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