I had the option of purchasing some hobby boxes of Hoops a couple of weeks ago, but I held off as I thought the price was quite high. It was around the $100 mark, which is really unheard of territory for a product like Hoops. The Zion hype is real! I decided to hold off and see when it would hit retail, and it finally did. Panini sure did take their sweet time getting it out to my neck of the woods though! I picked up a few rack packs and blasters for their retail of price of $4.99 and $19.99 respectively. The store also had gravity packs going for a few bucks each, but I held off on those.
Hoops has a myriad of insert cards. One of the popular sets so far are the Arriving Now cards. Panini has done a great job on the design of these cards. I love the bright yellow background with the player in black and white with their jersey in color. It's a stunning look that works really well. These inserts come in both a standard paper version as well as a foil parallel. This set features all the top rookies from the draft. These cards likely won't hold high values, but the appeal of these cards will get collectors to chase them.
Hoops has been around for a very long time. I actually remember buying the very first Hoops set back in 1989 and '90. It was a really exciting time for basketball cards. This year Hoops has a special tribute to the 90's with a very 90's inspired design. Not only do you get players who were from that era on the cards, the rookies are also part of this tribute set.
Hoops is a product that is really geared towards a younger audience. Though they have cards like the tributes above, most of the inserts have a modern feel to them. One of my favorites this year are the Get Out The Way cards. These cards are very busy looking with a colorful, eye-popping design. The foil variations have an extra pop to them that I really enjoy.
For the parallel collectors out there, Hoops throws in quite a few parallels to chase. Retail packs have special orange and teal foil parallels that look really nice. Filling in the border with shimmery color makes the cards really stand out. Other parallels have a more plain colored border and you'll find some parallel cards with serial numbering on them.
While Hoops is a low-end product, Panini does a good job of still providing collectors with the chance at getting hits. Most of the hits found in Topps are going to be plain jersey cards. Blaster boxes state that you will find either a jersey or an autograph, but for the vast majority of the time your hit will be a jersey. Plain jersey or not, it's still great to find hits in retail blasters - this is something that Panini does really well.
I actually pulled an autographed card out of a hanger rack pack. The Great SIGnificance set doesn't really inspire anyone to collect it, but it is a nice surprise to pull out of a pack. These cards have sticker autographs and a very mundane design. This type of autographed content is correct for a brand such as Hoops, so I won't complain too much about it.
On store shelves now are Hoops Holiday Edition blasters. These boxes have base and insert cards that feature a photoshopped snowy background. I can't help but compare these to their Topps counterparts. It's no contest. The Topps Holiday cards a heads and shoulders above these in every way. But I'm just glad Panini did something with the holidays. Upper Deck needs to follow soon!
The coolest thing to find in the Holiday blasters is the player-worn ugly sweater cards. These cards feature a piece of an ugly sweater that the player wore. You can see the shirt right on the front of the card. It's a really fun idea and perfect for Christmas coming up!
- Inexpensive product.
- Hitting at the retail level is guaranteed in blasters.
- Huge number of different things to collect within the Hoops checklist.
- These cards will not be worth too much.
- Lackluster design on some of the cards - particularly the sticker autographs.
- Exciting now, but anything but later.