August 5th, 2009 marked the 2009 release of what is no known simply as Rookies & Stars Football. In years past we’ve known this product as Leaf Rookies & Stars, with the recent change over in manage at DLP, the new owners (Panini) seem to be dropping the Leaf branding. Let’s take a look and see what this years product has to offer.
The base card design (and the entire site for that matter) sports a very modern/trendy graphic intensive design. I’m not sure how they will fair in the long run for the value of this product, but I really like the design. The base card features a white background with black lines and effects around a sharp player photo. Players names stand out easily from the cards design which is nice. One thing I’m still not a fan of is the ink printed brand logo on the cards (from Panini) this year. They’ve always been foil embossed (except from Gridiron Gear) which seems to add another element to the cards, we still lack that in Rookies & Stars.
Rookie cards feature a similar design as the base cards with the players in their pro uniform (nice!), but the graphics vary slightly. The word “ROOKIE” is printed above the players photos in the upper left corner. Also, instead of the players name printed in black on white, they are printed white on black. Base rookies are #’d /999 and then there are the Longevity Parallel variations: Foil /249, Silver /99, Gold /49 and Platinum /25.
Rookies auto's share the same design/look as the Silver rookie parallel. Base veteran autos also have a similar design.
Various insert sets throughout the product include: Cross Training, Studio Rookies, Gold Stars, Dress for Success, Freshman Fabric, Elements, Rookie Jumbo Jerseys or Patches, Statistical Standouts, Longevity and Prime Cuts (said to be case hits). Each insert set including game used and/or autographed variation.
2009 Rookies and Stars still features those manufactured autographed patches that were introduced in 2007 and seem to be a hobby hit (for some, I’m personally not that big of a fan). This years variations are: NCAA Team Logo, NFL Team Logo, NFL Draft 2009 Logo and Team Chemistry NFL Team Logo Multi-player (2-4) cards.
2009 Rookies & Stars seems to be a hit! To some the design may be a little much or just not their thing but to the majority of the younger crowd I can see it being a hit. I have to say after busting a case of this product it left me wanting more and that is what you want out of a product. After 09 Classics and 09 Prestige I felt “meh, OK, it’s time to move on” and I just didn’t get that with 09 Rookies & Stars.
There seems to be a nice diversity of hits and players within this product, which helps a lot. Another plus is seeing the 2009 rookie class featured in their NFL uniforms, including NFL uniform patches from the 2009 NFL Rookie Premier! All in all, I highly recommend this product. For around $75 per box it delivers, I wouldn’t miss out!