Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014-15 Panini Prizm basketball blaster

Sport:  Basketball
Product:  2014-15 Panini Prizm blaster
Break Date:  December 20, 2014
Hit Breakdown:   One jersey card
Summary:  When Panini released Prizm basketball for the 2012-13 season, it was an instant success. They really did that product right. It had a sharp design, decent hits for the price point, and a smattering of parallels and inserts to chase. However, they started to overdo it with the sophomore release, adding more parallels. 

This year is, unfortunately, the most watered down version yet. To make matters worse, design-wise, they haven't really changed a thing. Sure, the chrome-ish background looks different, but at the end of the day, with each release, the only thing Panini has done is add a few more parallels.

But, I'm always willing to give any product a shot despite the fact that the early opinions were that it was garbage. So, I picked up a blaster and got to opening. And, the people were right. 

Frankly, it's a shame, because the initial version was so strong - they did it perfectly, in fact. The Prizm parallel, an additional Green Prizm for retail, and then the Gold Prizms, numbered to 10. Now, you have a slew of crap, really. Prizm parallels come in too many colors to count - between hobby and retail there are 18 – that's right, EIGHTEEN – variations of each card including the base. It's complete and utter overkill.

My blaster was nothing to write home about. I pulled a few colored Prizms, but no one that blew me away. The jersey card (called Blue Mojo, because it's retail) was Glenn Robinson III, who has played all of 58 minutes this year on a horrific Timberwolves team. 

And "Blue Mojo?" Really, Panini? Do you just spend time on message boards and see people talk about the mojo they pulled, and then throw the semantics into your product line?

Lastly, Panini needs to stop with the closely-cropped photos. The photography in the Hoops line is so strong because it's action shots. At least, with Prizm 12/13, they had action shots for the most part. Now, it's the same cookie-cutter close-ups, except this year they stuck them in front of a horrible geometric pattern. It's just ugly stuff.

The only saving grace was a Prizm parallel of the Freshman Phenoms insert, and it was Andrew Wiggins. That's the only thing that kept this break anywhere above a "D" grade in my book.

Outside of that, Prizm isn't a product I would have any desire to open again. Not this year, not next year, and not any time soon until they start paring back all the garbage that they're including. Panini ruined a perfectly good product.

Grade for the product:  D
Grade for the break:  C

Prizm Jerseys Blue Mojo:  Glenn Robinson III
Freshman Phenoms Prizms:  Andrew Wiggins
Prizms Blue Mojo:  Carlos Boozer
Prizms Green:  Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady, Dirk Nowitzki

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