Review: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball

I’ve had an itch recently that I’ve been desperate to scratch!

No – not that sort of itch!! Not the sort where you have to take a trip to the doctor for some of that special cream!

At least not on this occasion!!

Nope, it’s that itch where you’ve just got to bust open some wax!! So I guess it was pretty fortuitous when two boxes of 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball turned up on my doorstep late last week!!

Ahhhh – Wax packs!!! You don’t need me to tell you it’s one of our Hobby’s greatest thrills!!

Despite being a product that’s been out for a few weeks now, this was the first time that I’d actually got my hands on any of the cards!

Was it going to live up to the hype generated by its Prizm Basketball and Prizm Football cousins? Would the products previous success in these sports translate into a successful, non-MLB licensed Baseball release?

Having already sold out at the retail level it’s a pretty safe assumption that Prizm Baseball has already found it’s fan base in the Hobby! But does that mean it’s worth your time?

Well, if you’re in any way interested in my opinion, then read on!


Let me start by saying that these cards really have to be appreciated up close and personal! I’ve not found any image online that gets anywhere near capturing what Prizm actually looks like ‘in-hand’!!

When you’ve got your mitts on the cards themselves you’ll probably find yourself holding them up to the light and gazing at them from various different angles, letting the light bounce of the incredibly reflective surface! The surface of the cards is so reflective that I had problems with the reflection of my camera when taking some of the pictures below!

Damn these cards are SHINY!! We’re talking shiny with a capital – well – SHINY!!

Lovely looking cards! The inevitable comparisons will exist between Prizm and Chrome but in all fairness to Panini and Topps these are two completely separate beasts entirely – and quite right to! I’ve always loved Topps’ Chrome and refractor technology, but I can see Prizm taking a special place in my heart next to them!

So, want to see what I pulled from the two boxes?? Here goes then!

Firstly, in terms of card collation and breakdown, each box yielded exactly what I expected! I managed to put together 176/200 of the base set, with 28 dupes! All the relevant inserts were there, including Prizms and autographs.

So lets see what I got! I’ve taken pictures of all of the inserts and a few samples of the base cards –

Base Cards

Prizm Baseball has a great selection of stars and semi-stars! With a smaller set to deal Panini had to be more selective about the players they chose so there are some great quality layers all the way through the checklist!

Retired Base Subset

Cool, cool, cool!!

Love me some HOF and retired players – no secret there. Initially I was a little worried that the look of ‘old school’ players might not gel well with the modern look of the Prizm card, but these fears were soon put to one side!

A perfect fit and great to see all of these great players in the same set!

Rookie Base Subset

A nice selection of 50 rookies can be found in this set and I was only about five or six away from putting together the whole set together. It looks as if I got most of the ‘big’ names though if the above images are anything to go by!

Rookie Relevance Insert

Dominance Insert

Really odd collation between the two boxes here as I managed to pull the same two inserts from each box! It’s not one of the most exciting inserts in the set either, but nice to see a George Brett insert all the same.

MVP Insert

Brilliance Insert

A bit of a ‘so-so’ one-per-box insert redeemed with the nice looking Baseball stitching effect!

Top Prospect Insert

As with the Dominance inserts it looks as if the collation is slightly askew here as I managed to pull two of the same ‘Top Prospect’ insert in Wil Myers! However, since young Wil happens to be one of the best hitting Prospects in the whole of Baseball I like to think I came out of that one OK!

Elite Extra Edition Prospect Insert

One of my favourite inserts in the whole product, this has now given me an interest in seeing more of what Elite Extra Edition has to offer! And given the fact that I managed to pull Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton, the #1 and #2 picks from the 2012 Baseball Draft, I can’t really complain much here either 🙂

Team USA Insert

Along with the Elite Extra Edition this is my other favourite Prizm insert, and if it’s a good indication of what the 2013 Panini USA Champions set will be like then we could be in for something really special when that finally hits the shelves!

A couple of duplicates in Upton and Posey, but I did manage to pull the Trout and Strasburg which were nice!

And what’s the deal with Clayton Kershaw’s face?


Beautiful, beautiful Prizms!!! Be still my beating heart!! These look absolutely fantastic up close and the fact that 4 out of the 6 were of retired players (including Stan ‘The Man’) is just the icing on top of the cake!


Looks as if I hit the motherload with these boxes with respect to the autos! As a collector of St Louis Cardinals autos I can’t really argue with the fact that 3 out of the 4 autographs were ALL Cards players! They’ll be going straight into the collection – thank you very much!

The final auto is of Tigers’ Quintin Berry as is a Prizm auto rookie #’d 21/25!

Not too shabby if you ask me!!

Of course people will raise the issue that the autographs are on stickers rather than ‘on-card’, but as I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t something that really bothers me. However, It does help that the autographs are on a clear acetate which doesn’t look as awkward on the card, not like those ugly silver stickers that Topps used over a decade ago!


So overall I’m really pleased with my first foray into the world of Panini Prizm and will definitely be coming back for more! Some of the inserts I can take or leave, but isn’t that always the case with inserts set? Everyone has their own particular favourite that might not necessarily appeal to others! As the adage goes – one man’s meat is another man’s poison!

When I sat back and tried to think of a great way of summarising Prizm Baseball one of the first words that sprung to mind was – fresh! Prizm Baseball is an awesome looking set of cards and a real breath of fresh air for collectors!

Fresh, and shiny!!

However if the issue of a lack of a MLB license is something that bothers you then this might not necessarily be the set for you, although I’d highly recommend anyone getting hold of some packs or a box if they can as it’s a really fun break!

Go on!!! Put those prejudices aside and just go for it! Embrace something different – you won’t be disappointed!

In summary –

Best Card – Quintin Berry Auto Rookie Prizm #’d 21/25

Worst Card – Don’t really have one

Best Insert – ‘USA Baseball’ or ‘Elite Extra Edition Prospect’ (although the Prizm refractors look awfully pretty!!)

Worst Insert – ‘Rookie Relevance’ and ‘Dominance’. Similar design and comes across more as a ‘filler’ insert!

Overall Rating – 8.5/10


3 thoughts on “Review: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball

  1. That Kershaw card… What were they thinking? 🙂
    But yeah, great pulls Andy. Those Cards cards (heh) look awesome, and the Elite Extra Edition Prospects inserts as well. I was dubious of this set (what with all the shinyness and lack of licenses), but seeing them like this has changed my mind a little.

  2. I pulled 2 white cards with weird white stickers on em. Looks like a piece of something could be underneath. Any idea what these are. Haven’t collected in years and bought some packs for kicks. So sorry if its a stupid question.

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