Review: 2012-13 Panini Absolute Memorabilia Basketball

A full season of NBA products has Absolute Memorabilia coming to basketball this year, and it features all the things about Absolute that you love. Rookie autographs, sweet memorabilia cards, and other big hits that only this product can bring you. Each box has four packs with each pack containing an autograph or game used memorabilia card. Also included are the Spectrum inserts which you can find nice low numbered cards as well. Let’s see what we pulled.

Design:4 and half stars blue

Designing this year’s Absolute Memorabilia is nothing earth shattering from Panini, but it does have points taken from last year’s Limited product. They share a similar design with foil team colors and similar set up in the layout of the cards. I’m all for the team colors foil, but at least keep it to the same brand. The one thing I like about changing designs is that it keeps a similar theme across one product. For instance, you wouldn’t have a ticket design for anything other than Contenders. Other than that, it is a solid foundation this year. The one thing I found strange was the GIANT sticker used for the Fat Lever autograph. More room for autos is nice, but that would look so much better on card.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist for this product is much better than other Panini products this year as the double rookie class isn’t as prominent compared to other cards you could receive. While I did receive two rookie autographs (one is a redemption), I pulled two other autographs with one from a retired player and one from a current veteran in the league. When I pull current players, I always shed a tear of happiness as the hobby doesn’t have to be so rookie centric.

Value:4 stars blue

The value of the product is one that is hit or miss with this type of product. The one thing I am really impressed with this year was I received four autographs in my box. To me, in a product like this the hits are all about how much ink and how many colors your memorabilia cards are. When you pay as much as you might for this product ($127 at DA Card World) you want to find some value. Four autographs is always good in my book and when only two are rookies, you got my attention. Pretty nice collation in this box, so I hope others are similar.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, after missing out on last season of Absolute, Panini has come back with a solid offering for basketball fans this year. The design of the product is nice, despite the similarities to last year’s Panini Limited product. The checklist is improved over other Panini products this year as you aren’t bombarded with the double rookie class and have some decent veteran and retired autographs. The best part, in my opinion, was that I received four autographs in my box. At that kind of price, the more ink the better in my opinion. Good work to Panini on the product this year.

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

You can find the full checklist and more information on Cardboard Connection.

Make sure you Subscribe to us on YouTube to view the breaks and here is what we pulled:

Not shown: Redemption for Jae Crowder RC Auto

Review: 2012-13 Panini Limited Basketball

The Limited product from Panini continues on this year, including some of the same types of hits and rare memorabilia cards that you come to expect from this long-time Panini/Donruss product. With at least 3 hits per one pack box, you will be able to find some autographs and memorabilia from some of the top young players, superstars, and retired legends of the game. With the double rookie class, you’ll be able to find top autographs from some of your favorite rookies and sophomores. Let’s see what we were able to pull in our box.

Design:4 stars blue

The design of the product is actually pretty nice overall. The one thing I absolutely love is the base cards. Similar to last year’s product, the foil background behind the player is tinted in their team’s team colors. That little addition just really makes the card come together. It looks especially nice on the Rondo base, which I don’t take a picture of for some reason. Although small, I love the change of the logo of the product to an Old English style “L”. It looks like something that would fit in very well with basketball culture. The inserts are nothing really eye catching or new to Panini products in terms of design. They aren’t terrible, it’s just something you’re used to as a Panini collector. I think a new style insert could really transform the product.

Checklist:4 stars blue

Now the double rookie class is something that I find to be sort of a detriment towards sets this year. It seems like every rookie has an autographed card and that puts a damper on finding veteran autographs in a product like this. While Kendall Marshall was a top 15 pick, and as was my redemption of Kawhi Leonard, this product contains a lot of rookie cards. Luckily, my memorabilia card was of Celtics GM Danny Ainge from his playing days. It was cool for me to pull Ainge as he used to babysit a good friend of mine. But other than that, I’d still like to see more veteran content in this product. However, you can’t complain about two top 15 first rounders.

