Review: 2011-12 Panini Past & Present Basketball

If this product doesn’t bring back some nostalgia, I don’t know what will. 2011-12 Panini Past & Present basketball is one of the limited basketball releases by Panini this year because of the lockout, but it’s definitely one of the most fun and exciting products of the season. In our preview, you were about to see a ton of the great offerings from this product and the product delivered all of that which looks fantastic.

This is also the first product of the year to contain autographed redemptions for 2011-12 rookies which because of the lockout, had a hard time being produced in such a short time frame. So if you’re looking for your first rookies of the season, this product will have them for you. (With the players for the redemptions being announced in October 2012.) Full of the NBA past and present, this product looked the part to be a real winner this season. So let’s find out how it stands up. Let’s get to the review…


The design in Past & Present brings you the best of both times. The base designs are very old-school looking showing homage to the past. With a retro kind of look, these cards look great. I also enjoy the several different variations of the retro cards, which changes things up a little bit and brings a lot of variety to the base product. Then we have some of the inserts which are definitely present. The inserts are 90s like with a brand new twist. The Raining 3s and fiery insert cards are absolutely gorgeous both on camera and even better in person. The finish on the fiery cards is amazing with the reflecting surface and the Raining 3s embossed areas are very cool to the eye. Even the basketballs in Changing Times have a great feel to them. Really well done all together.


While the lack of rookies isn’t entirely Panini’s fault in their base form, having autographed redemptions is a nice addition to the product to get some rookies in. Also, some may argue that the autograph checklist isn’t that great with a bunch of names you may not have heard of if you are a recent fan to the game. The Elusive Ink series is a set with a checklist of names you may have a hard time finding autographs for that were popular in their time. Personally, I would prefer the bigger names to the harder to find names, but that’s probably just me. These players will have their collectors and should have some decent secondary value. But other than that, the mix of current NBA stars and past legends is fantastic with names you’ll find enshrined in the Hall of Fame and fan favorites.


$100 for 3 autographs and 1 game used card isn’t bad at all. You also get a ton of base cards and some really cool inserts which you know people are going to try and collect. It may be a tad bit pricey because of some of the hit content, however the large number of cards you get along with the inserts kinda makes up for a bit. Also, the game used swatches were pretty large as well. While I’m happy that they put in less swatches in this product, I’m also happy that the large swatches were included. The autographs I pulled would look much better on card as well, but you do what you can with autographs nowadays. The redemptions for autographed rookies are great too.


Overall, this is a great addition to the Panini basketball family. I really think there is a lot they can do with this product in the future and should remain around for a bit. The design is a beautiful representation of the past and present of basketball cards, as well as sports cards in general. It’s a great mix that brings back nostalgia and makes you think of some of the future technology that can be used. The checklist is solid, but nothing real noteworthy. The Elusive Ink set is interesting as it has names that may not have many autographs, but it appears as though collectors aren’t buying into it too well. Which leads to the value being pretty good, but not as good as it could be. I really think a slightly upgraded autograph checklist would boost this product up to be close to perfect. But the addition (finally) of rookie autograph should make most collectors happy.

A big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this box to review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and all around.

Not shown: Redemption for 2011-12 autographed rookie #12

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2 Responses to Review: 2011-12 Panini Past & Present Basketball

  1. We will be putting up our review next week…but incredible stuff. Love the design, the autos of players that you don’t see to often and surprisingly..the design of the jersey cards and the swatches used are the best I have seen in awhile.

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