Thursday, October 20, 2016

Box Breaks: 16-17 NBA Hoops

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When I was kid, I used to look forward to NBA Hoops as it signaled the beginning the new NBA Season. Granted back then in the early 90's there weren't nearly as many releases as there are now so the release of a new basketball product was truly a big deal. Hoops has always been a favorite of mine, an affordable fun break that in the mid to late 90's even had chances of some pretty nice looking inserts and even autographs with the Autographics line. In today's card landscape, Hoops is still considered "low level" (though, it's funny that a box that still costs $66 is considering low end) but in an era with $1700 "boxes" and $100 1 pack boxes being the norm, Hoops is one of the few "throwback" products so to speak that collectors can enjoy. 24 packs, 12 packs per box, generous on rookie cards of the latest class, inserts galore and even autographs (2 a box), it's the perfect product to have a fun time ripping and sorting the cards. Here's how I did on my two boxes.

Box 1

All Notable Rookies including Simmons, Ingram, Brown, Bender, Dunn, Hield etc

Spark Plugs

Cory Joseph

Action Shots

Julius Randle

High Flyers
Julius Randle

Team Leaders

Jahlil Okafor

Tip Off
Thunder at Spurs May 10,2016

Picture Perfect

Jeremy Lin

Bird's Eye View

Justise Winslow

Kyrie Irving


DeMarcus Cousins

Kobe 2K17 Cards

Road To The Finals
Kyrie Irving (#914/2016)
Paul George (#1495/2016)
Jonas Valanciunas (#1880/2016)
Damian Lillard (#1429/2016)
Patty Mills (#351/2016)
JR Smith (#804/999)
Klay Thompson (#667/999)

Red Backs
Justin Anderson
Ish Smith
Chris Bosh

Green Parallel

Harrison Barnes (#140/149)
Evan Turner (#29/149)
Isaiah Whitehead RC (#4/149)

Silver Parallel

Kirk Hinrich (#26/99)
Enes Kanter (#69/99)

Hot Signatures

Dwight Powell
Alex Len

Box 2

Got Rookies of Simmons, Dunn, Ingram, and Murray again

Action Shots

Jamal Crawford

Spark Plugs
Evan Turner


Blake Griffin

Kobe NBA 2K17
14, 19, 20

Bird's Eye View

Jordan Clarkson

One On One

Lebron James/Draymond Green

Picture Perfect

Zach Lavine


Devin Booker

Andre Drummond

Team Leaders
Jahlil Okafor

Road To The Finals
Hassan Whiteside (#149/2016)
Jonas Valanciunas (#1865/2016)
Damian Lillard (#1751/2016)
Raymond Felton (#1697/2016)
Steven Adams (#1478/2016)
JR Smith (#802/999)
Lebron James (#373/499)

Red Backs
Kyle Lowry
Greg Monroe
CJ McCollum

Green Parallel

Elfrid Payton (#125/149)
Jeremy Lin (#64/149)
Dario Saric RC (#10/149)

Silver Parallel

Ivica Zubac (#94/99)
Vince Carter (#62/99)

Hot Signatures

DeMarre Carroll
Jason Terry

I'm going to do a new format and list Pros and Cons with this break. Strictly my opinion of course.


Card and Pack Configuration- Like I stated earlier, it's very nowadays to see a product that adhires to the traditional box configurations of the past. Now we'll probably never get back to 36 pack boxes, but at 24 packs and 12 cards a pack, opening a box of Hoops is very enjoyable because of all the cards you get. Sure it's fun opening higher end boxes, but you're done opening up a box of say Gold Standard in 20's literally 7 cards per box. Entertainment wise, sometime its fun to sort through 288 cards instead of 7.

Rookies- Obviously one of Hoops selling points is that it's the first set to feature this year's rookie class on official NBA licensed cards. It's the player's first true "rookie card". I also like that it seems to me they made rookies easier to pull than last year. I know it's corny, but I still get a thrill, no matter the value, of pulling a hot new rookie. Last year's Hoops seemed to have rookies fall one per pack. I didn't hit one KAT, Porzingis, or Russell, the best rookie I hit was Devin Booker. Not only did I hit the entire rookie set in my two boxes, but basically got doubles of most of the set including the major ones, Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, Kris Dunn, Jamal Murray, etc. Definitely feels good knowing there's a solid chance you won't just pull one of the main rookies but all of them.

Inserts- I know they aren't worth much (which is something I'll get into with the cons portion) but to me if you're opening 24 packs of cards with 12 cards a piece you want something to keep your attention. Typically you get an insert a pack (sometimes 2) so you know there's something different in each pack. The parallels look nice and are numbered, and the different inserts while not quite as nice as inserts of the 90's are still cool.


Collation- It's a minor nit pick but one thing that I've noticed in Panini Products that frustrates me is terrible collation. For Hoops, it's the inserts. It's a low level product with tons of insert sets that have tons of cards in the sets. How I can buy 2 boxes, and receive 3 of the same Road To The Finals Cards (Lillard, Jonas, J.R. Smith) and the same Team Leaders Insert (Okafor) is ridiculous and really makes me mad. There's no excuse for it. The set sizes aren't small in the least. Some people don't care because the cards aren't valuable anyways, but I do and took a little bit of the fun out of my break because I got frustrated.

