2010-2011 Panini Timeless Treasures Basketball Review

Now that the cards have all been packed up and shipped out to the winners of our One Year Anniversary Contest (not to be confused with the other 3-4 contests we’ve held lately), it’s time to take a closer look and actually review this high end product.

Sure, we got the box (er, tin) for free courtesy of Tracey Hackler and Panini America but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to be honest and objective about it all.  The real question should be (and is) “How pleased would we be if we plunked down the nearly $100 for 5-6 card product?”


Here we find the normal base set.  The fact that there are only 3 of the 100-card base set in the box, and that they’re all numbered out of 399 says quite a bit about how many tins were produced.  I bring this up for two reasons.  1) The base set should either not exist or not be this large.  I would limit it to 50 or so.  I say a high-end product deserves only high-end players in its base set.  After all, how many people actively collect the regular sets from high-end product?  The only real purpose it seems to serve is to bookend the hits, so they aren’t visible as soon as you open the pack, allowing you to delay the suspense and surprise a tiny bit more.  2)  The variety of hits will be very large.  This too is something of a problem for me, but I’ll get into that shortly.

Let’s add design to the reasons the regular set doesn’t need to be produced with an asterisk that states that if a little effort is made and they eat all their vegetables, then in the future then it can be part of the group again.  I have two issues with the Panini stuff I see and designs like this are one of them (the other one I’ll touch on more in our Donruss Basketball review).  If you only look at the lower third of the card, everything is great.  I’m on board with the fancy pants swirls and various patterns that look like they belong on my grandma’s metal fence.  But above that product logo, it looks like every other Panini base card in any other set.  The white backdrop is drab and uninviting, despite the pattern.  The marble border that fades into oblivion doesn’t give off the elegance one should find in a high-end set, either.  Simply put, the cards are too boring for what this is.  If I’m paying $100 a pack, I want it to look better (and different) from the cards I can buy for $2 a pack.  Maybe not 50 times better, but let’s say at least 10 times.

Josh Howard wants you to play a game called "Let's Find the Relic"

On to the hits.  If the card wasn’t thicker than the rest, it would be very easy to roll past this unassuming card.  See how the white backdrop actually works against this card?  The jersey mesh pattern in the back blends in to the swatch too well making it invisible.  The shape of the jersey window is cool and different, mirroring the border around the player.  The “shield” would look a lot better with color, though.  Or maybe it would be too much of a contrast against the stark white.


This is the autograph we found in our tin.  Derrick Favors, the #3 pick in the draft.  And to top it all off, the silver version is numbered out of 25 (the normal version is 249-299).  It would have been a great pull, but it’s a redemption.  So, even though the card is still great, the redemption sucks all the excitement out of it.  Imagine if we would have seen this instead?

not in our box - for illustrative purposes only

An on-white synthetic ball/sneaker (can’t tell) material autograph.  Pretty cool, right?  You would have heard a couple of exclamations from me in the video.  Instead I passed over it until the end basically treating it like garbage until I got through the actual cards first.  By the time I grab the checklist and find the right card, the wind is sucked out of my sails no matter how great it is.

I could make the point about how redemptions shouldn’t be in high-end stuff, but I’m not going to.  Would I prefer that they’re not?  Yes, of course.  But I do think the card companies would prefer that too, so as to avoid potential customer service problems (and hopefully to appease their customers).  But the big reason I don’t want to see them is because it drains some of the fun out of the box rip.

Paul Pierce Picked a Peck of Pickled Patches

This card, however, brought the fun level right back up.  How can you not be drawn to that patch?  I don’t care if you collect basketball or not, that thing is pretty.  I know we got one commenter that expressed worry over that hanging thread, thinking it may lead to the deconstruction of the patch eventually.  I don’t see it that way, because that sucker is going right into a top loader where no one will tug it, plus it gives the card character that the majority of your patches don’t get.

There are negatives to this card, such as the redundancy of the bottom “Celtics” banner when you already have the team logo.  I also would like more of a picture, or a second picture with an action shot on the bottom.  Simply put, there’s wasted space all over this card.  I can only assume it’s for a potential autograph variant.  I will say that any negatives to be seen came late in the game, and I still would have gladly kept this in my personal collection if we hadn’t decided before hand to give away everything.  The patch is quite the pair of beer goggles.

And that’s the entire tin of cards.  Very quick and easy.  I said I was going to talk about the variety of hits.  I like that there are options.  You really don’t know what you’re going to find in any given tin of this stuff.  There are so many different subsets with jersey/auto variations and parallels that you could buy a case and only walk away with a couple of cards with the Rookie Year label like our Pierce patch has (for example).  Some people may find that too daunting and unappealing.  I consider anything that increases the level of surprise when dealing with high-end to be a good thing.  If someone has the cash to bust a few tins of this stuff, they should get to see something completely new each time in a 5-6 card pack.

All this time, we haven’t talked about value, which was part of the initial question we posed.  “How pleased would we be if we plunked down the nearly $100 for 5-6 card product?”  Well, if we were simply out to sell it, I think we’d be pretty pleased.  But I have the feeling our box was unusually good.  If there wasn’t the patch AND silver auto both out of 25, there’s a good shot of disappointment.  Sorry Josh Howard, but I don’t really want to see your jersey if I only have 4 other cards to make up for it.  Assuming this was a personal break, the Pierce patch trumps all and I’d say the personal enjoyment from that card alone is worth the price of admission.  Again, if that card wasn’t in our pack it would take something close to comparable to make it feel like I got my money’s worth, even if $100 is on the lower end of the premium product pricing spectrum.

It’s a big risk to take, and I’m thankful to Panini America for making it so we didn’t have to pay for our risk.

Design – **
Set Collecting – *
Inserts – N/A
Hits – ****
Overall – *** out of 5

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