Review: 2011-12 Panini NBA Hoops Basketball

NBA Hoops is back after years in hiatus. One of basketball collectors favorite sets of all time is re-imagined and back in 2012, with all the modern additions you would find in today’s trading card products. At a very cheap price and a couple of autographs per box, the product looks like a winner for both set collectors and hit collectors.

With buybacks of rookies autographed from players like David Robinson, the hits can be very nice for a lower end product. Also, with the insertion of rare and hard to find inserts and SP’ed cards, the value seems to be higher.

So Panini sent us over a box to review. Want to see what’s inside and our thoughts? Your waiting has ended.

Design:

As I’ve said time and time again throughout various low end Panini products, they know how to design low end product. This one is no different. A great design utilizing the design of “the paint” on the basketball floor, most every picture features an action photograph of your favorite players in action. Basketball collectors have been looking for great action photos like these, and Panini doesn’t disappoint. Another great aspect of this product is the insert designs that Panini had collectors vote on which one they preferred. A great promotion for this product that I hope to see again.

Checklist:

Don’t get me wrong here, the checklist is really solid. You pretty much have your starters and main reserves for each team in the league. You have a number of legends of the game as well. But the one reason I took off practically an entire star is the lack of rookies. There are no rookies in this product. I understand the lockout and the issues there. The lack of photography and time to get those rookies made. But there are cards of players in their new uniforms and that is where I have trouble believing that rookies couldn’t get made. Maybe they didn’t want to make only a partial number of rookies from this year? I don’t know, but the lack of rookies really cripples the checklist in this product. I’d also mention the multiple cards of the same player, but that was probably because of the lack of rookies.

Value:

At $2 a pack for a hobby product you are getting some pretty good value here. With 2 autographs per box, you definitely get what you really want as a collector, and that’s ink. But this is also a great product, and better yet, affordable product for set collectors. The base set is a decent size for collectors and with the price tag where it is, it appeals to all different types of basketball card collectors. That’s a good thing. The inserted buybacks of original rookies is great, the fact that they are also autographed is awesome. Panini does a great job with low end products and this is no different.

Overall:

Overall, this is a fine product by Panini. Again, low end collectors and Panini are a great match up with their creation of lower end products. The design is solid and a great remake of a classic Hoops brand. The base set and inserts all look great, plus who’s to complain when the collectors voted on an insert design? The checklist is good, but the lack of rookies really cripples this product from being a slam dunk. The value is of course there, $2 a pack for hobby or $1 a pack for retail. A couple autographs in a hobby box too for the hit collectors. This product gets both kids and adults appeal which is great for the hobby.

As always, a big thank you goes out to Panini for providing this box to review. You can visit them at their official website, blog, or Twitter.

Now, for the cards.

Review: 2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball

2011-12 Panini Preferred basketball is the first high end offering from Panini during this shortened NBA season. It features four cards per pack/box with 3 autographs and one booklet card. At $200 it’s quite a gamble, but the product is a nice mix of a bunch of products that Panini would have put out this season if it wasn’t for the NBA lockout.

It features some of it’s higher end cards from a couple products, including the collector favorite Silhouettes from Crown Royale. We got our box in for review and can show you what kind of amazing cards you can pull from this product, as we pulled a sweet patch autograph in which you will see below the review.

If you want to see some other possibilities in this product, check out our official preview of 2011-12 Panini Preferred basketball after checking out this product review. Until then, check out what we pulled and you can possibly win in future contests here!

Design:

Trying to rate the design on this product is interesting. You have a bunch of different designs that would of all been in separate products had Panini had a full season of products. So while there is no real underlying theme to this set, the cards they chose to pack out in this product are some of their best designs in the respective products they used. For instance, the Silhouettes patch autograph we pulled is absolutely beautiful and a beautiful patch with an on-card autograph. The booklet card looks great, but wish they included autographs in booklets in the product. Otherwise, I’d be impressed whether these were in separate products but it’s cool they are combined into one.

Checklist:

The one thing I always enjoy about Panini products is the mix of current players and NBA legends. The one thing I don’t like about this product is the lack of rookies. I buy the excuse of the lockout a little bit, but I’ve seen some cards produced of players in their new uniforms without an issue so the rookies could of been made. Other than that, I received a nice second year player autograph, a current budding star, and a Hall of Famer for my autographs as well as a great mix of retired players in my booklet.

Value:

I actually got great value out of my box and I really think a lot of boxes will provide some pretty decent value. The three autographs is great with the chance for low paralleled autographs and solid booklet combinations, despite there not being autographed booklets. The checklist helps too with the great number of veteran players and retired players whom collectors do like to search for. At $200 a box, it may be well worth the gamble considering what Panini is trying to do this season with their products. It’s definitely fun to open as well.

