Review: 2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball

With a full season prepared to launch after last year’s strike shortened season, this year returns to the standard of basketball card collecting that collectors were hoping for last season. With Prestige basketball number 2 on the list for this season, Panini has prepared a season full of rookies from the past two years and a season to think about where they’d like to go this year for sports cards.

Prestige is here and with it comes the first real taste of what will be going on this year. With 3 autographs and one memorabilia card per box, Prestige is one of the first products to feature quite a few rookie autographs and some of the early season’s better hits. Let’s see how it stacked up.

Design:

The basics of the design are actually nice, but the execution wasn’t very enjoyable. I like the player focused photos with the team color background over the action going on behind the player. It focuses on the player, color coordination, and it fits in perfectly. First, I can’t seem to understand the giant white line that goes across the bottom of the card. If it’s part of the design, why? It serves absolutely zero purpose. The second real issue I have is the going back and forth between vertically and horizontally oriented. This makes the actual pack opening experience annoying. Trying to go back and forth reading and looking at the cards is something that’s just not enjoyable. I like everything, except inserts, generally the same. I don’t mind a couple positioned differently, but when it’s 3-4 A PACK like that…as I said, it’s an annoying opening experience.

Checklist:

Speaking of checklists, why has Panini done away with adding them to the products? Anyway, I usually harp on the number of rookies in a set but it looks like this may be a problem this year with the double rookie class of cards. There are 100 rookies in this set and all of your favorite stars of the NBA and a few legends for those old school collectors. With 75 rookie autographs, you have just about anyone you would want to find. The veteran/legend checklist for autographs is kind of small though for such a big set. I guess they had to get those rookie autographs in.

Value:

My biggest issue is there are just so many rookie autographs in this product compared to the veterans or legends. Good thing it’s a strong rookie class in general, even if combined with the rookie class from last year which was kind of weak. I’d like to see more veteran content in this product besides the relic cards. It’s tough to balance things out, I just find this product to be very unbalanced in that regard. For just about $100 a box, it’s not terrible getting four hits in a box either with 3 being autographs. You have opportunity to hit some hot autographs which of course will be valuable anyways. I’d just prefer better opportunity for some veteran autographs.

Overall:

Overall, this is a decent product from Panini. The design could use some work as it has me questioning a few things. For once, the design of the product actually had me annoyed at going through cards in the packs. It just felt unorganized. But it did have some highlights with the inserts and the basic design. The checklist was full of rookies and veterans, but rookies really stealing the show in base cards and hits. This is almost like a purely rookie product just because of the number of rookie cards you can find in this product, which hurts value a bit if you strike out with a bunch of low end rookies. But as is with rookies, you can hit it huge too. I just want to find more veteran content in the hits department. I also want to mention the damage from a few cards as well, including the Jordan Williams autograph, that bottom right corner ding is pretty bad.

As always, thanks to Panini for providing this product for review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, or Facebook pages.

For a full checklist of 2012-13 Panini Prestige basketball, check out the product information page on Cardboard Connection.

Now, for the hits: