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:

Review: 2011-12 Panini Past & Present Basketball

If this product doesn’t bring back some nostalgia, I don’t know what will. 2011-12 Panini Past & Present basketball is one of the limited basketball releases by Panini this year because of the lockout, but it’s definitely one of the most fun and exciting products of the season. In our preview, you were about to see a ton of the great offerings from this product and the product delivered all of that which looks fantastic.

This is also the first product of the year to contain autographed redemptions for 2011-12 rookies which because of the lockout, had a hard time being produced in such a short time frame. So if you’re looking for your first rookies of the season, this product will have them for you. (With the players for the redemptions being announced in October 2012.) Full of the NBA past and present, this product looked the part to be a real winner this season. So let’s find out how it stands up. Let’s get to the review…


The design in Past & Present brings you the best of both times. The base designs are very old-school looking showing homage to the past. With a retro kind of look, these cards look great. I also enjoy the several different variations of the retro cards, which changes things up a little bit and brings a lot of variety to the base product. Then we have some of the inserts which are definitely present. The inserts are 90s like with a brand new twist. The Raining 3s and fiery insert cards are absolutely gorgeous both on camera and even better in person. The finish on the fiery cards is amazing with the reflecting surface and the Raining 3s embossed areas are very cool to the eye. Even the basketballs in Changing Times have a great feel to them. Really well done all together.


While the lack of rookies isn’t entirely Panini’s fault in their base form, having autographed redemptions is a nice addition to the product to get some rookies in. Also, some may argue that the autograph checklist isn’t that great with a bunch of names you may not have heard of if you are a recent fan to the game. The Elusive Ink series is a set with a checklist of names you may have a hard time finding autographs for that were popular in their time. Personally, I would prefer the bigger names to the harder to find names, but that’s probably just me. These players will have their collectors and should have some decent secondary value. But other than that, the mix of current NBA stars and past legends is fantastic with names you’ll find enshrined in the Hall of Fame and fan favorites.


$100 for 3 autographs and 1 game used card isn’t bad at all. You also get a ton of base cards and some really cool inserts which you know people are going to try and collect. It may be a tad bit pricey because of some of the hit content, however the large number of cards you get along with the inserts kinda makes up for a bit. Also, the game used swatches were pretty large as well. While I’m happy that they put in less swatches in this product, I’m also happy that the large swatches were included. The autographs I pulled would look much better on card as well, but you do what you can with autographs nowadays. The redemptions for autographed rookies are great too.


Overall, this is a great addition to the Panini basketball family. I really think there is a lot they can do with this product in the future and should remain around for a bit. The design is a beautiful representation of the past and present of basketball cards, as well as sports cards in general. It’s a great mix that brings back nostalgia and makes you think of some of the future technology that can be used. The checklist is solid, but nothing real noteworthy. The Elusive Ink set is interesting as it has names that may not have many autographs, but it appears as though collectors aren’t buying into it too well. Which leads to the value being pretty good, but not as good as it could be. I really think a slightly upgraded autograph checklist would boost this product up to be close to perfect. But the addition (finally) of rookie autograph should make most collectors happy.

A big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this box to review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and all around.

Not shown: Redemption for 2011-12 autographed rookie #12