23 September 2016

Contested Shots 15: A Preferred Prize from Panini

Every few weeks, the official Panini blog, The Knight's Lance, holds a 'Where Is It?' contest. They provide a link to several photo galleries where they have hidden a handful of logos in among the pictures. The challenge is to find all of the hidden logos and leave a comment with the answers by the deadline, usually two or three days out. Lately it seems like there have been between 5 and 15 prizes given away with around 125 participants, so the odds are pretty good.

In March I won an Odell Beckham Jr. relic card from National Treasures Football. In the most recent contest I won a box of 2015-16 Panini Preferred Basketball. It arrived today, and I had a hard time keeping myself from pretending to be sick so I could leave work early.

This is one of those high-end trading card products that I normally couldn't just go out and buy. Both Dave & Adam's Card World and Blowout Cards have these on sale for $205.95 as of this writing. Each box contains 2 packs with 2 cards. The wording on the side of the box says, "Find 2 on-card autographs numbered to 99 or less and 2 memorabilia booklets in every box, on average!"

Here are the two packs. They are relatively shiny and rather thick, since they each contain a booklet card and another card.

Here is one of the booklets I got. It's a Playbook Rookie Jumbo Relics card of Jahlil Okafor. He's one of the recent big-name draft picks going to the black hole that is the Philadelphia 76ers. It's a pretty cool booklet, numbered # 071 / 199. It is the base version, with very rare Prime and Super Prime versions available for some players.

My second booklet is also a Playbook Rookie Jumbo Relics base version featuring Jazz forward Trey Lyles. He's not necessarily a big name, and I don't think the Jazz have really had a superstar player since Karl Malone and John Stockton left the team. This one is numbered # 132 / 199.

My first on-card autograph is Milwaukee Bucks guard Rashad Vaughn. This isn't the greatest pull in the world, but it's on-card and numbered # 59 /99. So far the eBay value on this box of cards is around $25, with the majority of that being tied up in the Jahlil Okafor booklet. Luckily for me, this was a contest prize, so I am playing with house money. 

My final card in the box is a pretty darn good one, a Silhouettes Prime Autograph of Grant Hill. It's numbered # 17 / 25 and has an on-card autograph and a multi-colored relic swatch with a bit of patchwork in the upper right corner of the window as well as a little bit of patch peeking out behind Hill's right shoulder. Grant Hill was one of my PC players when I was young and heavily into basketball cards, so I am tempted to keep this card in my collection.

Based on my hasty calculations, this card single-handedly brought this box from 'big loser' to 'average,' based on an acquisition cost of $206. The first three cards in the box are worth about $25 total, or just over 12% of the box cost. Based on the average of all four eBay sales for this card, I brought the box total up to $173 in cards, or 84% of the box cost. Depending on sales, you could wind up winning or losing on the $206 price, with losing a few dollars being the most likely outcome. I know collecting isn't all about numbers (I know I'm not getting rich off of this hobby), but I like to gauge how well a box lives up to its price tag. I am glad that the big hit in the box happens to be a PC guy for me.

I think it's pretty nifty that Panini runs these contests. I enjoy the scavenger hunts quite a bit, and thirty minutes to an hour of my time searching through card galleries has been a decent use of my time so far. It's not like I wouldn't be looking at cards online anyway. Thank you to Panini and Tracy Hackler for running these contests!


  1. Way cool. I have to start participating in this contests! Preferred is a brand I'll never be able to afford a box of, so that would have been a huge thrill for me. And I'm obe of only a few people I know of who like the jersey design the patch is from in the Hill.

    1. It really is worthwhile to participate. The hidden pictures can be hard to find, but it's kind of fun to look for them. I never could have justified buying a box of Preferred on my own, so winning one was really exciting. I think I am neutral on that jersey design. It makes for cool patches on trading cards.

  2. Congrats, I hope you feel better, hehheehe

  3. Congrats! I don't follow basketball, but Grant Hill is one name I am familiar with.

    1. Thanks! Grant Hill's draft class was one of the very first rookie classes I paid much attention to as a collector. I remember being stoked at pulling his Upper Deck RC from a pack.