I walked into the card shop the other day and saw a basketball product on the shelf that looked familiar. The first thing I thought of is, “That looks like the early SkyBox cards!”. Well it turns out the elation I had when I thought 1991-92 SkyBox wax boxes had jumped to $57 a box quickly faded. Turns out, this was a new Panini product that just looks very similar to classic 90s set. Panini Status is the product, I love the 90s, so obviously I decided to buy a box to check it out.
There are 150 cards in the base set including 100 veterans and 50 rookies. There are twelve different parallel versions of the base card with varying ranges of scarcity. Some are unnumbered, and others are serial numbered from /299 all the way down to 1/1s.
While the base set focuses on active NBA players, the insert sets bring in the retired superstars.
Factions is a 30 card insert set with a horizontal layout. It features three players, some of which are current stars, and others with retired vets. Will you get a Wiggins, Butler, KAT card, or a Kareem, Worthy, and Magic?
Quo is a small ten card set dominated by legends, and on the flip side, the Rookie Credentials set is full of 40, well….um….rookies. The Symbols set contains players who serve as a symbol of their team and are some of the first guys you think about when you think about that team. There are also a variety of serial numbered parallels available for these insert sets.
Finally, there are hits to be found in Status boxes as well.
Each hobby box contains one autograph, and relic cards fall about 5 per hobby case. The hits also feature rookies, veterans, and retired players.
I decided to check out a box, and was able to pick one up for around $60 dollars. Each hobby box contains 10 packs, with six cards in each pack. The box itself is rather inexpensive, but on a per card basis it’s not cheap.
I really like these cards. The front features a smooth “foilboard” finish, and the way the light reflects on the background design elements really makes them stand out. Normally, I’m more of a fan of actual game action photos, but these cards call back just enough to those original Skybox sets that I can get into the patterned background in this design.
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I received 43 base cards(ten of which were rookies), including superstars like Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Dennis Smith Jr. as the top rookie in my box. There were 12 inserts spread across the sets listed above, and I got a pretty even distribution of rookies, vets, and retired players in my box.
There were four parallels in my box: 2 rookies, 1 Factions insert, and one vet. They ranged from being serial numbered /299 to /78.
Finally, I was thrilled with the Autograph I received. It was fully aligned with the basketball card era these cards remind me of. I received an Anfernee Hardaway autograph serial numbered to /99!
There were no auto’s inserted into packs in the mid-90’s when he came on the scene, so getting one out of this box was awesome! As my first and only Penny auto, I just need to figure out how to display it. The Penny/Shaq combination generated a ton of collecting interest between me and my friends throughout the 90s, and those guys continue to have a pretty strong following today.
Overall, I was happy with the value I got out of the box. That being said, i ended up with a pretty solid auto. If I would have ended up with a $5 auto, I may not have been as pleased due to only getting about 60 base and inserts. The set’s collectibility is enhanced by the nostalgic “Skybox” design, and I may look for some bulk lots on eBay to help fill out this set!
This was my first post on NBA basketball, but hopefully there will be more to come!
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