My wife surprised me with a box of 2013-14 Panini Pinnacle basketball for Valentine’s day. What better gift than a box of cards. It’s been years since I’ve busted a hobby box of anything and I couldn’t be more exited. I’m trying to limit myself to a pack a day. This box has 10 packs with 30 cards per pack. The base set is 300 cards. Each pack is loaded up with current and retired players, rookies, and inserts. Here’s what pack 1 looked like.
The best of the current player base cards and a rookie of Victor Oladipo. Oladipo plays for the Thunder now, and was the #2 pick in the 2013 draft. Definitely one of the more exiting rookies of this class.
A few of the retired stars from this pack. Love the mix from this product. Mark Price was a 4-time all-star and is now the head coach at UNC Charlotte. Can’t go wrong with adding new cards of Scottie Pippen.
These scanned pretty terribly. They look much better in hand. The Barnes in particular looks pretty sharp. The Gervin is a ‘museum collection’ parallel, a parallel of the base set that makes it look like the other inserts. The Haslem is an Artists Proof, of which there are several varieties (regular, blue, red, green, and black). The first true insert from the box is a Team Pinnacle insert of former Warrior Harrison Barnes. The back of this one has Vince Carter on it.
I forgot to mention each insert has its own set of Artists Proof parallels. If you like parallels and inserts, pick up a box of this stuff.
The next set of inserts (yes, we are still in the same pack of 30 cards) features a couple of Spurs, including one card that fits right into my Duncan player collection. Kawhi will make sure the Spurs stay relevant for years to come. Not only relevant, but championship contenders I should say. Dion Waiters probably wouldn’t be featured in an insert set if it came out this year, but the 2020 insert set features many of the games current young stars such any Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, and a bunch of rookies from the 2013-14 season.
The big prize from this pack is an Essence of the Game autograph. This is an awesome set with on-card autographs, serial numbered cards, and cards that you can see through. The set is made up of 50 cards and although I didn’t get the player I would choose, I was still pleased to open one of these. My only complaint is that there are 50 cards and not a single Pacer! The closest is D.J. Augustin in a Pacers uniform but a Raptors logo. No thanks.
A successful pack one that makes it tough for me to not bust all the rest at once.
Panini Hoops has 8 cards per pack, 36 packs per hobby box. Each box typically contains two autographed cards per box, a glossy parallel card or two, an Artist’s proof parallel card or two, and a myriad of insert cards. Here is what Hoops Hobby pulled.
Some of these insert sets I like and may even try to complete myself. I find I enjoy the simple set designs like ‘Hoop Dreams’ and ‘Courtside’. The Slam Dunk set and ‘A Night to Remember’ have too much going on in one card.
The autographs are underwhelming, with this box providing Hasheem Thabeet (not afraid to go ahead and label Hasheem a big bust), and bench player Randy Foye. It’s a shame these autographs aren’t on-card, but again, for a sub-$50 product, can’t complain.
Hoops appeals to the crowd that likes opening a ton of cards, pulling a ton of inserts, and loves pulling multiple cards of their favorite players. Many of the stars have multiple base cards in this release. The base cards could be used for TTM autograph collectors and in-person autographs. While the value is good for the price, the potential for this release is so high, though, and it comes as a slight disappointment to me just because of some of the insert sets being underwhelming in design. I would like to see future releases such as these modeled after the 2010-11 Donruss product, which had a similar starting price point and received more praise from collectors.
Last pack of our four pack Panini Hoops break. Here’s what we opened:
#29 Baron Davis (Knicks practice jersey)
#72 Jordan Hill
#86 Al-Farouq Aminu (Hornets jersey)
#122 Dwyane Wade
#164 Landry Fields
#179 Jameer Nelson
#225 Andrea Bargnani
#258 Kobe Bryant
It was nice to see some big names in this last pack. As you can see in the image above, some of the base cards feature players in all-star jerseys. Although we didn’t pull any autograph in our packs, three inserts in four packs along with some star players is nothing to complain about, considering you should find autographs one in 18 packs. Hope to bring more pack/box breaks to you soon!
Also, quick reminder about our playoff survivor contest. More details coming soon!
Pack three from our four pack Panini Hoops pack break. Here is what we opened in pack three:
#16 D.J. Augustin
#58 Tracy McGrady
#73 Kevin Martin
#105 Shane Battier
#147 Brook Lopez
#203 Armon Johnson
#244 Ronny Turiaf
Hall of Fame Heroes #14 David Robinson
Three inserts in three packs thus far, can’t complain there. I would like to see these Heroes in color, though. Last pack of our small break tomorrow.
