The Beckett Blog


Panini’s forthcoming Classics basketball carries new feel by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

It may celebrate the stars of yesteryear along with a mix of greats and potential of today’s NBA, but Panini America‘s latest creation does all that with a seemingly brand-new look.

The Arlington, Texas-based hobby giant unveiled its latest forthcoming basketball brand — 2010-11 Classics Basketball — on Tuesday evening, a relatively affordable mid-range product ($5.99 a pack) that will arrive in late March packing two autographs and two memorabilia cards in every hobby box.

Each hobby box also will include more than a dozen inserts along with a selection of cards from the 100-card base set that is capped by 40 Legends and 40 signed Rookie Cards.

But that’s not what caught this writer’s eye — it’s the design of the inserts, which perhaps eschew the typical trappings of a more “classical” product — and also stray from the more reserved designs found in last year’s set. (Granted, that could be this selection, but either way they seem to be more energetic — while keeping a bit of retro-flavored flair, too.)

See what we’re talking about … after the jump.

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Box Busters: 2010-11 Donruss Basketball by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a box of 2010-11 Donruss basketball cards from Panini America in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …



Box Busters: 2010-11 Timeless Treasures Basketball by Chris Olds

Join Beckett Media’s Chris Olds and Rob Springs as they rip into a pair of 2010-11 Timeless Treasures boxes in this latest episode of Box Busters.

What will they find inside? Watch and find out …



Rippin’ Retail: Panini Longevity Rookies & Stars vs. three Basketball Blasters by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

Collectors often bemoan he differences between hobby and retail boxes, opting for the superior hobby version over the taste-test of a retail blaster or other type of offering.

In some cases, though, that logic just might be unfounded — good cards certainly can be found in retail, but if they’re not there the prices might be better depending on how in-demand boxes might be.

It really just depends on what you’re buying. However, not all retail boxes are made alike, either.

I recently ripped some retail Panini America basketball boxes and was kind of surprised by what I found. Frankly, the cheapest of all retail versions — the Blaster box — seemed to compete well with its bigger-time counterpart, the Longevity version of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars. The $50 Longevity box was a dud, while three Blasters (two Rookies & Stars boxes and one Threads box) seemed more interesting for approximately the same price at $60.

How is that? It surprised me. At first glance, the retail-focused Longevity found only in Target stores seems like a good alternative to the typical Blaster boxes. After all, it looks more like a hobby box so it should feel more like a hobby box, right? It’s packing three autograph or memorabilia cards per 10-pack box and is otherwise an abbreviated offering of the standard Rookies & Stars set but printed on foilboard. (In the case of this design, I actually don’t mind the foilboard — a rare instance.)

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Panini aims to help fans get collecting kicks at Kids Foot Locker by Chris Olds

Panini America has teamed up with Kids Foot Locker to produce an exclusive trading card set only available at the show retailer.

For every shopper who spends $20 on NBA-licensed items, they will receive a six-card packs of 2010-11 Rookies & Stars cards. They will include cards of Panini spokesman Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson.

There will be more than 100 stores around the country involved with the promotion.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Kids Foot Locker to help promote, grow and strengthen the hobby of basketball-card collecting in this country,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America vice president of marketing. “This promotion represents a tremendous opportunity to turn passionate NBA fans into passionate NBA collectors.”



Three NBA rookies you might want to collect – soon by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

The NBA season is in full swing and all eyes have been on rookies John Wall and Blake Griffin. These two will likely go to the wire when it comes to the Rookie of the Year vote, but the cardboard world doesn’t just revolve around these two guys when it comes to NBA rookies.

You may have been caught up in the dazzling moves of Wall or the strong-arm play of Griffin, but here are three rookies who also deserve your attention.

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Upper Deck scraps 2010 Ultimate Collection Football; ups ante in 2010-11 SP Authentic Basketball by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Upper Deck released a pair of statements to distributors about two forthcoming products on Monday, with one product getting the red light and the other one getting a green light for some higher-end autograph additions.

First, the company has decided to scrap its plans for a 2010 Ultimate Collection Football set, which would have been a college release under its exclusive deal with the Collegiate Licensing Company. The company cited the present state of the industry, which is crowded with many slow-moving, perhaps overproduced products at this time.

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