Nostalgia is trending in sports cards. Anything that causes seasoned collectors to flash back to the glory days when it seemed like everyone was involved in the hobby tends to cause a flurry of excitement. For the most part, these retro releases have been gobbled up by the collectors of today. Perhaps it is the manufacturers reconnecting with the spirit of a simpler time when it was just plan fun to collect that is driving these modern day homage cards towards superior heights. 2011 - 12 Panini Past & Present Basketball brings a new twist to this trend. As Panini describes it, Past & Present is designed to show the extreme difference between vintage cards and cutting-edge print technology and they pull this off quite nicely..
Past & Present Basketball falls under our classification of Premium cards. Hobby Boxes contain 20 – 8 card packs with 3 Autographs and 1 memorabilia card per Hobby.
Here are some of the cards we pulled from our hobby box.
LeBron James, front and back
Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Dwyane Wade
Jerry West, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson
Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce
Bob Cousy, Rick Barry, Walt Frazier
Base Set Variations
Chris Paul, Dwight Howard
Al Attles, Artis Gilmore
Bobby Jones, Billy Cunningham
LeBron James, Robert Horry, Steve Nash
Brook Lopez, Danilo Gallinari
Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday
"Bread For" Diecuts - Bread For Energy
Anderson Varejao, Carmelo Anthony
Corey Maggette, Deron Williams
Bread For Health
Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Monta Ellis
Bread For Life
Pistol Pete Maravich
Hassan Whiteside Gamers Memorabilia
Thurl Bailey Elusive Ink Autograph, Bob Love Elusive Ink Autograph
2011 Draft Pick Autograph - XRCR
No question, the base cards evoke a retro feel. There are four different varieties of designs for the fronts of the base set, but the same back for all of them. I’m kind of on the fence between liking that choice because it lends a cohesion to the set and wishing there was a different type of back for each style, especially since each design appears sequentially together in 4 separate groups. The retro inserts are great but the modern cutting-edge print technology really shine, most notably with the Fireworks cards.
Quality and Variety of Players.
This is a nice mix of the old and the new. Panini offers a nice work around for a strange basketball card season by offering future rookie cards. All of the heavy hitters are here, but the really fun part of the list is the elusive players who are rarely seen elsewhere.
Do the hits satisfy?
Yes they do. There is every chance to pull a huge hit from this product. With the addition of the Elusive Ink Autographs, there is the chance to pull some rare names from the past, which will most likely appeal more to the seasoned collectors. The Gamers memorabilia cards are generous but seem unnecessary in this product unless you are lucky enough to hit one of the low numbered prime swatches.
Will you keep coming back for more?
If this strikes you in the right way, you could easily go for a few boxes, maybe even a case.
4 1/2 out of 5
Review box provided by Panini