Monday, October 17, 2016

2016-17 Panini Hoops Basketball Hobby Box x2

Sport:  Basketball
Product:  2016-17 Panini Hoops hobby box (2)
Break Date:  October 16, 2016
Hit Breakdown:  Two autographs
Summary:  The release of Panini Hoops basketball signifies a few things. First, it's the first basketball product of the year. 

Second, though - it means the NBA season is right around the corner, and we're die-hard Grizzlies fans and season-ticket holders in our house. 

Hoops has steadily gotten better with each passing year the last few years, and when I saw the preview of this year's release, I was pleased. I love that they numbered the gold and green parallels, and the inserts seemed to look great on the preview as well.

I took my kid to the LCS and we picked up a couple of boxes, and got to cracking. My immediate impression verified what I thought of the preview - this is a nice-looking set.

For one, the base. People get tired of the same white-on-white color scheme of higher-end products like National Treasures, Immaculate, and Flawless. With Hoops, Panini has a classy parquet floor border with team color accents. And, the photography is fantastic - full action shots rather than typical torso-and-up portraits.

The inserts, though, are what really make the set. Almost all have shiny refractor-esque color layers on top, which make the cards pop. The Courtside inserts look particularly nice this year.

Panini brought back the Road to the Finals set, with a card for each game of each round, serial-numbered starting at /2016 for the first round and getting harder to pull with each round.

Best of all, though, are the parallels. In years past, the green and gold have been randomly inserted in packs, but this year they numbered them - Green at /149 and Gold at /10. It just adds to the excitement of pulling them.

My two boxes were fairly good. With Hoops, you're generally unlikely to pull a huge auto, and I've seen at least one break where one of the rookie autos was of a dude who was an undrafted free agent - thus unlikely to ever sniff an NBA roster. I pulled CJ McCollum and Nikola Jokic out of one box (a strong pair) and Raul Neto and DeAndre Bembry out of the second; at least Bembry was a first-round pick. 

We pulled a decent number of good-name inserts - a few Curry cards, a few LeBron cards, and a handful of Durants. There was also an Artist Proof insert, an Eric Bledsoe /25.

Overall, it was a fun break. We finished a complete set out of the two boxes, and with a lot of cool inserts and parallels, it was an enjoyable couple of boxes. Panini keeps improving Hoops year over year, and 2016/17 is the strongest, in my opinion, to date.
  Grade for the product:  A
Grade for the break:  A

Hot Signatures:  CJ McCollum, Nikola Jokic
High Flyers Artist Proof /25:  Eric Bledsoe
Silver /99:  Caris LeVert (RC), Eric Gordon
Green /149:  Jerian Grant, Alec Burks
Road to the Finals /999:  Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant
Road to the Finals /2016:  Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Goran Dragic, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul
Highlights:  Stephen Curry
One on One:  LeBron James & Carmelo Anthony
Action Shots:  Elfrid Payton
Spark Plugs:  Allen Crabbe
Courtside:  Kristaps Porzingis
High Flyers:  Marcus Smart
Bird's Eye View:  Jordan Clarkson
Picture Perfect:  Zach LaVine
Team Leaders:  Paul Millsap
Kobe Bryant 2K17:  #s 13, 15, 16
Red Back:  Gorgui Dieng, Tyus Jones, Dejounte Murray (RC)

Rookies Hot Signatures:  DeAndre Bembry
Hot Signatures:  Raul Neto
High Flyers Artist Proof /25:  Eric Bledsoe
Silver /99:  Udonis Haslem, Evan Turner
Green /149:  Robin Lopez, Rudy Gobert, Andre Roberson
Road to the Finals /499:  Kevin Durant
Road to the Finals /2016:  Dwyane Wade, Al-Farouq Aminu, Kawhi Leonard, J.R. Smith, Draymond Green
Highlights:  LeBron James
Tip-Off:  Cavs vs. Raptors 5/27/2016
Action Shots:  Stephen Curry
Spark Plugs:  Aaron Brooks
Courtside:  Kristaps Porzingis
High Flyers:  Julius Randle
Bird's Eye View:  Kenneth Faried
Picture Perfect:  C.J. McCollum
Team Leaders:  Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas
Kobe Bryant 2K17:  #s 13, 15, 16
Red Back:  Vince Carter, Kelly Oubre, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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