Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Box Review: 2012 Panini Preferred Basketball

Panini's 2012 Preferred basketball went live last Tuesday as the second hoops release this years from the company. Panini is touting Preferred as a high-end product that combines previously successful designs like Crown Royale, Donruss Signatures, Panini's Choice (formerly Cramer's Choice) and my favorite Silhouettes. I checkout all the press releases for upcoming products months before they go live, and every once and a while I get excited for a product to come out just like I did with Preferred. Luckily for me, Panini was nice enough to send me a box for review. So a big thanks goes out to Panini and The Knight's Lance. Now for all the fun.

Each $200 box contains four individually wrapped cards. I know that four cards for $200 seems steep, but you can see the prices for singles on eBay justify that $200 price tag. Also important to note about these four card boxes is that each card is either an auto or jersey booklet. So every card is a hit. Here is everything else you need to know about Preferred:

  • - Every autograph will be limited to a print run of 99 or less
  • - Tons of on-card auto's
  • - The first Panini America autographs of new Clipper Chris Paul
  • 10 Autographed Crown Royale die-cuts will feature retired legends
  • - Three distinct autographed Rookie Card designs for each player — Silhouettes, Crown Royale Die  Cuts and Preferred: all limited to 99 or less
  • Next-level memorabilia cards showcasing never-before-seen player combinations on each booklet
You can see the cards I pulled in the box of Preferred I opened. The Walton is the gem for me. I love collecting cards of legends like Walton and it's a pretty limited at 04/15. The foiling on the Panini's Choice cards really shines and adds a level richness to the product. Also, the on-card auto's really pop off the cards against the white background where the signatures are located. The jersey booklet is nice as well. I love the themes of these booklet cards. You really can't go wrong with a Slam Dunk theme in a basketball trading card, especially when you have the likes of Dr. J, Dominique Wilkins, Blake Griffin and Larry Johnson featured. The only gripe I have with my box break is the Patrick Paterson. Admittedly, I don't collect Patterson, but my grip is less to do with the player and more to do with the design. Where it looks like the Panini team nailed it with every other card in this product, these preferred signatures just lack the effort or higher standard of the other lines in Preferred. It's almost like the Preferred Signatures don't even belong in the product. I know some of the cards are on-card autos for certain players like Kevin Durant, and maybe that would make a difference, but the Preferred Signatures just don't make the grade compared to an otherwise flawless product.

THE VERDICT: Aside from the Preferred Signatures, Panini hit a home run on this one, or should I say slam dunk. The Silhouettes and Panini's Choice are amazing. The on-card auto's are great and the list of current NBA superstars and legends is more than extensive. If you are a collector who is looking for hits, than this is the product for you. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading and… "Enjoy Every Bounce of the Ball".


  1. Nice pulls! That Walton is a beaut!

  2. Nice review. That slam dunk booklet was made for your collection... nice pull. Very cool Connie Hawkins & Bill Walton autographs. Always enjoyed those Cramer's Choice cards from back in the day.

  3. Thanks guys. I probably enjoyed this box break more so than any other Panini Product to date. I would have loved a Silhouette card in here, but all-in-all I think Preferred is one of the better products Panini has made to date.

    @Fuji, I love that Larry Johnson is on that Slam Dunk booklet. Do you want the Hawkins card Mark? I like how he signed it and i love the design, but it's yours if you want it.

    1. I'd love to add the Hawkins to my collection. Check out my tradelists... and let me know if we can work something out.

  4. Hey, just send me an updated mailing address to my email and I'll send that out. Thanks

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