First look: 2012-13 Flawless Basketball

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Basketball Editor

There was small piece of information in Panini’s news yesterday. A previously unmentioned product was brought up when the card company announced it would have Damian Lillard autographs in the final products of 2012-13 collecting season.


What is that? It was the first time Panini has talked about this new product, which would be the 25th of the season from the NBA’s exclusive trading card partner.

Collectors don’t have to wonder about 2012-13 Flawless anymore as Panini released early information on the newest product on Thursday.

But it’s likely still to get collectors talking.

Each box will come with 10 cards that carry a $1,250 price tag. Yes, you read that right.

There are seven autographs, two jumbo memorabilia cards and one diamond- or emerald-embedded card in every pack. No card will be numbered to higher than 25 copies and collectors will be able to create just two base sets.

Diamond-encrusted base cards will be numbered to 20, and will be paralleled by an emerald versions numbered to five and a diamond-embedded 1/1 version.

Flawless has a tentative release in early October.

Update: Panini America has released a checklist to distributors that you can see here.

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor at Beckett Media. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.





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  1. James 5 September, 2013 at 15:25

    Which means any 1/1s will be booking on ebay for 10k easily! Ridiculous! $1,200.00 for a 10 card pack…give me a break.

  2. David 5 September, 2013 at 15:26

    Looks great for those of us who can afford it. The kiddies who can’t will bash it as if they ever had a chance of busting any.

  3. J.R. 5 September, 2013 at 16:09

    David, when you are done counting your money, come off your high horse. For most of us out there, this is a HOBBY, and we enjoy collecting despite not being able to drop big dollars on a $1,250 PACK.

    A major factor in the downfall of the hobby as a whole is the lack of thought about, lack of products aimed at, and lack of presence of children and young adults in the sports card world. Why the heck would they spend even $50 on a box of cards that might yield one Tom Chambers “Greats” jersey and an Ndudi Ebi autograph when all of their friends are busting a tin of Yu-Gi-Oh!, or 15-20 packs of M:TG for the same price, and then actually sitting down to play a game with them after they are done opening them?

    Perhaps it’s the short-sightedness (a word?) of people like David that have contributed to the industry’s troubles, no?

  4. joe 5 September, 2013 at 16:35

    If we wanted jewelry or gems we we would go to a jewelry store PANINI!!! Quit coming out with products that 1% of the Hobbyists will and can buy and the other 99% wont and cant. This plain dumb and a waste of ink and cardboard! David wow really? Are you 7, or are you an adult?

  5. Mike 5 September, 2013 at 16:52

    J. R.,

    Couldn’t agree more. This is getting out of hand. For $1250, why wouldn’t you just go buy a framed autographed jersey of your favorite player? I’ve bought Exquisite Patch Auto cards of players from my favorite team on the secondary market for less than $20. You rich idiots can buy the packs and I’ll buy your cards on eBay for a tenth of what you paid. Thank you for throwing your money away.

  6. Darren 5 September, 2013 at 17:13

    * Some of the WORST names imaginable (“Immaculate”, “Flawless”),

    * 25TH product of the season,

    * $1250/pack for a company WITHOUT Michael or LeBron?


  7. Doug 5 September, 2013 at 17:48

    Hmmm, let’s see. The 25th 12/13 basketball product of the year, market saturation issues here? A $1,250 price tag that excludes the majority of collectors. I totally agree with J.R., we need to get the younger collectors amped about this hobby. For that price tag you could buy some vintage cards that would be major additions to a lot of collections. I just don’t get it. Panini, you are really off here.

  8. RJ 5 September, 2013 at 18:17

    This should have been rolled out once Panini figures out a way to get MJ and LeBron away from Upper Deck for good. The Dikembe Mutombo and Tom Chambers autos just aren’t going to lure me in.

  9. Jackie Martling 5 September, 2013 at 18:44

    I was just about to write how impressed I was that they finally had some on-card autos coming….then I saw the price tag. Hey Panini: you guys are f-ing morons….. $1,250 per box….$125 per card. Wow, you really are dopes but perhaps not as big a dopes as the people who pay you for this.

