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I know next to nothing about hockey cards. The last time I touched one I was chasing down Adam Oates and Joe Juneau cards. However, follow Panini on twitter as I was told it was a good way to get in contact with them. Anyways, they recently have been retweeting results of personal pulls and the cards are fantastic. The ones I have seen (granted the best as Panini is using them for advertising) have been ridiculously amazing. The choice of patches is stunning. They are also using rich colored backgrounds and flashy borders that really look great while also keeping the focus on the GIGANTIC patches. I also saw a card that used an engraved plate for the name. It looked neat, but more importantly seemed new and dare I say innovative. I believe I also saw a large percentage of autos being on card!

Okay, I don't mean to rant. This is a long way of asking, does anyone with more knowledge of other Panini products agree? And if so why can't the basketball department get their heads out of their keisters and produce something equally stunning?

I'm hoping I am seeing just the best of the best and the 2013-14 b-ball cards will offer something equally as fresh and new.
Simple answer here. There is competition in Hockey. There is no competition in basketball. THey just retread ideas from previous years(some of the ideas aren't even their own ideas), slap a new name on it and BOOM. New release at $150 for 10 cards!