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Out of the Box: Panini America’s Sneak Peek Insert Gives Game-Worn Kicks a New Home

September 2, 2014

Panini America 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball Sneak Peek Main (1)

If the shoe fits, you don’t always wear it. Sometimes when the shoe fits — even barely — you make history with it. And when the shoes that barely fit also happen to have been worn by iconic NBA superstars in a game, well, you create something the likes of which card collectors have never seen — and you shout it from the mountaintops. That’s the genesis of Panini America’s Sneak Peek insert that will debut in next Wednesday’s release of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball.

It’s a quite extraordinary accomplishment, this Sneak Peek insert; and one for which there were no footsteps to follow. So Panini America officials from multiple departments walked the most extensive game-worn sneaker insert in hobby history from idea to reality. The results, as you’ll see in the gallery below, speak for themselves and that’s good — because you’ll likely be left speechless.

“The idea to create the Sneak Peek memorabilia cards came while we were looking at a pair of Kobe Bryant game-worn sneakers in the Panini Authentic memorabilia room,” said Jim Stefano, Panini America’s Senior Director of Product Development. “NBA players, more so than any other athletes, wear sneakers that reflect their personalities. Their sneakers are an extension of who they are. It’s all about the swag.”

That swag, of course, takes various forms. Shaquille O’Neal’s Reebok Pumps. Blake Griffin’s Jordans. Kobe’s Kobes. Larry Johnson’s Converse Reacts. LeBron’s Nike Lebron Xs. It was one thing to create a wishlist of game-worn sneakers to target for Sneak Peek; it was another thing altogether more complex to actually acquire them and then figure out how best to incorporate them into a trading card.

But Panini America acquisitions officials worked their relationships with exclusive and non-exclusives athletes alike to turn a wishlist into a checklist; from there, the game-worn sneakers made their way through Panini America HQ, with each department — Product Development, Production, Design — helping shape the masterful finished product.

“This was truly a great experience to develop and execute with the various departments within Panini America,” Stefano said. “It was a true team effort that resulted in one of the most singularly spectacular sets of trading cards ever created. The sheer amount of different swatch colors, materials and patterns is a unique and exciting development for the entire trading card category. We believe these cards will not only be sought after by basketball collectors but by sneaker heads as well.”

In the gallery that follows, we showcase most of the bona fide history-makers that comprise the 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball Sneak Peek insert. You can check out some additional images from the set by checking out our friends at Kicks On Fire and Beckett. Enjoy the images and stay tuned to The Knight’s Lance for continued coverage.

46 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian K. permalink
    September 2, 2014 12:02 pm

    God, those are unreasonably cool!

  2. September 2, 2014 12:22 pm

    As if Immaculate couldn’t raise the bar any more. Best…Set…EVER

  3. Oliver puppel permalink
    September 2, 2014 12:25 pm

    The cards look great, but I can’t get past the shaky-blue-marker 1/1 on the front. Cards of this caliber deserve to be stamped. But good job otherwise!

  4. BarcaFan1033 permalink
    September 2, 2014 12:30 pm

    Never been a fan of shoe cards in the past, but these are done the right way. Highlighting the signature aspects of the shoe and the personalized aspects from each player is a nice touch. Great looking cards.

  5. September 2, 2014 12:34 pm

    Man those are tight!!!!

  6. Austin permalink
    September 2, 2014 12:51 pm

    These are awesome!

  7. Alex permalink
    September 2, 2014 12:53 pm

    I have been waiting forever for someone to do a set like this. Looks awesome!

  8. September 2, 2014 12:55 pm

    I would like to see how they cut the shoes to get all the different pieces. Is it a special cutter/machine you had to use?

  9. Lindas1st permalink
    September 2, 2014 1:00 pm

    Finally got MJ in a Panini basketball product. 😉
    Seriously, great job guys.

  10. September 2, 2014 1:44 pm

    Those cards are so increble that you could think there is a shoe popping out of the card any minute!

  11. September 2, 2014 2:33 pm

    These are amazing! Hope one of my customers pulls the David Robinson auto shoe.

  12. September 2, 2014 2:36 pm

    Oh my good GD that is an outrageous gallery. A shoe-in for “Memorabilia Cards of the Year,” that is truly extraordinary outside the box design & production.
    What Panini has brought to the industry in terms of design, production values, printing and construction technologies, and a complete re-imagining and dramatically enhanced “collector experience” cannot be overstated.
    Like so many on the TKL, I have been collecting since childhood; 35 years. While collectors may not appreciate the number of products released per season or the a given product’s design identity, one cannot dispute the fact that Panini has completely altered the collecting landscape… certainly for the better.

