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Better Late Than Never? An Overview Of National Treasures Football 2022

2022 panini national treasures football

National Treasures, arguably football’s most high-end product, is set to drop next month on July 26th. In this article, I’ve got everything you need to know about National Treasures, including what’s inside, its best inserts, and why it’s selling for less than we’ve seen in years.

National Treasure 2022 Football’s late release

With a July release date on the horizon, this is the latest we’ve ever seen a National Treasures drop. It’s historically one of the final drops in the football cycle (along with Flawless), but in the past, we’ve been able to rely on seeing National Treasures by mid-March.

The past few years have seen that date pushed back further and further — 2020 was in April, 2021 in May, and now this year’s mid-summer release. This year was initially announced for May 3rd, but have seen that date slip backward every few weeks.

At the end of the day, National Treasures is still one of the most valuable and anticipated releases in the industry, so its value isn’t going to be affected by a bit of pushback. 

Still, it’s frustrating. Football will have been over for 5 months at that point, and the NFL draft is 3 months in our rearview. Many fans have already moved on to the current crop of rookies.

I know we’ve seen pushbacks become the norm in the past 3 years, but it would be nice to see the sports’ biggest products released when there’s still some momentum from the season. 

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About National Treasures Football 2022

National Treasures Football has been one of the most revered products in the industry since its inception in 2006. It’s especially well known for its RPAs, which feature on-card autos and huge patches.

Despite “only” being numbered to #/99, a National Treasure RPA often beats out more exclusive rookies from other products on a player’s most valuable card list. 

Aside from the release date, not much is changing this year from the steady formula we’ve seen from National Treasures year over year. This means 8 cards per box, with 6 hits (autos or memorabilia cards) and, 1 base or insert, and 1 parallel. 

The National Treasures rookie checklist is known for being more inclusive than other high-end products. Last year there were RPAs for 50 rookies, compared to Flawless which only had 25. This makes NT the way to go if you’re interested in investing in some of the lower-profile rookies. 

According to Panini the new cards to be on the lookout for will be: Rookie Treasured Impressions, Lasting Legacies, Treasured Dual Cuts, Modern Masters, and Treasure Hunt. 

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Best National Treasures Football 2022 autos

Let’s be real- if you’re buying National Treasures, you’re here for the autos. And you probably wouldn’t mind if that patch auto was from a coveted rookie. 

Well, here are my favorite autos from the lot of mockups that Panini has released so far. 

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Base rookie patch auto

In its initial product announcement, Panini gave us a look at the Brock Purdy and Chris Olvae base Rookie Patch Autos. Personally, I’m pretty excited about how they look.

One of my pet peeves is when the two most visually compelling components of the card — the player image and patch — are ignored for the design elements. Luckily here, that’s not the case. We see huge images of Olave and Purdy occupying the entire left side of the card, with the oversized patch and player signature smack dab in the middle. 

Side note: it’s interesting to see Brock Purdy headlining the mock-ups for these late-release cards, instead of Kenny Pickett, who was getting a majority of the attention during the regular season releases.

Purdy’s big-time playoff performance definitely boosted him to the top of this underwhelming 2022 rookie class, and it’ll be interesting to track the trajectory of their respective values in the years to come.

Virtuoso Auto

While not technically a new card, the Virtuoso is seeing its first inclusion in the National Treasures set since 2012. And it definitely feels like a 2012-era card, with the cursive font and white/grey color scheme.

For those fond of the throwback look this card is a must-have. In addition to the huge, centered on-card auto, the large player image that fades seamlessly into the white background makes for a sharp-looking card. 

As you can see this card is using the exact same design as this Eli Manning Virtuoso from the 2012 release.

Field Pass Auto

Field Pass is definitely the most creative of the auto options we’ve seen in 2022 National Treasures so far. While most of the cards have the player’s images and autos plastered on neutral-colored backgrounds, Field Pass uses the player photo as the background itself.

As the name suggests, Field Pass will use wide-lens, field-level pictures that offer a unique perspective.

On this Garrett Wilson mock-up, the centered, gold auto still really pops on the darker background.

National Treasures Football 2022 hobby box info

The 2022 National Treasures hobby box will be released on July 26th. Hobby boxes have been listed at $3000.

Here’s what each hobby box will contain:

  • 8 cards per pack
  • 1 pack per box
  • 4 boxes in a case

And here’s what Panini has released about the card breakdown inside:

  • 6 autos
  • 1 insert
  • 1 base or base parallels

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Investing info for National Treasures Football 2022

Despite the downturn for the ultra-modern card market so far in 2023, high-end cards like National Treasures remain one of the relatively safer bets in the hobby. Now when I say relatively safe, I’m putting an emphasis on relatively

True “safe” bets are few and far between, and a lot of National Treasure RPAs have lost value this year. That said, we do know that there will continue to be demand for National Treasures now and in the future; its RPAs for the top rookies will continue to sell for eye-popping numbers.

The same can’t always be said for the more flooded lower-mid-tier market. 

Investing in National Treasures Football wax

Here’s how 2022 eBay pre-sales have been stacking up against previous releases over the past few months.

Product YearAverage eBay selling price in last 3 months
2022$1900
2021
$3100
2020
$4100
2019
$3600

As you can see there’s been some gradual slippage in value over the past few years, despite a few solid draft classes. This year, however, is the biggest drop we’ve seen yet.

There are a few reasons for that, but it probably boils down to a combination of two things: a dropping value in the card market as a whole and a sub-par NFL rookie class

So far in 2023, I’ve been pretty pessimistic about buying wax with the intention of holding, but this is the first time I think it might be defensible. The $1900 average sale price number is actually being buoyed by a couple of recent sales in the $2300 range. Many boxes have been selling for as low as $1600. 

$1600 feels really low for National Treasures. Is the market really that bad? Is the 2022 class, which features two exciting QBs and a number of potential stars at other positions, really that bad? I think that there’s some potential value if you can manage to grab a box at the $1600 price or lower. 

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Investing in National Treasures Football singles

Just how valuable are the National Treasures RPAs? Here’s how some of the key rookies from last year are selling:

2021 RPARecent Sale Price
2021 National Treasures Trevor Lawrence Crossover RPA Rookie Patch Auto RC 23/99:$1,825
2021 National Treasures Ja'Marr Chase RPA RC Patch /99 BGS 9.5 w/ 10 AUTO:$811
2021 Justin Fields National Treasures RC Crossover RPA /99 Bears: $1,175$1,175


While these single resale prices might make the $1600 box price look even more attractive, it’s worth noting that there probably won’t be any individual cards from this box that will reach the Trevor Lawrence level. At least not anytime soon.

If you’re looking to invest in new rookies and you have the funds, going for a National Treasures RPA is a no-brainer. It’s practically guaranteed to be the, or one of the, most sought rookie cards from that player forever.

Bottomline on National Treasures 2022 Football

National Treasures Football is back and looks to hold its reign as the king of high-end products. While the RPAs are definitely the star of the show, it also features a bevy of great-looking vet autos to round out the product.

Prices (both retail and eBay) are the lowest they’ve been in years. Despite a so-so 2022 class, there’s still a lot of value to be found in National Treasures, especially for those who are believers that Pickett and Purdy can become high-level QBs and boost the 2022 rookie class.

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