2009/’10 Panini Basketball Review

Just when I was about to give up on Panini’s design team, a product like this is released. While it may not have all the flash of a typical Panini release (foil, etc.), it actually matches well against Upper Deck’s final basketball flagship.

I have to say, the biggest surprise from the box was the return of stickers. In case you didn’t know, Panini’s introduction to baseball in the 80’s was with sticker albums, many of which I still own.

It’s good to see a throwback to a time when collecting was done for fun and not for profit and an era when collectors didn’t send their cards away to be encapsulated and free from the human touch.

Another positive with this release is the huge line-up of inserts. There are tons of different options to choose from. My favorite is ‘The Franchise’ insert as it is clearly some of Panini’s best design work of 2009.

I believe Panini is doing well with the basketball license. While it may be a while before collectors forgive the NBA for stripping Upper Deck of the licensing rights, I believe Panini will keep going forward with their releases.

It will still come down to creating a product to cater to the Exquisite crowd but as far as low-end releases go, this one is a must-have for basketball collectors and a surprisingly fun yet cheap product to bust.


Current Price – $45 on Dave & Adam’s Card World

Guarantees – 400+ cards plus one autograph

Look for – Black Griffin autographs

The Good:

How often can you get a box with 400+ cards for under $50 dollars?

Great designs, especially on inserts like ‘The Franchise’

The Bad:

Base design a little dull


Autograph – DeJuan Blair

Final Grade: A-



  1. I like that Panini toned things down a little for the base set. They needed at least one set with actual backgrounds on them. They are a little plain as you say, but I think it is good for this set.

    I’m a big fan of sets with fun inserts and am looking forward to busting a box of this. I watched a box break at my local card shop and it’s just a fun box. You get a ton of cards and the variety of cards to pull makes every pack different. Will you be lucky enough to pull the sticker for your favorite team?

    The one negative thing that I see is that autographed card. The signature doesn’t pop at all. After seeing great auto cards this year such as the Topps and Bowman on-card autos this one just looks very bland.

  2. this sort of reminds me of a late issue Fleer product… many different inserts with a plain base design. The only problem that I have with the inserts is that they look like they come out of like 5 different sets, I am kind of a them guy, unless you are going to do something wild! I look forward to the next baseball set that has ridiculous inserts!

    Booo stickers!

  3. The design is not appealing. All the Panini stuff I’ve seen so far looks, at best, like Press Pass.

  4. For basketball cards, I love background on the cards. It makes the cards feel more exciting. I can’t tell from the selection of cards you scan but I hope the photography would be as good as UD basketball the last couple of years. Also the bottom part of the base card take too much space and it is distracting.

    Is it just me or does Panini need to redesign their logo to look more “cooler” or “modern”?

  5. decent bang for your buck for this product but I haven’t been too impressed with the design/feel/look of Panini cards yet. as some mentioned above, esp with the autos and them being on stickers. they’ve done ok with their NBA license so far but i do hope that improvements are in store for the future…

  6. That Shaq is AWESOME. I also like the franchise card of Derrick Rose – I hope there are a lot of cards like that, because that is an insert set that I would collect. I do agree on the Panini logo though – very odd, very antique-y for a modern looking set.

  7. This certainly does harken back to those mid 90s Hoops/Skybox releases with the full bleed base photography. It is great to see a return to insert driven low end releases. I would really like to feel the stock these are printed on because in the end I think that will determine if this is an homage or just a cheap ripoff.

  8. Good price for the box, but as Mario states the design leaves something to be desired, thus I wouldn’t spend my money on that, because in the end I’ll be using it to start the fires in the fire place when I get cold.

  9. Yes, This set reminds me of the 1996-97 NBA Hoops set. The Colors and Logo are similar but the logo appeared, I believe, on the left. This set is like the Fleers of the early 1990s which seems to have like too many inserts. The stickers are just like the Collector Choice Stickers in the mid 1990s. For $45 you get a DeJuan Blair Auto and 1990s edition Basketball Cards. A very weak first year entry.

  10. Pictures are great but still it is a weak attempt to gather the eye of the collector. What do you expect from a resurface?

  11. I like this set and what Panini is doing as a whole. The base cards are good and have quality photography. The Franchise insert looks amazing

  12. Mario could I have the Blake Griffin rookie? I think I was pretty good this year? Maybe the fat guy Santa could send something out to me?
    Have a Excellent Thanks Giving my Friend!

  13. I personally find this overkill after Panini Prestige was just released and now Rookies and Stars. Yes it is a cheaper option with the opportunity to get lots of cards but the base is a bit dull, the cards seem dark. That being said I would never complain with a DeJuan Blair auto being a Spurs fan!

  14. Wow, thats an awesome value at 400 cards for 45 bucks. I really like that “All Pro” design, especially with shaq! Looks like alot of rookies which is always a plus for me. Great product.

  15. This is the best basketball card set so far. I love the base cards. The autos aren’t bad and I don’t really hate stickers. I just wish they would plan the photos a little better so you can see the auto a little better. The giant ALL-PRO and Legends of the Game logos looks kind of stupid, but the kick-ass base set more than makes up for it. I think I’m going to start my collecting again with this set and the Rookies and Stars set.

  16. I have to say that it looks like Panini may actually be moving in the right direction. Gone, mostly, are the hideous lines and out of place backgrounds. Actually using action shots where the background is inlcuded is a plus in this case. This release reminds me a bit of the UD and Fleer sets from the early-90s.

  17. this was an ok set. the base cards were eh but some of the inserts look good. This was an ok set but prestige is better

  18. Does Panini plan on issuing a factory set? I have read in numerous places that the entire 400-card set is quite difficult to put together.

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