By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor
After Jan. 5, you might want to double check your wet bar. If you find a fancy bottle inside a purple, velvet bag, you probably have an adult beverage, suitable for sipping or mixing. If you discover a box decorated with regal imagery and masters of the puck, put down that dusty cocktail glass and seal up that ice bucket. You’re holding the equally intoxicating Panini Crown Royale Hockey. They’re both Canadian delights, but only the Panini America product offers a high-end lineup of autographs and memorabilia that’s fit for a collecting king.
Featured in the Rookie Silhouettes subset, prospective princes like Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Eberle and seven other elite names get the royal treatment. Complete with die-cut images above over-sized memorabilia swatches and hard-signed autographs, this RC tribute in conjunction with the 25-card Rookie Royalty Signatures subset pays homage to rising NHL nobility.
The Sun King, Louis XIV didn’t quite make the cut for this product for obvious reasons, but proven ice emperors have made their marks in Panini’s early 2011 offering. Joe Sakic, Alexander Ovechkin, Mario Lemieux, to name a few, traded sticks for pens, lending their autographs to Rinkside Signatures. Bearing gifts from the rink, Three Kings Memorabilia cards feature three (of course) top players paired with respective game-used swatches.
Also on the puck pedestal are a few unique tributes like Loyalty, which features players who have remained dedicated to the same team. Equally dedicated game announcers like Rick Jeanneret, Joe Bowen, Darryl Reaugh, Bob Miller are featured in the hard-signed Voices From the Booth set.
Considering the product breakdown, collectible royalty is affordable at $25 per 5-card pack. Including at least 8 Rookie Royalty Signatures, one Rinkside Signature, one Voices of the Game Signature, seven Heirs to the Throne Materials, one Heirs to the Throne and three Premiere Date Signatures, each 12-box case (four packs per box)is sure to be a palace of hobby hits.