Sunday, August 9, 2009

2009 Prestige Basketball

Panini’s is set to release their first basketball product, 2009 Prestige Basketball, scheduled for release this October. Because this will be the first release of Panini since signing the exclusive NBA rights deal this release may end up being a litmus test for collectors who may feel uncertain about the Panini and Donruss collaboration.

Product Breakdown

24 packs per box
8 cards per pack
192 cards total

Per Box:
4 Autos or Memorabilia cards
24 Rookies
4 Draft Pick Light Blue
1 NBA Draft Class
1 Prestigious Pros Green
2 “Other” cards

Base Set
250 cards including;
150 Base cards
100 Rookies

Draft Pick Rights
Preferred Signatures and Materials
NBA Draft Class
Stars of the NBA
Stat Stars
Hardcourt Heroes
Prestigious Pros
Prestigious Picks
Inside the Numbers
True Colors
Old School
Super Sophs
Franchise Favorites

Base Set:
The base set consists of 150 veterans and 100 rookies, the set itself is similar in appearance to the 2009 NFL Prestige set using white and silver/gray overtones. You are going to find veteran players like Kobe, LeBron and Durant as well as rookies like Panini spokesman Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet and Jordan Hill. I like the full-bleed photos; you seem to get a better view of the action because a border does not hinder it.

The inserts are pretty standard for a basketball release, plenty of autographs, memorabilia, parallels and serial numbered sets. Honestly I feel that 64 insert sets is way to many, this is a case of “overkill”. Given that many of those sets are various color parallels where the only difference is a color and serial number, but still seems like to many.

Autographs: Up to 4 per box
The sell sheet says that you will receive 4 Autos or Memorabilia cards per box. The autographs are on stickers, an unfortunate choice especially for this situation where the release is Panini’s first attempt in the US. There are at least 15 autograph sets including; Super Sophs and Old School.

Memorabilia: Up to 4 per box
Again, the sell sheet says you will receive up to 4 Autos or Memorabilia cards per box. There may be as many as 25 memorabilia sets including; Connections, Prestigious Pros, Inside the Numbers and Hardcourt Heroes.

I like the base cards; they are action shots that are full-bleed. Nice coloring is used which can make or break a set from the start. With a solid checklist of both veterans and rookies I think that you will be quite happy. Some of the inserts are pretty cool too. I like the “retro” feel to the Old School auto cards and the Prestigious Pros memorabilia set works nicely.

There are a couple of sour points that I have with this release, the first being the extensive amount of inserts and parallels. When there are 64 various inserts you have really inflated the set beyond necessary limits. I feel that Panini may have decided to go this way to increase the number of hits a collector will pull per box and while this makes for a happy collector it also makes for a lot of worthless pulls, I am sure eBay will be flooded with parallels and inserts by the evening of October 7th.

Some of the memorabilia cards suffer from poor design too, they seem unorganized and the jerseys are placed in oddly cut windows. The Hardcourt Heroes also remind me of the
older Upper Deck and Fleer jersey cards, lots of color and lines and a dime sized jersey piece.

In the end I find that there are definitely some positives to the set but there are some sticking points too with the sticker autographs and oddly designed memorabilia cards. I want to like the set because I am an NBA fan, I really do but beyond the base set and a couple of inserts I am not greatly impressed. I am trying to keep an open mind though and being that this is Panini’s first shot at NBA cards I will reserve judgment for now and settle down to wait and see.

No comments:

Post a Comment