It’s almost like every Panini basketball set has a bit of Past & Present NBA players, but this set is named Past and Present so we expect a nice mix in this set. Comparing the checklist to another set that just came out in Preferred Basketball, there are as many intriguing past & present NBA players (with on-card autographs) in Preferred as Past & Present, so it makes it a tough sell initially for me.
But then Panini posted that the memorabilia cards (Gamers and Dual Jerseys) would only be found in retail packs! Might not get the guys who bust hobby boxes much love, but there are 2 Targets and 2 Wal-Marts in my town (and no card shops) making it much easier to score a pack or two at retail. The only concerning thing to me about only having the memorabilia cards in retail are that pack searchers will likely feast on the unopened stuff – so I wouldn’t be expecting to land one unless it was from a sealed blaster. I’ve made a few trips to Target on the way home, so far – no dice, but will try others this weekend.
The Treads cards are kind of neat, as they look like the treads of a sneaker. The winning touch die-cut banners are very cool as well, featuring players that have won an NBA championship. There’s not too many real stand-out type cards in this set that are must haves, although Duke fans might note that Jay Williams autographs were inserted for the first time in 9 years. Panini made an announcement on their blog like it was a big deal, but his career was riddled with injuries and unless you like Duke it makes these not really a big draw. Seems like collectors agree, as they only sell for about $5 – $10 on eBay, and I can imagine when his signature shows up in others sets, it might not go anywhere but down.
A box break typically yields about 3 autograph cards, and like we said earlier – the jersey cards are only found in retail packs. I would probably avoid buying a box, as you could spend $80 – $90 on single cards and score some nice ones from this set. Other soon-to-be-released Panini sets look like a more exciting break, including 12/13 Momentum Basketball or 12/13 Elite Series Basketball.
Overall, this set met expectations (that were low) but might be a set that could be eliminated because of the strength of Prizm, Select, Limited and other brands Panini has already. There is nothing in this set (like a Wilt Chamberlain cut) or even rookie redemptions for the 2013/14 NBA rookie class to really make it stand out over the other sets on the market already. Why diminish your brand with somewhat weak sets? Not sure, maybe this will sell well enough to make a profit, but it doesn’t really deliver anything for a basketball collector to want to run out and spend money on like Prizm and Select have.