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Should You Buy Or Avoid 2023 Panini Illusions Football?

Releasing on March 13, 2024, the 2023 Illusions Football by Panini continues to bring a diverse mix of base and insert cards along with autograph and autograph memorabilia options.

But don’t fall for the optical illusion: there are a lot of warning signs mixed with this product’s glitz and glam. 

While it introduces some intriguing elements, it’s crucial to consider various aspects before deciding to invest. Here’s our full review. 

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2023 Panini Illusions Football product review

Illusions is scheduled to be released on March 13th at $450 per box. As we’ve noted with every NFL product this season, remember that this product will not have CJ Stroud or Bryce Young autograph cards. 

But what does it contain? Here’s a look.

A hobby box of 2023 Illusions Football includes:

  • 3 Autographs
  • 2 Memorabilia Cards
  • 5 #’D Trophy Collection Parallels
  • 10 Acetate Or Microetched Inserts/Parallels

What to expect from 2023 Panini Illusions Football

Each box of 2023 Illusions Football comprises 10 packs with 5 cards in each. The product features a standard 100-card base set, encompassing both top stars and rookies. The inclusion of Trophy Collection parallels adds a touch of variety to the base set.

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The appeal of Illusions lies in the pursuit of autograph and autograph memorabilia cards—an appeal that’s dampened by the lack of Stround and Young autographs. Highlighting players from the 2023 rookie class, these cards aim to capture the essence of emerging talent.

Additionally, the product pays homage to the game’s legends, providing collectors with a mix of new and established stars.

The insert lineup promises diversity, featuring the challenging Holo Heroes, the intriguing King of Cards, and the illusionary Illusionists. Collectors can explore a range of other inserts, contributing both visual interest and potential collector value.

Kordell Stewart auto 2023 Panini Illusions Football

2023 Panini Illusions Football sets to watch for

In the realm of autographs, first-year players take center stage in Illusions. Notable entries in this category encompass the First Impressions Autographed Memorabilia and Rookie Signs.

The autograph lineup isn’t limited to rookies alone. Seasoned veterans and retired players also make a significant appearance on the checklist. Elusive Ink makes a comeback, showcasing autographs from players known for their infrequent signatures.

The diversity of inserts in Illusions extends beyond striking designs; it also includes various types of stock. Within hobby packs, collectors can encounter both acetate and microetch themes, contributing to the visual richness of the collection. Returning favorites like Illusionists and King of Cards continue to grace the set.

For enthusiasts seeking a touch of nostalgia through classic chase sets, the hologram-inspired Holo Heroes provides a throwback experience.

2023 Panini Illusions Football Anthony Richardson

Investing in Panini Illusions Football 

With a pre-order price of $450, buying a box of Illusions shouldn’t be an impulse buy. But don’t worry – we’ve researched for you. 

Here are a few different ways to think about investing in Illusions.

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Jaxon Smith Njigba 2023 Panini Illusions Football

Investing in sealed boxes of Panini Illusions Football

If you’re investing in sealed boxes with the intent of holding them, here are some numbers to consider (February 4, 2024).

  • Current resell of 2022 hobby: $322
  • Current resell of 2021 hobby: $290
  • Current resell of 2020 hobby: $700
  • Current resell of 2019 hobby: $270

What can we learn from this?

2019 was the worst year recently, but that’s no surprise – it’s a fragile rookie class. And 2020, with Burrow, Hurts, Tua, Love and Herbert, sold for the most.

So, as always, the value of the product is much more closely tied to the rookie class than the construction of the box contents. You can assume the 2023 draft class (without Stroud) will most likely be a lot closer to 2019 (Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones) than the stronger classes on this list. 

With that in mind, $450 feels very steep if you’re buying 2023 Illusions to hold. I’d guess your odds of being profitable come out between 0-1%. Next to nothing. 

With that in mind, I’d encourage you to stay away from Illusions as a sealed investment. 

Box of 2023 Panini Illusions NFL Trading Cards

Investing in Panini Illusions

Typically, I say something like this: “Your best bet of making a profit on this product is finding a few low-numbered cards of players you believe in and buying them to hold.”

If you’re looking to invest in singles, the best cards would be numbered Illusions parallels and rookie autographs. If you can buy raw and get them graded, bonus points for that. 

But compared to other brands, even low-end Donruss Rated Rookies, Illusions has minimal appeal. Most of these won’t age well, even the PSA 10s. While you could buy a nice card in Illusions, I’d recommend using the same money to buy a nice card in another, more popular set. 

Bottom line: Rip, Hold or Pass?

Illusions keep coming back, but it’s still one of the least desirable licensed brands from Panini, and the $450 pre-order price is too high for the potential therein. 

What do you think of this product? What will it be worth in 5 years? Let us know on Twitter @card_lines and be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter right here. 

Shop for 2023 Panini Illusions Football boxes on eBay

Panini Illusions Football 2023 checklist

A fully searchable checklist of Panini Illusions Football 2023:

2023 Panini Illusions Football

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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