One of Panini's showcase products of the year, Prizm, is here. The hobby powerhouse takes center stage, bringing with it the hottest rookie cards that make up a massive 300-card base checklist. With enough time gone by to look at the NBA card venture, we're doing our 2020 Panini Prizm review.
Colored and numbered parallels are the big fishes in this product, including the sought-after silvers that are considered the go-to rookie cards of the year. This year's Prizm also comes with a slate of familiar inserts and autographs spread across a massive lineup of hobby and retail products. The king has arrived.
Base and Parallels
The 2020-21 Prizm base cards come with a new design that comes from the same aesthetic wheelhouse as the 2018-19 Prizm base cards. The new design was first used in the 2020 NFL Prizm cards, so collectors from that sport should already be familiar with the hexadecagonal look of the cards.
Silver Prizms are the most sought-after non-numbered parallels of the entire series, but there are also more than 40 different parallels to collect, including Hyper and Red Wave Prizms, two of the non-numbered Hobby exclusive parallels.
Hobby boxes also come with a wealth of numbered parallels. These include the popular Purple and Blue Ice parallels, numbered to /175 and /125, respectively. Red (/299), Blue (/199), Purple (/99), Orange (/49), Mojo (/25), Gold (/10), Black Gold (/5), and Black (/1) parallels are likewise exclusive to hobby boxes. This year, a new numbered parallel — Orange Wave (/60) — also makes its debut in the product.
Retail products of 2020-21 Prizm are light on numbered parallels, though Retail boxes are where you'll find the Pulsar parallels: Pink (/42), Purple (/35), and Green (/25). Retail is also home to the Green and Red, White, and Blue Prizms. The former is available throughout the entire range of retail products whereas the latter is exclusive to the Cello packs. Other retail-exclusive non-numbered parallels include Orange Ice (Hanger boxes), Pink Ice, Red Ice, and Green Ice.
Similar to Retail boxes, the First-of-the-Line Prizm Hobby product comes with its own exclusive Prizm parallels: the Shimmers. Only four Shimmer parallels are available, including the Blue Shimmer (/35), Gold Shimmer (/10), Green Shimmer (/5), and Black Shimmer (/1).
Fast Break Prizm is also returning for the 2020-21 Prizm lineup. Known for its “bubbly” parallels, Fast Break Prizm is available with its own lineup of numbered parallels, ranging from Blue (/175), Red (/125), Purple (/75), Pink (/50), Bronze (/20), and Neon Green (/5).
Then there's Prizm Choice. Limited to just eight cards per box, Prizm Choice is home to the Blue/Yellow/Green non-numbered parallel, as well as the Scope parallels that include Red (/88), Blue (/49), and Green (/8). Prizm Choice is also the only Prizm product where you can find the famous Tiger Strip super short print (SSP) and the Nebula 1/1, considered by many as the grail among grails in the entire Prizm lineup.
Inserts come hot and heavy this year as some old favorites are back with fresh designs. The Fireworks, Widescreen, and Fearless inserts remain as Hobby exclusives while the Downtown Bound insert returns after a lengthy absence in the product. They're joined this year by what is arguably one of the hottest and most sought-after inserts of the year: the 2012 Flashback.
Numbered to just a 15-card set — all superstars, by the way — the 2012 Flashback takes inspiration from the design of the initial 2012-13 Prizm design. The appeal and provenance attached to this insert set are two key ingredients why collectors far and wide are already scrambling to complete the set, whether in base form or in the form of the Silver parallels. The 2012 Flashbacks also come in Hyper and Fast Break non-numbered parallels, as well a Mojo (/25), Gold (/10), and Black (/1) numbered parallels.
Retail products are likewise loaded with exclusive inserts, including the rookie-facing Emergent and Instant Impact inserts. They're joined by the Dominance insert and a new addition to the fold: the Sophomore Stars insert.
The Team USA insert also makes a grand return to Prizm. Last seen in the 2015 release, the Team USA insert is exclusive to retail boxes. Like all retail-exclusive inserts, this set only has two parallels to its name: Silver and Green.
2020 Panini Prizm Review Autographs and Memorabilia
There's no shortage of autograph and memorabilia cards in 2020-21 Prizm. Quite literally, there are 400 autograph cards and 200 memorabilia cards spread throughout the product. The autos range from this season's hottest rookies to current superstars, legends, and everyone in between.
The Signatures, Rookie Signatures, and Sensational Signature sets are all exclusive to Hobby and Prizm Choice. You're most likely to hit a base version of these autos, but you can also hit Silver, Mojo (/25), Gold (/10), and Black (/1) parallels in Hobby boxes and Green (/8) in Choice boxes. Every Hobby box includes two autographs on average while a Prizm Choice box comes with one autograph on average.
Autographs aren't guaranteed in retail products, but if lady luck is on your side, you can hit either a Penmanship or a Rookie Penmanship autograph out of retail. The Penmanship set comes with Silver, Orange Ice, and Green Ice (/16) parallels while the Rookie Penmanship set is available in Silver, Blue Wave, Gold Wave, Orange Ice, and Green Ice (/16) parallels.
What's Hot and Not in 2020-21 Prizm?
Rookie silvers, numbered parallels, and rookie autographs will fetch gobs of investment money, but don't sleep on some of the inserts that are included in the product. The 2021 Flashback and the Team USA inserts are already gaining steam in the market, and it won't be long before they receive “critical acclaim” status in the hobby. The Flashbacks, in particular, are must-haves for those who are old enough to remember the OG 2012-12 Prizm.