Monday, September 17, 2018

REVIEW:2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Basketball

Kicking off the new year of basketball cards is Contenders Draft which gives us the first autograph and first look at some of the new incoming rookies. To me, the Contenders line is a great way to dive into that because of it's popularity.

So why don't we break on in and check it out shall we?


In every box of 2018 Contenders Draft Picks basketball, you will find 6 packs of 18 cards. Much different set up than usual. You will also find 6 autographs which means one-per-pack finding. Boxes run about $135.

The base card set is as you would expect from Contenders, the typical ticket layout. I am just glad to see the NBA players are in uniform and not college. I get kind of tired of seeing the overflow of college stuff.

There are 50 players in the base set to collect that include players of today and yesterday.





Including Charles Barkley's return to cardboard.


These 50 cards also have variations. I think it's a tad ridiculous to even include these as they fall at the same rate as base. There were packs I had that were mostly all variations. That's too many. I don't mind have short printed ones, like really short print, but intentionally loading it with them, no. 

Let's just take a look at this Carmelo variation.

Now the base. Simply just a jersey color change.

Here they are side by side.

And here is how you tell the difference. Just look at the variation card of Carmelo on the back and you will notice a V above his name. That's it.
Once again, I feel those are completely unneeded here.
Parallels though, are always needed and found in today's collecting.
I found one parallel in my box which I assume is a common theme. It was a Cracked Ice /23 of Caleb Swanigan. 

Other parallels to chase include,
  • Blue Foil,
  • Red Foil
  • Draft /99
  • Diamond /15
  • Building Blocks /10
  • Fame /5
  • Championship 1/1
  • Printing Plates 1/1
Inserts are supposed to fall five per pack, but I found that they actually fall 6 per pack with the following variety and two of each per pack. These inserts also have the following parallels, Cracked Ice /23 and Championship 1/1.

Legacy.NBA Players in their college uni's in the back, NBA unis in the front. There are 30 cards in the set to collect.


Game Day Ticket features incoming rookies and has 35 cards to chase.


School Colors is basically the same thing as Game Day Ticket in my opinion. Not sure why you would bother doing another set like this but there are 35 cards in the set to collect.


Now onto the draft ticket autographs. The key part to the whole product. These tickets also have the following parallels, 
  • Blue Foil
  • Red Foil
  • Draft /99
  • Cracked Ice /23
  • Diamond /15
  • Building Blocks /10
  • Fame /5
  • Championship 1/1
  • Printing Plates 1/1
Devon Hall


Sorry, not spelling out his name haha!



Moritz Wagner. Let's point out his signature. Sad, sad. This may rank up at the tops as one of the worst autographs out there.



Jacob Evans. This one is /99



Gary Clark numbered to 15!


And the big find of the box, top 10 pick in Wendell Carter Jr who was drafted by the Chicago Bulls at 7. This one is a parallel /25 and an Sp photo variation as well. yes, even the tickets have photo variations. I like this card because I am a Duke fan. I don't speak of that much on here as I don't watch basketball anymore, but I grew up a fan and even though I don't watch them, I still root them on.


Other hits not found in my box but can be in your in yours,
  • Season Ticket Signatures
  • Collegiate Connections Signatures
  • Game Day Ticket Signatures
  • Legacy Signatures
  • School Colors Signatures Set Checklist
  • Turning Pro Signatures Set Checklist
OVERALL: Contenders is one of those popular products every year. Whether its an early season release or a late one, the name Contenders holds its ground as it has the most popular autograph rookie cards loved by collectors.

My box was pretty decent with some 1st round picks found in it. That may not always be the case especially if you go the retail route. Don't go that route ever. Always stick to hobby for a product like this. Blasters are full of the lesser name guys at least from my experience with any sport for the product.

Please take a minute out to thank Tracy Hackler and Panini America for providing this box to review. By providing this box to review, this insures some of the cards above will end up in your hands when I run my NFL promo coming up soon! Please follow Panini on all social media sites and Tracy Hackler on Twitter. You can check out Panini's official website, HERE

10 comments:

  1. At least they put a V this year. Last year you had to guess which was which. I think Panini doesn't think it's collector's are capable of counting very high, but that's a whole other topic.

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    Replies
    1. I hear ya there. I am glad like you said that they at least added the v. I prefer a 100 card set Of 50 of the same cards

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  2. Sweet box!! Nice Carter auto and three short prints!! Wagner and Svi are two of my favorite rookies this year!! Awesome.

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  3. 6 inserts per pack? Lol. That's ridiculous. Guess Topps isn't the only one ruining a good thing. If they're that easy to pull, it should just be a subset. Then again... I don't bust basketball, so it doesn't really matter to me.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Way over flooded and look like sunsets to me more than creative inserts

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  4. Thanks to you and Panini for the review, and for showing the back to see how the spot the variation!

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  5. This product never disappoints and I love the design every year despite few changes. Usually good value with the hits and rookies it provides.

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