What Are The New NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption Packs?

January 21, 2023

Panini has announced that they will send out NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption packs to resolve unfulfilled auto-redemptions.

The move is only relevant to those awaiting redemptions for mid-level and low-level redemptions. Panini has stated that it will continue to pursue the fulfillment of those higher-end autos through the relevant players.

What are redemption cards?

Usually, when you open a pack of cards, you find regular cards with athletes’ pictures and other info. In addition, some of these cards may be autographed. However, the manufacturer sometimes promises an autograph from a specific athlete but cannot get them to sign in time.

In those cases, a customer may find a redemption card in the pack, notifying them of the card they are eligible to receive and with instructions on how to redeem the named card. A redemption card is usually blank and white, with a sticker on it. You can check out our redemption FAQ for more.

Unfortunately, these redemptions are not always fulfilled. Sometimes athletes simply avoid signings. At other times, Panini appears to move on to signings for the next product, failing to collect on previous obligations.

Blame probably varies from case to case. But the problem remains. Panini, and to a lesser extent Topps, has been carrying a significant backlog of unfulfilled redemptions for at least a decade.

The NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption Pack initiative

To fulfill some of these redemptions, Panini will be issuing special packs. They will be sent to people with unfulfilled mid-tier and lower-tier NFL player redemptions.

Each pack will contain the following:

“Three cards per pack; each pack contains two limited edition Red Sparkle parallels and one SP card per pack from the following tiers (see below). The Checklist for this program includes the biggest names in the NFL, including current stars and past legends, as well as rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft Class.”

How sending out the NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption Packs will work

The packs will be shipped out to eligible customers immediately. The company will use the address on file. So if you haven’t updated it, and believe you might be eligible, do it NOW.

Here is the complete statement from Panini:

“Panini America is launching a special NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption Pack to replace low and mid-tier Player NFL redemptions. This Will Not impact high-end NFL Redemptions, which our customer service and acquisitions team continues to work through with players.

There is nothing customers with NFL Redemptions need to do. Customer service will begin shipping these packs out to customers with outstanding NFL Redemptions later this week using the customer address on file.”

What are mid-tier and lower-level autos? I am sure we all have our own definitions of which players belong should be on each tier. But the company, as always, will define this unilaterally.

The ongoing Panini redemptions saga

A solution to the Panini redemptions problem has been a long time in the making. Collectors have long reported severe problems with the process. The official time frames for redemptions, as specified on the Panini America website, are:

“Redemption cards are made available as they are received. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Panini America, Inc. will send a comparable card in its place if the specified card is not available to ship within 4 months or 8 months, depending on what timeframe is selected during the reservation process. If no time period is selected, 8 months will be assumed.”

Does that sound like a long time to be waiting for a card? It gets worse. Much worse.

How long does it really take for a Panini Redemption?

In some cases, waiting times are entirely ridiculous. The relevant thread on Blowout Forums is highly instructive.

Here are some of the more extended periods forum users reported spending waiting for redemptions:

  • Three years. The user complained, “They are con artists. Pulling a panini redemption card is one of the worst things you could get.”
  • Eight years. The user noted this was curious because “the player has literally signed tens of thousands of autographs since including live on-card autos in recent flawless and immaculate releases.”
  • Seven years for a 2013-14 Immaculate Collection Steve Nash 1-of-1 Logoman.
  • Nine years. The user says that after submitting in 2013, he received redemption points in 2022.
  • One user had eight redemptions outstanding; the oldest was from a 2017-18 product.

We should note that these are the horror stories. Of course, plenty of users received redemptions promptly. But, of course, that only aggravates those who have been waiting for years even more.

The 2021 change of redemption policy

Back in early 2021, Panini changed its terms and conditions. As a result, customers noted that there had been some notable changes regarding redemptions.

Timing

First, they altered the terms regarding older redemptions. In the past, they had been accepted. Now they would not accept redemptions that are over six months old. Here is the phrasing o the revamped terms and conditions:

“If you do not submit a Redemption Request prior to the expiration date, the redemption card is void and cannot be used in the Redemption Program. If the Redemption Request is submitted prior to the expiration date, then it will be considered a timely Redemption Request.”

That meant that if you opened older wax, you were essentially screwed. Obviously, a move that is unpopular with customers.

Attempts to deal with the backlog

Panini’s policy changes in early 2021 were not very popular. However, they seem to have been part of a genuine effort to reduce the massive backlog of redemptions that had piled up over the years.

In July 2022, the company announced further steps in that direction. They said they would quickly send replacement cards to anyone who had opened a redemption request before 2018 and was eligible for a low to mid-level value autograph. As you can see, that is the same language they are using now for the NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption packs.

