Thursday, November 14, 2019

2019-2020 Panini Certified Basketball Review


Zion mania is totally here and he isn't even playing right now. It's total hype right now and I can't help but join in on the fun. Certified came out this week and I decided to purchase a box and see if I could pull a Zion autograph. Long story short... nope! But the cards do look slick and they remind me of when Certified hockey was a thing those many years ago. This is a crisp set that not only looks great, has a good number of valuable cards in it as well.

Product Thoughts
This year's Certifed is a good looking product. The cards of of high quality and they really do shimmer and shine beautifully. As a hockey card collector, Certified always reminded me of the hobby version of Artifacts. Both products had about 10 packs per box and guaranteed a couple of hits. Both products were also early season releases that really started the season for collectors looking for autos and mem. While Artifacts went for more of a classy look, Certified always came at collectors with an ultra modern sleek design full of color. And that still holds true with this release.


This year's big draw is Zion Williamson and everyone is going bonkers looking for his rookies and autographs. Each 10-pack box of Certified comes with an autographed rookie card. The most common are the Freshman Fabric cards that feature a jersey and a sticker auto. The standard version of these cards are not serial numbered and go with a plain jersey swatch. In typical Certified fashion, there are numerous parallels that up the rarity and desirability considerably.


Perhaps more than any other sport, basketball card collectors covet parallel cards. Even standard unnumbered parallels can go for insane amounts of coin if it's of the right player. Certified provides collectors with many colors bursting out of packs. The most common are the red and blue parallels that are unnumbered. You'll find a handful of that type in a standard break. Orange parallels to 99 are also pretty common and come about one per box. Lower serial numbered cards get much more difficult to find.


A sweet looking insert out of Certified this year are their graffiti cards. These inserts have a 90's in-your-face style of design that goes well with the game of basketball. Inserts such as these have always drawn collector interest because of their fun nature. More traditional looking inserts like Certified Gold Team and Raise the Banner are also found in the product.


Each box of Certified has about two hits. I've found that besides the rookie hit, a standard sticker auto on an insert is what the other one is. Unfortunately the sticker on the shimmery Certified stock sticks out like a sore thumb. An on-card autograph would make the card look heaps better, but I understand that would probably cost Panini too much to do. These can be nice cards, but they are essentially throw ins to add a bit of value to the release.

Positives:
  • Excellent looking cards.
  • You'll find a couple hits and a number of colored parallels in a box.
  • Hitting a Zion will make your day.
Negatives:
  • More expensive than in previous years (Thanks Zion).
  • Autographs are mostly on-sticker.
  • Condition out of the box can be an issue (I've seen lots of lines on the cards).
Overall Rating:

8.5/10

7 comments:

  1. Huge fan of the grant Williams auto card! I think the base cards look very good as well

    YT: James Cusanelli

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  2. I'm in. Nice looking product

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  3. I’m in. Nice cards, I don’t really collect basketball but really got caught up in the Raptors last year... so happy they won cuz the Leafs and Blue Jays have ways to go!

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  4. Panini sucks overpriced cards and lack of quality control and too many worthless parallels.

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  5. Nice Fat Lever! I think I heard him talk during a Kings season ticket dinner along with Jason Williams

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  6. Outstanding review! I really wish they still did hockey cards.

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