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Inside Innovation: Panini America Sneaks a Peek at 2012-13 Innovation Basketball

August 27, 2013

Innovation Main

Frankly speaking, it takes a certain amount of conviction — and a great deal of confidence — to name a product “Innovation.” So when the Panini America NBA Product Development team announced plans earlier this year to produce 2012-13 Innovation Basketball, it raised a few eyebrows. After all, there’s a certain expectation — and no small amount of added pressure — that tends to piggyback such a name.

Simply put, a product named “Innovation” better darn well deliver some. The good news: Judging by the early glimpse into 2012-13 Innovation Basketball that we got earlier today, the innovation is there — and it’s innovation that you can see, feel and, ultimately, appreciate.

In this collecting era of acetate renaissance, Innovation raises the bar with the unique Stained Glass insert that presents the NBA’s biggest stars and rookies in a whole new light. You can see exactly what we mean in the gallery that follows. In addition to sharing images of the cards in normal light, we also placed a few of them on the light table back in prepress to illustrate the full effect.

2012-13 Innovation Basketball also includes the aptly named Innovative Ink autograph insert that delivers a mesmerizing design against gold and silver paint-pen signatures. We preview a few of those in the gallery below, too.

Enjoy this sneak peek and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance in the coming days for the complete Quality Control Gallery that profiles even more innovation to come when the product releases next Wednesday.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2013 4:14 pm

    Whoa. Those look pretty sweet. Immaculate, Intrigue, Innovation.

  2. Matt permalink
    August 27, 2013 4:18 pm

    The cards look great. The question I have to ask, will it be stuffed with $.99 rc autos?

  3. August 27, 2013 4:19 pm

    I am kinda liking the looks of these. Good Job Panini.
    Is there a check list ?

  4. ekalb permalink
    August 27, 2013 4:21 pm

    These are awesome! Hopefully you release something similar for an NFL release! BTW I cannot wait for the new 2013-2014 NBA releases to start coming out with Steven Adams!!

  5. Sean permalink
    August 27, 2013 4:23 pm

    No offense Tracy, but It would be more innovative to call it a 2013-14 product, how much longer can you milk the dual rookie class?

  6. ThePinoyMamba Eric/Joshua permalink
    August 27, 2013 4:25 pm

    The Autos Looks Nice! GOLD and Silver on a black background always will turn out
    I dont like the glass. It reminds me of Church which is where the pictures of God, Saints are on.
    So this is actually very offensive its good that there is a preview
    So it could get taken out before it blows over.
    Just saying

    • PinoyKD35 permalink
      August 27, 2013 5:25 pm

      yeah looks like those in the cathedral or something..

    • PinoyKingJames permalink
      August 28, 2013 12:50 pm

      Also very offended!
      But I cant resist!
      Panini has delivered another winner!
      Thanks Tracy!

    • J.J. Rodriguez permalink
      August 29, 2013 10:58 am

      Why should it be taken out? Panini is just showing what inserts they are releasing for Innovation.

  7. PinoyKD35 permalink
    August 27, 2013 4:29 pm

    this looks good, looks great
    gold and silver ink rocks..
    hope you have some short printed ink also? like emerald and ruby
    all on card.. hopefully KD is not a redemption
    Kyries and Kobes are live..
    and these will be a masterpiece!

    where are the patches?

  8. bball auto cards permalink
    August 27, 2013 5:27 pm

    The Staind glass cards look rad! I hope some of them get autos!

  9. August 27, 2013 6:33 pm

    Those stained glass cards are awesome! Would be great to collect the whole subset and sandwich them between uv protecive glass and shove them on a lightbox!

  10. August 27, 2013 7:41 pm

    I’ve always liked the gold ink on black background signatures in any product. Really different from the traditional sticker or “blue sig on white background” card.

  11. August 28, 2013 5:46 am

    Those stained glass looking cards are great, thanks for the preview Tracy!

