The card in question is the 2012-13 Certified "Masked Marvels" set. Here is the only card I have from the set but I've seen the bulk of them online already...
NAME: Masked Marvels
First let's discuss the concept or "idea." Pick any synonym of the word over-used and you hit the nail on the head. It seems that most products these days have a goalie mask variation of an insert set. That's why it will be hard for this insert set to get a good mark. They really have to "WOW" me if they're going to use a generally popular idea. Products like "Between the Pipes" from ITG have done that right. They were one of the first to put out the concept (if not the first) and now they have a loyal fan base that look forward to the cards each and every year.
Next to determine the quality of the insert would be the design factor. What makes a good mask card? Masks! I have no problem with the size of the picture they chose for the front. Not only does it show off most of the mask (which I'll get to later) but it also shows how the mask meshes in well with the jersey. Additionally, the foil background and black and white banner/logo gets an A+ from me. By using this much foil and non distracting colours, it doesn't take away from the art on the mask or the colours on the picture. Therefore, the picture is really what determines the colour of the card. Its like making a team coloured theme card but not adding any extra colours; brilliant!
But the back is where things get nasty!
Instead of following along with the sleek and smooth design of the front, the back of the card goes all Pinnacle on me (much like the base cards). The same picture is re-used on the back AND the paragraph on the player mentions NOTHING on his mask. Thumbs wayyyy down. In my opinion, you scratch the team colours, you scratch the stats and you start the bottom in an all grey fading into a head on shot of the mask (not the same as on the front) in the top half of the card. That way you get a different angle of the mask, you continue with the non distracting colours and you let the picture and colours of the mask do all the work. Underneath that picture in the grey area, you can do a small write-up on one part of the mask in white ink. All logos (NHL, Panini and NHLPA) can go on the bottom and the card number and team logo can go on the top left and right corners. What you DO NOT need is the position, I think it's pretty obvious he plays goalie guys...
As for the picture, like I said, I like the idea of using a shot from the chest up; but, you need to see at least 2/3 of the mask (i.e. the Lehtonen card above). Other cards in the set (i.e. Jimmy Howard) show just half the mask and that does not cut it. As well, as I already mentioned a head on shot of the mask on the back of the card would be a great touch instead of the debacle we see on the back of the card currently.
Last but not least is the player selection. There are 20 cards and therefore 20 goalies in the set. I would like to see one goalie from each team just for variety's sake, but I'll only dock them minimal points for that.
IDEA - 2/5 (Overused and getting old)
DESIGN - 2.5/5 (Front of the card gets a near perfect 2/2.5 but the back gets only 0.5 points)
PICTURE - 3/5 (Like the pics from the chest up but need to show more angles of mask)
PLAYER SELECTION - 4.5/5 (I can't be too picky)
TOTAL - 12/20
Passing grade I think is acceptable but nothing to chase IMO.
What do you think? What do you rate the card out of 20?