Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2013-14 Panini Intrigue Basketball hobby box x2

Sport:  Basketball
Product:  2013-14 Panini Intrigue Basketball
Break Date:  April 7, 2015
Hit Breakdown:   Two autographs and two jersey cards
Summary:  My name is Josh, and I’m a 2013-14 Intrigue-oholic.

Recognition is the first step, right? But it’s true - I’m smitten with this product.

It started with the Slam Ink set. I abandoned my NBA at 50 auto chase after realizing that the last few were going to cost me roughly the same as a semester at college for one of my kids. I just can’t pull the trigger on cards that are going to cost me thousands. So, I decided to chase down the Slam Ink cards.

I knew breaking wax wasn’t going to be the way to collect the cards; after watching a few case breaks I knew that the cards come maybe one per case…two if you’re lucky. But, the boxes seemed like fun. There are two autos and two game-used cards per box, and unlike most Panini products, they weren’t chock-full of rookie autos – there were plenty of veterans and Hall of Fame names in there.

My wife and I and some friends went to Vegas a couple of weekends ago and we actually walked away from nearly every blackjack table with a profit, so I took some of the winnings and pulled the trigger on two more boxes of Intrigue (click here to see my first box break).
While I didn’t pull any Slam Ink, I’m pleased with the results.

The boxes have two packs - one with the Intriguing Players cards and one with the base, 2014 Draft redemption, and the four hits. I ordered the boxes from the same place I got the first box in hopes that I’d narrow down the chances of hitting a gold or platinum Intriguing Player (which fall about three per case). I did not succeed.

But, the hits were pretty nice. The Draft pick redemption was a lottery pick, Dario Saric. He hasn’t played in the NBA yet (he’s still overseas) so time will tell whether that ever turns into anything.

The two jersey cards were a Tristan Thompson Top Flight (/49) and what was maybe my favorite hit of the break, an Intriguing Pairs Kobe Bryant/Kevin Durant dual-jersey card (/199). It’s a rare break that my favorite hit is a memorabilia card, but Kobe and Durant? That’s pretty cool.

The first auto was pretty solid as well - an on-card Robert Parish, and only numbered to 15. Hall of Famer? Yep. On-card? Yep. Low-numbered? Yep.

The second auto was a little less exciting – a Jeff Withey jersey/auto, numbered to 99. Witney is basically an after-thought on the Pelicans; he’s averaging under 3 minutes per game. That said, Grantland just ran an article about finding the next hidden free agent gem and Withey received honorable mention in the column, so who knows?

All-told, the Kobe/Durant and the Parish were pretty cool hits, so I was happy with the first box.

The second box’s Intriguing Players pack was basically the same as the first, to a man. Different card numbers, but basically the exact same players and no gold or platinum.

The hits were decent, but unspectacular.

The Draft pick redemption could turn out to be solid - another lottery pick (#11), Doug McDermott. McBuckets hasn’t immediately been as good as everyone thought he’d be, but like Withey he barely sees the court, so who knows?

The jersey cards weren’t as good as the first box: a Top Flight Rodney Stuckey (/49) isn’t really anything that ANYONE wants, but there was a Top Flight Prime Evan Turner. The Turner’s numbered to 25, and it’s a pretty sweet patch. I wish it was a better player, but it’s still a fairly cool card.

The two autos were solid but unspectacular: a Dunk Co. Michael Cooper (/99) and a jersey auto of Bernard King (/49). The King is a cool card - he’s in the Hall and I don’t have one of his autos. The Cooper’s a nice enough card but he signs a decent amount, so while it’s only numbered to 99, his stuff isn’t exactly rare.

After two boxes, I was pretty happy. In terms of sale value, I know I didn’t break even, but I love this set and I wasn’t breaking to make a profit, so that’s really a moot point. I pulled a couple of Hall of Famer autographs and a Kobe/Durant jersey card that I’m going to keep for my PC so it's real hard to complain. Plus, I had fun breaking the boxes, which is the whole point.

Grade for the product:  A-

Grade for the break:  B+


Immortalized Autographs:  Robert Parish /15
Rookie Autographed Memorabilia:  Jeff Withey /99
Intriguing Pairs:  Kobe Bryant/Kevin Durant /199
Top Flight Unis:  Tristan Thompson /49
'14 Draft X-change:  Dario Saric (#12)
Intriguing Players: Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Tony Parker
Intriguing Players Die Cuts: Carmelo Antony, Dwight Howard
Base: Carmelo Anthony, Marcin Gortat

Autograph Jerseys:  Bernard King /49
Dunk Co.:  Michael Cooper /99
Top Flight Unis Prime:  Evan Turner /25
Top Flight Unis:  Rodney Stuckey /49
'14 Draft X-change:  Doug McDermott (#11)
Intriguing Players: Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Tony Parker
Intriguing Players Die Cuts: Tim Duncan, James Harden
Base: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett

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