Insert Tiers- You know what would make this (or at least a product like this) soooo much awesome in my opinion? I wish Panini for one set, would go back a set that focuses on inserts and makes them the big chase (Panini KINDA did this with Revolution, but outside of Parallels, the inserts are tiered but they aren't impossible to hit). What I mean is, make inserts that are 1 per 3 packs, 1 per 16, 1 per box, 1 per 720 etc. (that AREN'T parallels). The inserts in here are cool looking, but there are no odds to them, and it just seems you average one different insert per pack (outside of the Road To The NBA Finals). They seem like afterthoughts and again outside of Parallels, they don't sell well at all. Maybe it's a pipe dream that will never happen, but I would kill for a set like that. Which brings me to

Autographs- I'm against the autographs in Hoops to the extent they are used. I don't need Hoops to give me 2 Autographs a box. Sure it sounds like a selling point and value at first, but to me it's just an excuse to raise the price of the product and honestly it's a glorified sticker dump. I'm sorry but "Hot Signatures" of Jason Terry, DeMarre Carroll, Alex Len, and Dwight Powell are anything but "Hot". I wouldn't be against Autographs in Hoops at all, but go the Revolution route.....make them harder to hit...shrink the checklist (I don't mind an all rookie checklist with a few stars scattered in between like maybe Dwyane Wade and KD's first autograph cards with their new teams) to make the cards more desirable that even when you pull an autograph of the 25th pick of the draft it seems special. Hoops to me should be more of a $40-$50 box...not nearly $70 dollars and I've seen a lot of breaks, for the most part..the autographs are dreadful. I'd rather have inserts than the 2 cheap autos per box.

Overall Thoughts: Despite a couple of complaints, Hoops is still a fun enjoyable box that even if you don't pull anything huge (which odds are you won't, it's not a intended to be) you won't feel like you've wasted your money. It's a great start to what should be an interesting NBA season to say the least!

Card Gallery
Here's pics of some of the different cards

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Top 5 Pulls of 2016
#1- 2016 Topps Tribute Superfractor Autograph Alex Gordon (#1/1)
#2- 2015-16 Panini Prizms Rookie Signatures Silver Prizms Kristaps Porzingis (#25/25)
#3- 2016 Topps Tribute Milestone Relic Game Used Ball Kris Bryant (#5/10)
#4-2016 Donruss Signature Marks Gold Terry Bradshaw (#1/5)
   #5-15-16 Limited Gold Spotlight Dual Signatures Kristaps  Porzingis/Jerian  Grant (#8/10) 

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Most Recent Pickups!

Another week of my most recent pickups from the last week and a half! Here we go!

92-93 Fleer Team Leaders Michael Jordan PSA 8

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I never owned this card in my first go around in collecting but it's always been one that I've wanted. I dunno, it's so simple but yet so nice. Love adding an old school MJ insert to my collection!

14-15 Flawless David Robinson Patch/Auto (#15/25)
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One of the greatest and nicest guys ever to play the game. Love this on card auto patch card of "The Admiral"

93-94 Ultra Power In The Key Michael Jordan

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The Power In The Key insert set from 93-94 Ultra always holds a special place in my heart because as a kid I pulled the Shaq from the set and it was the first "valuable" card I had ever pulled. I remember it booked for $20 at the time and I was so stoked. I'd never owned a card worth so much! The set is so awesome looking, I've always tried winning the MJ but never would win it..until now.

15-16 Flawless Kobe Bryant Patch Card (#2/12)
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When I saw it, I knew I had to had it. Yes it was a little pricey but a jumbo Flawless patch card of Kobe Bryant is well worth it to me!

15-16 Noir Black and White Autographs Giannis Antetokounmpo (#15/49)
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This was actually a redemption card that came in today. If you recall, I pulled this redemption in my Noir break and it came pretty fast! Very pleased with that! "The Greek Freak" is one of the best young up and coming players in the league today, and this is my first autograph of his...and it's on card to boot!

97-98 SPX Gold Tim Duncan Rookie Card BGS 8.5
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Absolutely love this card. The gold foil, the hologram, die cut, such a great looking card. Had to get it when I saw it! Always been a fan of those early SPX basketball sets!

Monday, October 3, 2016

This Week's Pickups

Time for another pickups of the week! These came in the past few days!

97-98 Topps Chrome Tim Duncan Rookie Card BGS 9.5
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This was a card I used to own raw back when I first collected, and now that I'm back I had to get it back. Decided to splurge for a graded one, and you can't go wrong with Tim Duncan's best rookie card!

96-97 Fleer Lucky 13 Kobe Bryant PSA 9
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I've always wanted this card and never got it when I first was collecting. This was a redemption set that you had to send off the exchange card for to get the set. One of my favorite Kobe rookie issued cards.

