The Beckett Blog

First look: Panini’s 2010-11 Playoff Contenders Basketball by Susan Lulgjuraj

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

Playoff Contenders Basketball is getting an upgrade. Panini America is changing the product to Playoff Contenders Patches Basketball.

The 2010-11 installment is set to be released in February.

So, what the big change and why did they add a word to the title?

Each product will still have Rookie Ticket Autographs, but each of those cards will also have a manufactured prime patch. The Rookie Ticket Autographs will be three of the four autos in the 20-pack box, one of which will be a draft lottery pick.

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

Panini America revealed its first basketball set for 2010-11 — its sophomore season as the NBA’s lone trading card licensee — and it’s Prestige leading the way.

Set to arrive on Sept. 29, Prestige will include a rookie in every pack and each 24-pack hobby box will include one autograph, one NBA Auto Draft Class card (limited to 499 or less) and two memorabilia cards.

Oh, and perhaps Panini’s biggest selling point? There are more than 20,000 on-card autographs to be found in this product.

Eight-card packs will carry a $4 suggested retail price.

The set will mark the first cards of No. 1 overall pick John Wall as well as autographs from Panini-exclusives Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson. It also will include the first Knicks autographs of Amar’e Stoudemire as well as debut autographs of Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer in their new uniforms.

Among the autograph checklist are Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Shaquille O’Neal, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Tyreke Evans, Rajon Rondo, Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, Elgin Baylor and Alonzo Mourning.

See more images from the set after the jump.

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First Look: 2009-10 Panini NBA Season Update by Tracy Hackler

Panini America will recap its first season as the exclusive NBA cardmaker with the early September release of 2009-10 Panini NBA Season Update, a quirky catch-all release sporting a reasonable $2.99 pack price and a typical box break (24 packs) that will produce one autograph, two memorabilia cards and 22 additional insert cards.

See more images after the jump.

The product is bolstered by 111 on-card Kobe Bryant autographs, more than 1,000 additional on-card signatures updating previous 2009-10 releases and special Christmas Cards featuring swatches from jerseys worn on Christmas Day 2009.

Stay tuned to for additional information on this product.

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Panini America Inks Evan Turner to Exclusive Agreement by Tracy Hackler

AP Images

A week to the day after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, Ohio State standout Evan Turner has agreed to an exclusive agreement with Panini America.

The deal means that Turner’s autographed trading cards will be available exclusively in Panini America products, beginning with the company’s first 2010-11 release, Prestige, due out in September. In addition, Turner will likely be involved in promotional appearances for the company.

“We are excited to announce that we have signed Turner,” said Scott Prusha, Director of Marketing for Panini America. “We look forward to an exciting rookie season from him and hope he has as much success as our NBA rookies last year.”

In 2009-10, Panini’s first as the NBA’s exclusive trading card and sticker manufacturer, the company enjoyed exclusive agreements with Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks sensation Brandon Jennings, among others.

Stay tuned to for additional information on the Panini America’s 2010-11 NBA product line and images of Evan Turner’s first trading cards.

— Tracy Hackler

Panini Releases Playoff Contenders Basketball SP List by Tracy Hackler

On the heels of weeks of gradually building collector speculation and anticipation, Panini officials on Tuesday night released to Beckett Media the list of short-printed Rookie Cards from 2009-10 Playoff Contenders Basketball.

Just more than a third of Contenders’ 35 Rookie Cards are short printed, with six cards in a group limited to 499 or less and six more in a group limited to 649 or less.

“Unlike Playoff Contenders Football, where there were more than 100 rookies in the autographed Rookie Ticket subset, there are just 35 rookie players in Playoff Contenders Basketball,” said Panini Basketball Brand Manager David Porter. “But even with a considerably smaller rookie checklist, some of the Rookie Ticket cards were still produced in fewer quantities than others in the set.”

Players with autographed RCs limited to 499 or less are: Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Jordan Hill, Brandon Jennings and Tyler Hansbrough.

Players with autographed RCs limited to 649 or less are: Blake Griffin, Dante Cunningham, Earl Clark, Johnny Flynn, Stephen Curry and Terrence Williams.

— Tracy Hackler