Value:4 stars blue

The value of the product is difficult to discern as Limited has always been a hit or miss product. Even more so in the double rookie class as you have more chances to pull rookies (or sophomores) in the league. You can find the product currently for $87 a box over at DA Card World, which is actually a decent deal compared to past years. With the amount of rookie cards from the past couple of years Panini has been putting out this year, at that price it’s probably worth a shot at a Kyrie or another big name rookie.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this is a solid product from Panini, but nothing earth shattering. I still think Panini needs a big makeover on the Limited line, but this product can still hold its own in the basketball realm. The design is nice with the team colors incorporated into the foil, but I’d like to see more out of the inserts. The checklist, while okay with the double rookie class, feels a lot like one of those rookie only products. I’d like to see a guaranteed veteran autograph in a product like this as I’m not a big rookie collector. But the value, with the lower price, is a better than past years and it’s worth a shot if you want to try and pull a big name right now.

Thanks again goes out 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 find the full checklist of this product over at Cardboard Connection.

And check out the images below for our hits, or subscribe to us on YouTube to sell the box breaking video.

Preview: 2012-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used Hockey

A press release about 12-13 Upper Deck SP Game Used hockey from Upper Deck came out today:

Carlsbad, CA (January 15, 2013) Just days before the puck drops on a new season for the NHL®, Upper Deck is pleased to release 2012-13 NHL® SP Game-Used; a super premium hockey card release that collectors are eager to experience. The product has been revamped from years prior and has a lower price point per pack, but does not compromise on the quality cards that have made it a hobby favorite. Collectors can find five packs in every box that contain at least one autograph card and four other memorabilia or autograph cards.

“SP Game-Used has been given a nice makeover that we think collectors are going to love,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s Hockey brand manager. “We have challenged our teams to come up with compelling new inserts that will bring collectors closer to the game and we believe they have succeeded. By improving the value collectors can find in packs, we think they will have a much more exciting pack-opening experience this year!”

There are a bevy of new insert sets that will have collectors clamoring to crack these packs. First up are the “Draft Day Marks” autograph cards that profile talented rookies and veterans on the day they were drafted. Collectors can chase these cards to put together the entire set that will spell out the player’s last name. Rookie cards have always been a staple in the product, but now there is better collectability with Rookie Cards limited to each player’s jersey number with a twist being that the last card in each print run is a one-of-one-autograph for young stars like Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) and Sven Baertschi (Calgary Flames). And with “Supreme Patches,” “Supreme Sticks,” and “Supreme Skates” collectors find out first hand where SP Game-Used gets it’s name as they can find game-used memorabilia cards with very compelling pieces of jerseys, sticks and skates players used in actual games. The skate cards in particular are going to be an exciting new addition for collectors as it marks the first time Upper Deck has produced cards like these. And to create some serious high-end buzz, collectors can also find rare 1-of-1 NHL® Shield variation cards that include the NHL® logo from game-used jerseys on the card.

One of the most unique additions to the SP Game-Used brand for this season is an artifact used in Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 2012 NHL® Stanley Cup® Final. Upper Deck was able to procure the actual net from the goal from those games and will be including special Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils cards with swatches of the net embedded in them. Special autograph variations will include authentic signatures on swatches derived from the leather net skirt from key players in the series like Adam Henrique, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Martin Brodeur and Wayne Gretzky who dropped the ceremonial puck before Game 3. Also look for ten different 1-of-1 “Jumbo” packs cards featuring large swatches from the oversized NHL® shield patch taken from the net skirt.

Just in time for the start of the NHL® season, Upper Deck is pleased to release 2012-13 NHL® SP Game-Used which is currently available on store shelves.

Hey, it’s about time Upper Deck changed up the product after the horrible offering last season. Let’s hope these changes really do enhance the product for collectors.

You can find this product online at DA Card World for about $107 . You can also find more information including the checklist at Cardboard Connection.

