Review: 2012-13 Panini Past & Present Basketball

Now I won’t deny that last year I loved Past & Present from Panini. In fact, I thought the product was a lot of fun with the way it was set up from start to finish. While the autographs were hit or miss, or very miss, it was a fun product nonetheless. This year, Panini has turned up the fun factor and improved the autographs. What do we get? An improved product that deserves to be opened. Want to see the full review?

Design:4 and half stars blue

One of the things you will find strange about Past & Present is their several different base designs that you can find in the product. The base is based around more of a vintage look while the inserts have that futuristic look to them. Past & Present. Get it? My favorites include the Rise N Shine base cards and the Splash inserts. Really, it is a fun product to open and it would appeal to all types of collectors. The only thing I could do without is the fuzzy cards. Personally, I think it is an interesting idea, but maybe I can’t wrap my head around fuzzy cards. Overall though, it is a brand that has its identity and I love what that represents.

Checklist:4 stars blue

I do have to say, the checklist is slightly better this year. The double rookie class is actually an improvement over last year’s autograph checklist, and that means alot coming from me as someone who feels the double rookie class diluted some of the content. That being said, I enjoyed the entirety of the product this season. It would have been interesting seeing some bigger “Past” names in the product. I’d love to see players like Mugsey Bogues, Shawn Kemp, Arvydas Sabonis, etc. or even a Harlem Globetrotters subset with autographs in this product. (I think I just gave Panini a great idea with that one.) There is always room for improvement on that next year and I think it would fit the brand nicely.

Value:5 stars blue

Right now at DA Card World, a box is sitting at a cool $68. At three autographs per box, that is a steal in this market. While you may not find sick patches or whatever, the ink is still looking good in this product. I mean, we pulled a nice SP autograph of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and of course there are Kyrie autos amongst other top rookies from the past two years. Personally, I think that is a fantastic price in this current landscape. Really, there isn’t much else to say about that.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

See, check out that improvement. The design may take some getting used to for traditional collectors, but it has reasoning for being the way it is. The inserts are top notch and makes the product really feel like Past & Present. The checklist is improved over last season despite the double rookie class, and that is a good sign. And when it comes to the wallet, it is one of the better products out there in terms of value. Go find yourself a box, it is a load of fun. So fun, in fact, that my break video is embarrassing.

Thanks to Panini for providing this box for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

You can find the full checklist over at Cardboard Connection.

And make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube so you can see me make an idiot out of myself.

Check out the cards, yo:

Review: 2013 Panini Score Football

Score football is back from Panini and it is really bringing a different vibe to the product after years of the same set up. This year, Panini has stepped up the product big time so there is definitely a comparable difference compared to past years. Was it worth the change or should Panini return to the former set up? Let’s see what we got with this product review.

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design of this product was changed up from the typical Score designs of the past. This design is clean, modern, and has it’s occasional vintage look to them. Honestly, it looks like something that came from the Topps design team. And that isn’t a bad thing. The inserts go with the rest of the set design nicely and the throwback rookies look great. The parallels again resemble something from another company, but that formula has always worked from them. It works for this product as well and it really adds to the product compared to past years. Personally, I like it and would like to see it stay.

Checklist: 4 and half stars blue

 The checklist is everything you would expect it to be for a 500 card base set revolving around the NFL. You have everyone from your stars, veterans, and rookies coming into the league this year. Many of those stars have multiple cards in the set with different inserts. The rookies are a bit more difficult to find your favorite player, but that is what makes the chase that much more fun. Not really seen in this set is the retired stars or Hall of Famers. That is something that isn’t necessarily needed in a set like this, so I don’t mind leaving that out.

Value: 5 stars blue

If you are a trading card purist, this is the perfect set for someone like you. The current price is $88 a DA Card World  and you will find 500 cards in one box of this product. This includes at least 3 autograph/memorabilia cards as well. It is one hell of a big product and one of the heaviest boxes of cards I have opened, ha! The value is there with the sheer number of cards you will get, the included autographs/memorabilia cards, as well as some of the lower numbered parallels. Honestly, I’ve said it enough now but it is just like another brand’s product. However, the price point is lower and it contains the same, if not better, hits. No gimmicks, just plain old-school pack breaking.

Overall:4 and half stars blue

 Overall, what more is there to say about this product? It is a collector’s collector product. You know the ones I am talking about. Those huge sets. Those couple of hits. The limited inserts and the occasional parallels. The modern design with a couple throwback looks inside. A set that is all about the players, no gimmicks. And a good value as well getting 500 cards at a relatively good price. Nicely done, Panini.

Thanks again to Panini America for providing this product to review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

You can find the full checklist of the product over at Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube to see the full break video.

Just want the pics of what you can pull? Check these out.

Mancave Addition: Ted Williams Autographed Baseball (UDA)

This is big, big, news for me. For awhile now I’ve been looking into getting a Ted Williams autograph. I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to go about getting it either. There are plenty of items out there with his signature that you can find, but I wasn’t too fond of many of them.

One reason being is that Ted Williams has one of the more forged autographs out there on the market. There have been plenty of rumors circulating around the memorabilia world that his son used to fake his autograph on items when his health was declining. I’ve read a number of places online with information like that and I started to get worrisome. If I was going to buy an authentic autograph, I needed to make sure it was authentic before throwing down the cash to get that nice of an autograph.

So I started to look more towards something that wasn’t a card, picture, poster, or 8×10. I didn’t originally want a card anyway for this kind of autograph. Yeah, I’m a card collector, but I also want something that will transcend time. This is the type of item you give to your future son or daughter. For a little bit more money, what’s better than a baseball?

