First look: 2010-11 Elite Black Box basketball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor

The Black Box is Back — but this time it’s a brand and it’s in basketball.

Panini America unveiled its newest high-end product line for NBA cards on Monday with 2010-11 Elite Black Box Basketball, a high-end release that’s fast-tracked for an Aug. 31 release.

It will pack three autographed cards, two memorabilia card and two insert cards per box. Each memorabilia or autograph will be limited to 149 or fewer copies, while all inserts will be limited to no more than 99.

“We realize that by naming this product ‘Black Box’ we’re setting collector expectations really high as that name carries the biggest of big-ticket connotations with collectors,” said Panini America NBA Brand Manager David Porter in a prepared statement. “But based on the incredible content that we’ve injected into Black Box, I’m certain this is a product that will not just meet those expectations, but surpass them.”

Also to be found inside the product are striking Thunderstruck insert cards showcaseing Kevin Durant — each limited to 10 copies and signed directly on the cards — as well as Champions autograph cards which will include five autographs from championship teams such as the 1969 Celtics and the 1980s Lakers. Also new will be a basketball debut for Crusade inserts, which were popular in baseball ranks years ago, while there will be prime versions and USA Basketball patches to be found in the product as well.

“There is game-worn memorabilia in this set from the greatest legends of all time,” Porter said. “But of all the great content in here, I’m most excited about the Booklet Cards and the designs. They’re truly spectacular. This is definitely high-end and it absolutely lives up to the Black Box name.”

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

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7 comments

  1. XstreamINsanity 26 July, 2011 at 07:20

    First and foremost, the beginning of the article has a typo. “The Back Box is Back” should probably be “The Black Box is Back”. Anyways, onto my assessment.

    Based on the reviews from Panini Gold Standard right now, not too many people are happy about the cut autos because not only are they not on card, but the auto is being cut off by the picture. If you look at the Blake Griffin AU, it looks like it barely fits and the Julius Erving AU looks like part of the J is cut off. However, the design of the cards looks pretty nice if you ask me. I do have one question. Why does the KD card have the wording that normally goes on the back of a card. Is that a part of the Passing the Torch card (with Kobe on the other side) or is that part of a booklet? Thanks for the preview.

  2. Rookies and Stars 26 July, 2011 at 12:17

    Gold Standard is not doing well, and I usually sell a lot of the higher end stuff, but there has not been a good return in value for the price. Rather have customers find high end items like these in the lower priced products. Would Sell more. Alot of my customers are un-employed now, and stick to the $100.00 a box product, not $100.00 a pack product.

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