When 2013-14 Crusade is released next week it will mean collectors will once again have a plethora of shiny parallel cards to collect as well as a base set and inserts featuring autographs and game-used jersey pieces. There have been some changes though. This former high end product is now decidedly budget-friendly but the number of autographs per box has dropped from three to just one.
Crusade had been scheduled for an April 7 release, but is now due out May 22.
There were many Crusade inserts, with their distinctive medieval-inspired theme, in the 2012-13 product and Panini has added even more versions this time. There are new die-cut Orange Crusades which are numbered to 99, featuring a shape that is unique among sports cards. Teal and Gold have been added this year too.
The good news is that there will be more Crusade cards per pack compared to last year. There will be six packs per box and five cards per pack at a price of around $70 per box. According to the company, hobby boxes will be highlighted by one autograph card, one memorabilia card and 18 Crusade inserts.
For those who are attempting to collect the base set, there are 150 cards which are evenly split between current superstars, rookies and retired legends. The rookies and legends are inserted at a rate of approximately 1 in every 3 packs. 2013-14 Crusade also has Nobility, Royalty and Knight Court insert sets.
The Quest Memorabilia cards return in 2013-14 with a more intricate design, and a square of jersey on the card instead of the rectangle of jersey along the bottom of last year's cards. The Prime version of the Quest Memorabilia cards will have the better patches, lower numbered print run and likely higher prices on the secondary market.
If this year's Crusade follows what happened with the first release of basketball Crusade, the parallel Crusade inserts will definitely be the popular items. LeBron James cards from 2012-13 Crusade are certainly wanted by collectors as a BGS 9.5 graded Gold Crusade insert sold for $504.11 recently. $274.99 was paid for a Green version, numbered to 25. The Paul George 1 of 1 from Crusade sold for $430.50, while the Gold version numbered to 10 brought in $175, and the Larry Nance 1 of 1 sold on eBay for $67. Some of the Durant, Bryant and Irving autographs from last year have been selling for over $100, and an Anthony Davis autographed Crusade Quest card numbered to 25 sold for $101 on eBay.
Those who started collecting the 2010-11 Elite Black Box Crusade cards and continued with last year's Crusade set should find the new Crusade inserts are what they want, as the design has not strayed from that of the past sets. The base set and insert sets will appeal to other collectors, while player collectors may find a few cards of players in new uniforms after mid-season trades as this time of year is often when card companies produce those cards.