The days are getting shorter, nights are getting longer and the leaves are starting to turn, but most importantly, football is in the air.
With the 2022 season officially underway, we break down the most notable football card releases for September and early October.
2022 DONRUSS ELITE
The first significant release came on Sept. 9 when 2022 Donruss Elite Football hit shelves. Coming in at a retail price of just under $300 per box, this is a reasonable option for many collectors. This product should feature many of the rookies in their new NFL uniforms, so many collectors eagerly await the release.
Hobby boxes offer two autographs, one relic, 11 inserts, six parallels and three rookies, on average.
The set offers a number of parallels from the super short-print Razzle Dazzle all the way down to Black 1-of-1s.
There is no shortage of inserts, including 2002 Elite, which looks back two decades to showcase the card design from that season. You will also find Star Status, a neon example for all the top players in the game. Collectors can also find Elite Deck, High Life, Playmakers, Rookie Elitist and Rookie on Deck inserts, all exclusive to hobby boxes. Also look for really nice Playmakers inserts.
The autograph and relic lineup is also solid as hobbyists will find the now customary Pen Pals with autographs from some of the best young stars in the game, including Patriots QB Mac Jones, who was a starter as a rookie last year. You will also find Turn of the Century Autographs, which also features many of the hot rookies from ... 2021.
The rookie card autograph inserts also come in a variety of parallels. There are some nice memorabilia options, including box hits called Moxie, which has an artsy “Saved by the Bell” design. The fun Moxie parallels can also be found in a prime version, offering multi-colored swatches of gear numbered to 49 or less.
Hobby boxes weigh in at five cards per pack, 20 packs per box and 12 boxes per case. This is a nice option for collectors with a little bit of change in their pocket and those who are looking to get rookies in NFL uniforms early in the season.
2022 PANINI GOLD STANDARD
2022 Panini Gold Standard Football is set to be released during the third week of September. For a product that literally comes as a gold brick, and as the name implies, gold is a widely used and an important piece of this product.
Hobby boxes offer seven cards with five of those being hits with a mixture of autographs and relics. The base set consists of 200 cards with 100 being veterans and legends, along with a crop of 100 rookies. Each base card is numbered to 99 copies or less.
There is a wide range of parallels, from Platinum numbered to 75 to the Black 1-of-1s, that encompass base cards, base rookies and rookie autographs. The high-end Opulence rookies are once again found within the Gold Standard product. The basic Opulence cards are numbered to 35; Silver to 25; Emerald has only 10 copies; and Platinum are spectacular 1-of-1s.
The product offers a wide array of autographs and relics. The Rookie Jersey Autographs lead the way as they come in single, dual and triple relic editions. They are sharp-looking gold foil cards autographed with the accompanying memorabilia. These beautiful cards can be found in base versions numbered to a 149, Prime numbered to 49, and Prime Tags that come as 1-of-1 copies.
New autograph insert sets include Aurum and Setting the Bar. Other signed inserts include 10K Signatures, 24K Signatures, Gold Jacket Signatures featuring Hall of Famers, and Gold Strike, which highlights many of the young stars of the league.
These cards are found in base platinum and black parallels.
As far as memorabilia offerings you will find first-year inserts that are gold-plated. You will also find cards with memorabilia pieces in Gold Gear, Gold Rush, Hall of Gold Threads, Mother Load and White Gold.
The 2022 Gold Standard set is a $400-plus box with seven cards. It wins a gold medal for high quality, mid-tier products.
2022 PANINI PRIZM DRAFT PICKS
Anytime there is a Prizm product set to be released it's worth a mention. 2022 Panini Prizm Draft Picks Football is set to hit shelves the same day as the aforementioned Gold Standard.
Although it has lost a bit of luster over the past year, Prizm is still a rock-solid, flagship brand across all sports. This will be the first licensed collegiate product of the year and will highlight the top prospects from the 2022 NFL Draft, we hope.
Not only does it feature this year's tops rookies in college unis, it features established NFL stars in their college uniforms from years past.
Expect to find hobby-exclusive inserts in this year's product. Modern collectors don’t want to miss the Brilliance, Hype, Prizmatic and Prizm Break sets. The wildly popular Color Blast and Stained Glass inserts are back as well. These eye-catching short-print offerings are a hit each year.
Averaging one signed card per hobby pack, 2022 Panini Prizm Draft Picks provide some super shiny signatures. The Draft Picks Autograph is the highlight of the product as it offers signatures of the hottest draft picks from this year's draft.
This early-season release boasts four autographs, four Silver Prizm parallels and eight additional Prizm parallels per hobby box. They come 10 cards per pack, four packs per box and 16 boxes per case. Expect a similar Prizm design found in all other products and a visual that has become synonymous with the brand.