The majority of collectors including myself are slightly baffled by the recent move Panini made, giving Target the exclusive right to sell Prestige hobby boxes. Not only is it shocking that Target is selling actual hobby boxes, but at first glance the price is a little outlandish for Prestige. The big question – How is it and will it work? Let’s take a look.
2014/15 Panini Prestige Basketball can be acquired in 3 different levels – Basic, Plus and Premium. We will be reviewing all three within this single product review. So, let’s begin by discussing the acquisition, cost and guarantees regarding each type of level.
- Single Pack – $4
- Blister Box – $11 (Only 10 cards, but 1 exclusive rookie card)
- Blaster Box – $20 (1 guaranteed hit jersey or auto)
- Mid-Size Hobby Box – $64.99 (60 cards and usually 3 hits, normally only 1 being an auto)
- Full Size Hobby Box – $199.99 (60 cards, 5 hits and a whopping 4 autos)
Prestige Basic base Card
The base card has a clean design that is appealing to the eye, definitely an improvement from last year. I enjoyed opening each pack and actually looking at the photo on each card. This truly adds to the experience of opening a pack of cards and I give Panini props for the design and photography selection this year.
Prestige Plus Base Card
As you can see from the photo this card has an additional shiny touch. The card stock is also a tiny bit heavier giving the card a more valuable feel. This is pretty much the same as buying Rookies and Stars Longevity over basic Rookies and Stars.
Prestige Premium Base Card
Now we are getting into a whole different level of base card – these are sweet. As you can see by the photo there is a beautiful rainbow foil look to this base card. The card stock is very heavy like Panini Momentum which is awesome.
Prestige basic Bonus Shot Parallel Card
I have yet to pull any from the Basic Prestige set but there is a long list of possibilities – Red /199, Blue /99, Purple /49, Orange Die-Cut /25, Gold /10, Green /5 and Platinum /1.
Prestige Plus Bonus Shot Parallel Cards
Again the Plus set has the nice foil in the background and a little thicker card stock which continues to the parallel cards. You pull quite a few from the $64.99 boxes, the two cards pictured above were my lowest serial numbered from the Plus set – definitely digging on the die-cut Bass /25. The long list of possible parallels are – Red /199, Blue /99, Purple /49, Orange Die-Cut /25, Gold /10, Green /5 and Platinum /1.
Prestige Premium Bonus Shot Parallel Cards
These cards continue with the super thick card stock and great looking rainbow foil. Bonus Shot cards come in quite a mass amount in the $200 box which is pretty nice. The same group of possibilities as the others – Red /199, Blue /99, Purple /49, Orange Die-Cut /25, Gold /10, Green /5 and Platinum /1.
Prestige Basic Insert Cards
These are just what we have come to expect from Prestige. Nothing crazy or super cool, just mediocre, somewhat plain designs.
Prestige Plus Insert Cards
I was amazed how much a little foil can change the look of the card. I was really happy with how these cards looked and was hoping to grab more. I suppose this is why so many of us loved collecting inserts in the 90’s.
Prestige Premium Insert Cards
Wow, these are beautiful. The rainbow foil and thick card stock really make these desirable inserts. It’s a shame you have to buy a $200 box to acquire a few quality insert cards.
Blister Box Exclusive Rookie Card
These are cool acetate cards and I definitely approve of the design. However, when you buy a blister you are paying a high premium for this card and it’s just not worth it in my eyes.
Prestige Basic Hits
I have now pulled 6 jersey cards from the Basic series and no autograph cards. So far they have all been plain white jersey pieces, but they have all been serial numbered /199 or less which is nice.
Prestige Plus Hits
The Joel Embid is an on-card auto and a really nice looking card. As you can see the other auto is a sticker and looks horrible on this card design. Once again we beg Panini to please get rid of stickers. The added foil to the jersey card is an improvement from the Prestige Basic jersey cards.
Prestige Premium Hits
Sweetness!! Once again we get to the Premium and the cards look awesome again. I still don’t like the sticker auto but it doesn’t look quite as bad on the rainbow foil. The jersey card looks pretty sweet but I was really hoping for something other than a white patch from a $200 box of cards.
- Prestige Basic – Overall the Basic set is pretty nice. However, it does feel awkward that you are limited to buying just loose packs and blaster boxes to acquire these cards. The guaranteed hit in the blaster box is nice and definitely makes spending $20 a little easier. I do feel like Panini could do more with the inserts. Just adding a little flare to them would go a long way.
- Prestige Plus – Buying Prestige Plus is like buying a box of Rookies and Stars Longevity, but there is 1 problem – Longevity is $49.99, Prestige Plus is $64.99. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this product, but $64.99 is definitely, comparatively overpriced.
- Prestige Premium – This is a beautiful set – I love the look of every card I have from Prestige Premium. The problem is that it makes me feel like the Ravens paying Joe Flacco $120,600,000.
Walking into Target and dropping $200 on a box of cards is something I don’t think collectors are ready to do – especially on Prestige Basketball. Prestige is a mid-grade $80 per box product; you can’t just throw it into a Target exclusive and charge $200.
The other huge problem is theft and pack searchers…. Many boxes of Prestige here in Las Vegas have already been stolen or opened up. This is very sad and it is unfortunate that Panini is unaware of the issues surrounding the Target and Wal-Mart trading card situation. It doesn’t matter what city you are in, everyone is dealing with pack searchers and thieves at Target and Wal-Mart. If Target and Panini want to continue this Hobby Box Exclusive deal then Target needs to change the way they sell cards. Boxes need to be locked up like electronics and inspected when people try and return them.
Overall I do like the design of Prestige this year and I think Panini did a great job with the Premium version. However, the outlandish price and it coming as a Target Exclusive were two mistakes that can’t be overlooked.
- Resale Value – 3 of 10 (Never make up $200)
- Design – 6.5 of 10 (Saved by Premium)
- Entertainment – 7 of 10 (Base cards are nice)
- Checklist – 6.5 of 10 (Some decent veteran autos and rookie cards)