Preview: 2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball

The first NBA product of the season, of five products, is set to arrive in late February. We just mentioned what products Panini is putting out in this shortened season and we won’t have to wait too long until the high-end Panini Preferred hits store late in February.

The concept for this product is quite interesting. $200 for four cards. 3 of which are autographs while the 4th is a booklet card featuring 6 or 8 pieces of memorabilia. Every autographed card is numbered to 99 or less including 270 1 of 1s.

Now what really makes this interesting is the designs chosen. There really is no set theme as it is kind of a mish-mash of a bunch of Panini products that they probably would have put out this season if there was a full NBA season. These will be based off of Crown Royale Silhouettes, Panini’s Choice Die-Cuts, and Donruss Signatures.

While the price is steep for 4 cards and the choice of designs are interesting and stunning as well, the main question is what the checklist is going to look like. When you open a product like this, you want to know that you are going to get some value in every box. While Panini is finalizing their checklist for this product, why don’t you check out their Panini Peek of this product and see some more images.

How about some more sizzling Silhouettes from Panini?

2011-12 Panini NBA Trading Cards Line-up

Well with the NBA season back on course, Panini has announced what products will come out in this shortened season. With a mix of low and high end products, the season should pack quite a punch.

Panini will be coming out with 5 products. This year, the rookies may be worth more then previous years because of the lack of trading cards this season. If someone like Kemba Walker becomes an instant star in the league for years, these cards could be extremely valuable this season. That’s a good thing for collectors although it may not be for Panini just because of less revenue.

Here is the lineup for this season:

2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball – late February – A high end product with 3 autographs and 1 six-eight piece memorabilia booklet card per pack. The price will be set around $200.

2011-12 Panini Hoops Basketball – March – a low end product to give you as much value as possible. A $1 per pack product with randomly inserted autographs with a hobby version at $2 per pack and two autographs per box.

2011-12 Panini Limited Basketball – May

2011-12 Panini Past & Present Basketball – June

2011-12 Panini Gold Standard Basketball – July – Here is an example of last year’s product.

So this basketball season looks to be solid and quite interesting with only 5 products coming out the door. I made a mention on Twitter that I would of preferred to have Hoops come out first and was met with a response from Panini’s VP of Marketing, Jason Howarth, that it was more about timing and they would of preferred to come out with Hoops first as well.

That is perfectly understandable given the notice that there actually would be an NBA season and when it was announced. You definitely don’t want to be wasting money on product that may never be released. I figured they wanted to release Hoops first too and that would be a reason why it wouldn’t happen. The lockout just threw everything off.

It’s good to see some NBA action this season and can’t wait to see these new products from Panini as well as the familiar brands.

Here is a link to Panini’s announcement of this information.

Brushes With Greatness: Meeting Martell Webster

This is part three of my series of my personal brushes with professional athletes. While Martell may not be a huge name, he is definitely worthy of discussing in my meeting with him.

It was the summer of 2008 and one of my former teachers at Portland State had recommended that I volunteer with Special Olympics Oregon at the Portland Trailblazers 3-on-3 Street Jam. She told me what they had volunteers do and she knew I played and enjoyed basketball so she made sure I knew that I would have a good time.

Well a good time I definitely had. They immediately put me on the main court, which I featured in my break and review of 2011 Panini Gold Standard basketball. They lay out the 1977 NBA Championship court the Portland Trailblazers played on out in the courtyard outside the Rose Garden and Memorial Coliseum. I was able to hang out there and score some of the best games played all tournament long where there were always a ton of spectators.

But one of my favorite spectators happened to be sitting right off the court getting ready for some TV interviews about the Special Olympics and the Make It Better foundation put on by the Trailblazers. After his TV interview a few people went up to him and asked for autographs, so I grabbed a pen and tried to find something for him to sign. When I couldn’t find anything I just went up to him and had him sign my t-shirt. I made a joke about me having to squat down a bit so he could sign my shirt since him and I are about the same height, since I’m 6’8” tall. We shared a laugh and I let the next person in line get their autograph.

But that wasn’t the end. Before the Kid’s Clinic and before the Dunk Contest, Martell came over and sat next to me before these events on the main court since I had the best seats in the house at my scorer’s table. We sat down and chat for a few minutes and we talked about a few things from his 3-point shooting skills to where in the world he bought his jeans because it’s hard finding jeans long enough for tall people like us. (He actually gave me the name of a great store!) I asked him for a picture and he had no problem having someone take a picture of us. Sadly, I didn’t shave that day and looked terrible, but it’s still a great memory.

