Panini America is bringing its Illusions brand to basketball.
2019-2020 Illusions Basketball will make its debut Aug. 5 and will be offered in hobby and retail formats. Collectors will recall that Panini has had the Illusions product for football since 2017. Now, with a rookie class that has Zion Williamson, Ja Maront and R.J. Barrett, it’s not surprising to see another product slide over to the hardcourt.
Illusions has autograph cards (and yes, that includes Zion and Ja), but it’s not really a hit-based product. This one is all about base cards, inserts and of parallels and there are plenty of those.
2019-20 Panini Illusions Configuration and Base Set
Illusions basketball’s hobby direct breakdown will include 14 packs to a box, with six cards per pack. Panini is promising one autograph card, 14 parallels and eight inserts per box. Each will also have five Acetate or Acetate parallels.
The 200-card base set will consist of 150 veteran cards and 50 rookies. There also will be Gold, Green and Purple parallels in hobby boxes. For retail, blaster boxes will have Emerald and Ruby parallels, Starlight will be a retail pack parallel and Sapphire and Yellow parallels will be available in Mega Boxes.
Inserts will be available in both products. Collectors will be able to chase Rookie Vision, Illumination and Fantasy Matchups. Acetate stock will be featured in the Astounding, Clear Shots and Shining Stars inserts.
Inserts that will be available only the retail product are Career Lineage, Instant Impact, Rookie Reflections dual cards and Season Highlights. Career Lineage shows a player during various stages of his career, while Rookie Reflections puts a rookie together with a player from the past.
The inserts also are expected to have parallels to chase.
Autograph cards will focus on rookies and NBA veterans. The Draft Night Signatures subset features an NBA draftee’s signature written on acetate over an NBA draft logo. First Impressions Jersey autographs also highlights first-year players. >Superlative Signatures focuses on established NBA players.
Autograph cards are not limited to hobby boxes. Signature cards will be found in retail issues as well, including Rookie Signs Emerald and Trophy Collection Emerald cards. Rookie Signs and Trophy Collection will also have Sapphire autograph versions.
There was no immediate word on pricing but most recent basketball products are trending well above the SRP.