Review: 2011-12 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

Last year’s 2010-11 Gold Standard set a mark for future products and the success of the product brought it back for a second season. The price point stays the same at about $200 a box and there are a few tweaks to a very good product last season that collectors will notice. With more of a game used element with the autographs, less inserts, more base, and the same number of hits, the basics are generally the same with this product. Want to see what’s in your typical box break? Well here we go…

Design:

The design of this product is about as clean of a design as you can get with the foilboard. I really enjoyed the design as there wasn’t too much going on in the background. The base cards look great, and my favorite design has to be the Signs of Gold autographs. It’s almost the perfect design for the autograph placement and picture. The one thing I didn’t like which I will complain about for just about every product is the sideways autographs. This product features some of them and I just need everything to be uniform design-wise. I think if they put the Career Points over on the right instead of the autograph like the game used cut outs, it would have been much better. Otherwise, I really enjoy most every design that I pulled. Good work on changing it just enough to keep the collector interested this year.

Checklist:

I don’t think the checklist is as good as last year’s product. The one improvement I see is the cutting down of the inserts and including more base cards. That makes set collecting possible and really improves the feel of the break. But I think it has just enough of the legends and current stars to keep it interesting. With a few different retired stars and a few different current players in the product it changes things up, but there are more players out there who would make a better appearance in this product to improve the checklist which would also improve the…

Value:

Value wise, it’s a little tough this year. Last year’s checklist was a little bit better and the additions to this year’s product weren’t quite as good. For instance, we pulled Earl Monroe. Once a great player, not many autographs, sells alright. The rookie autograph redemptions, good work getting those out, but waiting until October for the draft is too long. Finally, Kevin Martin as an autograph hit in a $200 product isn’t good. Include the fact you’ll get two plain game used jersey cards in the $200 product and you’re hurting. This is a product that screams one patch per box as your game used hit. Make that Dirk a patch and have a cut out “5 piece” game used card, and it’s a bit easier. It definitely has room for improvement in this department next year, but it’s just more of the little things. I’ve been tired of plain game used jerseys in expensive products for awhile without patches, and I’m going to continue that until I see results in products.

Overall:

Overall, this is an average to below average break for the product. The design is well done this year and is very clean and really focuses on what you need to focus on located on the card. I could do without the vertical autographs though. The checklist needs a little work but I do like the cutting out of the numerous plain old inserts from last year and think that makes for a better opening experience as well as collecting the base cards. The value needs a little work and I really want to see a patch included in every box instead of two game used pieces. 1 game used jersey, 1 game used patch. That’s all I ask for in a $200 product when it comes to memorabilia. That’s not a stretch offer.

As always, a big thank you goes out to the folks at Panini America for providing this box for review. You can find them online at their official site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with them.