  12. Jamey Feuer permalink
    August 28, 2013 6:46 am

    The gold & silver autos possess a certain “Lustrous” and Panini “Black” feel to them. They are beautifully rendered and the metallic ink pops off the background. However, I too feel that the double-rookie class has been exhausted. The market for a select few players will always be strong, but collectors aren’t going to drop larger sums on Alexy Shved, Udonis Haslem, Greg Stiemsma, or Marshon Brooks ‘graphs because the “packaging” has changed. There does come a tipping point where there are simply too many “rookie autos,” and with several notable exceptions the long-since retired athletes generally garner meager sums. And, while I am in no way “offended” by the stained glass cards, which happen to be quite nice, they seem a curious fit with this product.

    What’s the MSRP & how many autos per now, Tracy?

  13. Ryan permalink
    August 28, 2013 7:37 am

    I agree that the stained glass cards are a little offensive.

  14. Nick Gauder permalink
    August 28, 2013 7:41 am

    I think it Innovation looks amazing! I can’t wait to see more pics, keep up the great work Panini!

  15. Alex permalink
    August 28, 2013 1:22 pm

    I don’t like the stained glass insert cards because they truly do clash with religion, putting basketball players in a symbol of the Church and God kind of bothers me. Also I’m tired of the double rookie class and I cant really buy any of the product because its all “High end” and the prices are way above my budget, I can’t even collect my PC Dion Waiters Because its still like $5+ for base cards. When there is this much “High-End” product it all starts to mush together and become very similar products, please tell me this is all just because of the Double Rookie Class please tell me there will be Less “High-End’ Product next year, because there is too much product, no one on a collector budget can get all of it, I think Panini would do better to just improve and load up a few products instead of 20 products that I can’t afford. I’ve honestly turned to collecting baseball because its a cheaper investment and I still get cool cards I enjoy. To be honest I’m just gonna assume that there is no retail for Innovation Basketball considering I didn’t even see a base card in the Gallery.

    I will be happy when 13-14 Hoops comes, but sadly for now, basketball cards are over for me. (Even when Hoops comes out with double the retail price of last year… I will still be torn between buying some…) Michael Carter Williams will have me buying his cards but that might be my limit to buying basketball cards.

    Its out of control, Prices are Sky High, Cards are overproduced, Products are everywhere, and its losing my interest.

    • Alex permalink
      August 28, 2013 1:27 pm

      I’m sorry if that sounded rude, I didn’t mean any disrespect to anyone there at Panini . I just love Panini so much I really wanted to share some opinion and hope that something changes. I am very excited to see what comes for 2013-14.

  16. August 28, 2013 2:30 pm

    I like the paint marker sigs on the black background. They really pop even though they kinda look like they are signed on hockey pucks

  17. Javie permalink
    August 28, 2013 10:05 pm

    I don’t consider the stained glass cards sacrilegious but I have to question Panini’s claim of “innovation” in repeating a design already done by another company over 10 years ago.

    • Jamey Feuer permalink
      August 29, 2013 2:22 pm

      Javie, yes. Topps released a Stained Glass insert within their ’99 “Gallery” releases. I pointed that out as well, though the technology used in Innovation is clearly superior to the “Tim Duncan Gallery of Heroes” insert I pulled just prior to the turn of the Millenium.

  18. Scott permalink
    August 29, 2013 7:36 am

    Please let this be the last 2012-13 set.

  19. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    August 30, 2013 5:18 am

    The autographs make me drool

  20. timcardaway permalink
    September 3, 2013 11:40 am

    MSRP $100 – 2 autographs and 1 memorabilia per box


  1. The Panini America Quality Control Gallery: 2012-13 Innovation Basketball (117 Images) | The Official Panini America Blog
  2. 2012-13 Innovation Basketball Group Case Break | IBCC
  3. Find the Hidden Panini America Knight for Chance to Win a Three-Box Prize Pack | The Official Panini America Blog

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