Updated: Jun 25
One of Paninis most iconic brands, Select Football, kicks off June with their 2022 iteration, chock full of parallels for collectors to chase. However, the ‘22 drop does bring some major changes to the brand.
The chromium stock set yet again focuses on a 100-PLAYER checklist, however this year “Suite Level” has been added to the mix, giving collectors five different levels to chose from and upping the total checklist to a staggering 500-card base set. Each level will include the same players and come with a substantial amount of parallels. Concourse, Premier, Club, Suite Level & Field Level combine to form the subsets of the base checklist, with each level including a bevy of parallels, from Silvers to Black 1/1’s (H2 boxes will include their own disco parallels, while retail will have exclusive parallels as well).
A lot has been said about the Select brand in the past few years. What was once a short printed brand has ballooned into another “featured product” for Panini, taking its toll on its value in the process. Panini seems to be pushing its limits yet again, similar to when they brought select into retail stores a few years ago, adding a fifth level and expanding the checklist by ANOTHER 100 cards.
However, the cream of the crop definitely brings the heat. Field level Prizms (and colors), the toughest of the base set “levels” to pull, command excellent values, up there with Prizm and Optic. Another major chase in Select are the XRC’s, the 1st cards available of the 2023 Rookies. The XRC’s come in both auto and non-auto versions with 3 parallels. This years XRCs could see a slight tweak, if the rumors of Young, Stroud & Levi’s signing exclusives turn out to be true, as no autos could be a big possibility for some of the biggest & most in demand chase cards. All XRC’s will be inserted as redemptions, but normally have an incredibly fast turnaround. The big question is WHO will have the autographed versions.
In addition to the base set & XRCs, select has multiple inserts such as the returning Phenomenon, Sensations & Snapshots, along with the new Neon Icons insert. In addition, multiple SSP/Case Hits such as Multiverse, Starcade & Visionary make their debuts and give collectors even more to chase after.
When it comes to rookie autographs, Select definitely has you covered. Rookie autographs can be found in the Rookie Signature Materials (/199 or less) & Jumbo Rookie Sugnature Swatches (/99 or less), each with a bevy of parallels including Black 1/1 parallels. There are also multiple memorabilia subsets, along with Veteran autograph lines that, as of this writing, have not been added to the final checklist.
Release Date: 6/1/2023 (subject to change)
5 Cards/pack, 12 Packs/Box
**additional H2 & Retail configurations as well**
-Design tweaks were needed big time with Select, and it looks like 2023 is bringing quite a few changes to the brand. These look SHARP!
-SSP Inserts: the addition of case hit/SSP inserts will greatly help expand the brand past the “chase the field level” feel of years past.
-XRCs: one of the staples of Select, the XRC’s are always an exciting chase for collectors. With a strong draft class, 2023 should be no different.
-Yet ANOTHER “level” added to the checklist. 500 cards for 100 subjects has overloaded the product been more than adding a full retail line.
-XRCs: Yes, they are an exciting chase for the brand. However, if Panini cannot secure the autograph rights for Stroud, Young & Levis, this round of XRC could look pretty bare. Panini has to get these guys in the checklist, if only for the XRCs.
-Retail SKU’s have taken a lot of the mystique and collectibility away from select. 2021 was heavily overproduced. Hopefully in 2022 it gets scaled back some.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Although it remains one of my favorite products, the dilution of Select over the past few years has been disappointing. What was once a diamond in the rough, a product that held incredible value but flew under the radar for the most part, has turned in to a “must see” release, complete with a full line of retail SKU’s. While it may have gotten easier to attain, it simultaneously began to lose its value. And adding in a fifth “level” to the base set this year? That may be the moment we look back as the “jumping the shark” moment. Only time will tell, but they’re really pushing the limits on Select. Panini better pray the XRCs aren’t effected, as that could be the final straw for the ‘22 release.
The new SSPs, XRCs and a reworked base design for all 5 “levels” are a definite plus, but has the damage already been done? This is going to be a make or break year for Select, and with so much out there, getting your hands on it definitely won’t be a problem. But what was once a headlining product in the Panini Football catalog is quickly becoming just another release, overshadowed by products that continue to improve without over-extending itself.