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.
Panini’s second basketball product of the season, Preferred, is out and its singles are appearing on ebay. Each box contains three autographs and a fold-out booklet with jersey swatches from up to 8 current and former players. I have to say, these booklets are awesome, particularly the patch versions.
I’m impressed with the product. At the $200/box price, I’ll be looking to pick up singles. At first glance, I wasn’t thrilled with the triangular Crown Royale autographs, but they are growing on me. It helps that these are on-card signatures.