First 2011-12 Basketball Cards Won’t Appear Until Late February

Panini America, the NBA’s official trading card partner, says it will ‘overhaul’ its roster of basketball card products for the 2011-12  season and indicated the first products of the newly shortened season won’t hit store shelves for about two more months.

Silhouettes auto Blake GriffinPanini America will tip off the new NBA collecting season with a late-February hobby release of 2012 Preferred Basketball, a new high-end addition that will deliver three autographs and one six-or eight-swatch memorabilia booklet card in every pack and will retail for $200.

Preferred will be followed by the triumphant return of the venerable Hoops brand (March), a collecting landmark that ignited the basketball collecting craze with a history-making debut in 1989-90. With a $1 retail pack price, Hoops is designed to appeal to a broad fan base and will also include autographed buybacks of original 1989-90 Hoops cards. Panini also will release a hobby-specific version of Hoops ($2 a pack and $72 a box) that will feature 29 inserts, autographed copies of original 1989-90 Hoops cards and two autographs per box.

“We are excited by the return of the NBA and look forward to delivering NBA trading cards to basketball fans around the world with the release of our 2011-12 NBA products,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “There was so much excitement for the NBA and its players last season and we are looking forward to picking up where we left off.  The time away has only strengthened the demand for Panini NBA trading card products and we’re confident that our new product roster will be well received.”

After Hoops, Panini America will release 2011-12 Limited (May), 2011-12 Past & Present (June) and 2011-12 Gold Standard (July). The Limited and Gold Standard releases will include unique cards redeemable for the first Rookie Cards of members of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 NBA rookie classes.


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