Again, with baseballs, there is an issue with bad authentication from third parties or authenticity questions. But then I found out that Upper Deck had a contract with Ted Williams in the early 90s and he signed a number of items for them. Personally, I love Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA). I find them to be one of the most trustworthy authenticators because of their process.  Step 1 is the most important to me. “Every autograph is witnessed by an Upper Deck Authenticated representative. After all, observation is the ONLY WAY to truly guarantee authenticity.”

After reading about Upper Deck’s old contract, seeing that the ball was signed in 1993 (pre-stroke mind you, so a better quality autograph), and the fact that it was UDA authenticated, I knew I had the perfect collectible.

Now I just need to find a sweet case for it. Ultra Pro recommended the “Z-Design” to me. How would you display it?

ted-williams-uda-autographed-baseball

 

Review: 2012 Panini Prizm Baseball

Panini Prizm has been a hit across the board from it’s origins in basketball, through football, and now making its debut in baseball. The product is most similar to the “Chrome” style cards put out by Topps but it has its own Panini twist to them. With the product being a big hit every time it has been released, it will surely be a Panini staple for years to come. Want to see what is in your typical box this year? Check out this review.

Design: 4 and half stars blue

 The design on this product is a design style that will last a long time for this product. The look of the etchings throughout the cards is something you normally only see in another specific product that is a bit similar. The same with the coating, although I much prefer this coating than that of the competitors. It doesn’t smell, it doesn’t warp the cards to bending (at least not yet) and it has a much smoother, almost glass like feel to them. The design is practically flawless. My only issue is that it is possibly TOO shiny or reflective. It’s really a spectacular level of reflectiveness on the product. But the “Prizms” as they call it, “Prizmatics” for myself, are beautiful all the way from the regulars to the golds. Bravo. I also love the insertion of Elite Extra Edition and that design looks great as well.

Checklist: 4 and half stars blue

 Sets like this, with a large base set, a product with many base cards per box, all have the same things in common. They always feature rookies, stars, and Hall of Famers. When it comes to Panini, they usually find room for everyone a collector would want in a set. This is no different. It is full of your top rookies from 2012 along with your top players in the game today and Hall of Famers. I also love the addition of the Team USA license which doesn’t need to be airbrushed. The autograph checklist is actually pretty decent too. Overall, fantastic.

Value: 4 stars blue

 Right now, you can buy a box of this product for $82 at DA Card World. That is actually a pretty good deal for what you get in the product. A couple autographs, some “prizms” and the possibility for a gold/black prizm. There is one thing I keep recommending for this product, and that is to add one or two more levels of “prizms” numbered a little higher. Maybe something numbered to 50 and something numbered to 100. That’s it. I find Topps has too many levels, and I think collectors would like a couple other levels (hobby) that are a bit easier to attain, but not overwhelming for player collectors. And keep a retail version like is out now.

Overall: 4 and half stars blue

Overall, this is a well deserved score for this product. Collectors don’t really care too much about the lack of logos when a product is built this well. I think the design is great, but a few minor tweaks could make it superb and perfect. The checklist is fantastic as well with current players, future players, and former players. The value is pretty decent right now as well, but I think with a couple suggestions could put it over the top as one of the better “base” based products out there.

Thanks to Panini America for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

You can also find the full checklist of this product on Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube to see the break.

Want to see the cards? Here you go:

Review: 2012-13 Panini Preferred Basketball

The NBA Playoffs are here which means the close of the NBA season is approaching. That also means  we are shifting into more of the high end basketball products from Panini sure to make the season even more memorable. Panini Preferred is out again this year, bringing it’s high end mark with “just the hits”. Does it stack up compared to last year? Let’s see what the product brings this year…

Design: 4 and half stars blue

 This design does not have any central theme. It also changed extremely little from the last installment of the product. But it continues to work for a couple reasons. The first is there isn’t a saturation of that design in the product. When you see the same cards over and over again in a product, you don’t want to see the same design next year. It also works because these designs are tweaked very lightly. It isn’t the same exact card, except for maybe Panini’s Choice, but there are small enough changes to keep it interesting. Small tweaks every year in a product like this may be what this product is known for, and I don’t really mind that.

Checklist: 4 stars blue

 The checklist this year is not nearly as good as last time the product came out. The last product was low on rookies because of the restraints and also higher on veterans and retired players. This one had the double rookie class so you knew you were going to get more than one rookie autograph in the product. That said, the names in the booklets are always solid and continuing with a strictly veteran subset is a nice touch. I think it can even out more next year without alll the rookies you need to pack into the product.

Value:

3 and half stars blue  

Right now this product is sitting at $190 over at DA Card World. Because of the abundance of rookies this year in the product, I think it is sitting a little too high for a four hit product. It is a high risk/high reward product. Many people are opposed to product this expensive for no base cards, and I disagree with that. How much are base cards worth anyway on the secondary market? One of the benefits this year was every card, except the booklet, was numbered very low. Like 25 and under low. That was a good thing for my particular box, including the awesome patch autograph. While it may not be a top star, that card would bring in some good money because of the quality of the patch.

Overall: 4 stars blue

 Overall the product took a small step back after the last installment because of the checklist. The double rookie class has taken away from a bit of the content in many products this season if you aren’t totally into just rookie autographs. With that in mind, the designs, while not themed, are still great to look at. The value is mostly dependant on the checklist and what you pull in the box. This is a high risk/high reward product. I think my box would be about average for the product. The low print runs help a bit, but I’ll be happy when the double rookie class thing is done. Then I get to look forward to all the rookie autographs in hockey…

Thanks again to Panini America for providing this box to review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

You can find the checklist of this product over at Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube and see the video break of this product.

And here’s what we pulled…