Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are well aware that Panini was granted the exclusive license to produce NBA Basketball cards beginning in 2010.
One of the side effects of this announcement was the early release of UD Exquisite and Topps Chrome. Neither of these products featured rookies in their NBA uniform, which is significant because both these products have been staples of the basketball card collecting world the past few years. You could make a fairly good argument that over the past 20 years the two most significant basketball cards produced were the Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractor and the Lebron James 2003-04 Exquisite Patch Auto RC /99. For many basketball rookie collectors these brands are it.
I was skeptical how Exquisite cards showing NBA Rookies in their college uniforms would be received. Would they have the same upside previous Exquisite releases have had?
Over halfway into the basketball season, my questions have been answered and here is why:
1. Tyreke Evans<img style="text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;" src="http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=9& Base RC /225 – Available for $20-30 on release – now sell for $150+
2. Brandon Jennings Base RC /225 – Available for $20-$30 upon release – sold for $180 or more earlier in the season
3. Darren Collison Auto RC /225 – Available for $20 or less after release – now selling for near $60
4. Marcus Thornton Auto RC /225 – Available for $15 or less after release – now selling for $45-$50
These bounces in price are what collectors are looking for when buying Exquisite and it is happening with this year’s product just like in years past. This again proves that player+brand+card quality > any licensing format.
The real questions for this product are, who’s going to bounce next and what will Exquisite as it pertains to NBA Basketball cards look like next year?