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

Rookies
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

Dreams
Kyrie Irving


Highlights

DeMarcus Cousins

Kobe 2K17 Cards
14,15,16

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


Courtside

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


Dreams

Devin Booker

Highlights
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.

Pros

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 seconds...it'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.

Cons

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) 

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