When Flawless was released, I was a little confused as to why everyone was so excited. To me, it was almost like Panini forgot to include all the crazy cards that a product costing 1250 dollars a box should have. Sure, there was some great content in the boxes themselves, as the autographs of the good players were pretty common. As explained before, the wow factor just wasn’t there. Too many cards that are just on card simplicity, in a product that should be more than that.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty awesome cards in Flawless, but nothing that makes anyone truly redefine what is possible in a product costing what Flawless did.
2013 Panini Flawless Kyrie Irving Auto Patch RC – Not even jumbo patches on these?
Basically, I am getting a distinct feeling that we got played. Panini knew the price tag would drive value in the cards, and therefore held back many of the cards that made Exquisite Basketball into an unstoppable juggernaut.
Enter Immaculate Collection. Seeing previews for this product immediately bring back fond memories of the way Exquisite was done. In fact, im pretty positive that Immaculate Collection is Exquisite under a different (but much more awful) name. The white dominated design with swooping lines is an approach made famous by Upper Deck, and Immaculate is stuffed to the brim. Not only that, but its done WELL.
From everything I have seen, it makes National Treasures look like shit warmed over. Treasures was poorly designed in many different ways to begin with, never making me want to rush out and drop the cash at any point. Immaculate, on the other hand, is quite the different story. These cards truly look tremendous, despite the fact that the concept is a complete rip off. When it looks this good, it doesn’t really matter.
Here is the disclaimer that needs to go on every Panini high end product – they don’t have Jordan and they don’t have Lebron. Without those two players, the potential for greatness is stifled significantly. I don’t collect basketball, but even I can see the gaping holes left by the two biggest names in basketball history. Considering that Panini took everything from Exquisite except the name (which they should have), they should fork over the dough to get the players too.
That’s a fact.
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