Prestige is a veteran brand. It is an early major football release, and it’s usually the first major release to have a blaster box. (Sorry, Score Football.) As the release is upon us, let’s get started with our 2021 Panini Prestige Football H2 Review
Prestige is a slightly unusual product. It bills itself as a product that “ a fabled, familiar favorite that has delivered a little something for everyone.” In other words, it doesn’t quite have a strong identity and tires to cater to all collectors.
Back in 2017 and earlier, Prestige had a genuine hobby box to match the blaster format. However, since then, it has been fairly retail-oriented.
This season everything is changing again: The release this year will be the first to embrace the “H2 style.”
Prestige 2021 H2 boxes are officially released on July 9 in the H2 format, and this is the first release exclusive to hobby shops. So, for example, Blowout Cards does not have 2021 Prestige, but The Iron Lion hobby store in Colorado Springs does.
Prestige will come in a hobby box-like version called the “H2 Hybrid Hobby” box, which is priced right around $100 for 20 inserts, 20 parallels, and 20 rookies. These boxes are only available through Panini’s exclusive group of hobby shops.
It is an unexpected move by Panini, but an interesting one that hobby stores across the country appreciate. In some ways, this feels like a win for the hobby because it pays a thank you to the stores that have been the backbone of the hobby for years. Perhaps this will be the first of more to come.
In terms of the card lineup, some of the Prestige favorites are back, in addition to some new hits.
This season introduces the Galaxy parallels, which fall 10 per box.
There are also four case hits per case: one NFL Drip, Rookie Portraits, Prestigious Moments, and State of the Art. They’re eye-catching cards on a colorful canvas backdrop, and the odds of pulling one are about 1 in 5 boxes.
Possibly inspired by the silver prizms and holos of other sets, this year’s Prestige also introduces “Premium Edition: holographic parallels of both the base and rookie sets.
The memorabilia cards also make a triumphant return, with Stars of the NFL and Gridiron Heritage back as usual, and 2021 also introduces True Colors jersey cards.
Finally, autographs include base and rookie Xtra Points Signatures, with additional SP autographs of some of the more popular inserts. There are no autograph guarantees, but early videos from breakers look like there is usually an auto in each box.
If you’re buying into Prestige, keep your eye open for the Xtra points parallels. They are the prizms of Prestige, with different colors and tiers of rarity.
This year’s set includes:
As far as value goes, all the case hits will probably sell for a premium price, but there will most likely also be one that establishes itself as the “favorite” in a year’s time. However, it is hard to know which at this point.
Prestige base rookies will, unfortunately, have the rookie class donning their college uniform. Therefore, the value of the base rookies will quickly wither when NFL jersey rookie cards are released. Still, if you’re hoping to make a quick buck, pulling a Lawrence or any other top-ranked QB would probably help with that.
If you are more interested in the long-term hold, the better bet is a splurging on a numbered rookie or one of these unique-looking case hits.
If I’m buying one Prestige Card from this year’s set that I think will be a good investment in a year, I’m going to buy an artful rookie portrait card of my favorite rookie quarterback. These are eye-catching cards with an attractive canvas finish.
Of course, which player is still another tough decision to make. Lawrence is an obvious choice and will presumably have a bright career ahead of him, but based on price point alone, I’d probably roll the dice on Mac Jones, and I’d do that only after the “newness” price inflation wears off. Never buy the first card to hit eBay.
If you’re buying these boxes to open, they’re not a bad investment as long as you flip the cards immediately. Long term, however, I don’t like the chances for many of these cards to retain their value. The college jersey factor is working against them.
For proof, check out this Justin Herbert rookie card from 2020 Prestige, which sold for $3.50 total earlier in July. That is after a ROY campaign, and including shipping. If you are putting $100 into a box of this H2 Prestige, you better pull something numbered or an SP.
The big question for the Prestige Football H2 Review: should you hold the boxes?
It’s pretty simple. If you can get these boxes at a reasonable price (around $100), holding them is a good play. Last year’s blaster boxes were released for $20, and they now sell for around $50. That is a significant price increase of 150%. On the other hand, the individual cards have dropped in value.
When it comes to boxes, the anticipation of what could be inside is almost always more valuable than what is inside, and it’s always a safer bet.
It’s not a bad idea to buy a box of this to open and see if you get lucky, but if you want to make a considerable profit off Prestige, buy and hold a few of these H2 boxes. That way, you’re not investing in a star rookie… you’re investing in all the star rookies.
The H2 boxes are not a must-buy. The college uniform rookies will lower the value in the long term. However, if you can get the box for around $100-110, it is a good investment to hold or to sell individuals quickly. Unfortunately, most places are selling it for more, and your money can probably be better spent elsewhere.