Review: 2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures Hockey

2012-13 Panini Classics hockey is a new product from Panini, perfect for the season of the strike in the NHL. A product that is full of Hall of Famers and legends of the game, you don’t have to worry about players in new jerseys, rookies who hit the ice last season, or redemption cards featuring players that haven’t hit the ice for the first time yet. It is a product that has one autograph per pack and includes some big names. It’s a fun product if you love the history of the game, so let’s see what we pulled from this product:

Design:4 and half stars blue

The design of this product is superb. It really gives you that old school feeling with the classic look around the picture. The look even features some blemishes to make the cards appear classic or old themselves while remaining in pristine condition. Some may argue that sports cards in general are a condition sensitive hobby, which is true, but the look of a blemished or beat up card adds a level of design that you can’t get without actually changing the condition of the card. I’ve been an advocate for designed blemishes on cards for awhile now and I love what the Panini design team has done here. And the spot for the on-card autograph looks perfect. Good work.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist of this product is actually quite interesting. You have Hall of Famers and old school veterans who you don’t find a lot of autographs from. You can find everyone from Jari Kurri to Dave Tippett, we pulled autographs from both. I like the wide range of players as it really showcases some of hockey’s best history from the players who played the game. How many products out there can you find Whalers autographs like this one? As someone who grew up in Connecticut, that was a highlight for me. While I was a youngin even when they left town, these are names I still recognize.

Value:3 and half stars blue

The value is the only place where this product really suffers. You can find this product for $180 currently on DA Card World. That translates to around $30 per pack with each pack having an autograph. While the autographs are classic and from players who don’t have a ton of inked cards, the demand isn’t precisely there unless you pull a big name. It’s a tough sell at that price, but I think $15-$20 a pack would be closer to acceptable for this product. But there are some big names to hit as well so who knows who you might pull.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, this is a product with it’s highs and lows. The lows mainly come from how much money is coming out of your wallet, while the highs are definitely high up there. With a very nostalgic feel to the product it definitely has you feeling like watching some old school hockey. The design is old school with the designed blemishes, which I love, especially the die-cuts. The checklist is solid and filled with fan favorites and Hall of Famers. But again, it always comes down to price of the product.

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

You can find more information about the product on the Cardboard Connection.

And of course, here’s the video break. After the working with video, we’re going to go back to displaying images with our next batch of reviews. The site is finally all updated so I appreciate the patience.

Review: 2012-13 Panini Totally Certified Basketball

Totally Certified? Yes, it has returned again with the bright colors and all the hits you could ask for in one box. The parallels have returned as well, featuring some of the most collectible non-auto/memorabilia cards in the business today. Basketball collectors are unlike a lot of other collectors in that they go ga-ga for low numbered parallels. Panini fills every void with this product at multiple hits per box and multiple parallels. Let’s see what we got:

Design:4 stars blue

Not a ton has changed since the last installment of this product, but the design is still a solid one. The starburst style of design returns, but it feels like it is more…shiny than the last time this product came out. I really liked the more of a matte feel on the last ones as foilboard isn’t the answer to everything. I do really like the slight changes in the parallels as well. Very sharp looking and easy to distinguish. I just think there are enough foilboard products out there that this could use a change of direction. The colors are still bold and bright however which looks nice with the player featured. The design on the rookie autographs I can’t quite put my finger on them, it looks like it’s meant for a sticker autograph but they were on-card…kinda strange. But all together, a solid design.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The checklist is similar to the last go around as well, but this time I’m guessing there are just going to be more rookie signatures because of the double rookie class. It’s something I’m not a fan of, but probably will have to get used to for the rest of the season. In order to fit all of them in, you have to take out something. Oh well. The rest of the product is again filled with veterans and legends alike, like the sweet Lakers patch we pulled. You’ll have to check the video for that.

Value:4 stars blue

Value is again a little rough, but what makes up for it the possibility for some high valued parallels and some great rookie autographs. This is a tough product to judge because while it does have some plain jerseys in it, the autographs and parallels make it hit or miss as well. While we didn’t hit any low parallels, we did hit a low rookie parallel autograph, numbered to 15. The patch was nice as well from a Lakers old timer. It’s just trying to fill out everything else that makes this product difficult to judge when you purchase it for $120 at DA Card World.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, the dynamics of the product really hasn’t changed much since the last time it came out, and that is a bit disappointing. I do slightly miss the rookie/jersey autographs that all the rookies were featured as and I still wish the hit content was a bit better. The parallels though continue to shine, and that was a pleasant surprise last time around. I’m glad to see that trend continue in products like this that needed that extra bit of value.

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

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

Check out the video to see our sweet hits.