Friday, January 3, 2014

2013-2014 Panini Dominion Review

So, now that it's the end of the of they year, Panini releases its biggest and most premium... wait a minute... it's not even half-way yet! But here it is, Dominion Hockey! As most of you already know, Panini has changed Dominion's place in the hockey card line-up. Rather than being their highest end release, Panini has released it much earlier and reconfigured the product. Though Dominion has changed much in this way, the cards themselves retain a very Dominion-like look that collectors have grown familiar with. Dominion just released in the United States today (Jan 3rd, 2014), but came out much earlier in Canada... so many collectors north of the US border have already seen quite a bit of this product already.


Base Card Design -
The Dominion base cards are just what collectors should expect in a product with a $200/box asking price. The base cards are serial numbered to 299 and have a super-premium look and feel to them - there is no wacky 'kid stuff' to be found here. The base cards come on thick stock, but no comically thick stock like they did last year or the year before. 11/12 and 12/13 Dominion base cards were very low thrill and plain, and the thickness of the card just didn't resonate with them. The thinner stock this year is much more appropriate. The cards feel sleek not only in look, but also in their girth. The all white background is bordered at the top and bottom by designs etched in silver foil. The intricate etchings, fonts, and logos add to the premium high-end feel. These base cards evoke what Dominion is, and they are much improved over the last two years' clunky rounded foil border design.


The back of the base cards are as simple as the fronts. Everything is done in black/white/grey except for the team and Panini logos. The sparse backs are what we come to expect from the highest end cards. Each card back has a short write-up of the player as well as their stats from the previous season. The upper and lower borders of the card have a design that matches the foiled front. It's a nice touch to bring both sides into harmony with each other.


The rookie cards in Dominion come towards the end of the set. The standard rookies are numbered to 299 while the 'better' rookies are numbered to 99. Each rookie card features an event-worn patch (probably from the photo shoot) and an on-card signature. The RPAs this year follow a similar design path to Dominion rookies of the past couple years. The color scheme is consistent with the base cards in that the entire card is white with silver foil. The cards are designed in a way that makes sense. The area for the autograph is large, and the spaces for the photo and patch are appropriate. The cards look very good. My only issue with these cards are the patch windows. They seem noticeably smaller than in previous years. Does this size reduction correspond to Dominion's fall from top-dog status in the Panini line-up? Who knows?!?! But it is something I noticed. Despite that, I do enjoy the look of these rookie cards quite a bit. A well designed card is a well designed card.

The Dominion base cards and rookies are right up my alley in terms of how they look. There has been a little concern about chipping on these cards though, and I've seen a few cards with chipping on the foil. That is something to look out for when you buy your boxes or singles of Dominion.

Base Card Design Score:
9.25/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Each box of Dominion comes with one giant-sized pack of cards. Though the pack may look big, you're only getting five cards inside. Besides the base card and the RPA, you'll get three other hits inside. From what I have seen so far, many boxes will contain redemption cards. My box had a Mikhail Grabovski autographed patches redemption.


The Ryan Nugent-Hopkins jersey card shown above is a nice example of how Dominion does a jersey card right. The jersey window itself is intricately designed, and I really appreciate the photo used for the card. There is plenty of foil, and the card is relatively low-numbered. I'm sure this card probably won't demand a very high value on the secondary market, even though it is of RNH, but it's a very nice card that I would enjoy having.


My biggest hit from the Dominion (I want to say tin, but that doesn't apply anymore) box was this booklet of Pavel Datsyuk. The sports card hobby has gone bonkers over these booklet cards. This particular booklet is very nice, and the scan does it ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTICE. In person, the card has a three-dimensional effect to it that looks great. But even as I praise this card for its good looks, I think the booklet card thing is a bubble waiting to burst. To be honest, this card could have been done without being a book. I always thought of a book card being cool because you could cram more signatures or game memorabilia into one card. When you boil down to it on this card, it just has one autograph on it. The part that collectors desire is just that one auto on one half of the card. I'm glad to have this card - in fact, I've been wanting a Datsyuk auto for some time now - but I'm just not sure how long a run these booklet cards will be a hit with collectors... especially if they don't contain multiple items of interest imbedded in them.

