Box Break: 2010-11 Panini Prestige Retail

The Set:
2010-11 Panini Prestige
8 packs per retail box, 10 cards per retail pack
150 card base veterans and legends, 95 rookies (2 versions for each)
Bonus Shots parallel (#’d versions out of 499, 249, 49, 25 and rookies out of 999)
Franchise Favorites inserts and memorabilia versions
Playmakers inserts and memorabilia and autograph versions
Hardcourt Heroes inserts and memorabilia versions
Inside the Numbers inserts and memorabilia versions
Old School Inserts and memorabilia and autograph versions
NBA Draft Class inserts
Prestigious Picks inserts and memorabilia verions
Prestigious Pros inserts and memorabilia versions
Stars of the NBA inserts and memorabilia versions
Stat Stars inserts and memorabilia and autograph versions
Super Sophs inserts and memorabilia verions
True Colors inserts and memorabilia verions
NBA Draft Class Logo autographs

Our Break:


Rookies (8): John Wall, Paul George, Cole Aldrich, Greivis Vasquez, Quincy Pondexter x2 (both versions), Al-Farouq Aminu, Devin Ebanks,


Bonus Shots /499 (1): Amare Stoudemire


Franchise Favorites (1): Dwight Howard


Playmakers (1): Tyreke Evans


Prestigious Picks Materials Green /499 (1): James Anderson

Impressions:

Lacking a hobby box to break this week, I turned to my local Target and found this retail box on sale.  The results are pretty typical of what to expect from a retail box. Pulling the John Wall was fortunate and made the break an above average one, but with the rookies included and the game worn card, which I imagine is included at one-per-box on average, you could do much worse on a retail break.

The base set has both legends and current players.  It was nice to find old favorites such as Muggsey Bogues and Dell Curry in the product along with new stars of the game.

Honestly since I opened a few packs of Prestige upon its release, I’ve felt the base set design a bit lacking.  The gray splashes on the right don’t do anything for me, although the photography used for many of the cards is pretty exciting, such as in the Kobe for example.

If you can find these boxes, particularly at a discounted price, they are worth picking up for a fun break that delivers on rookies, inserts and memorablia cards.


Surprising Team #1: Philadelphia 76ers

While the Sixers have played one of the league’s easiest schedules so far in the early season, their 12-5 record cannot be discounted.  Even in a loss to the Wade-less Heat Saturday night, I was struck by the quality depth of this Sixers squad.  In Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner, they’ve got three guys who would start for some teams and heck, they should probably be starting for their own team.  Team balance is a result of their quality depth.  Going into their game Monday against the Wizards, the Sixers had seven players averaging double figure scoring, led by Louis Williams (coming off the bench) at 15.5 ppg.  Sidenote: Louis is currently shooting better from outside the 3-point arc than inside it.

With a young core that is locked up for the next several years, this team should be a contender in the East for years.  They’ve already got some playoff experience and will get more this season.

Will this recent success and bright outlook for the Sixers have any kind of hobby impact?  While Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday have more recent and probably more readily available rookie cards and autographs, some other Sixers might be flying under the radar a bit. Andre Iguodala’s rookie cards and autographs have some room to grow in value.  Louis Williams autographs can be had for less than $10 easily.  A few of the cards below might be worth a pickup if you can find them on the cheap:

2004-05 Topps Chrome #174 Andre Iguodala RC
2004-05 SP Authentic #179 Andre Iguodala AU RC
2005-06 SPx #126 Louis Williams JSY AU RC

and other rookie autographs.


Insert Set Flashback: 1997-98 Fleer Key Ingredients




The Set:
1997-98 Fleer Key Ingredients

Set Odds:
1 in 2 series one retail packs

Key Cards:
Shaquille O’Neal $1.50
Scottie Pippen $1.00

Why I Like It:
I actually didn’t know this set existed until recently, but its metallic looking finish jumped out at me.  These players are the ‘Keys’ to their teams, and each card has an identical background of the paint which is, as with several inserts sets from the late 90s, not a flat card.  There’s a 3D type effect that makes the player stand out against the background.  Fleer also produced a Gold version of these that were inserted at 1 in 18 packs.

I am putting the regular set together, and have just a few more cards I need to finish it.  You can find the ones I need on my Insert Wantlists page.  Let me know if you have any of the remaining cards there.  I have lots to trade. You can leave a comment or contact me at HoopsHobby@gmail.com


2012 All-Stars: Who Are Your Starters?

The second round of All-Star voting returns was released on NBA.com Thursday.

Eastern Conference starters as of today: G Derrick Rose, G Dwyane Wade, F Lebron James, F Carmelo Anthony, C Dwight Howard
Western Conference starters as of today: G Kobe Bryant, G Chris Paul, F Kevin Durant, F Blake Griffin, C Andrew Bynum

Are all of these players deserving as of now?  Sure.  We don’t have anyone the fans are voting in based just on name/reputation, like Iverson, McGrady, Vince, etc… in their less than All-Star starter caliber years.  But all of these guys have a legitimate case to be an All-Star starter based on production in this current season, and most are just locks.  Production aside, if the game is truly for the fans, and it is,  then some guys I’d like to see, and for a bunch of minutes, are:

Ricky Rubio – This guy is made for the All-Star game.  The fans see it too, as he’s 3rd behind Kobe and Chris Paul in the West at guard in votes so far.  Would love to see him make the jump to starter.  Something tells me that’s where he’ll be in future years.

