Monday, October 20, 2014

2014-15 Hoops hobby box (x2)

Sport:  Basketball
Product:  2014-15 Hoops hobby box
Break Date:  October 18, 2014
Hit Breakdown:   Two Autographs, One jersey
Summary:  Panini's Hoops product is one of my favorites across all sports, mainly because it signifies the start of basketball season. We're big NBA fans in my house (Grizzlies season ticket holders), and when Hoops hits shelves, the start of the regular season isn't far behind.

The early product photos of Panini's low-end bball product made it seem like they had taken things up a notch this year, and after opening two hobby boxes, it seems that holds true. With a slew of numbered and unnumbered parallels, there are more cards to chase, and with two autographs and one jersey card per box, you have the chance for some really nice hits. Of course, the deep rookie class helps.

I had some birthday cash, so I headed to the LCS and picked up two boxes (and one box of 2014 Topps Update baseball). I opened the first before we went to watch our Gators get trounced by Missouri, and was pleased with the results. With Hoops (and most lower-end Panini basketball products), you're really just hoping to avoid getting some random mediocre autograph, and I dodged it in the first box – I pulled an Adreian Payne RC auto, and he's a player that I like a lot. Maybe it's because he seems to be such a good guy (check this out if you don't know about his relationship with that little girl who passed of cancer earlier this year), but I dig him. The second auto was an Anthony Bennett, and I think there's potential there as well; I'm not ready to write off last year's #1 overall pick even though he didn't show much last season. The jersey was a Bosh, which is nice. 

Then there are the inserts and parallels – and there were a LOT. The red back, gold, and green xfractor-looking-things were all unnumbered, and then there were the four silver shiny ones numbered to /399 and the Artist Proof, numbered to /99. It seems last year's Dreams insert set, which was fairly common last year, is a bit rarer, with only one in the box.  Plus, I pulled a Kobe's All-Rookie Team – Aaron Gordon – which falls one per case. Overall, this was a really solid box.

The second one, though, kinda kept with the pattern of my day. After watching the Gators get embarrassed by Missouri (an aside: fire Will Mushchamp, like, now.), I opened the other box. It just didn't compare.

For one, I pulled a lot of the same inserts. Not just the same as in same insert sets, but as in the SAME cards – to the tune of about eight. That shouldn't happen from two boxes out of the same case.

The autographs were mediocre, at least for me. They were both Cleveland Cavaliers, so if you were a Cavs fan I guess it would have been great, but for a non-Cavs fan, getting a second round pick (Joe Harris) and a dude who went undrafted in a weak 2013/14 draft (Matthew Dellavedova) was pretty rough. I guess Dellavedova has some fans and he played decent at times last year, but I just don't see him getting many minutes for a vastly-improved Cavs team. At least the card was numbered to /25, but even that didn't make up for pulling autos of guys I don't care too much about.

The jersey card was Boris Diaw (at least it has a pin stripe on it), so that was certainly no help, and the Artist Proof was a lowly CJ McCollum. 

Sadly, the best cards to come out of the second box were unnumbered parallels - a red back Andrew Wiggins rookie and a gold Marcus Smart rookie. 

At the very least, it's a fun break. I'd like to have seen better quality control, as a lot of the cards have white on the back edges since they have black ink on the back. But, it's a low-end product, so that's not exactly a shock.

All in all, 2014/15 Hoops is a bargain on its own, a huge win if you happen to pull a nice rookie auto, and a fun low-end break. I'd grade this break out as a solid B+. It's probably an A- if you base it on the first box alone. The second box would have to be no higher than a B, and take away the fact that one of the autos was /25, it'd drop to a C at best.  
Grade for the product:  A
Grade for the break:  B+

Box 1
Hot Signatures:  Anthony Bennett, Adreian Payne
Blast from the Past jersey:  Chris Bosh
Kobe's All-Rookie Team:  Aaron Gordon
Artist Proof /99:  Tyler Ennis (RC)
Silver /399:  Markell Brown (RC), Chris Copeland, Wesley Johnson, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Road to the Finals /2014:  Lebron James (R1, G4), Joe Johnson (R1, G3), Tony Parker (R1, G5), DeAndre Jordan (R1, G5)
Gold:  Tyson Chandler, KJ McDaniels (RC), CJ McCollum, PJ Hairston (RC),Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Taj Gibson, Tim Duncan, Steve Novak, Victor Oladipo
Green:  Jordan Hill, Kyle O'Quinn, Marcin Gortat, Nate Wolters, Brandan Wright, Tayshaun Prince, Anderson Varejao, Jordan Crawford, Kyle Anderson (RC), Shabazz Napier
Red Back:  Al Horford, Jordan Adams (RC), Nikola Vucevic, Ian Mahinmi, James Young (RC), Deron Williams, Brian Roberts, Gorgui Dieng, Javale McGee
Dreams:  Jabari Parker
Faces of the Future:  Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo
Shining Stars:  Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Tony Parker
Lights, Camera, Action:  Al Horford, Jeff Teague, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Garnett
Courtside:  Manu Ginobili, DeMar DeRozan
Matchups:  Kyrie Irving/Stephen Curry, Bill Russell/Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal/Hakeem Olajuwon
Moments of Greatness:  Kobe Bryant, Damian Lillard, DeAndre Jordan
Fast Lane:  Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving
Picture Perfect:  Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard
Trading Places:  Kobe Bryant/Vlade Divacs, Nerlens Noel/Jrue Holiday
High Honors:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, Derrick Rose
Class Action:  Vince Carter, Rajon Rondo, Yao Ming

Box 2
Hot Signatures /25:  Matthew Dellavedova
Hot Signatures:  Joe Harris
Blast from the Past jersey:  Boris Diaw
Artist Proof /99:  CJ McCollum
Silver /399:  Jerami Grant (RC), Tony Parker, Paul George, Dennis Schroder
Road to the Finals /999:  Lebron James (R2, G2) 
Road to the Finals /2014:  Vince Carter (R1, G3), Nene (R1, G1), Mike Conley (R1, G3)
Gold:  Marcus Smart (RC), Austin Rivers, DeMarcus Cousins, Mason Plumlee, Tim Hardaway Jr., LaMarcus Aldridge, Chuck Hayes, Jimmy Butler, Kenneth Faried, Nick Johnson (RC)
Green:  Kevin Durant, Jason Thompson, Rudy Gay, Tyler Zeller, Avery Bradley, Gerald Wallace, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Rodney Hood (RC), Tyler Ennis (RC), Boris Diaw
Red Back:  Andrew Wiggins (RC), Shelvin Mack, Tobias Harris, Terrence Jones, Kosta Koufos, Jae Crowder, Anthony Davis, Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas, Thanasis Antetokounmpo (RC)
Dreams:  Julius Randle
Faces of the Future:  Jabari Parker, Trey Burke
Shining Stars:  Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard
Lights, Camera, Action:  Al Horford, Kevin Garnett, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis
Courtside:  Blake Griffin
End 2 End:  Blake Griffin 
Matchups:  Deron Williams/Chris Paul, Bill Russell/Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant/Tracy McGrady
Moments of Greatness:  Rajon Rondo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love
Fast Lane:  Mike Conley, Goran Dragic
Picture Perfect:  Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Tony Parker
Trading Places:  Marc Gasol/Pau Gasol, Tracy McGrady/Steve Francis
High Honors:  Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O'Neal, Wilt Chamberlain
Class Action:  Allen Iverson, Deron Williams

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