What to Expect with the 2020 Select Football Release
Select Football is back once again in 2020, marking its eighth straight release since its debut in 2013.
For many collectors, this fan-favorite brand ranks in the top-tier of sports card royalty along with Prizm and Optic. These three products feature chromium cards and Prizm-based inserts and parallels, giving layers of scarcity and different eye appeals for collectors to pursue enthusiastically.
Many standard features are coming to the 2020 Select Football Release 2020 Select Football to stay in line with the brand consistency of years past, but some changes are coming to the product.
This post will examine the changes and the familiar elements of the 2020 Select Football Release.
The Basic Structure of the 2020 Select Football Release
This year’s product has a familiar composition in line with its 2019 companion: a hobby box consisting of 12 packs with five cards per pack. Each box averages two autographs and a memorabilia card. Expect an average of 15 parallels per box, including ten silvers.
In all these elements, the series is remaining true to its winning formula. However, there are also some fun changes to examine.
Select 2020 Football Release Subsets and Parallels
Maintaining product loyalty over the years requires finding a balance between preserving familiarity and implementing necessary changes. However, Panini usually does an excellent job of balancing the need for change with the excitement of new faces and draft picks.
The online-exclusive First of the Line (FOTL) format contains a Neon Orange Rookie Patch Autograph and limited base parallels. The parallels can be either a Neon Orange Pulsar or a Tiger Prizm.
Panini divides the base set of 400 cards into the three typical subsets: concourse, premier level, and field level, and each of the subsets has its own parallels (for example, each subset has gold /10). However, this year they also added a club level parallel. Nonetheless, the field level will remain the most difficult one to find.
With that in mind, some changes are coming to 2020 Select Football, but none of them are earth-shattering in terms of the product composition.
Primarily, this year has two new parallels. As always, there are green /5 and black 1/1s, but 2020 introduces the Green and Black Snakeskin Parallel, both numbered to two.
Also, the SSP Tiger Prizm cards will pair nicely with the classic Zebra Prizms if you’re thing is putting together a Select safari.
Rookie Autos in the Select 2020 Football Release
The rookies are the main selling point for the series. Not only because everyone is hunting for rookies nowadays, but also because the class is loaded. They performed better than any cohort since the 2006-2008 era. Since that bunch included Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, and Marshawn Lynch, that is an exciting thought.
The big marquee rookie names are obviously the quarterbacks’ Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. But also Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and others. This release still treats that class as a rookie class due to the delay in its release, thanks to COVID-19.
That delay allows them to feature 2020 rookie autographs heavily. Two types of inserts focusing on this magnificent rookie class include the Rookie Signature Memorabilia cards and Prime Selections Prizm Signatures.
Another Ridiculous Price
Perhaps the most significant difference is the ridiculously high price. Last year’s Select Hobby boxes sold for $200. This year, Panini went with their increasingly frequent Dutch auction approach, and Select sold out at just over $1,400 with taxes—7x last year’s cost. To an extent, the number reflects the current card market. But it is still outrageously high.
While there were previously whispers of a retail release for 2020 Select, there haven’t been any follow-ups on that exciting news. Therefore, only time will tell if that rumor was premature.
The H2 Hybrid Cards in Select 2020 Football Release
The most significant change in the Select 2020 football release was introducing a different box format: the H2 hybrid. At $900, the format is still vastly overpriced but is considerably more affordable than the regular Select 2020 Football Release.
Panini will release the new format on April 16th. It will contain four-packs, each with six cards for a total of 24. The card giant promises two silver Prizm and four disco Prizm cards per box.
There are two guaranteed disco autos in each case. However, keep in mind that there are 20 boxes per case. Therefore, there will be a disco auto in every ten boxes. That amounts to one auto per $9000 spent, and even that is not guaranteed, so we will let you judge if that ratio offers high value. By comparison, the hobby box guarantees an auto per every $700 spent.
XRCs in the Select 2020 Football Release
Panini is trying to capitalize on the new class slated for 2021 by emphasizing their XRC cards or exchange rookies. Since Panini releases these cards before the NFL draft, they base them on position and draft pick instead of the player.
In Select 2020, you could pull an XRC for QB3 of the 2021 Draft. Then, after the draft, you can redeem the card for whoever was the third quarterback drafted.
For example, here is a Justin Herbert XRC that recently sold on eBay for nearly $1,500. While Herbert was a 2020 pick, this card came out of 2019 Select football.
These cards are very valuable and a great way to stake an early claim of your favorite early draft pick.
In addition to the standard XRCs, which have the silver Prizm look, there are parallels: tie-dye /25, gold /10, and black 1/1s add even more scarcity to the exciting rookie class.
The Popularity of Select 2020 Football Release
Select is always a popular brand, and this year it is even more of a hot product for a few reasons.
For one, the late release drags out the excitement over the 2020 NFL season, which saw many great rookies poised to have long, meaningful careers. Much like a 2019-20 basketball class of Zion and Ja, the NFL rookie class of Herbert, Burrow, Tua, Jefferson and others came at an excellent time for the hobby.
Also, the late release means Select will be dropping just three weeks before the NFL draft. Given the popularity of XRC cards, this will make them an even hotter commodity than usual, given their emphasis on the draft itself. In a deep QB draft class spearheaded by Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jone, the XRC cards are particularly appealing.
For more proof that Select is still one of the hottest products in the market, look no further than the hobby boxes selling out at around $1,400.
While some collectors are getting burned out on the high prices, many left will still pay a premium, so the hobby will stay on fire for seasons to come.