Obviously one pack of Dominion cannot give an accurate sampling of what collectors will find in the product. But given what we know from the Dominion releases in the past, there will definitely be high dollar hits to find in this product. Look for NHL shields, silver engraved cards of Stanley Cup winners, different kinds of booklet cards, parallels, and more!

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:
9/10

Overall Rating -
I was a bit skeptical about Dominion this year. I didn't like that it was being released so soon, and I didn't like the new configuration. I really wanted Panini to grow Dominion as its upper echelon offering to hockey card collectors. Now that it has an earlier release date and different pricing, I can see some positives for the future of Dominion.

First of all, you are paying less and getting less cards. To me, that's ok because I still believe you will get at least one 'good' hit out of the box. Which was the same case it was with the Dominion of old. Dominion boxes used to pump out multiple standard jersey cards or no-name rookie card autographs. This slimmed-down version of Dominion kind of gets rid of the excess. And I like that. I'd rather pay this price for Dominion and get what I got than pay double that and end up with more fodder.

And second, the pricing makes it easier to buy and try $200 is a lot, but I kind of think of it like getting two mid-tiered hobby boxes. When you get into the $300+ range... that's when buying a product becomes a huge challenge on a budget.

So all-in-all, I have to say I'm very happy with 13/14 Dominion. The cards look great, and the price is at a place that's nice. No, it's certainly not cheap, and not for everyone, but I think it's doable for more collectors than it has been in the past.

Breaking the box of Dominion was great fun, and I hope you get a chance to break some too... and if not, perhaps pick up a few singles on the secondary market.

Overall Rating:
9.25/10

Check out my box of 13/14 Dominion that I broke at D&P Cards in Sacramento, Ca:

61 comments:

  1. Nice Break and Nice Lookin Cards!
    YouTube: Packdog101

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  2. Good so far. Atleast one big hit in every pack. Best looking card so far I've seen is the Stickside Signature because it got an autograf on a game used stick but ofcourse the Stamped It 1of1 is also amazing.

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  3. This year dominion is one of my favourite! I like the very clean and high quality feel without (as you said ) kiddy stuff! I also like how they have simplified the packaging, the last couple years has just when overkill with the packaging! Some very nice cards from this break! YouTube: TheHairylemon23

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  4. At the price of only 2 hits and 1 base it is 100$ cheaper, looking forward to grabbing myself a box.
    Youtube: snipeshowisaboss

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  5. I love the look of the cards especially the Datsyuk you hit, but not so impressed by the RC selection given some of the omissions.

    piper1 (SCF)

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  6. Amazing product. With what you get this year on a lower price you cannot complain. Living in Canada I have been lucky enough to open a box myself already and be in a few group break.

    With that being said we have one thing in common we pull amazing Datsyuks I pulled his Had it Stamped it 1 of 1 in a group break on Canada release day.

    Overall with this product it looks amazing the design as usual is clean and bold. The patches are beautiful and the size of the patches is great.

    It will certainly give The Cup a run for its money.

    Youtube: Starnsfan00

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  7. I love this years dominion especially the price because i can actually afford a box or two finally. The card design is very nice and the hits are amazing.
    As always your review was awesome luke.
    YT:superryan3

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  8. Love the look. I really want to collect the base set but it'd probably be very expensive, since they are going from 3-15 dollars per.
    Yt- christiantlegault
    Great break, Keep up the vids

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  9. + The cards are as always classy designed and looks great.
    + I actually like the Frozen Moments cards, both the technology and the design. On the minus side should be the fact that it is a book when it's just one autograph on the card!

    - To me it seems like a big step-down this year. I actually don't remember seeing that much jersey cards being pulled out of Dominion as I have seen so far. Maybe I'm wrong?
    - The patch windows on the RPA's have been extremely small. I noticed that already when I saw the previews from Panini. Actually these small windows make them almost identical to Select with it's content, except the foil of course.

