One of the constant themes in this hobby is the use of artwork on trading cards. Sometimes they take on a life of their own such as the early 1950’s Topps cards in which those gorgeous works are still desired by collectors to this very day. Other sets have a mix of today’s leading artists drawing cards for them which give a whole range of styles to collectors finishing their sets. Heck, even in the hobby “glory” days we had artists such as Dick Perez and Vernon Wells Sr. (yes the father of the long-time outfielder) involved in a myriad of projects. Adults liked them but it was also a great way to show youngsters that art was something they could enjoy.
The 2014-15 Panini Court Kings NBA set continues in that artistic tradition. Back for a second year following a four-year break, the series features 33 of this season’s top rookies on five different base rookie card designs numbered to as low as 10.
Released in December, each pack/box of 10 cards contains one autograph, one memorabilia card, one Portrait, one Rookie Card and two inserts along with four other cards. There are also box-topper cards with on-card autographs randomly inserted.
Among the other possible pulls are Fresh Paint and the short-print Heir Apparent inserts featuring rookies, Prime and Super Prime parallels in Performance Art Jerseys and 2-on-2 Quad Memorabilia cards, Art Nouveau swatches from jersey numbers, logo patches or entire letters from jersey nameplates, Also Known As (# to 49) and Le Cinque Piu Belle (#’d to the player’s jersey number).
Hot boxes with extra autographs or memorabilia cards are randomly packed in cases.
My local card store (Triple Cards in Plano TX) reported slower sales at $78.50 per box while leading on-line retailers are currently between $65-70 per box. With the understanding that when each card costs $7-8 each, even the base cards will have some value but of course, the risk factor is greater, too.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Card Rookies: Marcus Smart, T.J Warren
Portrait Parallels (#d to 149): Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Erick Green
2 on 2 Quad Memorabilia Prime (#d to 25): Tm Duncan/Tony Parker LeBron James/Zydrunas Ilgauskas
One 250 Point Card
Box Topper: Kyrie Irving Autograph (on-card)
Well, we certainly cannot complain about the box topper hit. We haven’t scored one of those in a while and the 2 on 2 Quad Memorabilia card is around $25 in the secondary market right now. Collectors would rather not have to deal with point exchange cards, but at least I’ll be able to add another autograph to the list of what was pulled, so at least from our perspective our value exceeded the retail price if that’s important to you.
This year’s rookie class has some potential, especially once Jabari Parker returns, which should keep this one from falling too far if interest wanes.
The Court Kings design is definitely different. Some like it, some may not, but in my opinion, this is a decent product for the money, even if you don’t snare a superstar box topper. With relatively low numbered hits along with the potential bonus autographs and a decent checklist, I suspect it will return next season.
You can see 2014-15 Panini Court Kings on eBay here.