by Rich Klein
In writing these reviews, I sometimes mention the difference between hobby and retail and I always mention I’m a fan of cards going to retail outlets because in many areas that is the only way for collectors to be introduced to card collecting.
Unlike the glory days of the early 1990’s when there may have been more than 30,000 stores around the country, in today’s world not every area even has a store nearby. In the Dallas Fort-Worth area there are approximately five stores now and other than the monthly Craig Ranch show in McKinney, only occasional shows. However, when one is expecting a hobby box and opens the box to see “retail” there is a tinge of disappointment. Since we’re talking retail instead of hobby for this look at 2012-13 Panini Basketball, I’m not going to worry about comparing prices with my local store and leading online retailers.
The design of the base cards is in a way reminiscent of some 1970’s Topps sets in which a player photo is surrounded by multi-color borders with the player’s team and name near the bottom. The card backs feature a full-color photo with an informational blurb, biographical information as well as seasonal and career stats.
Since this is a retail box we did receive more base cards than one would get in a hobby box but even with perfect distribution in retail a collector still will need at least two boxes to finish a base set. The retail box has 24 packs per box with one jersey or autograph card in the box. There are Knight’s Roundtable parallels here which show the “Knight” logo at the bottom rather than the words “Panini”.
Panini Basketball includes a mix of current players and all-time greats which is great for the person who loves the game’s history. You can see some of those in the video blaster box break below. We do get action shots of this year’s rookies with 2012-13 Panini.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 183 of 300 with no duplicates or more than 60 percent of the set
Knight’s Roundtable Parallels: Harrison Barnes, Anthony Davis, Jeremy Lamb and Luke Zeller
All-Panini Team: Chauncey Billups, James Harden
Hall of Fame Heroes: Wilt Chamberlain, Chris Mullin. John Stockton
Spirit of the Game: Michael Beasley, Louis Williams
Game Jersey Card: Tim Duncan
Well, once I got over the disappointment of not getting the autographs out of this box, I settled back and enjoyed just looking at the cards. This is a meat and potatoes issue but if autographs are your thing, I’d go with the hobby boxes. What I pulled sort of reminded me of the type of hits you’d see in the mid-1990s. If, as a collector, you do like lots of cards at a reasonable price with a good introduction to the 2012-13 NBA season then a retail products like this is fun to open on occasion.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]