookies, Prizm has you covered in bulk. Hobby boxes will contain 24 rookie cards, on average. The odds are that several of them will sell for $100 or more – at least at first.

Panini also advertises the chance to “collect one of the best rookie classes of all time in this 110-card rookie set.” I’m nowhere near calling this one of the best rookie classes ever. Nonetheless, the number of RCs in the set is worth noting.

As far as the box contents go, you’ll pull 2 autographs, 10 #’d prizms, 4 sliver prizms, 24 rookies, and 5 inserts in each.

The value of 2021 Prizm comes down to how you evaluate the rookie class (picture taken from Panini)

The 2021 Prizm Football Review Of Formats

Prizm will be released in several formats. Here’s a breakdown of everything we can expect.

Hobby Box

  • 12 cards per pack.
  • 12 packs per box.
  • 2 Autographs
  • 10 #’d prizms
  • 4 silver prizms
  • 5 inserts

Hanger Box

  • 20 cards per box
  • 4 cracked ice inserts

Blaster Box

  • 4 cards per pack
  • 6 packs per box
  • 1 blaster exclusive rookie memorabilia card*

Mega Box

  • 4 cards per pack
  • 10 Packs Per Box
  • 1 autograph, on average

TMall Box

  • 6 cards per box
  • 1 exclusive base or rookie prizm red and yellow numbered to 49 or less*

No Huddle Box (H2)

  • 5 cards per pack
  • 18 Packs Per Box
  • 1 No Huddle Rookie Auto Prizm*
  • 10 Exclusive base or rookie prizm No Huddle parallels*

*Noted because this is not confirmed, just based on previous years.

You can preorder a hobby box of Panini Prizm 2021, but it ain’t cheap. Look for them on eBay).

2021 Prizm Football Review Of The Checklist

The Prizm lineup looks very similar to last year’s boxes, even at the hobby level. However, some new inserts and Prizm colors add flare.

Here’s a look at this year’s hobby colors:

  • Orange #’ d/249
  • Purple Ice #’ d/225
  • Blue Wave #’ d/199
  • Hyper #’ d/175
  • Red Wave #’ d/149
  • Purple #’ d/125
  • Blue Ice #’ d/99
  • Green Scope #’ d/75
  • Orange Wave #’ d/60
  • Purple Power #’ d/49
  • Camo #’ d/25
  • Camo #’ d/15
  • Gold #’ d/10
  • Gold Vinyl #’ d/5
  • Black Finite One-of-One
  • Snakeskin

The snakeskins are one-per-case. As they are exceptionally rare, snakeskins demand big bucks.

There will also be rookie patch autographs numbered to /99, /49, and /10, plus a black finite /1. Like snakeskins, they’re hobby-only.

The autograph set includes “franchise legends” and “Prizm Rookie Autographs.” The franchise legends set consists of some good names. However, let’s get real: this product is all about rookie cards. So, pulling veteran auto stings a bit.

There are three significant inserts to seek. As described by Panini, they are:

  • Manga: Brand new in 2021, Manga utilizes Anime-style illustration to create a truly unique card of the top vets and rookies in the NFL.
  • Color Blast: Be on the hunt for unique inserts, including Color Blast! This super short-printed insert falls one in every 10 cases, on average!
  • Illumination: Find your favorite player in this 35 card SP insert. Find a mix of current veterans and rookies!

All of these will be big money cards, but the color blasts (and their one-in-ten cases rate) will flirt with the “worth more than a new truck” valuation for a leading quarterback.

Snakeskin is a case hit with immense potential value (look for more on eBay).

2021 Prizm Football Review Of Value

If you’re hoping to invest in Prizm 2020-21, the first question to answer is if you should buy singles or wax.

Wax Value

Let’s look at the two most popular formats of Prizm.

Hobby Boxes

Last year’s Prizm hobby boxes are already selling for $1,700 on DACardworld, while the 2019 boxes sell for $1,400 on Blowout. These are selling for more than the current $1,250 preorder price of the 2021 boxes. The difference, as always, is the rookies. The 2019 class is not nearly as exciting as the 2020 class, led by Burrow and Herbert.

If you’re a believer in the 2021 rooks, buying these boxes could be an excellent long-term hold. Trevor Lawrence has been underwhelming as a rookie. However, if he’s as good as all the analysts believe, they could be selling for so much more. The 2017 boxes, for example, sell for almost $10,000, thanks to Mahomes, McCaffrey, and Kupp.


The blasters will presumably sell for around $30-40, and last year’s boxes are reselling for about $110. Based on how many they’re printing, they’d probably be a better short-term than long-term hold. Either way, it’s a win if you can buy them at retail.

I would note, however, that blasters are going to be a lot safer flip than rip. After all, there is a notable absence of numbered cards or autographs inside.

Singles Value

Prizm rookie cards are the blue-chip investment of modern Panini rookies. So, if you’re going to invest in just one card of anybody, Prizm is the way to go.

The silver rookies are slightly overvalued, considering they’re the most common Prizm insert. That said, your best bet of making a guaranteed profit is finding a few silver rookies of players you believe in. Then, buy them raw (after asking for more pictures) before grading them.

A Joe Burrow raw silver rookie sales for about $500 while a PSA ten recently sold for $2,600. These numbers will presumably continue to rise as Burrow plays at a high level.

But caution: don’t buy the first Prizm cards that appear on eBay for this year. The price will inevitably drop as the supply meets the demand.

Getting a choice Silver Prizm graded is a great way to maximize profits (look for more Ezekiel Elliott RCs on eBay).

Bottomline Of The 2021 Prizm Football Review

With 2021 Prizm Football, there’s no way I can call it a pass. The brand is the poster child of sports cards, so of course, you want to get in on the action.

As for the rest of my options – rip, flip or hold – the answer is: all three. There’s not a wrong answer with Prizm.

Ripping is by far the riskiest, but there’s a chance for a great payoff. Of course, there’s also a chance you’re left with a “what did I just do?” feeling afterward. But that’s part of the game.

If you find boxes at retail in the wild, flipping is a sure-fire profit. However, holding, be it long-term or short-term for both retail and hobby, is a pretty safe bet, too.

In the end, do what makes the most sense for you and your budget. Collecting is a “hobby.” Sure, you can make a decent amount of profit off it. However, hobbies are also about having fun.

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is a novelist and content writer (contentninjamarketing.com) who has played sports and collecting trading cards almost his entire life. He just graduated from the University of Tulsa with an MBA and should probably get a “real job,” but instead hopes to continue telling stories in his pajamas for a long time.