Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2009 Panini Rookies And Stars Box Break

I have been so backed up between work and soccer that I have not really had the chance to keep up with the blogsphere. I am finally getting a few minutes to sit down and go over my 2009 Panini Rookies & Stars box break. I was much happier with this box when compared to my National Chicle football box.

The cards themselves are pretty basic, the backgrounds are removed and the player is imposed over a patterned background. Most players are in an action pose with the player’s name and team logo on the bottom left. I do not care for the font that was used, I understand that the designers were going for a grunge style to match the background but it just looks sophomoric and poorly designed.

The set is 165 cards consisting of 100 Current Stars, 15 Retired Stars, 15 Rookies (lower round picks) and 34 Rookie Team Patch Signatures. Each card has 3 parallels; Gold #/500, HoloFoil #/250 and Materials #/250.

There are also a whole slew of inserts including Gold Stars, Moments in Time, Sharp Shooters, Studio Combo Rookies and Team Leaders. I like the Gold Stars and Moment In Time inserts, the font on the sets suck too, but otherwise the designs are pretty sharp.

What I Pulled:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 5
Cards pulled: 124
Duplicates: 1

Base set completion:
91% of Commons
62% of Entire Set (counting Common, Retired, Rookies & Rookie Patches)

Base Set:
Gold x2
Holofoil x2
Materials: Dwyane Wade
Rookie NBA Team Patch Signatures
#134 Tyreke Evans
#154 Taj Gibson – Redemption Card

2 Gold Stars
3 Moments in Time
4 Sharp Shooters
1 Studio Combo Rookies
1 Studio Combo Rookies Materials Hasheem Thabeet/DeJuan Blair
5 Team Leaders

I love that the set contains a mixture of current jerseys, alternate jerseys and throwback jerseys; it shakes things up a bit when working on a set. The Vince Carter card caught me odd, he does not have a jersey number and I am not sure why. Gotta love the Artis Gilmore card, rocking the ‘fro before Ben Wallace sported it.

I pulled 3 of the 4 Dwyane Wade cards, I am only missing the Gold #/500 parallel card. Not a bad player to get the entire parallel set with.

Besides the Wade jersey swatch I pulled 3 other “hits” from the box. I got an interesting match of Hasheem Thabeet and DeJuan Blair on a Studio Rookies Combo jersey card. We got Blair, the #37 pick, who is arguably one of the top 15 rookies in the NBA this year for a playoff bound Spurs team. On the other side we have Thabeet, the #2 pick, who was just delegated to the NBAD league from a Lottery Pick team. You wonder who makes the selections for the match ups.

This takes me to the hit of the box; a Tyreke Evans Rookie NBA Team Patch Signature #/379. Evans is easily one of the top 2 or 3 rookies this season, yes the Kings are down this year but he makes them worth watching. I know the patch is a manufactured patch but I like the design on the card and Evans has a clean signature. As an unexpected surprise, the last pack of the box contained another Rookie NBA Team Patch Signature card, this time a redemption for Taj Gibson. I really have hope for the Bulls, I think they are stocking themselves up pretty well and should start to challenge the Cavs for the Central Division title within a year or two.

The Good;

- A large selection of current stars, retired players and rookies
- Large variety of inserts
- NBA Team Patch Signatures are just kick ass auto/relics
- Some signatures are on relics

The Cons;

- Plain backgrounds
- To many parallels
- Sticker Autos
- Poorly designed relic cards with dime sized relics
- Redemption cards

Final Thoughts;

Overall I really was happy with this box. I completed 91% of the base set (cards 1-100) and 62% overall of the 165 cards. The only duplicate I pulled was a Magic Johnson Moment in Time insert card, but lets be honest… pulling 2 Rookie NBA Team Patch Signature cards well made up for just the one duplicate. For under $70 and free shipping from Blowout Cards I might consider picking up another box or two if I have the cash to work on completing as much of the set as I can.

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