12/13 Panini Brilliance basketball marks the initial release of a set that utilizes some of Panini’s newly found printing technologies to create a good looking set with multiple inserts and parallel cards to chase.
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Lets start with the base set: features a whopping 300 cards (includes rookies & legends). Compared to most basketball sets, that’s quite a few cards. You’ll want to keep that in mind when you’re collecting the 3 different parallel cards in the base set. With 300 cards, it makes getting any one particular card that much harder to get. There is a Starburst parallel which is slated at about 2 per box. Then you have an Above & Beyond parallel – both the Starburst and the Above & Beyond parallel cards are not serial numbered. The one parallel that is serial numbered are the Artist Proof parallel cards – those are limited to just 10 copies each.
The set features 60 autograph rookie cards. Other Panini sets have had about 80 signed rookies, so this lineup is a bit tighter than other sets you might find this season. The autograph rookie cards are not serial numbered, nor are there any parallel cards – so it will be interesting to see if there are any true SP rookie cards to be found. We can imagine that not every rookie card has the same quantity, so some players may be harder to find than others.
Accolades is the first in a decent lineup of insert cards. These cards feature lots of shiny foil and detail that we’ve come to expect since the 12/13 Panini Prizm set launched last year. There are only 20 cards to collect from this set, including LeBron James and other NBA superstars.
The City to City Jersey cards feature 2 different jersey pieces that are from a single player – but each one is from a different team they have played for. This actually is a pretty neat way to hit a Metta World Peace jersey card when he played for the Sacramento Kings (and was named Ron Artest) plus you get a piece of his current team. If you’re a fan of any of the players on the 20 card checklist, these certainly make for a unique card to collect. There are prime jersey versions serial numbered to 25 or less of each player.
Game Time Jerseys are like the main jersey set, because it features 80 different NBA players. You also have prime jersey versions of each card that are serial numbered. You get 1 memorabilia card per box, so we can expect the non-prime versions to be available on the open market in substantial quantities.
The Magic Numbers set is a small 15 card set featuring many of the games best players & scorers. These cards feature a mirror-like finish and have the players jersey number embossed on the card.
The highlight of the set might be the Marks of Brilliance autograph cards – which is a set of 240 different serial ## autograph cards! Panini has been delivering big on some autograph sets recently, and pretty much just about any NBA player not named LeBron or Michael Jordan have some kind of ink with Panini. The depth of the autograph checklist might water down boxes (which only cost about $90 originally), but it’s cool seeing so many names – and the possibilities to pull a rare auto are still there.
Scorers Inc is a 20 card set of the leagues best scoring talents. Stephen Curry proved in the postseason he was one of the leagues best shooters, and he’s joined by Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and others.
Spellbound is a 100 card set, but actually only features about 18 different players. Each player has about 4 or 5 different cards, which might make this a nice mini-set to collect if you don’t want to go after all 100 cards.
Springfield is where the Basketball Hall of Fame is located, and this set of 25 cards features all HOF players that have been enshrined. Recent inductees like Chris Mullin can now have one of his first Hall of Fame cards. These cards actually look quite similar to the Accolades set we previewed earlier.
Team Tomorrow is the final set in the bunch and it gives us another look at some of the top rookies from the past 2 seasons. The set features 20 rookies.