    BIGGEST MINUS OF THEM ALL: The "Canadian Only" December release from Panini. I'm so tired of this shit, especially since I just saw the same thing will occur to Titanium! Why not give us all a fair chance at it? Panini America isn't a dictatorship like North Korea, right?

    ? Will Panini release a higher-end product than Dominion later on the year? Probably, because they can do much better than this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, dictatorship maybe wasn't the best description, but you get the point?

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    2. And my youtube is: Majlfp

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  10. Woah - Panini is throwing it down with Dominion!
    Love these cards - and would love to get my hands on a tin.
    YT - Skroeker24

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  11. Nice stuff, it's really hit or miss though!
    My username on SCF is cujo31ne, been watching your stuff for a while, first time commenter!

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  12. This year it looks really good, i hope to open a box later in the year.

    Youtube: Cam Schneider

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  13. Great cards, looks awesome! That datsyuk is sick, nice pull Luke!
    -crazyroyal12man

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  14. Honestly for the lower price it's great for collectors on a lower budget like my self. I can finally afford a box and for the most part you are guaranteed to pull something nice. Sure its a step down, but when you can spend 100 on a ok box and pull just jerseys I would much rather buy a box of this stuff. Btw:Awesome datsyuk youtube;Kreider20x20

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    Replies
    1. Also I am really disappointed with our friends north of the border getting the product earlier.

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    2. You didn't seem to thrilled with the booklet card but man, I really like those cards! The overall design and the Auto's really make the product for me. Thanks for the contest Luke!

      YouTube: iCollectBoston

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  15. Great review!!! I hope to get a box soon

    YT: NOTA .CANADIAN

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  16. ice cards anywayb you would trade tardif if soo message Btw love the vids keep em coming

    YT:47HOCKEYFAN

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  17. Great Cards Love the design but out of my price range!

    YT: Riley Thomson

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  18. Nice cards you got and that Datsyuk booklet looks awesome hope I get enough money to buy a Dominion myself.
    YouTube: jesiah ingram

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  19. great looking cards nice higher end product. great desgin lot of nice patches . only negative would be that alot of the boxes being opened tend to have some damaged cards. great box
    thanks
    youtube: slaney1532

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  20. For the price point this year, Dominion looks awesome. But a few breaks I've watched there are a lot of packs with chips on the cards.
    Youtube: Graboguru

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  21. nice break looks really nice would love that datsyuk overall a nice product

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  22. I like the look of the booklets this year but I get the feeling that Panini rushed the product. So many of the boxes I've seen have redemptions, I mean one case i watched had a redemption in every box. I'm talking master case! Anyway good review.

    YouTube: andicardsnstuff

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  23. Dominion looks like pretty good value for $200. RPA's have been done well and the booklets look pretty good. I hope Panini doesn't overproduce the booklets though and make them 1 per box like some basketball products, as they are pretty unique cards.
    Youtube: LJ Nights

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  24. Dominion looks great, and I agree with you that the booklets are a little wasted. The Datsyuk should really be on one card. It would be great to have like 2 or more autos on the booklets, you can cram in at least 8, which would be sick. Overall, still a great product.
    Youtube: MrCardCollector97

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  25. Love it, great review and great break.
    youtube: LuckynworkLuckyDog21

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  26. Great Break , Dominion is such a good product this year with the double rookie class

    SCF- cjrw83

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  27. very nice product, love the rookies, the booklets, its awesome... and cheaper! great review Luke! youtube : SJSharkzz3

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  28. Really sweet and classy looking product! I definitely think it is one of the better looking products i love the predominate white background with silver foil on the edges. The booklet also looks amazing!

    Thanks so much for your continued generosity by having these contests!

    87Leafsfan

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  29. Awesome booklet! That redemption card is gonna be sick too!

