By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor
Those sneaky card guys over at Panini America couldn’t hang on to photos of 2010 National Treasures Football any longer. They couldn’t keep the lid on the final and most expensive product in their 2010 football line.
National Treasures is consistently one of the most anticipated sets since it debuted in 2006. The high-end product features sharp photos, beautiful patches and a good mix of legend, veteran and rookie autographs.
The product isn’t due out until March 2, 2011, but Panini just couldn’t hide its preview photos any longer.
A $400-pack gets you eight cards. The preview photos show players such as Tom Brady, Johnny Unitas and Sam Bradford, all guys at the top of the game or quickly on the rise.
See the gallery — and more — after the jump.
“National Treasures delivers the most value that you will get in a football product in 2010,” Panini America Football Brand Manager Carlos Torrez said in a release. “We have a saying in the office when we see something that’s sweeter than we ever could have ever imagined. We say ‘It’s nectar.’ National Treasures absolutely is nectar.”
And, what’s this you see in the rookie pictures?
On. Card. Autographs.
Rookie Cards will feature on-card autographs such as their Pen Pals insert.
One of the more interesting components collectors can chase is the Ring of Honor Signature subset. These cards will feature players from all 44 Super Bowls, perhaps appropriate since the 45th big game will be played within a Texas-sized touchdown distance from Panini America headquarters.
National Treasures is going to come in direct competition with Topps’ Five Star Football, which is set to be released in late February. These two high-end products will compete for collectors’ dollars hard. You can see, Panini updated the set to include the on-card autos, which is something Topps Five Star is supposed to have on all its cards.
For now, though, enjoy the preview photos. Then after the Super Bowl, let us know which set you’re digging into.