Well, I've been gone for a while, but today I read something that I had to post about and even though it's Christmas Eve, I'm afraid it's kinda negative. Tomorrow the World Champion Dallas Mavericks will tip off what I hope to be another successful season. I couldn't be more excited for the NBA to be back. I'm also ready for some new basketball cards to collect, but unfortunately for me, it doesn't look like I'll get to do much of that this season. Panini recently released their plans for NBA cards this year and guess what? They are gonna put out a whopping FIVE sets! WOW! Now I get that the NBA season is shortened and they are getting a late start with all the roster changes and what not, but still isn't 5 sets kinda low? The number of sets, however, isn't what's got my blood boiling. The problem is the makeup of those 5 sets. Here is what Panini says they are putting out.
Preferred - 4 cards per pack @ $200 per pack. Supposed to be all autos and the previews show plenty of empty white space and gradients! Whoopee!
Hoops - $1 packs retail and $2 hobby. Not sure how many cards per pack, but I'm gonna guess around 7 based on their other low end stuff like Score. The Hoops previews that came out last year looked pretty good to me.
Limited - Not sure what's in store for this season but I'm sure it will follow season's past. Something around 7 cards per pack for around $100.
Past & Present - Totally new concept. Who the hell knows.
Gold Standard - Again, no info for this year, but if we go by last year we can expect 12 hideously blinged out gold cards for around $150. I think Donald Trump may like these, but probably not very many other people.
So what is the problem you ask? The problem is, Panini doesn't put out anything for the regular joe to collect, and I'm a regular joe. I can barely stomach most of Panini's designs as it is, but when the prices are as high as they are it makes it even worse. The only set I'll be able to buy packs of for sure is HOOPS and MAYBE Past & Present. Won't know on that set until more details come out, but the other 3? No way! I'll try to grab singles here and there, but that's about it. I just don't get high end, I guess. Are there really that many people that blindly throw that kind of money around for hopes of pulling something good? Whatever happened to COLLECTING cards, not buying cards and then hoping to SELL them for a profit? I really feel like that is the only purpose of high end stuff. I want to collect my favorite players and teams but I'd like to have a chance to get more than one card of each guy. This high end stuff, especially something like Preferred where every card is an auto, means most likely, I won't get even ONE card of any player from that set. So that puts me realistically at only being able to get cards from 4 sets this season, and that isn't much variety to keep me interested. I guess we'll see.
Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but I have to wonder if anyone else is equally frustrated with the state of NBA cards since Panini took over. All I see on Panini's blog when they show new stuff is people gushing over their product so I feel I'm in the minority for sure. I can't wait for their license to end. Pleeeaase NBA bring Topps and Upper Deck back! Well, that's all I got for now. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Go Mavs! Later.