2013-14 Panini Elite Basketball Review
Elite has become a mid-end staple for Panini the past few seasons in both football and basketball. Last year Panini released both Elite and Elite Series, both of which featured rookie autographs on acetate cards. This year Panini ditched the “Rookie Inscriptions” set and instead brought some RPA’s (Rookie-Patch-Autos) to the Elite brand. “New Breed” was introduced in football in 2012 products and so Panini decided to bring it to the basketball version this year. The other RPA Elite has this year is “Rookie Essentials” which offers a vertical design. As always, Elite contains the popular “Passing the Torch” dual-autographed set. Each box guarantees two (2) autographed cards, two(2) memorabilia cards and two(2) rookie cards( #/999).
I mentioned Elite features new RPA’s this year, my favorite being “Rookie Essentials”. What separates it from “New Breed” is the fact its space is used so much better. It really depends upon your preference though as one is white and horizontal while the other is a darker designed card on a vertical stock. I was excited to hit one of the “Rookie Essentials” in my personal box.
I’m glad to see Elite keep the same number of parallels this season instead of creating more. I was hoping to hit at least two of them in my break but I was just able to hit a Gold Status of David Robinson that was #/24. To help with any confusion on the parallels allow me to break them down for you.
- Gold Status- All are serial numbered to 24
- Status(red)-Serial numbered to the players jersey number.
- Aspirations- Take the players jersey number and subtract from 100 to get the serial number
- Black Status- 1 of 1
I also really liked the distinctive design with the memorabilia set “Throwback Threads”. The jersey swatch is a small window but the design more than makes up for that on these cards.
Value.Value.Value. I understand that all boxes are a gamble but it seems as though Elite doesn’t provide much value for the price it currently goes for ($95). In my box in particular, the BV wasn’t even half of the price of a box. Not only was there not much value but I didn’t even hit a base card of LeBron, Kobe or Kevin Durant in my lone box.
I thought the checklist was weak for this product. When you look at the checklist for “Passing the Torch” for example, there are only a handful of duos that actually make sense. It did offer the first dual autograph of Tim Hardaway and Tim Hardaway Jr. as well as a Kobe Bryant and James Harden dual, which was nice, but it could have had a lot more quality duos. In a year where the draft class is weak, it is imperative to have a strong checklist of veterans and star players.
Elite really let me down with this year’s release. Granted there are some nice cards to be had, especially the “Rookie Essentials Prime” RPA’s(#/25) and a small group of the Passing the Torch Signatures but Elite just left me wanting more out of a mid-end product. Personally, I don’t know if I will try another box of Elite for the 2013-14 season as there are plenty of products that have trumped it so far that’s in the same price range (Timeless Treasures, Pinnacle and Prizm Hobby).