Monday, June 7, 2010

Panini National Treasure Basketball

As we close out the 2009/2010 NBA Season we still have a couple of Panini NBA sets scheduled to be released; Panini Crown Royale Basketball is up next at the end of the month, June 30, 2010. Panini has delayed two releases, Court Kings Basketball has been pushed back to July 14, 2010 and Hall Of Fame Basketball has been delayed until August 18, 2010. One set that is still on target is National Treasure Basketball, scheduled to be released August 4, 2010.

This set may very well be Panini’s Cadillac of their basketball releases… well lets say BMW considering American cars don’t seem to have the same “splash” that they once did.

Scheduled Release Date: August 4, 2010
Box Configuration: 8 cards per pack, 1 pack per box
SRP: $339-400

Box Break:
6 Autograph and/or Memorabilia cards
1 Common base card #/99
1 Legend/Rookie/Parallel or Insert card

This set is all about flash and glitz.
You want autographs? You get them!
You want patches, logos and tags? You get them!
You want parallels galore? You get waaaaay to many parallels!

Some of the inserts are over designed, forced patches or logos can really defeat the purpose of a card. The colors and lines draw your eyes in so many directions, there is too much to look at to be appealing. The “Timeline Signature Materials Custom Team Nicknames” set is just designers gone wild. Even the insert set name is a mouth full. The die-cut windows are tiny so as to fit the team name, toss in the National Treasures logo, the headline, the player name, the date, the “Prime” patch logo and the player’s image and you get the idea of where I am going with this.

Oddly enough, Panini’s designers rebound with the Logoman Combo set and the Rookie Signature Materials inserts. Nice designs, nice lines, the patches fit well and the player images work in to the design. I am confused, are the same designers working on the entire set?

The base set checklist is 238 cards, not counting parallels, and consists of stars, semi-stars, rookies and legends so you get a wide variety to choose from. Though I cannot for the life of me figure why Panini would include players like David Andersen of the Houston Rockets or Ronnie Brewer of the Grizzlies. Who wants to pull guys like this when you are paying over $300 per pack?

One thing that I found of interest, they included 5 Harlem Globetrotters in the base set including Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal, two of my favorites while growing up. Unfortunately no Globetrotters are included in any of the relics or autograph sets.

A down side, most of the autographs are on stickers outside of the Souvenir Cuts and Signature Patches NBA/College Teams which are cut signatures and manufactured patches respectively.

My Thoughts:
If you are a serious basketball collector and you have money to burn, this set will give you return on your investment. If you are like me, collecting on a reasonable budget, this set is a bit outside of my price range. Imagine Bob Uecker’s call of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn’s first start and you get my drift of what I mean when I say “a bit outside”. I actually may hunt down the Globetrotters base cards but I think most of the “hits” will be beyond my budget even if I hunt down singles.

I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a pack to bust, but that may be asking too much unless I can find a tremendous deal.


Not taking price in to consideration, I will give this set a 4 out of 5. It looses out a bit on some of the design qualities, but it makes up in hits.

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