  10. Mike 5 September, 2013 at 19:32

    Thankfully I don’t collect basketball but out of curiosity, if a pack had the first seven autos pictures above plus two “ok” jumbo jerseys, would it even equal a grand?

  11. Joe 5 September, 2013 at 20:49

    Mike, to answer your question, ‘would it even equal a grand?” HELL NO. This product is a joke. These high end products have killed the industry. Those $100 plus packs I can kind of splurge and buy, but I refuse. Those cards aren’t worth any more then a card coming out of a $75 24 pack box. We have been fooled into thinking that because the card is on a thicker cad stock that that makes it worth more. Really. Those thick dummy cards that comes in the packs to throw off pack searches are all those cards are put on and we throw those dummy cards away. This is a major reason why I’ve decided to only buy my favorite products: TOPPS, BOWMAN, FINEST, PRESTIGE, AND ELITE. That’s it.

  12. Chris 6 September, 2013 at 02:00

    Panini is outbid for Lillard by Leaf. They now have obtained his autograph rights and are flaunting acquiring it in their right hand but in their left hand now, they’re making basketball card history by telling us collectors if you *hope* to pull Lillard’s autograph, you have to pay $1,250. Thanks for doing right by us collectors, Panini!

    Once again I bring up this point, if they have the stones to charge us $1,250 for a box of basketball cards, how much money $$$$ do you think they spent paying off that greedy slimebag, David Stern? *shakes head*. They’re turning my/our hobby into a business instead of it just being a fun hobby. When you have to start thinking if buying a box of basketball cards may hurt you paying bills or rent, there is something drastically wrong there.

    And lastly………. $1,250 for a box of basketball cards and you can’t even pull a Michael Jordan autograph and/or an autograph of the next guy in line to MJ, LeBron James. You have some nerve, Panini.

    I wouldn’t even spend somebody else’s money on this, much less my own hard-earned.

  13. backupgoalie 6 September, 2013 at 03:58

    the cards look nice and clean but I will only be buying on the secondary market….

    in a related story, look for Panini’s next new release in October….2012-13 Panini redundant

  14. charles 6 September, 2013 at 06:34

    Just think maybe you can get that 125.00 redemption you will have to wait a year for. I guess as david stated I am one of the poor haters, 25 products no wonder u get one Redemption per box. oh and maybe they will let u redeem the unfulfilled ones next year as long as u support them at the nationals. this is a Hobby no more, I mean for real when card companys start putting redemption in packs for Jersey cards. for real this is there best offer?

  15. Gary Mills 6 September, 2013 at 06:49

    My only problem is that I will not be able to get enough boxes to equal the amount of requests for my store customers. The cards look incredible and boxes will be opened at a feverish rate. The key cards will go for huge $. Any stores want to give up their allocation ???

  16. Paul 6 September, 2013 at 10:09

    We are seeing only a few cards out of the set so why judge just based on these ones? The Lillard deal is something Panini worked with Leaf for a few autographs, makes sense for both of them. I also believe I read similar thoughts when Exquisite came out in 2003 at $500/box. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them. I surely would rather pay my mortgage than buy a box so it’ll be singles for me if I buy any of them.

  17. Jeff 8 October, 2013 at 14:14

    I frequent several shops in the greater North West and all the store owners say that were much better when Topps and Upper Deck were competing in the market. I hope this bites Pannini in the ass as to maybe help Topps get back in the game. Not much hope for UD.
    Pannini has several great products but has over saturated the market with way too many subpar releases.
    Why not sell a similar super premium 10 card product that limits the production runs to 75, 100 or 200 instead of 20? Maybe that one could sell for $200 or $300 a box? As a kicker, they could have one of those ultra rare Lillard autos somewhere in the mix as a 1 of 1.
    If I had disposable income and wasn’t cleaver enough to use my hard earned $ else wear, I guess I might consider a box but, probably not.
    I highly doubt any of the cards will sell on the secondary market for a grand. And, I think that you’ll be able to pick up autos from probably $30 and up.
    Can’t wait to see how this goes.
    Really, you could buy this 10 card box or 5 packs of ’86 Fleer basketball for a chance at a Jordan RC? Even that is a stretch…

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