Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Collect call: 2012-13 Panini Limited basketball
Posted Jan 2, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM
“Limited” implies something special, something different, something that will turn your head.
Panini America’s 2012-13 Limited Basketball certainly has the potential to do that with some new innovations and designs.
The biggest twist to this year’s product is the autographed rookie cards, which are printed on acetate. The players signed their names on the clear plastic; in other words, no stickers. The rookie cards are die-cuts, smartly fashioned in the style of the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award.
There was one in the hobby box I sampled: Detroit’s Kyle Singler. The autograph is clear, although Singler employs a very loopy style of penmanship. It’s numbered to 399, and I have to confess: this card almost reminded me of those Mass cards I used to see in my Catholic church when I was a youth in Brooklyn. I did a double take, to be honest. But after realizing what it was, the card grew on me. It’s a very different look.
Speaking of Brooklyn, it was nice to see players in Brooklyn Nets uniforms. One of the four base cards I pulled from the hobby box I sampled was that of forward Kris Humphries.
This year’s Limited includes one pack per hobby box, with seven cards to a pack. Also included is a five-card pack of the Kobe Anthology set, continuing the subset that Panini began a few months ago. Panini is making good use of its main NBA spokesman, and the set is a nice chronicle of an outstanding career.
Limited consists of 150 base cards, plus the already mentioned 100 signed rookie cards from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 draft classes; those cards are numbered to 399 or less.
The base cards have a shiny, foil-like look, with a cutout action shot of the player dropped into a simulated background of fans in an arena. The players’ names are stamped in gold at the bottom of the card. The backs have black-and-white, smaller versions of the front photo in the left part of the cards.
There were four base cards in the hobby box I sampled.
Panini promises two autographs and one memorabilia card per hobby box. In addition to the Singler rookie, this particular hobby box yielded a Material Monikers relic/autograph card of Chicago forward Toni Kukoc. The autograph is on a sticker, the relic is a decent-sized swatch of black material, and the card is numbered to 99. It is one of 50 such cards in the subset. A 49-yard Prime version of Material Monikers has cards numbered to 25 or less.
The memorabilia card in the hobby box also was numbered to 99: a Glass Cleaners card of the Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire. This card was printed with a shiny front and the set pays tribute to the NBA’s rebounding stars.
Glass Cleaners has several versions, including simple memorabilia, Prime, autographs, autograph/memorabilia and Prime autograph/memorabilia.
While there were none in the hobby box I pulled, Limited is featuring a new type of relic card: a “Revolution” memorabilia card in its Home & Away inserts. The card contains a two-sided memorabilia piece, and you can spin, or rotate the swatch. One side has a swatch of a home game-worn jersey, while the other will have a swatch of a road game-worn jersey. There are 25 such cards in this subset.
Other autographed insert sets include Unlimited Potential, Masterful Marks, Spotlight Signatures, and Lights Out.
There is some good variety and some nice autographs in Limited basketball — certainly, plenty to turn your head.