Earlier this week, I spotted two blaster boxes of 2013-14 Panini hockey cards — one Prizm and one Score — on clearance. They were marked down from $19.98 to $11.98; a savings of 40%, according to the big red sticker affixed to each box.
Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and K-mart can return the unopened cards to the card companies. Sometimes, the card companies may re-sell the older packs to other companies who re-pack the cards and sell them in “value boxes” like the Hockey Cube I bought in 2012. Other times, the card companies may re-pack the cards themselves and try selling them at retail again, like Upper Deck did in 2010 with their hockey and football cards.
That really won’t be an option for Panini, though, as their license with the NHL expired June 30. They won’t be able to sit on unsold cards for years and then sell them to retailers at a deep discount like they did with their 2008-09 Hockey Stickers.
As an aside, a similar situation happened at a toy company I worked for. We made action figures based on the Halo and Halo 2 video games. When our licensing agreement with Microsoft expired, we had to get rid of all of our Halo products in the warehouse by selling it cheaply to any retailer who wanted it.
While these may be just retail packs — and not hobby packs where the odds of getting a hit are far better — 40% off is too good of a deal to pass up. It is possible to get autographed cards in Score, while Prizm blasters include a three-card bonus pack of retail exclusives parallels. Other Panini hockey products (like Contenders) also offer hits and / or parallels that might make it worthwhile.
If you find discounted Panini Hockey cards at a big box retailer, let us know. Post a comment below about what you found, where (city), price and store.