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Rare Inserts in ’12-13 Contenders Basketball Gaining Secondary-Market Steam

January 16, 2013

Kobe Hall of Fame Contenders

There are no autographs on them, no massive swatches of multicolored memorabilia in them and no tell-tale sequential numbering behind them. Simply, they’re  nicely designed base inserts with cool photography and subtle foil touches. But after a few weeks of 2012-13 Contenders Basketball being on the market, it would appear that hoops collectors across the country are finally starting to realize the needle-in-a-haystack scarcity of the set’s Hall of Fame Contenders and Throwback Rookie inserts.

It’s a point not lost on those folks who’ve contacted Panini America recently in hopes of finding out just how tough these cards are to pull. For the record, they’re extremely rare. The Hall of Fame Contenders were inserted roughly one in every 409 packs; the Throwback Rookies fall one in every 273 packs.

Those ratios have led to relatively substantial secondary-market prices being paid for the cards in these sets, prices rarely seen for base insert cards. A Vince Carter Hall of Fame Contenders recently sold for $100 while cards of Carmelo Anthony ($90), Shaquille O’Neal ($81) and Allen Iverson ($70.98) have all surpassed the $70 barrier. Throwback Rookies of Kobe Bryant ($80) and LeBron James ($76.77) have sold at similar levels.

But given how infrequently these cards are surfacing on the secondary (there are many from both sets that have yet to appear), those prices could pale in comparison to the sales to come.

Stay tuned.

Nash Throwback Contenders

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Aaron Mitchell permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:12 am

    I like what you guys are doing Tracy great work : )

  2. tim permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:17 am

    is there any cards of KD for these 🙂

  3. hudsonfan15 permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:17 am

    These both look to be excellent sets to chase, unnumbered SPs are always a good “added value” to any box. Thanks Tracy!

  4. Nick Gauder permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:28 am

    That’s great to know! I was going to buy a box of Contenders this weekend so now I know if I pull one of those inserts, I have something special! Keep up the great work Panini!

  5. Eric Cabreros permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:30 am

    That’s about the love of the cards! That is why collectors are on pursue of the cool release Of Panini Contenders! Great news for Panini and collectors! Loving these trend Tracy!

  6. Bryan permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:35 am

    A lot of people probably didn’t realize what they had. It seems a card has to be numbered anymore for most people to care. Contenders is always full of great surprises. It’s a fun scavenger hunt every time you open a box. Should we expect the same in football too?

  7. Jordan Gramm permalink
    January 16, 2013 12:21 pm

    These are some of my favorite blog post Tracy! I like seeing what current and past cards have sold for. Keep it coming!

  8. Jamey permalink
    January 16, 2013 12:23 pm

    Clap-clap-clap Thank you, Panini, for re-introducing the concept of the chase card element. You nailed it in the first paragraph, Hackler. Box-busters are always looking for the multi-color swatch with auto /25 or less. The well designed NON-memorabilia card that is highly sought after…nearly extinct. As a previous post states; keep up the great work, it is entirely appreciated!

  9. Travis Stevens permalink
    January 16, 2013 1:17 pm

    Tracy, you should do a blog contest where you solicit ideas from readers for a non-auto, non-jersey insert concept. Then, narrow down to the top 3 (doable) concepts for each sport and have everyone vote on them. All nominees get prizes, top vote-getters get better prizes. Let’s get some creative juices flowing!

  10. January 16, 2013 3:14 pm

    I like when card companies throw added “bonus” cards into the boxes (even the chance for one at long odds). It really helps with the value you receive or perceive in a box.

  11. gregmalloy permalink
    January 16, 2013 4:07 pm

    I like the rookie throwback’s I’m a fan of great players with a new RC. card I’m gonna try to get a few from this set as well. It would of been cool if You guys had added an auto version inserted 1:3800 packs or so just a ruff estimate!! Great chase anyhow! It’s been a good year for inserts I hope this year stays strong.
    — Good stuff PANINI!

  12. Andy P. permalink
    January 16, 2013 7:42 pm

    Is there a reason these were changed from what was posted Nov. 6th?

    “In addition, the product also includes a pair of base insert sets with extremely long odds in Hall of Fame Contenders (one in 20 cases) and Throwback Rookie Tickets (one in 13 cases).”

    Perhaps the sales have been solid because people thought they were much much more short printed than they are.

    • January 16, 2013 8:36 pm

      Good question and good point, Andy. Original plans called for those odds but were adjusted by Product Development as the product went through the development process.

      • Andy P. permalink
        January 16, 2013 11:47 pm

        Thanks for your reply and I understand that happens, but man, is that tough.
        I see a card from that set listed and I buy it for a good amount of money under the assumption it’s a very rare card and then boom, turns out it’s not that rare and every sale after that goes for cheaper because now people know it’s not a 20-case hit. The difference in rarity between a card being 1 in 20 cases, to a card being 1 in 2 cases is quit a large one.

        In the future can we be updated when big changes like this are made? As a collector it would make it much easier.

      • January 17, 2013 7:17 am

        I completely see where you’re coming from, Andy. But a quick search on eBay will reveal that these cards are really difficult to find either way.

  13. Dave permalink
    January 17, 2013 3:47 pm

    That’s a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge difference though, I’m gonna do some Howard Stern math here. If there are 20 packs in a box, and there are 12 boxes in a case… carry the one, that means there are 240 packs per case. 240 packs times 18 cases= collectors now have to search 4320 less packs to find them. I think this does call for some explanation. I appreciate your fairness in receiving criticism but if Panini dropped the ball on this, they should just admit it, not too big a deal but honesty is key.

  14. Gareth B permalink
    January 17, 2013 5:47 pm

    Really not on, would be great if they were inserted at the originall odds 1:20 cases you really cant see the difference from a collecters point point of view, 18 cases difference, I jumped on the chance to buy a Ben wallace Hall of Fame insert being no autos included yet with Panini, guess once the actual insert rate was realeased that why i was able to pick it up for $6 on ebay, give it two weeks and we might see the real value of the cards, really could have got this right at the start and would have avoid all of this.
    just my 2 cents from a collector from New Zealand

  15. deloreanfan81 permalink
    January 18, 2013 5:27 pm

    i luv putting insert sets as much as hits sets…great guys !

  16. Eric Cabreros permalink
    February 8, 2013 2:05 pm

    Got The Beauty Of KEvin Durant!


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