Overall:

I shouldn’t be surprised on how good this product can be considering the types of cards they are putting into it, but it’s a nice pleasant surprise to get a $200 product and get some pretty good value in it despite getting only 4 cards in the box. The design is solid and uses some of the best designs over a number of Panini products. The checklist is very good despite the lack of rookies, and the value looks like it could actually have some good value across the entire run at average. I’d have to see more of what others pulled, to see if this box was better than average, but while I didn’t get big names except for the redemption, I think I still just about came out even.

As always, I appreciate Panini sending out this product for review. You can find them on their official blog, Twitter, or website.

Now, for the haul. Not shown: Hakeem Olajuwon Autograph Redemption #/10

Review: 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic Basketball

We are still looking at the college stuff here, but this time in a different light under a brand that just about everybody recognizes, 2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic basketball. What I have always loved about the SP Authentic brand in all sports is the quality of the base and hits that goes into each box. This year is no different.

You will get about 3 hits per box this year in SP Authentic, but the interesting thing is that you can find a Jordan or Lebron auto in one half case, or a Jordan/Lebron/Bird/other legendary high value autograph in the other half case. Some may say it dilutes the autograph market a bit, which it does, but it makes opening a box a little more exciting. Let’s see what we pulled:

Design:

It seems like every year SP Authentic has some great designs. This year again is no different. There are some very clean looking cards with a white background, as usual. The photos they use are great action shots in the player’s college uniform and I like the light background design that really makes the bold colors in the player photos stand out. The lettering is easier to read, unlike last year. If I had any complaint what so ever, it’s gotta be that large white box below the player’s typed name. What is it and why is it there? I mean, it looks okay, but it just sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s the first thing I noticed when I opened the first pack of cards. But other than that, very good design work.

Checklist:

The checklist has it’s negatives and positives but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. First, why is the plain base set just 50 cards? I pulled two complete plain base sets (minus Rookie F/X) in one box with a few cards left over. That is asinine and strangely impressive. I also find that there just isn’t a lot of current NBA talent on the checklist. A ton of rookies, just not many current players. I’d love to see more current players in their college uniform. There are some great legends as well so can’t complain with that. Next, the hit checklist, especially for autographs, is wonderful. There are tons of awesome legendary player autographs to be had. Again, lacking in current talent as well. I feel like they should rename this product Rookies & Legends.

Value:

First, the doubles and triples hurts. I know it saves the company money, but it doesn’t help the consumer (unless it’s put toward more autos). Second, the Jordan Brand Classic jerseys are just that. Plain old jerseys. I know what they tried to do, but this is a $120 product. Plain jerseys aren’t fun. Next, Jordan floor cards are played out. Great with an autograph, played out when plain. But everything else is pretty nice. I like that I got a full regular base set and like that the Rookie F/X cards are a little hard to get. I also really like the auto checklist and the Alonzo Mourning auto I pulled makes me giddy as I’ve always been a fan of ‘Zo. The manu-patch autos I could still care less about, but some of the names are solid. Overall, not bad at all.

Overall:

Overall, UD Rookies & Legends is a solid product and is what I will now call this product this year. The design is beautifully done with another great, clean look for this brand. It always brings that sort of nice clean design so I shouldn’t be surprised. The checklist is a bit small for the base set, but the autographs checklist is pretty stacked. While the doubles and triples hurts the consumer value a little bit, as well as the plain jersey cards, the autographs can easily make up for it. I like what Upper Deck tried to do with this product and I would judge it as a moderate success. But I can’t wait to see SP Authentic football.

As always, I’d like to thank Upper Deck providing the box to review. Please visit their official website, official blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for more information about them.

And remember, after tomorrow’s last review I will be giving away a ton of Upper Deck cards to some people so stay tuned for that.

Video coming up soon.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box Basketball

Another new and original by Panini has hit the basketball court in this final product for 2010-11 in the basketball arena. This one looks beautiful and is kind of a mix between Panini’s Donruss Elite brand and well known Black Box. This product has 8 cards per single pack box with 3 autographs and 3 game used memorabilia cards. Every card is numbered and you will see what we pulled below.

“Base”:

Game Used/Memorabilia:

 

Design:

I really love the design of this product. You won’t often find a full bleed black out background in trading cards anymore as everyone is obsessed with condition nowadays. Speaking of condition, yes, some of these cards do have a few condition issues that you can see because of the black background. Even the Artis Gilmore base card has some weird scratching on the front that really takes away from the card and I’m deciding whether to send it in to be fixed because it is numbered 4 of 5. Just be careful, because although the design is beautiful, it may cause some issues. I will get into the manufactured patch logoman cards in the value area.

Checklist:

The checklist is very cool. A very nice mix of veterans, rookies, hall of famers, and stars of the past. The only huge problem I have with the checklist is the way the product is collated. I’ve seen a few box breaks and there seems to be a weird mix to the collation with people getting multiple cards of the same player or teams, and that is something that should be fixed. For example, there are enough autographs and memorabilia cards in this product that I should not receive a Dan Majerle memorabilia card and an autograph card int he same pack. It just shouldn’t be happening.

