Friday, December 30, 2011

My Mavs Are Disappointing, But Holy Crap, Panini Actually Made Me Happy!

Well, the Mavs are of to an 0-3 start after Kevin Durant stuck a dagger in us at the buzzer tonight. I'm not worried, though. I have faith that Dirk and the rest of the Mavs will right the ship before the end of the season. What I don't usually count on is Panini producing a product that I actually want. They have an exclusive though, so if it's NBA cards you want, it's Panini you're stuck with. So it was a bit of a surprise while killing time on ebay that I ran across this gem.

Nice, right? This comes from their Black Box product which is quite simply, another in a long list of sets made by Panini that I will never buy a box of because it is too expensive and frankly not worth it. Thank goodness, for secondhand singles though. I must give Panini props, however, for at least producing several cards of my second all time favorite Maverick Mark Aguirre this past year. It's good to see that he's retired but not forgotten.

They even used a different photo on the back, something they've gotten much better at doing lately. So while I'm still not totally on board with Panini and their products, it's nice to at least know they are capable of surprising me every once in a while. Hopefully, when what appears to be their only affordable set this year (HOOPS) arrives in March, it will be full of surprises. If nothing else, the Mavs ought to be back in the thick of things by then, and that will be no surprise to me. MFFL! Later.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm Back With A Rant! NBA Action Is Almost Here And Panini Blows! (But You Already Knew That, Didn't You?)

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.