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
How often can you get a box with 400+ cards for under $50 dollars?
Great designs, especially on inserts like ‘The Franchise’
Base design a little dull
Autograph – DeJuan Blair
Final Grade: A-