Value:

I wasn’t sure whether this should be 3 or 4 stars. This product is $250 a pop. You get 8 cards. There are some collation issues, a little bit of damage issues, and then there is the manufactured patch logoman cards. I’m not sure this brings the value that some collectors want, but then again, I’ve seen some amazing cards come out of this product as well. It seems like it can’t make up it’s mind whether it wants to be a lower high end product or something like National Treasures. The manufactured logoman patches are scary. Logoman cards are supposed to be the cream of the crop when it comes to memorabilia. A fake logoman on a card like that is really a shame. That is probably the most disappointing part of an otherwise pretty good product.

Overall:

As I said, this product feels like it can’t decide whether it is supposed to be a lower high end, or National Treasures. I didn’t hit a rookie autograph, but the veteran, hall of fame, and former star autographs are pretty nice. The design is gorgeous, but with that comes some damage issues that may come along because of it. For that high priced of a product, I think there should be a guaranteed game used patch card as I feel like maybe there was a little too much plain jersey action. But overall, I really enjoyed the break and think it would be fun to open and fun to collect. This is definitely one of the hardest products to rate. I think I may have had too high hopes, but it didn’t disappoint too much.

Once again, a big thank you goes out to Panini America for sponsoring this review. Check out their official blog for tons of great product information.

Since I am running a huge promotional contest right now for the next month and a half, I will hold a contest for some of these at a later date.

 

Review: 2010-11 Panini Season Update Basketball

Panini Season Update is back this year with all the updates from the past NBA season. This is one of those end of the season products that features a ton of players with a huge base set, all the highlights of the season, and of course a few game used memorabilia cards and autographs. Last year, this was a favorite product amongst collectors because of the amount of hits you would receive for such a low box price and this year appears to be the same.

2010-11 Panini Season Update basketball features a 200 card base set with a subset for All-Stars and Rookie Challenge participants. You can find a ton of different autographs and game used memorabilia cards from just about every subset in this box. It guarantees at least one autograph and a few game used memorabilia cards.

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs/Game Used:

Design:

The design is extremely basic, but this is a lower end product. There is nothing eye popping or jaw dropping about it. The player is featured in an action shot with the top right corner and side blocked off for some team colors and a team logo. I think anytime you can incorporate team colors into the color scheme of the design, that is a great thing. It gives a nice variation and change of colors throughout the cards and it’s welcomed by me in any set I open to break up the monotony. The only thing I really don’t like about this design is the way the player name and brand logo is kind of stamped on there with a black ink. At times it is not very clear and sometimes looks damaged because of the rollers after printing. Basic design, but works well.

Checklist:

Basically, the checklist breaks down to this. Was the player a starter? Was the player a rookie? If you could answer either of these questions with a yes, then that player is featured somewhere in this set. The perfect set for team collectors, set builders, or hard to find player collectors, this is that. I pulled probably at least 5 of every team in the base set and then even more in the subsets including a few rookie autographs and some game used memorabilia of veterans. Overall, a wide and expansive checklist covering 90% of the players in the league. This was close to being 5 stars, but there is absolutely zero hall of famer presence. I’d like maybe a couple of hall of famer cards inserted at the end of the set. No more than 10 would be great for this set.

Value:

You can’t beat the value for the price you are getting. At least one autograph and 3 game used relics with 240 cards per hobby box this is great for just about every type of collector out there. Some boxes will contain more as well in terms of hits, just like last year, and that is always welcomed when a lot of products sometimes come shorted. It will be hard to pull something worth big money, but the number of pulls and nice autographs that can come out of here makes it worth buying a box. I finished 249/250 of the base set with probably 15 doubles. Jose Calderon is hiding from me somewhere, but honestly, just put that last card in the box Panini. Even if they are missing 1 card from the set, no one will buy another box for just that one card. Oh, I love the added touch of a low numbered parallel per box, no die-cut like Panini flagship though?

Overall:

Overall, this is a fun break with a ton of packs and cards. The design is what you’d expect from a lower end product, nothing flashy but just solid all around. The checklist is large at 200 base cards plus a ton of subsets to collect so it is great for set collectors as it isn’t too hard to complete. The value is good as the product is priced pretty low and you get more than a few hits, even if they may not be worth a large amount. This product is great for first time collectors, set builders, and those looking for a fun break of licensed NBA trading cards.

Again, I’d like to thank Panini America for their sponsoring of this box of cards for me to review.

I will combining a bunch of inserts and game used from both Panini Gold Standard and this set in one contest that will be posted in a day or so. Since I’m keeping the big hit from Gold Standard for my personal collection for now, I’m combining these two so the winner will get a bigger package. But that will be later.

And finally, the video is here. Had to cut out the ending statements, so it ends kind of abruptly. Stupid 15 minute limit.