Rajon Rondo – Want to see Rondo for the same reasons as Rubio.  Rondo sets others up.  He’s also the best player on the Celtics these days, and happens to be 3rd in the East at guard in votes.

Josh Smith – This guy is having a fantastic season for the Hawks who are sitting 2nd in the East (now minus Al Horford).  Smith would have the potential to throw down some nice dunks.

Who do you want to see?  Any other exciting young players that would make the game more entertaining?


Wednesday Wax: 2002-03 Fleer Hot Shots


The Set:
2002-03 Fleer Hot Shots
24 packs per box, 8 cards per pack
Base set contains 100 Basic cards, 29 Give and Go, 39 All-Stars
27 Rookie Hats-Off /350
6 Vince Carter Hats-Off /350
6 Rookies /350
Hot Hands Parallels /199, Rookies /99
Give and Go Dual Event/Game Used /50
All-Stars Triple Event/Game Used /25
Hot Shots 1:8 packs, Event Worn 1:30 packs
En Fuego 1:12 packs, Event Worn 1:44 packs
Net Burners 1:24 packs, Event Worn /100
Hot Numbers /350, Event Worn /50
Parallel Versions of Event Worn cards

Our Break:


Hot Hands Parallel (4): Grant Hill /199, Antoine Walker /199, Eric Snow and Keith Van Horn /199, John Salmons /99


Hot Shots (3): Yao Ming, Mike Dunleavy, Jared Jeffries


En Fuego (2): Vince Carter, Shaquille O’neal


Hot Numbers (1): Richard Jefferson


Net Burners (1): Steve Nash


Hot Shots Event Worn (1): Kareem Rush


 
Rookie Hats-Off /350 (3): Casey Jacobsen, John Salmons, Ronald Murray


Vince Carter Hats-Off /350 (1): Curtis Borchardt


En Fuego Event Worn (1): Karl Malone

Impressions:

A fun time for basketball breaks, to be sure.  The chase cards here are the Yao Ming rookie memorabilia cards, the All-Star Triple jerseys numbered to 25, as well as the other parallel memorabilia versions of the insert sets.

An excellent base set with lots of inserts, parallels and memorabilia cards in each box.  This is a 2000s box with a 90s feel.  It has two subsets. The Give and Go cards for the most part show a point guard or high assist man on the front with the finisher on the back.  The second subset contains participants in the previous year’s All-Star weekend, and by participants, I mean in the rookie-sophomore game, three-point contest, dunk contest, and All-Star game.  That’s why we have guys in there like Chris Mihm.

These cards have a glossy finish, more noticeable on the darker cards like some of the Rookie Hats-Off cards.  These memorabilia cards are condition sensitive, particularly on the corners.

Want to point out that the typical box will not contain 6 memorabilia cards.  The overall odds of pulling a memorabilia card are 1 in 8 packs, but this box contained a ‘hot pack’ with 4 memorabilia cards in the one pack (the 4 Rookie Hats-off cards).

Not sure how many redemption cards were inserted for this product, but we were lucky enough to avoid them.

Overall a blast to open, and it was certainly exciting to open a hot-pack, even if we didn’t hit any of the higher valued rookies such as Yao, Carlos Boozer, or the scarcer All-Star or Give and Go jerseys.  A product I wanted to open at the time it came out, and still a worthwhile break today.


Insert Set Flashback: 1997-98 Ultra Jam City


The Set:
1997-98 Ultra Jam City

Set Odds:
1 in 8 series 1 packs

Key Cards:
Kobe Bryant $8.00
Shaquille O’Neal $4.00
Kevin Garnett $3.00

Why I Like It:
Oh man, how to get started.  How sweet would a modern-day Jam City set be?  Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, LeBron, etc… highlighting a set of the league’s best dunkers?  Or a set with past slam-dunk champions?  The Jam City name had tons of potential.

The cartoon-y black and white background makes the color shot of the player jump off the card.  Putting some of the league’s arenas into the background would have been a nice touch.

One thing I found amusing from the cards above: How does Juwan have a pass into Jam City when the back of the card says that he likes to step out for 18-footers?  Howard could throw it down in his younger days, but at least mention that rather than his set-shot ability.


Pickup of the Week, 1999-00 Fleer Focus Feel the Game

The 1999-00 Fleer Feel the Game sets were some of the earliest basketball game used card sets released. The Fleer Focus versions inserted at just 1 in 288 packs.  At those odds, I am surprised that the Grant Hill card pictured above has a high book value of only $20.  These can be had at an affordable price, they just don’t show up that often.

Question – Today, most products guarantee at least one memorabilia card per box, most more than that.  How has your enjoyment of the hobby been impacted by the decreased rarity of memorabilia cards?