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

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  30. I love how the price went down!
    SCF:cowtippincrabwaka

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  31. I dont like this stuff! Its really similar to last and last last years! Booklets ahhh, theres too many of them right now thanks to panini! Price for booklets have dropped a lot! 4 years ago who could imagine that you can buy booklet for 25-30$


    YT: martinspridstavlaet

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    Replies
    1. and those back to back begginings are just 2 limited phoenoms cards sticked together! thats just awful!

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  32. I love Dominion, This years product is cheaper and more well known good rookies to collect! Congrats on the Datsyk autograph :)

    Youtube: MrThendro

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  33. really excited to get my hands on some dominion singles this year! they look awesome!
    youtube: Connor Stahl

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  34. I think this was a huge step down from last year, but I guess that's what you get when the price drops so much. The cards do look very nice though.

    YouTube: Eoj18

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  35. Dominion is a hit or miss product, you can get an amazing box or a dud box. I stay away from Dominion because of the lack of consistency.

    SCF Username: ChampsCollector77

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  36. I would give this product a 9.5/10 just because we are used to seeing the bigger windows for the patches, and this year they are smaller. Everything else though is really good!

    YT: 88blackhawks1981

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  37. This years Dominion is looking better then before. Great Datsyuk Hit!
    I've never been able to afford these high-end products, but now I think i'm going to save up for this product!

    YT : WuhvRice

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  38. For me i always thought high end stuff like dominion was a rip off because very rarely do the cards add up to the box value.
    This years is looking pretty solid and is making think of buying one or even a case.

    Yt: spicymexicanpickles

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  39. Dominion looks great this year the cards are always gorgeous and I love how the price is more affordable now . Great box by the way !!

    YouTube : Brandon Simpson

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  40. Nice break!

    YT: desarge44

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  41. Great Product nice patches

    YT: happyzappy99

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  42. Wonderful pack dude! Great cards! Hope you get a Couture card out of there soon!!! That would be cool. Youtube username: Mikey C

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  43. Great review. I am really impressed with the booklet card of Datsyuk. I have never seen one before.

    Youtube: Lester Temptacious

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  44. Great looking cards, Dominion is one of my favourite products for hockey. You can hit some big cards in the product. Loved the Datsyuk card you pulled, it's cool that it said Datsyukian Dekes.

    YT - MapleLeafsFan4Life

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  45. I liked Panini Prime but I'm thinking Dominion is probably better, because it's cheaper and you still get 2 patch auto's per box. Most of the great hits are high numbered, which is good and bad, easier to hit but less rare/desired.

    YT- ryannturnaa

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  46. Great review. I really like Dominion this year. It has a very classy feel to it. I like the Datsyuk card being a booklet, even though it didn't have to be one, it makes it more special in my opinion. Thanks for the contest!
    -Danboyle13

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  47. I wish i had the money to buy some beautiful cards like these, but i always end up buying cheaper products on sale *sigh*

    YT- Hahamansr

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  48. I really love the way Panini has changed dominion. Even though they removed a few cards that you would get in a typical box, it's worth buying at the 180-200 dollar range. It gives collectors like me who may not have the chance to buy such a high end product a chance to get my hands on it!
    YouTube: Spuds CardCollections

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  49. Nice cards! Dominion is a great product, and not even the highest end product from Panini this year!

    SCF/CnC: juddy96

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  50. cool box mate

    YT: thejerseycards

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  51. that was a great box very nice booklet and RNH patch thats great panini dominon shouldve did a duel booklet this year instead of frozen moments but great box and review .. YOUTUBE NAME:Dominic Mcleod

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  52. great review i think this is a better prouduct with all the good rookies. nice booklet
    multihabsfan31

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  53. Like you I was a bit skeptical at first about Dominion coming so early in the year. However I really like this product. Dominion always has the best looking cards every year IMO.

    SCF: Deschneid

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  54. i love dominion the patches are so nice and i like how they put it in a pack now
    -CANUCKSCARDS

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  55. Really like the look of the Dominion cards this year. Only complaint is how small the windows are on the RPA's. Great break and review!
    YT- bmurphy1325

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