Inserts were the backbone of the hockey card industry in the past and I think they've lost some of their steam in this new era of AUTO's and GU. Once in a while though, a product really comes out with a nice concept and/or design on an insert that gets collectors going (and their wallets). Off the top of my head I think of ITG Between the Pipes "Masked Men" and the Pinnacle "Tough Times" set more recently.
Other times there are those insert sets that make you think "Uhhh...why?". Either the ideas have been recycled, the pictures are boring or the design is just plain ugly.
Well in any case I've decided to start giving inserts the credit they deserve. Every once and a while I'll take a few inserts out of my collection and rate them on three categories:
1. Idea /5
2. Pictures /5
3. Design /5
4. Player Selection /5
That means every insert will have a mark out of 20. So let's start the quest to find the best (and worst) inserts created.
Today we start with a fairly "new" insert set from the past two seasons of the Score release by Panini.
NAME: Playoff Heroes
First off the concept or lack there of. This seems like a vey lazy and generic idea to put on an insert. It's kinda your typical low end product insert (which I guess you can't blame them for). You get what you pay I guess. I just don't see the point in making another set featuring playoff heroes when half the players you chose are in no way heroes.
On a side note, Sidney here should have his own insert set called "Playoff Beast" with the points he's putting up. Mind you Giroux should have his own then too ;)
Next let's take a look at the design of the card. Pretty much all the writing is written vertically while the picture is horizontal. Hmmm...that just seems careless on Panini's part. It has all the essentials: name, position and team.
The back seems like more of the same junk. Almost identical design to the front besides replacing the picture for a short biography.
This is the main insert set for Score (I believe it is the biggest). With that comes pour player selection and exceptionally boring "turning while skating" pictures.
Idea - 1/5
Pictures - 1.5/5
Design - 1.5/5
Player Selection - 2/5
TOTAL - 6/20
NAME: Playoff Heroes
Let me say right away that they definitely improved on the design this year but it's still far from perfect or even "great", I'd say average. They stuck with the all vertical look which is nice and I'm a sucker for the 3D pop out design.
The idea is still lame but the photos definitely got a bit better. I believe most if not all of the pics are of the players celebrating a goal.
The backs are similar but not exactly the same as the front. The problem I have with this set is this: when you're picking players for this set does that mean if one guy scores a big goal one series that he is forever entitled to be a "Playoff Hero" and permanently has a spot on this set? I think not but you may have a different view.
Idea - 1/5
Design - 2.5/5
Pictures - 2/5
Player Selection - 2.5/5
TOTAL - 8/20
Unfortunately both sets did not get a passing grade and thus I think it would be wise for Panini to drop the set. But what do you think, what would you rate these sets on my scale of 20?
GO NUCKS GO!