2022 Chronicles Football Is Bigger Than Ever…But Is It Better?
Chronicles Football returns in 2022 as a best-hits matchup that chronicles some of Panini’s biggest brands over the years. That’s the point: Chronicles is that it combines a lot of other brands into one box – from out-of-print Panini brands to spin-offs of popular brands.
Chronicles Football is scheduled to release on July 5 and is pre-ordering for $300.
While many collectors look forward to Chronicles every year, should they? Or is the mash-up brand as a stay-away? We’re here to answer that question and look at investing in 2022 Chronicles football.
2022 Chronicles Introduction
Since its launch in 2019 as a football brand, Chronicles continues building up a bigger portfolio with every passing season.
In some ways, Chronicles is kind of like a ship graveyard, full of spooky reminders of brands that didn’t demand enough respect that they could stand on their own two feet. But Chronicles also bolsters existing brands by riffing off them and sets like Clearly Donruss (which now has it’s own box) and Prizm Black. Nobody asked for them, and nobody is really into them, either.
Chronicles has its own cards that feature the stylized C as the logo, and these cards have parallels, but the other subbrands in Chronicles also have parallels. That’s why, as a whole, this product can be a lot to keep straight.
The boxes, which are preordered for $300, contain 6 packs of 8 cards. In the 48 total cards, you can expect to find 2 autographs, 1 memorabilia, 4 numbered parallels, 6 opti-chrome inserts, 6 acetate inserts, and 2 silver parallels, but remember, all of these cards can come from different “sets.”
What sets should you be looking for? Let’s check them out.
What to expect from 2022 Chronicles
This year’s Chronicles will contain many of the brands we’ve seen in the past: Score, Legacy, Dynagon, Prizm Black, Panini, Gridiron Kings, Crown Royale, Timeless Treasures, Timeless Treasures, Playoff Momentum, and Clear Vision, and more.
Per Panini, you can “Look for updated Rookie photography in their NFL jerseys printed on Opti-Chrome in Score and Legacy Update.” Basically, they re-release Score and Legacy with NFL uniforms and chrome finish. If only they could just, you know, do that with Score to start with.
The new addition for this year is Photogenic, a product that is heavily based on eye-catching photography that has previously appeared as a basketball product.
If you’re opening a box of Chronicles, it’s also important to understand the checklists. Given the nature of the product and the wide variety of cards contained therein, it is understandably impossible for Panini to have a deep checklist featuring all the rookies or veterans you’d expect. While most sets, such as Prizm, have a checklist of around 300, Chronicles gives each set somewhere between 30-50 cards.
So what’s that look like if you’re opening the box?
It means you should expect to pull several rookies of duplicate players from different sets. For example, you might pull a Kenny Pickett Score, Clear Vision and Crown Royale card.
Oh, so you’re saying I will get a lot of top rookies?
If you’re thinking that, the answer is definitely yes – but that’s not always a good thing. My biggest complaint against Chronicles is that it floods the market with cards with less-desirable rookie cards from the top-ranked rookies.
Also, if you’re into buying random team breaks, note that Chronicles is a particularly risky one to buy. If you hit a team with a top rookie you will get a lot of his cards, but if not, you might not get any cards at all (but, for what it’s worth, the autographs can be no-name guys you have never heard of. That’s usually how it works).
2022 Chronicles Football checklist information
Chronicles’ checklist is too busy to condense into an article, but understand that each of the sets has its own numbered parallel sets.
For example, Prizm Black is numbered with parallels that include silver, Purple (/199), Red (/99), Orange (/75), Green (/49), Orange (/25), Gold (/10), Gold Vinyl (/5) and Black Finite (1/1).
That said, a word of caution on all these numbered cards: remember that each set has its own parallel rainbow, so the numbered cards, as a whole, are much less rare than they seem.
For example, if there are 10 “brands” in Chronicles Football 2022 and each brand has a /25 Sauce Gardner rookie, then Sauce has 250 Chronicles rookies /25 – see how that’s misleading?
For somebody opening a box of Chronicles, pulling lots of numbered cards is obviously a lot of fun. Just keep in mind the nature of the product and how the parallels aren’t really as rare and valuable as you’d think
While Prizm Black is a big draw, the cards aren’t worth as much as you’d think. It’s a black version of the typical Prizm cards and only features the top players, per Chronicles’ quota, so there’s less deviation. On top of that, it seems like many collectors don’t view these as “real cards” since they don’t have their own box release.
The black version of Prizm cards typically sells for about a quarter of the standard Prizm version.
To oversimplify, Chronicles is a brand that floods the market with too many rookies, too many numbered cards, a tricky amount of 1/1s, and none of them will hold as much value in the future as the other brands.
Investing in Chronicles Football
Looking to invest in Chronicles? Let’s talk through your options and see what’s the best move for you.
Investing in Sealed Boxes
If you’re looking at sealed boxes, the first place to start is considering the current prices of hobby boxes from the previous years. Here’s what the numbers are saying.
- 2021 Chronicles, $350
- 2020 Chronicles, $900
- 2019 Chronicles, $259
So, the 2022 box is priced just like the 2021 box, but the rookies aren’t as good (there’s no Trevor Lawrence or Ja’Marr Chase equivalent in 2022), so that alone makes me think the pricing will settle to be more in line with 2019 Chronicles.
If my expectations for the 2022 rookie class hold true, I’d probably be able to pick up a box for less than the release price in a year.
That said, if the rookies end up exceeding expectations, perhaps the box moves closer to the 2020 box in value.
In short how you treat the product as an investment should align with what you think of the 2022 rookie class.
Investing in Chronicles Football rookies
Because of the reasons I outlined above regarding low-numbered cards, Chronicles is also a stay-away for investing in singles, at least for me.
The one exception I’d suggest if you’re a big-ticket investor is possibly considering a 1-of-1 rookie autograph from Chronicles. Why? Because each player has about a dozen 1-of-1 rookie autos coming out of the product, so you can get one at a big discount but they’re still really cool. But still, even at that, I suspect the same price of one of those cards might be a better investment if made in a more legitimate brand.
In short, invest in Chronicles singles at your own risk. They’re really cool cards and often look amazing, but the nature of the product itself makes it tough to retain too much value.
Bottomline on Chronicles 2022
Chronicles is a flashy brand swimming with an overpopulation of big-name rookies. If you want a piece of the action, they’re probably a better rip than a long-term hold, but there’s no “smart” option for making money on Chronicles. You’ll either open a box and get lucky with a big hit, or strike out but have fun while doing it.
What do you think of this product? What will it be worth in 5 years? Let us know on Twitter @card_lines.