For the second part of my Adrenalyn report, I’m going to look at the card themselves strictly in a collectible point of view.
To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of too many of Panini’s basketball releases. Normally, I’d spend a decent amount on Topps and Upper Deck basketball, but I didn’t spend a thing on Panini basketball until the flagship set came out. I like the Adrenalyn cards a lot and they were my favorite cards from Panini (until Studio was released).
The design is a little busy, but these are cards designed for kids from ages 6-11 so that’s understandable. The cards don’t go overboard though. There’s a nice, big picture of the player right in the middle of the card with a ghosted head shot of the player in the background. The player ratings aren’t obtrusive and blend into the overall design of the card.
The only other difference that you’ll see in the design of the base cards is in the rookie cards which have the word “rookie” vertically, reading top to bottom in the background. From what I’ve seen, the rookies don’t rate all that well in the game so those were definitely added to appeal to collectors.
Back when the game was popular, foil inserts from Wizards of the Coast’s MLB Showdown were fairly popular with collectors. Cards from recent games such as Topps Attax and Adrenalyn haven’t caught on with collectors. It’s a shame that’s not the case with Adrenalyn because they’re nice looking cards and there are some nice chase cards as well. What chase cards, you may ask. Well, I’m glad that you did.
The most common inserts fall one in every other pack and are called “Special Cards.” Two players from each team get this treatment. The cards are printed on rainbow foil with holographic gold foil stamping on the player’s name. These cards have increased stats compared to the player’s base card.
You can’t really see the rainbow foil in this scan, but it’s there. These cards look very nice in person and the rainbow reflection lets your opponent know that he’s in trouble when you turn that card over.
“Extra Cards” fall one in every eight packs. One player from each team gets this special treatment. The cards are printed on metalized foil with micro-etching. The etching is in the design of a swirl behind the player with an embossed NBA logo floating behind he player along with holographic gold foil on the player name. These cards also have increased stats.
The next level of card is “Extra Signature Cards” and those also fall one in every 8 packs. These cards look the same as the “Special Cards” with the addition of a foil printed signature on the front of the card. You can find one player from each team done in this style with increased stats.
The final insert type is “Ultimate Cards” and those fall one in every 23 packs. These cards look like the “Extra Cards” with the addition of holographic gold foil signatures and “unbeatable stats.” These cards are really nice looking and are tough to find even when you consider that these packs only cost a dollar a piece.
All things considered, I like this set a lot. I don’t think I’ll play the game all that often, but the dollar price tag makes it easy to pick up a handful of packs whenever you see them available. I’m definitely going to track down the 10 Celtics base cards and 5 inserts for my collection.