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Raising the Bar: Panini America Previews 2011 Preferred Basketball’s Silhouettes

January 14, 2012

Panini America spent most of this week previewing the throwback brilliance of 2011 Preferred Basketball’s Panini’s Choice and Crown Royale die-cut inclusions. But today, the company plans to raise the bar — and collector expectations — even more with the first extended look at the set’s stunning Silhouettes.

The absolutely beautiful die-cut, prime-piece memorabilia cards that collectors fell in love with in Crown Royale Football and Crown Royale Hockey make their long-awaited basketball debut in 2011 Preferred. And they might just be the greatest-looking basketball cards ever made. Period.

Epic? No question. Sick? Absolutely. And that’s before the autographs that will be added to every last one. Indeed, every non-booklet card in 2011 Preferred Basketball will be autographed on-card. But with all due respect to the other portions of the set, it’s likely that none will look as pristine perfect as Silhouettes.

The cards arrived at Panini America HQ on Friday morning to be counted, quality controlled and ogled. Then, they were packed with kid-glove care so that they could be expedited to the appropriate players for signing. Luckily for all of us, Panini America marketing comrade Chris Reed was there to document the process.

Here’s what he saw . . .

38 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2012 10:25 am

    The Kareem is nice!

    • January 14, 2012 10:56 am

      That being said, I would not complain if Byron ever got a jersey/patch card either πŸ™‚

  2. Ricardo permalink
    January 14, 2012 10:26 am

    You had me going crazy for just a few seconds because i thought the Bernard King was a Rasheed Wallace Bullets Patch Card! That would have been a dream card for me! but still a very nice Prime Set! Tracy, next time when you plan doing a Prime Set with such big Patches then please put Sheed in it πŸ˜‰

  3. Jamey permalink
    January 14, 2012 10:28 am

    There’s some National Treasure lookin’ cards! Beautiful issues, “royal court” players. Wish the product wasn’t a cost prohibitive $4-500 per box. The cost puts the product out of reach of all but the most well-heeled collectors.

    • January 14, 2012 10:34 am

      The cost for Preferred will be $200 for three autograph cards and one six- or eight-piece memorabilia booklet card.

      • Jamey permalink
        January 14, 2012 3:45 pm

        That’s certainly welcome news. Couple hundred sheckles is nothing to sneeze at, as Scott the well-heeled points out 8), but that dollar figure lies within the fiscal reach of those with shallower pockets. Like… me. Typically, the opportunity to pull an absolutely magnificent card, such as these, comes at 1:100,000 odds or rent-payment prices. Preferred appears to be an ill break. Looking forward to it.
        Thanks for the correction, Tracy. Enjoy the games!

    • Scott Edblom permalink
      January 14, 2012 10:58 am

      I’m a well-heeled collector but I doubt that I’ll be buying a lot of packs even though the cards look FANTASTIC. $50 on average for a card is a lot in this economy.

      On the other hand, I’m very interested in what happens a year or so down the road in the secondary market when focus is somewhere else and there are no rookies to drive continued interest. That’s when I might make my move and scoop up a lot of these gems.

  4. Mont Toronto permalink
    January 14, 2012 10:57 am

    *Collects jaw from off the floor*

  5. January 14, 2012 11:03 am

    I need that Alex English card in my life! Multicolored rainbow piece, with part of the twill that makes up the mountains?! Sign me up.

  6. Ryan permalink
    January 14, 2012 11:48 am

    I would love to see these in Football. A Raymond Berry, more specifically.

  7. chris permalink
    January 14, 2012 12:16 pm

    Were those patches worn in game by the player on the card or are they manufactured rubbish?

    • February 10, 2012 4:44 pm

      The veteran player versions are game-worn, yes.

      • February 10, 2012 4:47 pm

        And the rookie versions are either game-worn or were worn during the Rookie Photo Shoot.

