Shining Stars Iterations, Opening a 12-card pack of 2021-22 Illusions

Shining Stars first appeared as an insert set, to my knowledge, in 1998-99 Fleer Brilliants, and what an awesome insert set it is. The Brilliants brand in general is a favorite of mine, a one-year wonder, and the Shining Stars set is a standout.

The set resurfaced again in 2003-04 Fleer Mystique, another set I look back on fondly. This iteration of Shining Stars has parallel and memorabilia versions, including patches out of 75, like the Duncan I’ve had in my collection since the time of the product’s release.

Under the Panini umbrella, Shining Stars made an appearance in 2014-15 Hoops, a less impressive version. The parallels are nice, but the regular insert set is lacking. Illusions resumed the brand in 2019-20, and it continues through to the current year. Which leads me to where I opened a 12-card value pack of the new set picked up at the local Target.

The Maxey is an orange parallel, not serial numbered, and honestly is so close to the base set that it isn’t interesting to me. Orange and teal parallels are exclusive to these 12 card packs. Ray Allen is the only retired player in the pack of 12. I’m unsure if the legends are more rare than cards 1-121, but the Allen was my favorite base card by far.

Two rookies I’m happy with. I’m not searching out Giddey cards but I am putting the ones I open to the side. I’m a fan of his game and expect him to have a long, productive career. Got to love a guy like Herb Jones, too. Solid, winning player.

Where does this Shining Stars iteration rate on the list? It beats the 2014-15 Hoops version, easily. I think it rates third, above the 2019-20 and 2020-21 versions from Illusions, but below the 1998-99 Shining Stars and 2003-04 Fleer Mystique versions. Nice player in Luka, too, a shining star indeed.

Speaking to the Illusions set, I like the base design this year slightly better than last, but they look similar. It’s a fun pack to open and one I’m glad I sampled.

Here are the other cards I opened:

11 Evan Fournier
34 Mike Conley
38 DeMar DeRozan
53 John Collins
81 Jaren Jackson Jr.
91 Harrison Barnes

We have as many talented stars in today’s NBA as ever. What’s your favorite Shining Stars set and card?

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