Review: 2018-19 Panini Noir Basketball

1. Card Design:

A unique design, uncommon with most releases. Each “full” base card is actually comprised of two separate cards. The “Association Edition” comprises the left side of the “full” card, while the “Icon Edition” comprises the right. Sitting side-by-side, you get the complete team logo, with two different images of the subject. Both cards, can be a stand-alone, but might look funky, considering half of the logo will be missing.

Score 2.5/5.0

2. Checklist Review:

Technically the base set is comprised of 200 cards. Broken down in to “Association Edition” and “Icon Edition”, means every player has 2 cards, serial #’d /85. There are 70 veterans and 30 rookies. The “Metal Frame” set is 100 cards and continues with the numerical system in place. So, the first Metal Frame card on the CL is numbered “201” and continues through “300”. The Rookie Patch Auto (RPA) and Rookie Auto CL are also sequential, continuing through “400” before the remainder of the inserts break off with their own respective numbering system. There are 10 auto sets, including the RPA’s, with another 10 relic-based sets to choose from. This is a high-end release, so everything is low numbered, with some being extremely difficult to find.

    Score 4.0/5.0

3. Collectability:

This isn’t really intended to be a “collectible” CL. Sure, there are plenty of cards for players and team collectors to go out and grab. But I doubt anyone is going to put together the base set, for instance, with each card being #’d /85. The fact that you need two cards to complete “one” base “card’, makes this all the more frustrating for a set collector. This is a hit-driven release and should be considered nothing more. It has beautiful RPA’s which should be highly sought after. The “collectability” factor takes a hit with the dual-base card design, but gets a lift from the Metal Frame and RPA’s.

Score 3.5/5.0

4. Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:

By far-and-away the best set featured on the CL, is the Metal Frame. Featuring a black & white still shot of the subject, along with a colorized in-action shot, makes these a very aesthetically pleasing chase card. The 100-card CL is broken down into 5 separate segments, offering a nice blend of current players, retired stars and today’s rookies.

Score 4.5/5.0

5. Autos/Relics:

The meat-and-potatoes of the Noir release. You will find RPA’s, as previously mentioned. Noir, also offers autos from the likes of Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal. With 20 combined sets to pull from, most collectors, or rippers, should find plenty of value. Most auto and relics sets are solid from the eye-appeal perspective, so they should be fun to add to a PC, as well as holding plenty of value on the secondary market.

Score 4.0/5.0

Overall: 

At an MSRP of right around $500 per box, a large portion of the consumer market will be priced out of Noir, unless buying individual team(s) in box breaks. You will get one, 10-card pack, from a “box”. Each “box” will have an average of 7 autos and/or relics. Noir is definitely designed for box breakers, or high-end gamblers. Mr. “Joe” Collector would be wise to buy his/her favorite team(s) in a break, or wait until his/her favorite player’s cards hit the secondary market.

Overall Score 3.7/5.0

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