Panini National Treasures NBA is back and is scheduled for an August 3, 2011 release date. This year’s releases has some definite pluses including many on-card autographs, plenty of patches and relics including logos and laundry tags, and to top it off a nice list of Hall of Famers on the checklist to balance out the list of current players. On the downside there are still sticker autographs and card designs that really should have never made it to the packs. Panini has made some strides forward but still loses out on the ugly coloring and designs used in such a set.
The George Mikan cut signature is probably the best of the cards posted up by Panini, a pleasant design works nicely with the close-up portrait and the coloring. It reminds me a bit of Upper Decks SP Legendary Cuts, a great card for any collector.
The Dr. J ABA Legends autograph card has a lot of energy but the design captures the connection to the ABA and the 1970s well and a huge plus is that this card appears to be one of the on-card autographs, you cannot go wrong here.
The David Robinson Notable Nicknames is the epitome of the National Treasures set. The designers made the card design “over classy”, something that is not really necessary in a sports card but I like the connection of the nicknames to the autographs.
The John Wall Logoman autograph card is a pleasant card. Like the Notable Nickname insert I think the designers tried to add to much flash and pomp to the designs but at least the player’s image is now prominent on the card and not a dime sized component lost in the design.
The Kobe Timeline multi-relic autograph card is indicative of the things that are wrong with many of Panini’s designs. Too much was forced on to the card’s design and this is not a good thing. I know more is better in some cases; this is not one of those cases.
The Stephen Curry card is another attempt at mixing poor color choices with over-designed elements and you can see where this is going.
The same can be said about the Kevin Durant Colossal relic autograph card. I have never been a fan of using die-cut numbers; why not use a standard die-cut window for the patch? I understand the 35 is a connection to Durant but it does not add anything to the design and even takes away.
It just hurts seeing a card with such potential like the Hall of Fame quad-autograph card and adding sticker autographs. These are Hall of Famers, these guys deserve the time and effort of being able to sign on a card and in a set like this it would only add to the value.
On a final (and seriously positive) note, there will be memorabilia cards of both George Mikan and Wilt Chamberlin in this set. This is a huge coup for Panini.