Pack two of our pack break of NBA Hoops. Here’s what we found:
#25 Luol Deng
#82 George Hill
#140 Luke Ridnour
#155 Jason Smith
#197 Hakim Warrick
#204 Gerald Wallace
#239 Mehmet Okur
Slam Dunk Champion #11 Josh Smith
Definitely a fan of the idea on the Dunk Champion insert set. Only complaint on the Josh Smith card is how small Josh Smith appears in the photo on the right. Surely there’s a better photo from that particular dunk contest that would be closer zoomed in. The result on the card above is a ton of dark, blank space. Check back tomorrow for pack three.
Not having opened any packs of 11-12 cards yet this year, I decided to pick up four hobby packs of the relatively new Panini Hoops product from a local card store. I am opening a pack a day and posting the results to give an idea of what the typical pack contains. The first pack had the following:
#9 Glen Davis
#67 Jeremy Lin
#126 Ersan Ilyasova
#148 Cole Aldrich
#183 Craig Brackins
#211 Jason Thompson
#246 JaVale McGee
Hoops Dreams #6 Stephen Curry
Already a fan of the inserts- an inexpensive set paired with sharp looking inserts make a good product for me.
Also can’t go wrong with pulling Jeremy Lin’s first card in a Knick uniform! More to come tomorrow.
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
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.
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
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.
1999-00 Topps Series 1
36 packs per box, 11 cards per pack
Series 1 base set contains 110 base cards, 10 rookies inserted 1 in 5
MVP Promo, 1 in 336 packs
Record Numbers, 1 in 12 packs
Season’s Best, 1 in 12 packs
Patriarchs, 1 in 22 packs
Picture Perfect, 1 in 8 packs
Prodigy, 1 in 36 packs
Prodigy Refractor, 1 in 144 packs
Autographs Group A, 1 in 877 packs
Autographs Group B, 1 in 351 packs
Definitely received a complete base set, likely came up with two. As with our Series 2 break, the base cards have the blindingly bright orange borders, with otherwise nice action shots of the player in the center. The photography in the Shaq we’ve shown above is magnificent, capturing the dominance of Shaq’s time with the Lakers. Again though, we busted this box for shot at some nice inserts, and because it was a cheap break with much enjoyment in pack breaking. It’s nice to open 18 packs and realize you still have half the box to go.
Once again, the design and flair on some of these insert sets, Patriarchs and Season’s Best in particular, is something you just don’t see in modern-day sets. The Picture Perfect inserts don’t do much for me, but most of the others are attractive and colorful sets. Prodigy has a Chrome feel. The excitement I felt opening the Prodigy insert and refractor quickly faded when I saw the players on each card. Certainly could have done better, but pulling an insert with 1:144 odds felt pretty good.
Pulling multiples on several rookies was disappointing as well, but at least these are of guys that are still playing today.
As with our series 2 break, this one was a blast to break, and it won’t cost a fortune to pick up. These should be available for under $30 on ebay or elsewhere. One of these days we’ll open an autograph, but for now, we’ll treasure our Matt Harpring Refractor.
2000-01 Topps Reserve
10 packs per box, 5 cards per pack
Base set contains 100 base cards, 33 rookies
12 8×10 Autographed Canvas
21 All-Star Veteran Relics
15 All-Star Rookie Challenge Relics
1 PSA Graded rookie card included in each box
46/100 base set, 2 duplicates
Rookie Card /999 (1): Jamal Crawford
A unique set in several ways. This was the only basketball set from Topps released under the ‘Reserve’ name, evolving from the ‘Gallery’ brand. The card fronts have paint splotches to make up the card borders, with a game action shot centered to create the appearance of a canvas. The card backs have some stats not typically included, showing how the player performed on various days rest (0,1,2,3+), in addition to season averages. It was a bit disappointing to open any duplicates at all considering we opened less than half the base set, but could have been worse.
Something else that doesn’t make much sense to me is including anything less than PSA 9 graded cards in the box. Unfortunately this wasn’t a great rookie class either. We were fortunate to open one of the few still in the league as our regular rookie in Jamal Crawford. Some of the other top rookies in this set are Kenyon Martin, Mike Miller, Hedo Turkoglu, and Stephen Jackson. Yeah… ouch.
In 2000 the early craze for game used cards was in full swing. A set of relic cards from All-Star weekend was a nice change. Clearly there is a chance to open cards of some of the league’s best in this set, such as Stockton, Malone, Shaq, Duncan, Hill, Robinson, but also some up-and-comers at the time in Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, etc…
The draw of this box is of course the 8×10 canvas, with the grand prize being a Shaq or Magic Johnson autograph. We weren’t lucky enough to open one of those, but Jamison isn’t a bad consolation. The others on the checklist are Jermaine O’Neal, Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, Andre Miller, Baron Davis, Steve Francis, Wally Szczerbiak, Keyon Dooling, Larry Hughes, Mike Bibby, and Maurice Taylor. The big prizes at the time were likely Brand and Steve Francis, the star rookies from the previous year.
If you want a different box-opening experience, as well as a chance (a slim one) at a Shaq or Magic canvas, this is a low-risk box that could result in a high-reward.