The Beckett Blog

Panini lands Kevin Durant autographs for Absolute by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

It’s been a year since anyone has pulled a Kevin Durant autograph card from a new product.

Fans of the Oklahoma City forward will only have to wait just a bit longer. Durant’s autographed cards will appear in Panini’s high-end 2010-11 Absolute Memorabilia Basketball, which is scheduled to release March 6.

Even though Panini already has five products out for the 2010-11 basketball season, none of them has had a Durant auto.

See highlights from Absolute Memorabilia Basketball after the jump.

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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.”

Up for Discussion: Kobe and “Call of Duty” by tolentinotown

By Andrew Tolentino | Assistant Editor

In case you missed it, NBA superstar and hobby highlight Kobe Bryant appears in a potentially controversial commercial for “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” Woven into a montage of everyday people in a war scene, Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel dodge explosions and fire serious military weapons at unidentified (to the audience) targets.

Celebrity endorsements are key in our pop-culture-crazed society, and, yes, this is an advertisement for a “Mature” video game. However, at the risk of opening Pandora’s box I ask the collecting community, should stars stray away from appearances that could be interpreted as promotion of violence? What would you think if your next pull featured Bryant brandishing an assault rifle, or Jordan dual-wielding Glocks?

The hobby definitely doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so we’re curious to hear the collector’s take on Kobe’s armed answer to the “Call of Duty.” Chime in with your thoughts and see what others are saying on the thread.

Panini announces redemption plan for 2010 Fall Expo by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Panini America announced its plans for the 2010 Toronto Sportcard and Memorabilia Fall Expo, which starts Nov. 12.

Canada may be known as hockey country and Panini is doing what they can with the sport, but the company is not forgetting basketball or football.

Collectors will get a two-card Expo-exclusive pack for every five packs they open from Panini’s multisport roster of products or a full box of 2010-11 Score Hockey. The packs and boxes must be opened at the company’s booth.

See what you can get after the jump.

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First look: 2010-11 Panini Timeless Treasures basketball cards by Chris Olds

Panini’s high-end offerings for its sophomore season as the NBA’s exclusive licensee of trading cards tips off with Timeless Treasures, a $100 a pack product that carries the hits and a mix of aesthetics that might appeal to a few types  of collectors when it arrives on Dec. 8.

Each five-card pack will include three autographs or memorabilia cards — a minimum of one autograph — and two base cards or parallels numbered to 399 or less.

Each 15-tin case will include at least one of the following  card types: autographs of Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Bill Walton, John Stockton, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal or John Wall as well as Cut Signatures, Logoman cards, Logoman Signatures, Laundry Tag Logoman cards, Laundry Tag Logoman Signatures, Laundry Tag Team Logos and Laundry Tag Team Logo Signatures.

Panini promises more than 300 1/1 cards in the product as well as exclusive autographs of Wesley Johnson and Brandon Jennings.

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First Look: 2010-11 Limited Basketball by Tracy Hackler

Panini America officials on Thursday provided preliminary details and product images for the first high-end hoops product of the 2010-11 season — Limited Basketball, slated to release in late October.

The $100-for-seven-cards proposition is once again sure to reveal many high-risk, high-reward results in boxes that include at least one autograph and two memorabilia cards (every other box will include two autographs and one memorabilia card).

Rounding out the seven-card packs will be four additional cards (base, insert, Legend or parallel) numbered to 199 or less. The 140-card base set features 100 common cards numbered to 199 and 40 rookies numbered to 249.

The Glass Cleaners, Decade Dominance and Retired Numbers inserts will feature only on-card autographs. Other autograph highlights include Jumbo Prime Signatures numbered to five or less and on-card Next-Day Autographs from the next week’s NBA Rookie Photo Shoot.

Each master case of 2010-11 Limited (15 boxes) will include either an autograph memorabilia rookie numbered to 10 or less, an autograph prime memorabilia card numbered to 10 or less or a Limited Trios Signature card numbered to 49 or less.

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Panini America Tabs Peyton Manning as the Face of its NFL Line by Tracy Hackler

Panini America officials on Wednesday morning made it official: Peyton Manning is the new face of the company’s NFL trading card line.

As the official spokesman and trading card ambassador for the company, Manning, the 10-time Pro Bowler and four-time league MVP, will be featured on Panini’s 2010 NFL packaging, advertising and point-of-sale initiatives including the official NFL sticker/sticker album and NFL Adrenalyn, an interactive trading card game set to debut in August.

As they do already, the company’s products will continue to include Manning’s autographs and game-worn materials. Panini will also work with Manning’s charity, The Peyback Foundation.

“I’m excited to be a part of a global brand like Panini and look forward to bringing the excitement of collecting Panini Football cards and stickers to kids with NFL Adrenalyn and the Panini NFL Sticker Album,” Manning said.

Added Panini America CEO Mark Warsop: “Peyton will be the face of our Panini Football products. He’s one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks of all time and we are glad he is leading our huddle. Peyton’s knack for throwing touchdowns is matched by Panini’s commitment to be associated with the world’s top athletes and getting kids excited about collecting NFL trading cards.”

Manning joins five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant as a Panini spokesman and trading card ambassador.