  8. Matt Gilman permalink
    January 14, 2012 2:27 pm

    Wow! lovin the Silhouettes. And seeing the Oakster…Charles Oakley..nice. Thats when I loved watching basketball and especially my Knicks. Is Ewing in the checklist as well?

  9. January 14, 2012 4:24 pm

    Beautiful cards guys…..cant wait to see them signed and grab a few for my PC!

    Well done!

  10. Nick Gauder permalink
    January 14, 2012 10:37 pm

    Panini you did it again! Once again you raise the bar by making one of the SWEETEST designed cards ive ever seen! Ive loved the silhouettes cards since they premiered in 2010 and have been chasing them ever since. I cant not wait to try to pull one of those Kevin Durants out of a box! Keep up the great work Panini!!!!

  11. January 15, 2012 12:53 am

    These look really great… probably some of the best looking cards you guys have done in my opinion. I really like all the white space too… it’ll give the auto some room to breathe, reminds me of SP authentic a little in that way…

  12. Gary Strauss permalink
    January 15, 2012 2:14 am

    Hey tracy,

    Any release date yet??

    Looks nice…I hope there is a deng in the set???

  13. matthew permalink
    January 15, 2012 4:44 am

    OMG grant hill!!!!!

  14. January 15, 2012 8:47 am

    I never replied on here how slack! Drooltastic cards cannot wait to see some loose ones flow onto the secondary market i reckon they will attract a nice price as will some of the nicer booklets.

  15. January 15, 2012 8:16 pm

    Oh Em Gee.

    That Luke Babbitt is absolutely amazing. I mean, it’s Luke Babbitt for one…even though he just dropped 35 the other night in a D-League game, but it’s amazing.

  16. January 16, 2012 5:03 pm

    I just heard from Keith Hower that all Panini’s Choice and Silhouettes will be hard-signed. But other aspects of the set will include some sticker autographs. Just wanted to keep everyone in the loop.

  17. Scott permalink
    January 16, 2012 8:25 pm

    Great looking cards…. but ‘Nique in a Clippers jersey? That should never see the light of day!

  18. Kerry permalink
    January 16, 2012 11:53 pm

    Can’t lie I thought that luke Babbitt card was my dream card of an arvydas sabonis autograph..oh well..still have hope for some this season!

  19. January 17, 2012 3:21 am

    Just Stunning Patches all around! This set is sure to make a lot of eyes pop!

  20. January 28, 2012 11:40 am

    This is some excellent looking cards, that set would look great on my wall. Panini has a big hit everytime.

  21. deloreanfan81 permalink
    February 7, 2012 12:32 am

    amazing set…beyond sick

  22. Alan permalink
    March 13, 2012 8:48 am

    “Indeed, every non-booklet card in 2011 Preferred Basketball will be autographed on-card.” (Panini)

    Guess that was a lie.

    • March 13, 2012 9:55 am

      I was mistaken and amended my statement early in the comments section after talking with Keith Hower in Product Development. My apologies for the confusion.

  23. Renee permalink
    March 13, 2012 4:43 pm

    What Gives???? It states all non-booklet auto’s are ON-CARD yet preferred cards now popping up on e-bay from china and they are STICKER autos, What gives?? Most have pre-ordered at $200.00 a box and now it seems were going to get stuck with sticker auto’s after we were told all ON-CARD….Man hope you didn’t use that ploy just to sell the product because It looked like this product was going to rock….

    • March 13, 2012 9:03 pm

      Renee, I admittedly misspoke initially and, after being corrected by members of Product Development, posted comments correcting the information. All Silhouettes and Panini’s Choice autographs are signed on card; the Preferred cards are not. I apologize for any confusion and can assure you that we were not trying to use that as a ploy.

  24. March 14, 2012 7:23 pm

    The comment about everything not being on card should be been a new post or at the very least a -edit- on the original post. It’s not something as minor as “so and so isn’t gonna be signing” but it was a MAJOR selling point for the majority of the collectors. I would have never known about it not being all on card and couldn’t have possibly been expected to check the comments for something as gamechanging/product-breaking as this.


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