Panini Gets Into the On-Demand Trading Card Business with Panini Instant


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By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

One of the bigger innovations in the hobby over the past couple of years is the advent of on-demand trading cards. The technology has been on the cusp for a while with custom card offerings from several places including Topps and Rookies App. Panini Instant goes beyond custom cards. Similar to Topps Now, the program highlights sporting event as they happen. This means physical cards within days rather than having to wait months for cards of specific events in traditional methods.

How Panini Instant Works

When an event happens, Panini will create a card and list it on their online store. Most of the time, this happens within 24 hours of the event. That card will be sold for just 24 hours with print runs limited to those that are ordered. Print runs are listed on the cards.

Traditional cards usually focus on an entire season. Panini Instant cards are different. Because of their immediacy, they are able to tell the story of the game.

In some early instances, Panini has also used the program to make the first cards of players in their new uniforms following a trade or free agent signing.  Again, the near real-time nature speeds up the process.

Parallels and Upgrades

Besides base cards, there are Panini Instant parallels. These are versions that come with limited print runs that are announced up front. Quantities range from a high of 50 all the way down to 1/1.

Starting with 2016-17 Panini Instant NBA Basketball, facsimile signature upgrades were also made available for parallels. These add a different spin to the cards. While there’s still the stated amount of parallels, it’s possible that a much smaller number have this upgrade.

Panini Instant Sets

Here’s a list of the Panini Instant sets that have been produced thus far. You can see the full set details and checklists by clicking on the links.


2015-16 Panini Instant NBA Finals
2016-17 Panini Instant NBA Basketball


2016 Panini Instant NFL Football


2016 Panini Instant NASCAR


2016 Panini Instant COPA America Centenario Soccer
2016 Panini Instant UEFA Euro Soccer

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. Jonathan 2 June, 2016 at 20:41

    As far as supply and demand go, it’s interesting to see companies completely meet the demand. If everyone that wants one can just order one, business logic says they wouldn’t be worth much after-market. And they do seem very costly to up front consumers when future value (which will certainly drop by any business plan you use) is taken into consideration.

  2. James 3 June, 2016 at 10:31

    This doesn’t sound anything like Topps Now … c’mon Panini, please create something original.

  3. Gerard 3 December, 2016 at 12:36

    These cards will be interesting to watch in the years going forward. These are pretty small print runs. Either there are not many collectors out there anymore or people are sleeping on these cards. Will they be worth anything in 10 years? Who knows. I remember those corny looking Michael Jordan rookie cards that eventually were the gold standard of Michael Jordan rookie cards. Maybe this is one of those moments.

  4. Hugo 22 June, 2020 at 19:52

    I took a gamble on a green Panini Instant 1 of 5. Bought it for 100$ lets see if it pays off in the future. Hopefully my QB does great! Now, to take it out of the panini case and get it graded?

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