The next release in Panini’s NBA schedule is Absolute Memorabilia Basketball. I have always been drawn to the Playoff Absolute Memorabilia sets, the cards may have been a little shiny and flashy as far as base cards go but I loved them nonetheless. When I found out about this release I have to admit I am a bit excited.
Scheduled Release Date: May 5, 2010
Box Configuration: 4 cards per pack, 4 packs per box
SRP: $40/per pack
4 (2) Autographs and (2) Memorabilia Cards
The base set contains 150 cards and has a pretty amazing checklist made up of rookies, common players, stars and retired stars. The expected players like Kobe, LeBron, Durant, Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry are all included and retired players like Bird and Magic also made the checklist. One name popped out when I was reviewing the checklist, Shawn Bradley, he fits in the “retired” category only.
There are quite a variety of inserts including the return of the ever-popular Tools of the Trade set, Rookie Premiere Materials (Including NBA Shields), Spectrum, Team Tandems/Trios and Quads Materials and Icons.
Starting off with the Tools of the Trade insert, it has change greatly from its previous inception. The set now has 8 different parallels, which can contain a jumbo patch, letter or number, multiple swatches and autographs. I liked the original design but I am willing to see how this works out. Some of the cards are now vertical instead of horizontal, which I preferred, but this set up allows for multiple swatches and autographs to be included.
The Team Tandems/Trios/Quads Materials are another decent insert, the card is designed well and fits multiple player images and patches nicely without looking over crowded or jammed together. I am a little saddened that the Denver, Dallas, Portland, Cleveland and Toronto all have multiple cards in the Team insert set but the Suns, Spurs and Lakers do not have any. Do we really need a Chris Anderson/Nene tandem card and a Carmelo Anthony/Chris Anderson/ Nene/J.R. Smith quad card? Why not drop the Anderson/Nene card and add an Amare Stoudamire/Steve Nash card or Kobe/(Any other Laker) card?
I am not a fan of the Frequent Flyer insert either; it just does not work for me. The Hoopla set would be better without either the autograph of jersey swatch. It is a decent card design but add too much and all aspects are fighting for attention
At $40 a pack, it would not be the most expensive pack I bought and with the odds set that you will pull a Auto or Memorabilia card per pack plus either a Rookie, Parallel or Retired card you have a decent chance of pulling some nice cards not to mention it looks to be a pretty cool base set. In each 18-box case there will also be a NBA Logoman card or an autograph of Kobe, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bird, Magic or one of the top rookies.
I will give this a try, at least a box or two to see what the set is all about and to give a first hand review of the product.