The NBA Playoffs are here which means the close of the NBA season is approaching. That also means we are shifting into more of the high end basketball products from Panini sure to make the season even more memorable. Panini Preferred is out again this year, bringing it’s high end mark with “just the hits”. Does it stack up compared to last year? Let’s see what the product brings this year…
This design does not have any central theme. It also changed extremely little from the last installment of the product. But it continues to work for a couple reasons. The first is there isn’t a saturation of that design in the product. When you see the same cards over and over again in a product, you don’t want to see the same design next year. It also works because these designs are tweaked very lightly. It isn’t the same exact card, except for maybe Panini’s Choice, but there are small enough changes to keep it interesting. Small tweaks every year in a product like this may be what this product is known for, and I don’t really mind that.
The checklist this year is not nearly as good as last time the product came out. The last product was low on rookies because of the restraints and also higher on veterans and retired players. This one had the double rookie class so you knew you were going to get more than one rookie autograph in the product. That said, the names in the booklets are always solid and continuing with a strictly veteran subset is a nice touch. I think it can even out more next year without alll the rookies you need to pack into the product.
Right now this product is sitting at $190 over at DA Card World. Because of the abundance of rookies this year in the product, I think it is sitting a little too high for a four hit product. It is a high risk/high reward product. Many people are opposed to product this expensive for no base cards, and I disagree with that. How much are base cards worth anyway on the secondary market? One of the benefits this year was every card, except the booklet, was numbered very low. Like 25 and under low. That was a good thing for my particular box, including the awesome patch autograph. While it may not be a top star, that card would bring in some good money because of the quality of the patch.
Overall the product took a small step back after the last installment because of the checklist. The double rookie class has taken away from a bit of the content in many products this season if you aren’t totally into just rookie autographs. With that in mind, the designs, while not themed, are still great to look at. The value is mostly dependant on the checklist and what you pull in the box. This is a high risk/high reward product. I think my box would be about average for the product. The low print runs help a bit, but I’ll be happy when the double rookie class thing is done. Then I get to look forward to all the rookie autographs in hockey…
You can find the checklist of this product over at Cardboard Connection.
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And here’s what we pulled…