78-79 Topps Pete Maravich PSA 7
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I used to own Pistol Pete's rookie..hopefully one day I'll get that back..but for 4 bucks I settle on this for now!

15-16 Gold Standard Mother Lode Auto Penny Hardaway (#30/35)
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I actually won this card about a month ago, but it was from Canada so it just came in Saturday. I love Gold Standard and Penny's my favorite player of all time so match made in heaven!

97-98 Skybox Z Force Rave Allen Iverson (#13/399)
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One of my favorite 90's parallels...jumped at the chance to get this awesome card of A.I.

15-16 Immaculate Collection Sneaker Swatches Grant Hill (#27/60)
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I picked up the Penny last week, and added the Hill as well. Love these sneaker cards of some of my favorite players of the 90's!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Pack Break: 3 Packs of 15-16 White Sparkle Prizm Basketball

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If you don't follow Basketball much (or to an extent Football, because Football has these packs too) Panini carries exclusive White Sparkle Prizm Packs on their Panini Rewards Store, where you can get up to 3 packs at a 1000 points a piece. In Basketball, these cards (mainly the rookie cards, but even the superstars) are on Panini hasn't come out publicly with the print run. At first, collectors were guessing a print run of 5, but after more packs have been opened up, it's definitely more than 5, as there have been 7 confirmed pulls of Ty Lawson (I pulled one)...making people think the print run is anywhere from 10-20. We'll never know until Panini actually comes out and say it, so the mystique keeps prices pretty high. I took a shot at my 3 pack limit and here's what I got.

Pack 1
Amare Stoudemire
Channing Frye
JJ Hickson

Pack 2
Rik Smits
Eric Bledsoe
Chris Bosh All Star

Pack 3
Ty Lawson
Deandre Jordan
Joe Young RC

Overall Thoughts: The base set is huge, and you only get 3 cards a pack, so the odds are slim on pulling one of the better rookies. I'd say it was a so so break. Got some decent names and pulled a rookie as well. I've already sold the Joe Young and Lawson, and the Bosh is the only one I'm going to keep. The cards themselves are very nice...I'm a sucker for Prizm Parallels, so these are no exception. I bought these though just hoping to pull a nice star or rookie and since I really did neither (outside the Bosh), I'll recoup some of money through Ebay. Here's the cards I pulled


Top 5 Pulls of 2016
#1- 2016 Topps Tribute Superfractor Autograph Alex Gordon (#1/1)
#2- 2015-16 Panini Prizms Rookie Signatures Silver Prizms Kristaps Porzingis (#25/25)
#3- 2016 Topps Tribute Milestone Relic Game Used Ball Kris Bryant (#5/10)
#4-2016 Donruss Signature Marks Gold Terry Bradshaw (#1/5)
   #5-15-16 Limited Gold Spotlight Dual Signatures Kristaps  Porzingis/Jerian  Grant (#8/10) 


Friday, September 30, 2016

Box Breaks: 2 Boxes of 15-16 Court Kings Basketball

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Hadn't tried these yet and figured after my last high end dud, I'd go back to something way less expensive. I've seen breaks of this online and the cards look really nice and there's a shot at some solid cards as well. Here's how I did!

Box 1

5X7 Boxtopper

Elfrid Payton

Base Cards

Lance Stephenson
Elfrid Payton
Ricky Rubio
Zach Lavine
Mario Hezonja RC
Justice Winslow RC
Pat Connaughton RC Portrait

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Expressionist Memorabilia

Andrew Wiggins (#264/299)

Fresh Paint Autograph
Chris McCullough

Box 2

5X7 Boxtopper
Kyrie Irving

Base Cards
Dwyane Wade
Brandon Jennings
Aaron Gordon
Goran Dragic
Anthony Brown RC
Justin Anderson RC (#21/75)
Frank Kaminsky Portrait RC (#32/100)
Bobby Portis RC

Artistic Endeavors Memorabilia

Noah Vonleh (#242/299)

Vintage Materials
Byron Scott (#47/199)

Sapphire Autographs
Dennis Rodman (#22/25)

Overall Thoughts: I've always been a fan of Donruss' Diamond Kings back in the day...and this Panini's interpretation of it for basketball. The cards are really cool and I like the bonus of a 5X7 Box Toppper too. Hits wise, The Rodman on card autograph numbered to 25 really saved this break from being a complete dud. That and the Wiggins Jersey card were the two best cards of the break. Cool cards and I didn't have to break the bank to buy these! Here are pics of the cards!

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and the best hit of the box....

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Top 5 Pulls of 2016
#1- 2016 Topps Tribute Superfractor Autograph Alex Gordon (#1/1)
#2- 2015-16 Panini Prizms Rookie Signatures Silver Prizms Kristaps Porzingis (#25/25)
#3- 2016 Topps Tribute Milestone Relic Game Used Ball Kris Bryant (#5/10)
#4-2016 Donruss Signature Marks Gold Terry Bradshaw (#1/5)
   #5-15-16 Limited Gold Spotlight Dual Signatures Kristaps  Porzingis/Jerian  Grant (#8/10)