11 January 2016

Pack of the Day 116: 2015-16 Panini Complete Basketball

I did kind of a dumb thing. I knew it was dumb, but I did it anyway because I really wanted to open up some new cards. I went to Target and bought some retail packs. I got a couple of newer packs, like this 2015-16 Panini Complete Basketball pack, and I got a repack full of older baseball packs. As per the usual when buying retail, I got a whole lot of nothing for my collection out of the stuff I bought and came away feeling like I had wasted my money. I guess every so often I have to go and buy some retail packs to remind myself why I don't buy retail packs. At least I'll get some blog posts out of it. 

Panini Complete has a large checklist and a cheap price point with a minimum of parallels, inserts, and hits. This 5-card pack cost 99 cents. Gold parallels fall one per box, inserts overall fall about one per box, and autographs are a case hit. Packs without Gold, inserts, or autographs contain a Silver parallel. The card stock is super-thin, probably thinner than the Archives baseball card stock from last year. Neither side of the cards is glossy, and there is no foil to be found. Design-wise the cards seem all right, with nice action photos on the fronts. I'm a person who likes to see a player's position listed on the front of a card, but that's my only design gripe.

My Silver parallel is Austin Rivers of the L.A. Clippers. The card backs look kind of like every other basketball card back that Panini does. I like the little blurb on the back, but I dislike that you only get one year of stats and a career stat line. I want all the stats on the back.

There's not much else to say about this product. I guess it could be fun for set builders, but to be honest I would rather build a set that's got a little more going on, like Hoops or Donruss. This set might be taking the minimalist thing a little too far. For $8 more I can get a box of last year's Donruss from Dave & Adam's Card World with 3 autographs or memorabilia cards and a ton of inserts and parallels to go along with my base cards. A box of Complete has 36 packs as opposed to Donruss with 24 packs, but the Donruss packs have three more cards in them. Those extra cards per pack swing the cards per box ratio in Donruss' favor, with 192 cards to Complete's 180.

I'd like to see something with a little more flash to it. My vision would be a robust checklist with similar parallels to the Upper Deck Collector's Choice sets alongside some decent and exciting inserts like recent Topps Opening Day baseball sets. That would draw me in more than the partial checklist that this set has. Panini Complete is far from being a complete reflection of the NBA rosters this year. Expand the checklist and give me some fun inserts and I'll revisit this product.

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