Hobby Musings: Panini Opens New Wrestling Chapter with WWE License – The news in the hobby has been coming in at a rapid pace lately. In that spirit, Panini made hobby headlines by announcing it had acquired the exclusive license for WWE trading cards. To find out more about the company’s plans for the license, I had the chance to catch up with brand manager Lucas Kinser.
KS: Lucas, what prompted Panini to acquire the WWE trading card license?
LK: I think Panini is always looking for new licenses to acquire, and when we got word that the WWE license would be coming available, we were quick to throw our hats in the ring.
KS: What does Panini think it can do differently with WWE cards that may not have been done before?
LK: One of the biggest things we can do is put the power of Panini’s brands behind the WWE license. Programs like Prizm, Select, and others have translated very well when implemented in other licenses like UFC.
KS: What is Panini’s history when it comes to wrestling cards and stickers?
LK: I know Panini did some sticker releases in the mid-90s that carry some valuable stickers. We’re looking forward to making some new history with the license.
KS: Why did you decide to make Prizm the inaugural release for Panini’s WWE offerings?
LK: I’m always in favor of putting our best foot forward, and the Prizm brand is by far our strongest offering. Since its inception in 2012-13 basketball, Prizm has been the must-have program for most every sport.
KS: Aside from Prizm, which other Panini lines can we expect to see for WWE?
LK: Collectors should expect a combination of our classic brands that have succeeded throughout our licenses. Prizm, Select and Immaculate come to mind there. We also plan on doing at least one brand specific to the WWE license.
KS: Does the WWE license include NXT wrestlers as well and if so, will we be seeing NXT-focused products?
LK: We do plan on doing an NXT-focused product sometime in mid-to-late 2022.
KS: I saw the agreement also included WWE stickers in addition to cards. What are the company’s plans there?
LK: We plan on doing a sticker album at some point. We will have more details about that soon.
KS: WWE has a long history of superstar wrestlers. Autograph wise, who are some of the big names we can expect to see in checklists?
LK: We plan on offering a broad umbrella of deals for current and retired superstars. Expect a variety of signers from top current stars to popular mid-card performers of the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Legends like The Rock, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan and Triple H would be great additions to our portfolio of signers as well. And we’ll certainly target a plethora of rare and first-time signers as well.
KS: What about with relic cards? Can you tease what we’ll be seeing there?
LK: We plan on having Superstar-worn memorabilia in some of our releases. We’ll try to acquire some ring-worn items as well for our higher-end offerings.
Hobby Musings: Panini Opens New Wrestling Chapter with WWE License – More Resources
- Hobby Happenings – October 29
- Panini Lands WWE Trading Card License – Beckett
- The Panini Group to Become Exclusive Trading Card Partner of WWE – Corporate WWE
Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
- Hobby Musings: Stores across country gearing up for 2021 NHSD - December 5, 2021
- Hobby Musings: Lacrosse Cards, An In-depth Look with Todd Tobias - December 1, 2021
- Hobby Musings: Panini Opens New Wrestling Chapter with WWE License - November 17, 2021