The only negative about the meeting was that I didn’t have anything better for him to sign. I was forced to wash the shirt before the third day of me volunteering that weekend and the autograph faded. But I made sure that I found a nice certified autograph or two of him on trading cards for my collection since he was such a nice and personable guy. I was sad when he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as he probably wouldn’t be at the event again, but from what I hear, he is still doing great things for the community in Minnesota and up in his hometown of Seattle.

September 2011 Trading Card Releases

September is right around the corner just in time for some great sports card releases. From the high end to the low end, September is packed full of products. As always, the rating is based on how excited I am for the product. So let’s get it started:

Baseball:

2011 Topps Chrome baseball – September 7, 2011 – $65 – 7/10

A pretty decently cheap price for the same cards as Series I and II but with Chrome technology and 2 autographs a box. Nothing earth shattering here though, I’d rather wait until Finest comes out.

2011 Topps Heritage Minor League baseball – September 21, 2011 – $66 – 5/10

OMG BRYCE HARPER AUTOGRAPHED CARDS!

Basketball:

2011-12 Upper Deck SP Authentic basketball – September 28, 2011 – $118 – 7/10

Upper Deck brings the college court back again with this year’s SP Authentic basketball. With new exclusives to their basketball products, this looks to be a solid product by Upper Deck, and if the lockout continues, could hold more value over the long term if Panini decides to not make any products this season.

2010-11 Panini Elite Black Box basketball – September 14, 2011 – $250 – 9/10

Panini’s newest high end basketball product comes out hot and ready to go. A great looking set that reminds me of the old Upper Deck Black, Panini Elite Black Box looks great with beautiful hard autographs from all of the game’s top stars. This is another great original product from Panini.

Football:

2011 Panini Absolute Memorabilia football – September 14, 2011 – $155 – 8/10

A 1 hit per pack product that brings you some of the nicest patches and autographs of the season with the new on-card rookie autographs. As always, a hit with football collectors and this year should be the same once again.

2011 Panini Timeless Treasures football – September 14, 2011 – $91 – 9/10

I really like the look and quality of Timeless Treasures this year. Bringing the old and new players together in this product is great and some of the designs are top notch. I’m happy to see this product brought to the gridiron and I think Panini did the product great justice.

2011 Topps Platinum football – September 7, 2011 – $88 – 7/10

I am kind of disappointed by the looks of things and I really hope that I missed something on the sell sheet. I don’t like the college jerseys with the logos edited out and that is killing me on this product. Add in some checklist issues with very little veterans and tons of rookies and I’m not real excited about this product.

2011 Topps Prime football – September 28, 2011 – $86 – 8/10

An underrated product last season, it returns with some solid hits and a pretty nice design overall. A great product to hold you over if you are waiting on Topps Supreme.

2011 Upper Deck SP Authentic football – September 13, 2011 – $112 – 8/10

I really like this product except for one thing. Those autographed patches may look absolutely horrible with the retro design. I hope it was just the mock up in the sell sheet because the more I looked at it the more I didn’t like it. Maybe they will look better in person. But I still think this will be an above average product.

2011 Upper Deck University of Oklahoma football – September 20, 2011 – $45 – 5/10

Hockey:

2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey – September 14, 2011 – $380 – 9/10

Finally, the long wait comes to an end. The first high end product from Panini in the hockey arena is finally going to be showcased to the public after a delay by the NHLPA. Will this be The Cup Killer?

2011-12 Upper Deck Artifacts hockey – September 20, 2011 – $92 – 8/10

One of Upper Deck’s first all out hockey products of the new season is back and looks just as good as it has ever been. A great looking design as always, new players on new teams, new rookies and rookie redemptions, and some sweet patches and autographs in this hit per pack product.

That’s what we got for September 2011 sports card releases. I will be updating this page as I do more previews as it looks like I have a ton of previewing to do that I’ve missed. So stay tuned for lots of previews!

How Much Gold is in Panini Gold Standard?

I was scouring the internet tonight in search of some collectors thoughts on some products. I do this quite a lot just to see what is currently the trends in the hobby and where they are going. I like seeing what collectors like and what they don’t like, their opinions, and of course checking out their box breaks.

But tonight I found something different. The question was posed, how much gold is actually in 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard basketball cards? I found a collector who actually went “Gold Mining” on a Gold Stars insert card that is embedded with real gold. A gold embedded Shane Battier card numbered to 8 gets the brunt end of a knife and a collector who really wants some gold.

With all respect to Shane Battier, it’s only Shane Battier. With the current price of gold reaching an all-time high for an ounce the other day, how could you blame him?

But at least we now know the answer of how much gold is in 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard basketball. As expected, it’s not a large amount, but it is a cool idea that collectors are eating up. Topps is even getting into the gold craze next year with 2012 Topps baseball. I wonder if he will destroy an Adam Dunn gold card next season?