Review: 2012-13 Panini Preferred Basketball

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…

Design: 4 and half stars blue

 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.

Checklist: 4 stars blue

 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.

Value:

3 and half stars blue  

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: 4 stars blue

 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…

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

You can find the checklist of this product over at Cardboard Connection.

Subscribe to us on YouTube and see the video break of this product.

And here’s what we pulled…

Review: 2012 Panini Crown Royale Football

Panini Crown Royale football has come out again featuring some of the best die-cut and autographed patch cards of the year. With some new features that are sure to impress die-cut aficionados and autographs from one heck of a rookie class, this product is loaded with things collectors love most. Hits, die-cuts, and low numbered parallels. Want to see what we pulled in your typical box break? Here we go.

Design:4 stars blue

The design is classic and something that is changed so subtly, that you are going to miss any little tweaks they make to the product. I’ve always loved the die-cut designs so really there isn’t much to complain about there on this side. This year, I really like the look of the inserts and the lettering and other new designs they’ve used. They went away from some of the classics and really found some great looking cards like that Clay Matthews below. I also really like the die-cut jersey cards, keeping with that tradition. Oh, and you may have missed it last year, but the parallels weren’t numbered. A very fair complaint on my part about the product, and it was remedied this year with numbering. Thank you!

Checklist:4 stars blue

Every product this year can stand up to the checklist scrutiny because of the fantastic rookie class and their beautiful play on the field this year. That would drive sales for every product no matter what the sport. My only issue is, once again, there is too much rookie content. Again, I open a $100 box with four hits, and pull all rookie hit cards. I still find this to be unacceptable, especially when 85% of the products are like this. There will be ranting soon on this, trust me.

Value:4 stars blue

The hero of the product is obviously the rookie silhouettes. Ours was a redemption so we can’t show it off, but we’ll be definitely showing it off when it arrives because it is former Oregon Duck LaMichael James! Can’t wait to see that one. But the value of the product comes in with that great rookie class. If it wasn’t for that, this product would be far from that considering all the rookie hits you can pull from the product. This year’s rookies may carry the products, but next year it may not be so lucky.

Overall:4 stars blue

Overall, the product continues to keep the nostalgia alive while producing some beautiful signatures in the rookie silhouettes. Panini continues to innovate with new designs on the inserts, which are definitely at their peak this year then the past years of this product. But again, like many Panini products, content seems to be lacking. Too many rookies, not enough veterans. Again, this year is fine with all that top rookie talent. Next year there needs to be a shift due to the lesser rookie class, or there will be unhappy collectors. All products across the board need more veteran content. We can only wait and see.

A big thanks goes out to Panini America for providing this product for us to review. You can find them online on their official site, blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Some of the best social media people on the planet.

You can also find the full checklist of this product over at the Cardboard Connection.

For a video box break, make sure you subscribe to us over on YouTube.

But for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the cards we pulled. (Not pictured: LaMichael James Rookie Silhouettes Patch/Auto Redemption)

Preview: 2012 Panini Crown Royale Football

Releasing today is the newest installment of Crown Royale football from Panini. In this third year, I believe, Panini has tried to freshen up the product a bit in the design department and add some new cards to the mix.

Returning again is the highly collected Rookie Silhouettes autographed cards. These cards feature large swatches of jersey or patches and a signature on the card. Collectors love these cards and it is a top hit in every box. Also being featured are a number of NFL legends in this subset, which is a great new addition.

But making their debut in Crown Royale this year is the Panini’s Choice autographed insert. You may remember these cards if you follow Panini’s basketball products or are a fan of the past cards from Pacific. These die-cut pyramid style cards feature beautiful autographs as well and die-cut goodness.

There will also be a few new die-cut inserts along the way too along with the typical die-cut base card design. It’s a set that is definitely not square. Or some would say, cutting edge. We could work with the puns all day if we wanted to.

Each box contains four packs with each pack containing an autograph or a memorabilia card. You are guaranteed at least two autographs with one being one of the aforementioned Rookie Silhouettes cards. The others will be memorabilia or additional autographs.

You can find the product on DA Card World for about $100. You can also find the checklist on Cardboard Connection and more information from the official Panini blog.

Preview: 2011-12 Panini Preferred Basketball

The first NBA product of the season, of five products, is set to arrive in late February. We just mentioned what products Panini is putting out in this shortened season and we won’t have to wait too long until the high-end Panini Preferred hits store late in February.

The concept for this product is quite interesting. $200 for four cards. 3 of which are autographs while the 4th is a booklet card featuring 6 or 8 pieces of memorabilia. Every autographed card is numbered to 99 or less including 270 1 of 1s.

Now what really makes this interesting is the designs chosen. There really is no set theme as it is kind of a mish-mash of a bunch of Panini products that they probably would have put out this season if there was a full NBA season. These will be based off of Crown Royale Silhouettes, Panini’s Choice Die-Cuts, and Donruss Signatures.

While the price is steep for 4 cards and the choice of designs are interesting and stunning as well, the main question is what the checklist is going to look like. When you open a product like this, you want to know that you are going to get some value in every box. While Panini is finalizing their checklist for this product, why don’t you check out their Panini Peek of this product and see some more images.

How about some more sizzling Silhouettes from Panini?