By Chris Olds | Beckett Basketball Editor
NBA fans, your wait for trading cards is officially almost over.
Panini America announced its plans for the 2011-12 NBA card season on Tuesday with what it calls a “completely overhauled roster” of products.
The company, which is the lone NBA card licensee, will launch its offerings with the high-end 2011 Preferred coming in late-February. That high-end product will include three autographs and one six- or eight-swatch booklet card in every pack. Its price — $200 a pop.
“We are excited by the return of the NBA and look forward to delivering NBA trading cards to basketball fans around the world with the release of our 2011-12 NBA products,” said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. “There was so much excitement for the NBA and its players last season and we are looking forward to picking up where we left off. The time away has only strengthened the demand for Panini NBA trading card products and we’re confident that our new product roster will be well-received.”
Up next will be 2011-12 NBA Hoops, which returns after several years on the bench. That brand, arriving in March, will carry a suggested retail price of $1 a pack and include autographed buyback cards from the inaugural 1989-90 NBA Hoops set. It also will have a hobby version costing $2 a pack which will include two sigs per box.
Planned products for later in the year include 2011-12 Limited, arriving in May, 2011-12 Past & Present (set for June) and 2011-12 Gold Standard set to arrive in July. The last two products will include redemption cards for the first cards from the 2011-12 rookie class as well as redemptions for the 2012-13 NBA Draft picks.
The five brands — six if you count hobby Hoops as a “different” product — are the only sets the company presently plans to produce. That’s down from 16 brands, plus the Adrenalyn gaming set, last season.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.