Your Turn (Beckett Basketball 245): What do you think is the key to a good NBA product?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

With some new basketball card lines, there has been some new interest in different cards — and in the case of 2012-13 Panini Prizm its Prizm parallels have been scorching.

This Kobe Bryant? It sold for $1,546 on eBay Thursday without a single piece of memorabilia or an autograph in sight.

That got us thinking … What is the key to a good NBA product these days?

We want to know, for the next issue of Beckett Basketball and its Your Turn page, what you think is the key to success with an NBA product.

Perhaps it’s the type of product or maybe it’s the player selection? Maybe it’s autographs? Maybe it’s scarcity? Or, perhaps it’s something else. We want to know what you think is most important.

Let us know in the comments below — along with your name and location — and a selection of the best responses will appear in the next issue.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. Matt Gilman
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    A Panini logo.

    All you kiddies whining about UD getting their NBA license back need to give it up. They are crooks who will NEVER get another major league license again.

  2. Mark
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    The key to a successful NBA product.

    My Top 10 List

    -No sticker autographs
    -No manufactured letter patches
    -No event worn jersey cards except for rookie cards
    -limited insert cards
    -affordable price range
    -Hobby and Retail
    -mix of past and present players
    -Nice patch cards
    -No redemption cards
    -clean and simple design

  3. Ryan
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m a rookie card guy and I’m a big fan of short print rookie cards and/or short print rookie parallels. I won’t ever complain about getting an autograph but I’m not as into them as most collectors are, they remind me of the old NFL draft slot payments, veteran dollars for the unproven. In addition to that most big name guys will continue signing for years to come.

    Design wise I generally buy Chrome products, Sterling, and Topps Heritage in baseball. So either something sharp or something old school, I feel those two groups stand the best chance to be in demand in the future.

    Based on that Prizm is pretty much what I have and will buy NBA wise this year.

  4. Clint Feldhake
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Well according to some it’s being anything other then Panini.
    A quality product at a reasonable price. Not everyone can bust Exquisite or other high end products.
    Well designed cards with a nice auto check list with on card autos and not stickers. A very low number of redemptions.

  5. taffster74
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Affordability, a good range of inserts and parallels (but don’t over do it), small list of auto’s and GU’s, good collation. In lower to mid-range products, a collector should be able to get a complete base set in a box and all the chase cards are exactly that – you have to chase that elusive card. This is where companies have been faling of late – not just in basketball, but in other sports. A set collector should not have to spend in excess of $250 on three boxes of the latest threads just to get a base set valued at $30.

  6. David Hall
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I think that being able to “endorse” your product in different avenues of approach greatly enhances the chance of collectors from all kinds of different venues to explore and experience the product or products at hand. Also, having the quality to go with the notoriety doesn’t hurt either. Good products will bring good collectors…

    Fort Carson, Colorado

  7. Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    First and foremost, redemptions have to go away. All items should be available BEFORE the products go into production. If you don’t have it then it shouldn’t be apart of the checklist. I’m not picky about on card or sticker autos as long as you eliminate these auto’s of people that no one really wants (or make a really cheap product that caters to no named players, lol). I also think that their should be a decrease of retired player items. IMO it decreases the value of the stuff that they already have.

    Stop the gimmick products. No one really cares about a diamond on top of a sports card, lol. Stop over pricing products. If I know that I can’t really get my moneys worth back from a product no matter what I pull, then I will only buy on the secondary market. Make crisp clean products, but make sure it’s distinguished from other companies.

    Also, stop creating these patch and jersey cards that have never been used in a game. This does nothing to make me feel like I’m closer to the game. I love parallels, but they need to be distinguished from the original card. I shouldn’t have to figure out if it is a parallel or not. Make sure that people can understand what year the products came out. If it’s basketball give the complete season, not a signal year (i.e. 1999-00 or 2012-13). It gets confusing with all of these various inserts (which should only be for superstars and rookies) and card designs that resemble the previous year.

  8. Richard
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I like what Panini did their FIRST year with contenders.
    I hated what they did their 2nd year, with patches and plates.

    1) On card autographs. Stickers are to be avoided.
    2) No more event jersey cards please, except maybe a rookie event for an early product.
    Special “fun” cards like the Michael Jordan suit card is OK too because it was not over done.
    3) No variants of the same player within the base set.
    You had the RC and then the HARD version of the same player. Variants are OK, meaning a limited parallel
    or a rare version of the card.
    4) No redemption cards unless we are talking about next years rookie draft type thing.
    5) Reasonable price points and hopefully not so many products that its impossible to work on.
    6) Cards should generally be well made, not chipped, miscut etc.
    7) Base set possible within 2-3 boxes. Full set within a case. Minimal duplicates within the boxes.
    8) Parallels should not be too nuts. Have 1/pack, 1/box., 1 per multi-box, and 1 per case at the most.

  9. joe r
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    i think new products must be less expensive and yet still deliver some bang for the buck. make a product where collectors will start collecting the set again. i am currently putting together the prizm & certified base sets, i think they are both good looking designs. but i don’t want to spend $120 a box on certified and get a bunch of jersey cards that i don’t want. if i buy 3 boxes i’d like to get close to a full set and trade or buy the remaining cards that i need. i would be happy if the box only had one ‘hit’, and that could be a parallel, an auto, or a patch card. and the auto or patch sets could be 20-50 players deep so there would still be a chance of getting a high dollar card. i’m probably in the minority with my thinking but that is how i feel.

  10. Rick
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I think what makes a good product is the scarcity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying ultra scarce. There are just so many products and so many cards.

  11. joe
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    1. No redemptions (Especially if it is a redemption for a regular card, that’s just stupid)
    2. Good selection of past, and present players
    3. Good rookies. Not the ones that didn’t make a team (this is for products released after the All-Star break. After the All-Star break there is no excuse to give me a rookie card of a guy who is at home flippin burgers or folding clothes at the mall).
    4. Good autograph check list. (sticker or on-card it does matter they are all mostly mailed to the player and then mailed back to the company. Most people think that if it is on-card then it was done in person. WRONG!!! If they do use a sticker don’t go back to that silver sticker that covered the the picture on the card)
    5. Affordable price range. Enough of this $200 and up crap. The Luck or Griffin autos sale the same from SCORE as it does from TRIPLE THREADS or PRIME SIGNATURES.

  12. George
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Best of all is a limited number of products. A nice very complete set lower end set, but with nice glossy cards, a high end set with plenty of autos on card and a little foil and some nice memorabilia cards, and a super high end set would be plenty. A fourth set that is special in some creative way like chrome or die cuts would round it out, and I would not mind an “update set” at the end of the season with any trades and up to date new photos of that year, maybe with some alternate jerseys.

    Too many sets is too much.

  13. Jeremy
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Panini should do what Topps does with their base rookie cards and have a RC logo, and keep that logo the same year after year to so collectors can immediate recognition. It would have been especially helpful this year with the dual-rookie crop.

    Also if they are going to keep with the Prizm line they should have a dedicated name to their parallels instead of collectors referring to them as Refractors when that has already been trademarked.

  14. J CECIL
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink


  15. tony le
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I think mostly is pricing and some of the insert card that for the long run is good like 1997-1998 metal universe gems green & red or premium star rubies skybox

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