Some have noted that this move limited the options of the redemption holders. Before this change was announced, they could trade the redemptions for Panini Rewards points. Now they were forced to accept whatever replacement the company deemed sufficient.

The redemption lawsuits

As you can see, the redemption issue had long been allowed to fester by Panini. Topps also had its problems with refilling redemptions. A group of fed-up customers filed two class action suits against the big card companies. One was filed in Washington, DC, and the other in New York.

According to the lawsuit, Panini and Topps were misleading customers by making them believe they had a higher chance of receiving a high-value card than they actually did. They used laws regarding raffles and lotteries as grounds for their suit. The idea is that purchasing a redemption card without giving the consumer a choice in the matter constitutes an “unlawful lottery.”

According to state and federal law, one cannot constitute entry into a lottery to buy a product. Instead, they must allow the general public to participate. That is why you can enter the StockX lotteries, for example, without purchasing a product. According to the laws in question, a company running a lottery must display no purchase necessary (NPN) information in a “clear and conspicuous manner” to comply with the relevant laws.  

As one of the complaints put it:

“By requiring the purchase of the Product and rendering it difficult to impossible for nonpurchasers to obtain the redemption cards, consumers are misled to purchase items they otherwise would not have to, at higher prices. Plaintiff believed and expected purchasing the Product was necessary to gain entry to the contest and gave the purchaser a greater chance at winning the contest because that is what the representations and omissions said and implied. Plaintiff would not have purchased the Product if she knew the representations and omissions were false, unlawful or misleading or would have paid less for it.”

The lawsuits sought a preliminary injunction against the redemptions and considerable monetary damages.

ITC or STC?

In the past, customers sent in their redemption cards and waited for their fulfillment. The card sent to fulfill a redemption is called an ITC (initial trading card). Now, Panini began to encourage buyers to ask for a substitute trading card (STC) instead.

The definition of an STC is as follows:

“An STC will be of an equal or greater monetary value as compared to the market value of ITC as of the time of the product release as determined by Panini in its sole discretion. Alternatively, Panini may supply two or more STCs that, in total, are of equal or greater monetary value as compared to the market value of ITC as of the time of the Redemption Request, as determined by Panini in its sole discretion. If you elect to request an STC and then reject the STC or STCs offered by Panini, then you shall have no further redemption rights and waive the right to receive any further compensation or alternate STC(s).”

Forcing you to take an STC

While Panini had offered STCs before, the new terms forced them to accept an STC after six months. Otherwise, they would receive nothing. Here are the terms in full:

“If the ITC (initial trading card) is not available at the time of the Redemption Request, for any reason, Panini will so notify you, and you will then have the choice either: 1) to wait up to six months for the ITC to become available, or 2) request that Panini provides a substitute trading card (“STC”). If you elect to wait for the ITC to become available, Panini will attempt to provide the ITC within six months of the receipt of a timely Redemption Request. Panini makes no guarantees or warranties regarding whether the ITC will become available during the six-month waiting period should you elect to wait. Regardless of your election, Panini reserves the right to send an STC after the expiration of the six-month waiting period.

If the ITC does not become available during the six months, and Panini elects to send an STC, your only option is to accept the STC.

Final thoughts on NFL Mosaic Sparkle redemption packs

The Panini effort to fulfill redemptions with NFL Mosaic Sparkle Redemption packs is just the latest of many attempts in the last two years to deal with a backlog of unfulfilled redemptions. But once again, it is only targeting the less valuable redemptions. But of course, the larger ones have collectors losing sleep. Many of the outstanding cards that remain from years before are in that higher range, a difficult problem Panini still has to address.

The future of Panini’s attempts to fulfill their redemptions remains unclear. As mentioned, the next step should also involve trying to meet higher-end redemptions. The company has already hinted it will send cards of what it deems an equivalent value to its customers. It’s easy to predict that many will not be satisfied with the cards they receive. There is also some evidence, still anecdotal, that Panini is doing better at fulfilling recent redemptions than it was in the past.

Finally, the lawsuits filed in DC and New York could influence the future of redemption cards. If the class actions are successful, a temporary or even permanent halt to redemptions may be in the offing.

On the other hand, since the suit is based on the grounds that redemptions constitute an “illegal lottery,” if a court found it in favor of the plaintiff, it would be hard to continue issuing redemptions in their current format.

Sure, a simple statement on the box for how to enter would suffice from a legal standpoint. But then anyone could, in theory, send a request to receive a redemption and be given equal rights to win it. How would that work? No one has any idea.