Product: 2012-13 Contenders
Break Date: June 21, 2014
Hit Breakdown: Four autographs
Summary: We were at Target, well, because we're ALWAYS at Target. While waiting for my daughter to get of her store-arrival-mandated-bathroom-trip, I went over to the card aisle. There, staring me in the face, were four hobby boxes of 2012-13 Contenders, priced at $69.99. The price was OK - not great, but decent enough, and I still don't have a Kyrie Irving or Anthony Davis auto, so I was intrigued.
Did I know better? Obviously.
Did that stop me? Of course not.
My wife has had a lot of luck picking boxes out, so I had her make the call. The one she picked up had some of the cellophane coming apart, so she asked if she should pick up a different one. Leery of pack searchers, I said yes (wrong call - more on that later). There's a red strip of security tape inside the cellophane, but you never know who is capable of what when it comes to resealing the packaging.
So, we got home, and I got to cracking. Now, I should have known better because of the dreaded double rookie class in 12/13 products. The rookie autos were the usual suspects - Lavoy Allen, Mike Scott, and Kris Joseph. In fact, if you collect basketball, and don't have an auto of one of those dudes, I'd be shocked.
The fourth auto was a vet, Wesley Matthews - and a redemption (obviously). There was a jersey card as well (Eric Gordon), and a silver parallel, numbered to 25, of Luke Harangody.
Overall, a mediocre box - standard Panini.
The rest of the afternoon, I was kinda stewing - what was in the other box that we had put back on the shelf? I needed to go by Whole Foods to get ingredients for dinner, so my wife basically told me to go ahead and buy the other one because I wouldn't stop talking about it otherwise (she was probably right).
I was hoping when I walked in that it would be gone, but it wasn't. So $70 later, I was on the way home.
The box started off predictably - Fab Melo and Moe Harkless. At least Harkless has potential. My wife came downstairs at that point, and I commented on how it was going poorly.
On cue, things took a dramatic turn - the third auto wasn't a rookie, and it was low-numbered - card number 01 out of 25...a nice Contemporary Contenders Grant Hill.
The last auto was back to normal - Fab Melo.
If only we had gone with my wife's gut in the first place, well, we'd be $69.99 richer.
Overall, I really like Contenders. The design is really clean, and they did a tremendous job with the inserts. The dual rookie class obviously poses a bit more of a challenge when hunting big hits, because while you do have twice the amount of higher-quality guys, you have twice the amount of lower-end guys, and there are more lower-end guys to begin with.
So, I'm giving the break a B+; if it had just been the second box, that Grant Hill hit was huge and it would have been a game-changer. But I need to consider the two boxes, and the first box would have been a C at best.
Grade for the product: B+
Grade for the break: B+
Rookie Autographs: Mike Scott, Kris Joseph, Lavoy Allen
Substantial Signatures: Wesley Matthews
Contenders Materials /149: Eric Gordon
Silver /25: Luke Harangody
Rookie of the Year Contenders: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Legendary Contenders: Chris Webber, Doug Collins, Billy Cunnigham
Playoff Contenders: Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Chauncey Billups
Rookie Remembrance: Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Tyreke Evans
Statistical Contenders: Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Millsap
Rookie Autographs: Fab Melo, Greg Stiemsma, Moe Harkless
Contemporary Contenders /25: Grant Hill
Contenders Materials /79: Andre Iguodala
Rookie of the Year Contenders: John Henson, Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes
Legendary Contenders: Tim Hardaway, Bob Cousy, Bill Walton, Shawn Kemp
Playoff Contenders: Lebron James
Rookie Remembrance: Elgin Baylor, Amar'e Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Oscar Robertson
Statistical Contenders: Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum