By the Numbers: 2012-13 Panini Contenders


By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

The auctions have ended, the numbers have been crunched. The ranges have been tabulated and the Online Price Guide has been posted.

The 2012-13 Panini Contenders basketball card set has arrived on with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Basketball Senior Market Analyst Rob Springs — and see even more — after the jump.

Did you miss the recent Box Busters episode? Catch it right here.

Total value: $11,848
Average card: $13.65

Highest card: Panini Contenders HOF Contenders #8 LeBron James $150-$300

Other notable cards:
— Panini Contenders Substantial Signatures Materials #30 Kyrie Irving $150-$250
— Panini Contenders #210 Anthony Davis AU RC $100-$200
— Panini Contenders Contemporary Contenders Autographs #25 Grant Hill $100-$200

Springs Says: Contenders makes a return after a two-year absence (between the lockout and the Contenders Patches version) and it’s good to have it back.  A crisp and clean base design is complemented by the standard rookie autographs and this set would be a nice (but, tough) set to complete at 250 cards.  We have not heard if there are any SP’s in the base autographs, but will update you if there are.  Panini also added a complement of regular inserts with two being extremely tough to pull – Hall of Fame Contenders and Throwback Rookies.  The Throwback Rookies set was too thinly traded to price at this time.  The Substantial Signatures Materials are a great jumbo jersey autograph set with a huge checklist of 100 cards, which includes some of the notable rookies from this class.  Those particular cards are trading well, especially since there really haven’t been any material autographs with the rookie players to date.  Overall, a very nice release.

Olds’ Opinion: This one’s design is one part modern with its organic (dye in water?) design elements but also reminiscent of some 1990s or 2000s brands with a clean boldness that’s quite striking. It’s an always-popular brand, too, with rookie autographs and with four per box there’s plenty of chase to be had here. From a collecting perspective, this one just seems to offer more fun and more … well, everything … compared to more hit-driven products. Don’t get me wrong — this one has the hits, but it’s got way more than that in its array of inserts, autos and more. Overall, this base set design is one of my favorites of the year so far.

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.


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