2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball: An Inside Look

Welcome to the inaugural post here at Basketball Card World, your place for all things        related to the hobby of basketball card collecting. Today we will be taking a look at 2012-13 Panini Prestige Basketball, which will be released this Friday, September 14th.

Basketball fans and collectors won’t have to deal with the hardships of a lockout this season. Meaning there will be new basketball products released from now until June. Thanks to the work stoppage last season, collectors had to wait until the end of February to get their hands on new basketball cards.

Prestige will be Panini’s second release for the upcoming season. 2012/13 NBA Hoops, which was released in mid-August, was the company’s first.

Collectors will be expected to dish out a little more cash to enjoy the new Prestige product than they did with Hoops. Hobby boxes will be selling for $98.00. Fans on a strict budget will eventually be able to find blaster boxes and packs at Wal-Mart and/or Target.

Each hobby box includes 24 packs with eight cards each. Buyers are guaranteed three autograph cards, one memorabilia card and a total of 24 rookie cards (one per pack). And thanks to last year’s products not containing any rookie cards, the 24 rookie cards per box will feature rookies from both the ’11 and ’12 draft classes. Therefore, it’s possible to pull some of the first cards of Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis all in one box.

Something that was missing altogether from this season’s Hoops product was the inclusion of relic cards. This year’s Prestige products offers collectors two different game used sets.

True Colors cards have jersey swatches of some of the game’s biggest names, including Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson.

Inside The Numbers cards highlight a statistical achievement the respective player has accomplished and a piece of memorabilia. Players in the set include: Steve Nash, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony.

Those who covet ink won’t be disappointed either. Prestige boasts two different autograph sets. Prestigious Pros/Picks includes signatures from both veterans and rookies, while Distinctive Ink will feature on-card autographs.

Two other insert sets that really grabbed my attention were Connections and Playmakers.

The Connections cards showcase two players who are in some way connected. For instance, one of the cards features rookies Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who were teammates at Kentucky. I have always been a big fan of cards with two players. It’s kind of like getting two cards in one, right?

According to The Knight’s Lance, the official blog of Panini, Playmakers inserts are being found at a rate of only one per case. With the black and white background in contrast to the colorful action shot of the players, these are some of the best looking cards I have seen in quite some time.

Unlike Hoops, which outside of an impressive autograph checklist was fairly bare bones, Prestige offers a little bit of everything for collectors.

After a one year absence, Prestige looks to make its return to the market with an emphatic slam dunk.

In the coming days, I am hoping to get my hands on a box, if not a hobby box, a couple of blasters. When I do, I will post a video of me busting the box.

Be sure to check out the Sports Card Radio podcast.

All photos courtesy of The Knight’s Lance, the official blog of Panini America.

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