I don’t often talk of being in love with a product. Normally I think something got screwed up with the checklist or the design. Normally I don’t like the size of the patches or the sticker autographs. Normally I think there is a superior product that “could” have been made. Normally the product isn’t Panini Dominion HK. I have to say I can’t really complain about anything from this one. I thought that The Cup would dwarf this product. I have to tell you that is not the case. If anything, it is the opposite. Especially when you consider the price.
Now some may say that I’m only spouting this off because I can’t sell The Cup. It’s true that I can’t sell The Cup. But, that has NOTHING to do with this. I’ll show you why in a minute. Let me also say that this is not saying that The Cup isn’t a good product. As always, it is. I don’t see anything major wrong with it. However, it’s not as cool or as fun as Dominion. Okay enough of my ramblings, onto the evidence…
Let’s start simple shall we? First off, you just get more stuff out of Dominion. A typical box of The Cup has 6-7 cards in it with usually 4-5 hits. Typically you don’t get more than 3 autographs. With Dominion you’re getting 8-9 cards. You’re getting 4-5 autographs almost every time. And you’re getting at least 6-7 hits in every box.
Secondly let’s look at the RAP a.k.a. Rookie Autograph Patch cards. You do get one of these in every box of The Cup and that’s not true in Dominion. However, the patches are jumbo in Dominion.
Those are examples of what I’m talking about. In addition to Jumbo patches, they are all #ed to 99. So, no short printed good RCs. That’s not a huge deal as what it really means is that the good guys are just as “hard” to pull since they are #ed to 99 in both products. Let’s also not forget that Taylor Hall is a redemption in The Cup. As far as I can tell, none of the good RC Auto Patches are redemptions in Dominion. That makes a big difference.
Now for the not so simple explanation. Basically, Panini did a better job of being creative and putting cool, fun cards into the product. Sure, some of these cards exist in The Cup. But, they are MUCH harder to get. This could be because there are less of them. This could be because there is a lot more of The Cup out there. Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of these cards.
“Tape to Tape” Autographs. These cards feature a piece of tape from the hockey stick that is signed by the player. Some of the autographs don’t come out great, but these are pretty unique cards.
“Stickside Signatures” are my favorite cards in the set. They feature the outside edge of a hockey stick or the “patch” part of a stick. The player has also signed the card (on card, just like every other card in this product). The wood pieces look very cool and the autographs are super clean on the white background.
“Strapping Lads” is another very cool insert set. It features a piece of game-worn fight strap. Some of them, like the Kovalchuk pictured, include the button or snap that holds the fight strap in place. These are not that hard to pull and a pretty cool addition.
“Tag Team” feature a tag patch from 2 different players. These are pretty cool looking cards. Pretty much all the tag patches in The Cup are 1/1s. The card below is #ed to 12. So, these type of cards are going to fall more frequently in Dominion.
“Had It Stamped It” is very similar to the “Property Of” from The Cup. A very cool design that usually sells extremely well from The Cup.
“Pen Pals” featuring multiple autographs from some of the top players. Some will complain that these cards aren’t the same thickness as the regular cards. However, does that really even matter? Sure The Cup has multi-signed cards. But, they are not as easy to get as they are in Dominion. Especially not the triples. I did a search on eBay for “The Cup triple auto*” and found 1 card from 2010-11 UD The Cup. Doing the same thing for Dominion gives me 7 cards. Considering Dominion didn’t release until today, that makes the triple autograph much easier to hit.
“Heritage Classic Manufactured Patch Autograph” feature a manufactured patch with an autograph. The Cup stays away from manufactured patches for their product. For the most part, I agree with that. However, Panini did a good job with these. In addition to that, these are never the “hit” of the box so they are just additional cards.
In addition to all of these, Dominion has the same basic stuff as The Cup. NHL Shield Patches, Tag Patches, Logo Patches, Dual Signatures, Jumbo Patches, etc. Here are a few of those from Dominion:
As you can see, there are some more very cool cards in the Dominion. The big test is how the single cards do on eBay. So far they look pretty solid. If they can sell for 70-80% of what The Cup cards sell for, then this product is absolutely killer. And when you consider The Cup will cost you about $2500 per case and you can get Dominion for around $2150-$2200, you have to like your chances with the Panini product.