Back in 2010, Panini put out Crown Royale Football, which contained the first of what has become a staple in all of the sports they produce. These die cut silhouette autograph cards are some of the best cards that Panini produces, with few major exceptions, and they have taken on a life of their own in Basketball. I was literally shocked at how cool of an idea this was.
Although Crown Royale is not its own product, Basketball collectors have embraced the fluid and beautiful design. Coupled with on card autographs and huge swatches, its easy to see why collectors love these cards. They have been getting prices usually reserved for Exquisite patch autos, and that is saying something.
Check out these RIDICULOUS PRICES:
2013 Panini Preferred Harrison Barnes Prime Silhouette Auto /25 – Ill be honest, never heard of this guy, and look at the price.
2013 Panini Preferred Andre Drummond Prime Silhouette Auto /25 – Again, no idea who this guy is, and it got a crazy price.
2013 Panini Preferred Tobias Harris Silhouette Prime Auto /25 – Craziest of the bunch, sold for more than an Andrew Luck 1/1.
In 2010 and 2011 Crown Royale football, I raved about these cards, especially when they added beautiful hard signed autographs to the mix. Panini Preferred adopted the idea in their sets, and the high end focused market in basketball LOVED them – reaching humongous prices for the patch versions. Even the players you wouldnt expect get a ton of money.
When 2012 Crown Royale football was previewed, I couldnt wait to see how the cards would change for the biggest rookie class in decades. To say I was disappointed with the horrid design is like saying Justin Bieber is only KIND of a douche. The fluid design was replaced with compartmentalized pictures and ugly colored foil embellishments, with a giant white box for the autographs. Before, the autographs were a compliment to the silhouetted picture, but these autographs might as well have been a sticker. They were THAT hideous.
Panini still hasnt made the most of their basketball license in my opinion, even in the slightest. With the money they are spending for the exclusive rights, its pretty sad that many collectors would much rather bust one of Upper Deck’s college products. It seems very clear that Panini doesnt understand what Basketball collectors thrive on, and cards like these silhouettes prove the situation. More products should be done with huge patches and great designs, and so far, Panini has vastly underwhelmed.
Maybe this is the future, maybe its just a fluke as usual with Panini’s stuff.