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The Books of Love: Panini America Previews 2011 Preferred Basketball’s Booklet Bliss

March 2, 2012

This morning, in the far back corner of the Panini America production facility (to the left of all the heavy machinery that prints, cuts, stamps, shrink wraps and otherwise wows me every single time I go), I watched as our NBA brand managers, Keith Hower and Wes Elliott, put the finishing touches on the hand-collation process for 2011 Preferred Basketball.

OK, so “watched” might not be the most accurate word. I ogled. And the fact that this particular part of the production process was being conducted  in a high-security cage spoke volumes about the precious nature of what was on the other side of the fence.

For the record, it was every card slated for insertion in Preferred, including a presidential library’s worth of what no doubt will become some of the best-selling basketball books of all time; a supreme cache of majestic, multi-colored marvels that will fall one per box in the highly anticipated debut of the product.

Amid all of the Preferred previews we’ve shared to date, this morning was the first time I’d been lucky enough to lay my eyes on the booklets. And for me at least, the wait was well worth it and — in concert with the autographed Silhouettes, Panini’s Choice Awards and Preferred Signatures cards — served to crystallize the unbridled potential of this new product.

You can spend some quality time with a few good books in the gallery that follows. And stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance next week for additional coverage from today’s pre-packout process, including exclusive video.

45 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2012 1:44 pm

    I am not a basketball collector any more but if I were to be drawn back in this is exactly the type of product that would do it. Truly a phenomenal effort, I cannot wait to see these live!

  2. Jin permalink
    March 2, 2012 1:48 pm


  3. Lee Patton permalink
    March 2, 2012 1:49 pm

    Wow, those are cool!

  4. March 2, 2012 1:50 pm

    Mind boggling.

  5. Matt Gilman permalink
    March 2, 2012 1:50 pm

    Really sweet booklets! These look amazing!

  6. March 2, 2012 2:02 pm

    Truly awesome product! I love it, and I cannot wait to open some packs of this stuff.
    Book cards are awesome and I want to see more of them for legends, stars, and fan favorites. Tracy: can you check for me? Why is Tayshuan Prince not in the enlarged HOOPS lineup for Panini, and I dont see him again in this product either. It doesnt seem like he has ever signed for Panini. Im just a big Tayshaun player collector and wish he was available in the products. I have seen a couple great low numbered cards and patch cards of him, but no graphs.

  7. March 2, 2012 2:14 pm

    Today, I’m buying bibs for my customers in anticipation of the large amount of drool for the release of Preferred!

  8. March 2, 2012 2:14 pm

    Get the paddles, my heart just stopped!!!!

  9. March 2, 2012 2:15 pm

    These are some beatiful cards! You guys have done a great job with these cards. Well done!


  10. Hoopsman permalink
    March 2, 2012 2:37 pm

    Looks to gimmicky……….just give us good quality cards. That’s all we ask for.

  11. Jamey permalink
    March 2, 2012 2:38 pm

    Hey Hackler…. will there be any rookies in the product?

    • Scott Edblom permalink
      March 2, 2012 6:49 pm

      Quick answer – no. Unlike Hoops however, I understand their omission because this is truly a niche product. $200 a pack, all cards have on-card autographs (except the booklets) and no such thing as a common base card. This product should do very well and I applaud Panini for undertaking such a mammoth effort. But… we still need Hoops rookies!

      • March 2, 2012 10:20 pm

        Appreciate the comments, Scott. One minor correction: All Silhouettes and Panini’s Choice Cards are on-card. The Preferred Signatures will utilize stickers. But the majority of the autos in this set will be on-card.

      • Jamey permalink
        March 3, 2012 8:12 am

        Scott-Thanks for the information. Totally agree that this product is an enormously undertaking with many moving parts. I am suitably awed by the richness of the content.
        Hoops lol, we’ll have to put it in the hands of the U.N Security Council…or just agree that like so many things in our hobby, it’s a subjective things.
        Best Scott!

  12. March 2, 2012 2:41 pm

    Oh wow….. o.0 That’s all I can say. Those are AMAZING

  13. March 2, 2012 3:09 pm

    Awesome patches, but are there autographed versions?

  14. Daniel Patino permalink
    March 2, 2012 4:27 pm

    I would be way pumped if these were autoed

  15. March 2, 2012 4:29 pm

    is Jeremy Lin on any of those? lol

  16. Brady permalink
    March 2, 2012 4:34 pm

    What jersey is the Jkidd in the next to last picture? Doesn’t match the Mavs Jerseys..

  17. March 2, 2012 4:51 pm

    do you know what’s going on with the wall/cousins/bledsoe elite black box autos? how about the signature patches from NT 10-11? i’ve been waiting on these redemptions. please let me know if there’s a way to contact u or if u have an update

  18. March 2, 2012 5:59 pm

    Sheed? 🙂

  19. Alex permalink
    March 2, 2012 7:59 pm

    Tracy I appreciate all the feedback it’s awesome to actually have a point of contact. I have a quick question? Have special are the “Artists Proof” cards? Are they limited?

    • March 2, 2012 10:20 pm

      My pleasure, man. I believe the Artist’s Proofs in Hoops are seeded two per hobby box.

      • Alex permalink
        March 2, 2012 11:00 pm

        Cool, would you happen to know if there is a limit of Artist Proof per player? Only reason I ask is cuz I just pulled a Jeremy Lin artist proof and wondering if I should get excited lol

      • March 3, 2012 12:11 am

        I don’t know the quantity for each player, but I’ll ask. Either way, that is definitely something to get excited about.

  20. March 2, 2012 9:21 pm

    You could win the Pulitzer for stuff like that. Wish there were a couple of autos thrown in though.

    • March 2, 2012 10:22 pm

      You are far too kind, Kevin. But I appreciate you. Understand the desire for autographed booklets, but it gives us something to shoot for next time. Speaking of, we’ll be showing off many of the autographs in this product early next week.

  21. March 2, 2012 10:47 pm

    When does it actually come out?

  22. March 2, 2012 11:36 pm

    I haven’t been a fan of the Booklet concept in the past, but I’d be lying if I said those cards didn’t look great & intriguing. Looking forward to the Preferred coverage coming next week.

    Semi-OT: will a Hoops checklist be available online eventually?

    • March 3, 2012 12:12 am

      If there’s not one on the site now, I’ll get it posted next week.

      • March 3, 2012 11:17 am

        It doesn’t appear to be on Thanks!

  23. March 3, 2012 4:02 am

    oh my goodness! Booklet Galore! *drools*

  24. March 3, 2012 12:44 pm

    Those look amazing. Ultra Pro needs to make a long one touch case that would display the books opened…

    • Jamey permalink
      March 3, 2012 2:16 pm

      I have never actually seen a case that permits booklets to be displayed in all their bi-fold glory. If anybody knows of such a product, I have a 1 of 1 Starlin Castro auto patch booklet that is screaming to be seen.

  25. deloreanfan81 permalink
    March 3, 2012 5:07 pm

    nasty use of patches…not a b-ball guy but worth a shot at a chance of pulling one of these booklets, might have to grab a box

  26. danny hutchens permalink
    March 8, 2012 10:51 pm

    definitely will purchase several boxes of this product. i only wish, being a west virginia boy, that jerry west was in this product.


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  2. Panini America Provides Final Packout Peek at 2011 Preferred Basketball’s Penmanship « The Official Panini America Blog

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