  13. JSB permalink
    September 2, 2014 2:44 pm

    can’t talk—losing conciousnessssssssssssss

  14. Andrew permalink
    September 2, 2014 3:24 pm

    Are these going to be redemptions that are immediately ready to be shipped?

  15. Nick Gauder permalink
    September 2, 2014 3:32 pm

    Amazing!!!!!!! You guys just raised the bar again! This will be a set that is chased forever! Great job Panini. I only wish I bought more than 2 boxes now!

  16. antdavis23 permalink
    September 2, 2014 4:39 pm

    hi tracy,

    any anthony davis shoe cards? or none ?

    • antdavis23 permalink
      September 2, 2014 5:09 pm

      sorry i saw it now! great…. any other players that you havent revealed ?

  17. September 2, 2014 4:55 pm

    Sooo, since I’ll probably never get a chance to try for myself……Does the “Pump” ball still work? I know there’s nothing to inflate, but does it still function? Looks like it does. Awesome set!

  18. Brian T. permalink
    September 2, 2014 4:58 pm

    Yo Tracy, is this coming out this Friday or was it pushed to next week? I’ve been seeing a few places say this is next week now. Not a big deal, but just curious. Looking forward to this so it just makes the wait a bit harder if it is next week.

    • September 2, 2014 5:28 pm

      Hey, Brian. Just got confirmation that 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball will be live next Wednesday, September 10.

  19. James Burke permalink
    September 2, 2014 5:33 pm

    No words can describe how freaking awesome those cards are!! P.S I need the Shaq pump card.

  20. antdavis23 permalink
    September 2, 2014 8:15 pm

    tracy one more thing, is that really final? like a pen marking its 1/1 or 1/2 ? 😦

  21. Jackie Martling permalink
    September 2, 2014 10:13 pm

    Those are hands-down the coolest cards I’ve ever seen….

  22. Josh B. permalink
    September 2, 2014 10:45 pm

    This may be the best game used set of all time…

  23. djdavyb permalink
    September 3, 2014 5:30 am

    Innovation at it’s Finest…. and THIS is why I say “PANINI PACKS THE PUNCH!” This set is amazing! Amazing at what YOU can do with cards now a days! WTG Panini!

  24. September 3, 2014 6:09 am

    I’m truly at a loss for words with this set, my only hope is that they spread across all sports. How great would cleats versions of these be? Thanks Tracy!

  25. Lebron permalink
    September 3, 2014 2:56 pm

    These are really amazing! I am a sneakerhead and a card collector so game used cards like these are absolutely awesome! The only minus is how to write a limit…It would be great if the limit will be a silver stamp 1 of 1 like always…and this hand made 1/1 symbol wrote by blue ink is weak.

    The second thing is why the is 1/1 when there are 3-4 the same cards? I hate fake limits..
    The same photo, the same card and many 1/1’s….

  26. September 4, 2014 11:33 am

    Hey when is the realease day and what time ?

  27. September 4, 2014 12:08 pm

    It will be in the website panini america right ?

  28. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    September 4, 2014 3:50 pm


  29. September 10, 2014 8:17 am

    At what time are you guys releasing the shoe cards ?

    • September 10, 2014 11:19 am

      They’re randomly inserted in packs of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball, which goes live today.

      • September 10, 2014 11:25 am

        I know but what time ? Can’t tell me ?

      • September 10, 2014 3:33 pm

        Depends on where you live and what hobby shops are in your area. The product is live in North America today.

  30. September 10, 2014 11:27 am

    Yeah but at what time ?

  31. November 29, 2015 4:40 am

    I am really happy to glance at this weblog posts which consists
    of tons of useful data, thanks for providing these kinds of data.

  32. August 25, 2016 4:31 am

    If there’s anyone with the larry johnson sneek peeks.i will pay over $700US for any of the 4 or 5 there is.
    My email is


  1. Inside Immaculate: Panini America Surveys More from 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball | The Official Panini America Blog
  2. Teaser Gallery: Panini America Cracks Early Boxes of 2013-14 Immaculate Basketball | The Official Panini America Blog
  3. Shoe-In for Set of the Year: A Master Gallery of Immaculate Basketball’s Sneak Peek | The Official Panini America Blog
  4. What About A Sneaker Only Collectible Product?

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