Rookie Premiere: Panini bringing back acetate

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The 2012 NFL Players Rookie Premiere is a great way to preview the upcoming football card season. With the pictures card companies are putting together, every little image helps in helping collectors find the cards they want to chase.

On the first day of the Premiere, the companies were big on getting on-card autographs.

In Panini America’s session, the company showed off dozens of photos. But take yours off the athlete and look at what they are signing. Some autographed strips of leather from a football or manufactured patch cards.

But what is so special about the picture above with Robert Griffin III?


Check out the card. Is RGIII signing a black card with a red marker? Nope. It’s a clear card he’s signing with the color of the table showing through.

It seems as though the clear Rookie Inscriptions are going to appear in 2012 Elite. And, apparently, these were quite the popular card.

“A highlight-filled first day included Panini America unveiling the welcome return of acetate Rookie cards (a development met by rave reviews from both the players who signed them and the football-loving),” Panini spokesperson Tracy Hackler wrote on the company’s blog.

The cards are reminiscent of other acetate cards in 2000 Bowman Football or hockey’s 1996-97 Upper Deck Ice Acetate parallels. But they more closely resembled other acetate autograph sets such as Upper Deck’s 2003-04 Hardcourt Clear Commemorative Autographs where players signed on top of a clear panel with no background or the baseball product 2001 Topps HD Clear Autographs.

The newest cards by Panini will feature some of the best rookies from this year’s draft. The top three draft picks from 2012 were at the Premiere: Andrew Luck,  Griffin and Trent Richardson. In total, 35 rookies made it to the Los Angeles-based event.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.


  1. Cincyscott
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    A non sticker on the card rookie auto? Cool !!!

  2. Michael Chase
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The cards look great. I’ve always like acetate when done right.

  3. Posted May 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Definitely love two things…

    1 – ON CARD AUTOS, in NFL uniforms! (even if the uni is photoshopped)

    2 – That sweet Rated Rookie shirt! Tracy, if you’re reading this, I want one!

  4. bill johnson
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    those look really really cool

  5. backupgoalie
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    wait, panini pirating another idea…no way?!?

  6. JeffNSU
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    So they had enough time to get these more complex cards printed in time for the Premiere, yet 95% of their other “regular” card autos will still be stickers. That’s just laziness and poor planning.

  7. Nick Tegeler
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I like the acetate cards too! They hold up better to damage and what not in shipping and everything.

  8. afff
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    looks like some great cards, love the on card autos

  9. coors71
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    i don’t like this. ink fades over time on acetate. just look at the 1996 pinnacle cards and the 1999 score inscriptions

  10. Alex Giles
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    So panini can come up with something like this, but STILL has a redemption in every box… if I were them, I would fix the redemption problem before coming up with something like this. Other than that, I love the look of it, and my luck, I guarentee I’ll never see one of these in person, nor EVER own one. :)

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