Welcome back to Retail Therapy, a blog series where we like to venture down to our local retailer and snag some of those trading card hangers and blaster boxes that are too irresistible pass up! We all know the drill – the odds of a big hit aren’t nearly as good as buying a hobby box at your local card shop or online, but when you’ve got the urge to rip a few packs, convenience is king!
This time around we’re taking a look at 2018-19 Panini Chronicles Basketball. Chronicles has become Panini’s catch-all set for all of the basketball products and set designs of years past that didn’t get their own release during a calendar year. If you missed opening products from sets such as Panini Marquee, Studio, Luminance, Gala, and Crusade, you’ll find loads of rookie cards that utilize these set designs and many more. It truly is one of the most fun and interesting breaks in all of the basketball trading card world, offering a much different experience focused on collecting and enjoying the hobby first.
This product is absolutely dominated by rookie cards. In our five hanger packs, roughly 80% of all of the cards we pulled had an RC logo on them. There are 21 different insert sub-sets with unique designs that are entirely composed of rookie cards to be found within Chronicles. Yes, that means for some of the more popular rookies (such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young) there are 22 different rookie cards to be found.
The only non-rookie cards to be found in the product are either autographed cards, or from the 100-card Chronicles base set. The base set is the only real low point of the product, as the design is ironically hideous in contrast to all of the other great sets found within the product:
Even though the base set is nothing to write home about, there are some gorgeous looking cards in this product. It would have been very easy and somewhat forgivable for Panini to save money by printing all the different sets on the same card stock, or cheaper card stock than the original sets, but they didn’t do that. They also did an excellent job curating and choosing which past sets to feature in the product. Crusade and Luminance stand out as being our favorites.
All-in-all in our five hangers, we saw a total of 13 of the designs featured as shown in the picture above. And yes, that is in fact six different Michael Porter Jr. rookie cards! Having so many rookie cards in this product will dilute the value of these cards, and none will be able to compete with the more desirable Prizm Basketball RC’s of the world, but for those collectors looking to bolster their collection, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better product to fill up your binders and boxes. Younger collectors less focused on the value of their cards will be over the moon with this product.
In five hanger packs we did not see an autograph or relic, and our only numbered card was this Classics Allonzo Trier Purple parallel numbered to 49. However, the real fun is just enjoying this product for what it is, rather than searching out the big hits. You will likely not make your money back opening retail Chronicles products, but as long as you go into opening the product knowing that, your experience will be substantially better.
Now hobby products of this set are a different story – with two autographs falling per box from an autograph checklist that features everything from legends (Kobe, Dirk), to retired fan-favorites and stars (Sean Elliot, Marcus Camby), to active players and of course, plenty of rookies.
That said, with each hobby box you’re only going to get six packs with eight cards each, so a $100+ hobby box is going to only yield 18 more cards than a $10 hanger pack. If you’re trying to put together a particular set found in Chronicles, or stash a pile of rookie cards for a few years or decades, retail products area actually the better option. That’s what makes this product so unique.
Of course, there is no better option than simply buying the 2018-19 Panini Chronicles cards that you want on the COMC Marketplace! We have over 2,500 unique Chronicles cards in stock, and any cards you see in this blog, or any retail therapy blog for that matter can be found in our COMC_Breakhits account.
Until next time, see ya’ in the card aisle!