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Collect call: Panini Timeless Treasures basketball

Posted Jan 27, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 09:26 PM

If I seem a little glassy-eyed after opening a tin of Panini America’s 2012-13 Timeless Treasures basketball, try to understand.

After all, three of the cards I pulled from the tin were Glass Rookie autograph cards. All three were on-card signatures in a design that makes it look as if the player signed on a pane of glass. The black background of the card makes it stand out even more. Hold this card up to the light and you’ll see what I mean; no need for Windex on these cards.

More about those autographs in a minute. First, the particulars about this set, which was absent from Panini’s 2011-12 lineup due to the prolonged NBA labor strife.

Each tin contains one pack per box and five cards per pack. The tin I opened gave me a bonus, however, as there were seven cards — three base, one silver parallel and the three autographed rookies. The tin also included a five-card pack of the Kobe Anthology, Panini’s tribute to Lakers star and company spokesman Kobe Bryant.

The Timeless Treasures set contains 150 base cards and 100 autographed Glass Rookie cards.

The base set will have three different parallels for collectors to chase — silver (numbered to 25), gold (10) and platinum (1/1).

The silver parallel I received was of Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, numbered to 25.

While the Glass Rookie cards were nice, I would have preferred a little more variety, with perhaps a different autograph subset or relic card. But it was nice to get an autographed card of former Florida Gators player Bradley Beal, who now plays for the Wizards. The other autograph cards were the Magic’s Andrew Nicholson and Beal’s teammate in Washington, Shelvin Mack. All three cards were numbered to 499. The card stock is thick, too, which is a plus. Nothing flimsy about these cards.

Two new autograph inserts include Time to Shine and Treasured Ink. Both feature on-card signatures. Time to Shine features rookies and Treasured Ink focuses on the NBA’s current top veterans and retired legends.

The one innovation I was hoping to see in this tin was the Revolution Materials insert. This card boasts a suspended, two-sided relic that spins to reveal swatches of game-used material from two players. There are 20 player combinations, like Bryant and LeBron James, or James and Kevin Durant, or Jason Kidd and Tony Parker.

That didn’t happen for me, but other collectors will be able to experience it.

Overall, if rookies and autographs are your thing, then Timeless Treasures could be a satisfying set to pursue.

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