Review: 2012-13 Panini Brilliance Basketball

Yes, I’m a bit behind. Graduate school and working 40 hours is catching up to me.

Panini is still bringing out all the stops with this year’s full year of basketball, and the “new” Brilliance basketball is another example of what is on the plate for the future at Panini with their basketball products. Will this rookie product shine in the lineup, or is it destined to be trade or relegated to the “second team” of products for your buck. Let’s check it out.

Design:4 stars blue

The Pros: Good looking designs when you can see them. Some old school themes with inserts. Good use of etching and team colors.

The Cons: Oh. My. God. So shiny. I know Panini loves the foilboard, I get what Brilliance once was, but when it is hard to make out the writing sometimes, you need some contrast in the colors. I had the same issue with Certified. Contrast please! Huge fonts.

Ideas: Tone down the shininess a bit with contrasting colors. Maybe change the fonts around so they don’t take up so much of the cards on the bottom half. Definitely keep the thoughts for inserts as they remind me of past products.

Checklist:4 stars blue

The Pros: Double rookie class. Interesting group of players in autograph checklist from past years. Really good checklist of players for memorabilia cards.

The Cons: Double rookie class. Are the players or fan favorites too obscure? I mean, I loved Dana Barros growing up. I love seeing his autograph in the product.  Is he worth being in the product though? Basketball is a strange mistress when it comes to cards.

Ideas: Well the double rookie class is almost over. I feel like it took over basketball products this season, so we won’t have to worry about that. I have a thought for autograph checklist of older players. Remember the Panini “Design a Card” vote? How about “Design a Checklist”? The logistics may be difficult due to contracting and such, but a post on the blog about players that people want to see would be interesting, and eye opening.

Value:3 and half stars blue

Currently, this box is sitting at $75 over at DA Card World.

The Pros: 3 hits in a box. Top rookies of the past season. Top autographs available at low print runs. Large memorabilia pieces.

The Cons: Double rookie class. Obscure players on the checklist that don’t bring value. Non-numbered cards. Memorabilia cards.

Ideas: The three hits in a box is a good start, however, two autographs and a memorabilia card isn’t the best Panini has done. The names on memorabilia are always solid, but we all know the value of the cards. Why not lower the print run on memorabilia cards in a product and have a larger checklist. I know it increases costs, but there needs to be something done with memorabilia card values. I know Panini has made great strides in increasing autographed content, we just need to figure out something to improve value in memorabilia cards now.

Overall:4 stars blue

Oh Panini. Brilliance was interesting to say the least. In the beginning, I was sort of expecting something retro. I was kinda hoping to see the late 90s Fleer product redone by Panini. Instead it is a bit overly shiny and needs some more contrast. But the cards that are done right look awfully good. The checklist could use some work and I think some tweaking in how players are decided could yield interesting results. Finally, the value can be there with the right box, but the checklist is a bit rough so it is almost there. Maybe we can also find a way to increase the value of these memorabilia cards while we are at it.

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

You can find the full checklist on Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube to view the break video.

And here are some of the cards. (I’m a Trailblazers fan, sorry!)

 

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: