Game on! Panini America reveals ‘overhauled’ 2011-12 NBA card lineup after lockout delay


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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. XstreamINsanity 20 December, 2011 at 13:05

    Ok, down from 16 is great, but honestly, I definitely want to see some National Treasures and Elite Black Box. Maybe even another Donruss. That’s only 8 products right there. Any idea when they may release concept pictures?

  2. Mark 20 December, 2011 at 13:06

    Not a panini fan at all, but I’m intrigued with the Hoops comeback. If this has a large base set, a simple and clean design, and detailed stats on the back, I’ll be in. Normally though, panini opts for small base sets, cluttered designs, and limited info on card backs, so we will see. Remember panini, less is more!

  3. Joshua (jpleazme805) 20 December, 2011 at 14:01

    Looking forward to seeing Hoops hobby cards. Surprised no mention of National Treasures or Elite Black Box, which both did pretty good last year. National Treasures is Panini’s High End that they are known for.. they’ll probably release it near the end of the season… it’s a sleeper!!

    Smaller amount of products is actually a good thing for the hobby. Not everybody can afford to buy all those boxes.. the average collector probably spends around $100-200 a month, if they’re lucky.. Most big collectors sell a lot of their cards to buy more.. it’s like they have their own card shop inside their house.

    I for one, am not able to spend thousands of dollars on cardboard this year. So I have to choose carefully what wax I break open. Hoops will be #1 choice, if the design catches my eyes. Hoping they have a similar design like HOOPS was known for… clean & simple.. large base set.. with autos being a twist.. can’t wait to see what “buy backs” they got…!!

    Why is Panini launching a high end product at the beginning (FEB 2012)? Majority of collectors can not afford high end.. even if it’s only $200 a pack/box. They are not going to want to gamble on a pack of a few cards.. I would of released a product in the $80-150 /box range.. something that has at least 18 packs.. People think that more packs are good when they are spending their hard earned money… even though the box might only have 2 hits…

    all card manufacturers are greedy.. that is why they put so many products out..

    Hopefully, they limit the amount of Kobe autos this year… Sad when you can buy a KOBE 2010-11 AUTO for under a $100. KOBE Elite Black Box “status” /99 recently sold for $89-

  4. CNR 20 December, 2011 at 16:26

    The reason for the few number of products is there was no rookie photo shoot this year with the lockout, so they don’t have an unlimited supply of barely-worn jerseys to cut up. You also won’t see rookies in their NBA uniforms until the final few products because they have to get photos from games starting this week.

  5. all things collectible 20 December, 2011 at 16:29

    they will add more products later that will come out in aug or sept next year even oct but it still be 11/12 product. The companies do it every year and they always push the products back countless times..:(

  6. Trevor Perks 20 December, 2011 at 18:02

    Am I missing something, that is a Blake Griffin Crown Royale autographed patch, but no mention of Crown Royale?

  7. chrisolds 20 December, 2011 at 18:49

    Trevor: I believe it will be an insert — I have a message in to clarify after noticing that earlier.

    All things: Not if the reduced schedule was negotiated with the NBA on how to cover royaties for a shortened season and smaller window to sell cards. (Remember, they weren’t allowed to up to this point — so they lost a LOT of calendar time.)

  8. Kevin 21 December, 2011 at 17:14

    yeah, they would love to pick up where they left off last season, except that isn’t going to happen. Collectors are ticked that greedy owners and players cost them much of the season. Does Panini really think the best thing to do is come out with a 200/pack product? LOL. The hoops product however, seems just what the doctor ordered. 1 and 2 dollar packs gives everyone a chance to collect. Lets just hope that Kobe autograph are in the products and not just redemptions.

  9. Mark 21 December, 2011 at 20:56

    The Hoops design looks ok, but why does Panini have to make the boarder so big? I wish they would create a set like 1992 Stadium Club basketball–huge photo, no boarder. Anyone know the thinking behind the huge Panini boarders?

  10. Donald Singleton 21 December, 2011 at 21:01

    They’re going to kick off the basketball card season with a $200/pack product that most folks can’t afford? Wouldn’t it been better to lead off with Hoops? By the time Hoops releases in March, the season will be almost over.

  11. Chris 28 December, 2011 at 09:27

    No Season Updates!!! That was definately my sons and my favorite 2010-11 set. A cool $60 box that we consistantly pulled at least 4 jersey’s and an auto from, let alone a complete 200 card set in each box!! I think Panini is pulling this set away too quick. The cards were classy and sharp, the materials and auto’s where reasonable( Kobe, Blake, Pippen, etc.!!!) . I guess there is always Ebay. I personally think “hoops” back in the day were too chincy. Hence the fact that our local card shop and Ebay let them go for less than $.50 a pack. I also believe with today’s high quality photo and gloss potential old school borders need to be left in the past. Remember how mad you would be when you finally pulled that David Robinson SP RC only to notice the LT/RT centering was 80/20!!! BRING BACK SEASON UPDATE!!!!

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