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2023-24 Obsidian Basketball Review: Darth Vader’s Favorite Product?

Obsidian Basketball is the dark spot of the hobby. Literally. It’s a set that’s design says “Panini gave creative control to Darth Vader,” but that doesn’t make it necessarily a villainously bad investment (please keep reading. I cringed too.)

Shop for boxes of 2023-24 Obsidian Basketball on eBay

Now it returns for the 2023-24 season with an earlier launch set for May 22, 2024.

With pre-orders priced around $350, Obsidian remains a consistent fixture in the basketball card market. Each box, as usual, contains a single pack of seven cards, keeping the familiar structure of previous releases.

However, with only minimal changes from last year and no Victor Wembanyama autograph cards, is this edition enticing enough to warrant your investment? Let’s explore what’s new and what’s remained the same.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023-24 Obsidian Basketball set.

2023-24 Obsidian Basketball introduction 

Obsidian Basketball, traditionally a late-season favorite, returns this season to release alongside the 2023-24 NBA Finals.

This product has evolved from its former March debut to a finals-timed launch, but one thing that hasn’t changed its place in the hobby: it’s a nice product that people know and respect, but very few actively chase.

With a checklist that’s comparatively short to most of its peers, Obsidian maintains a hobby-only format. This makes it more rare (but arguably less popular) than mainstream optichrome releases.

Shop for boxes of 2023-24 Obsidian Basketball on eBay

What to expect from 2023-24 Obsidian: Formats and Offerings

The 2023-24 edition of Obsidian Basketball offers another year of its distinctive designs, featuring a variety of parallels, die cuts, and on average, a mix of autographs, memorabilia, and insert cards per box.

Each $350 box typically contains two autographs, one memorabilia card, and two inserts or parallels, alongside two base cards.

Even without Wemby, this year’s release continues to appeal to collectors of rookie cards with the inclusion of several autograph sets such as Rookie Jersey Autographs, Rookie Jersey Ink, and Rookie Eruption Autographs.

Additionally, enthusiasts of veteran and retired players will find a range of autographed card sets, including Matrix Material Autos, Magmatic Signatures, Galaxy Ink, Volcanic Signatures, and the newly introduced Twilight Signatures.

Electric Etch parallels are found with these as well, such as Orange Flood (/75), Purple Flood (/49), Gold Flood (/10), Deep Sea Mojo (/5) and Vibrant Mojo (1/1).

Obsidian also introduces new and existing insert sets. Notable among these cards are Equinox, Orbital, Supernova, and the newly launched Hotspot.

There are also the short-printed Vitreous and Volcanix inserts, as well as the extremely rare Black Color Blast, which is probably the biggest chase card in the set. 

Instead of “prizms,” the product emphasizes its “flood” parallels more this year, especially in Hobby boxes, adding another layer of collectibility.

Moreover, the memorabilia card offerings have been expanded with the addition of new sets such as Unbreakable Memorabilia, Eclipse Materials, Cutting Edge Memorabilia, and Equinox Gear, broadening the variety for collectors.

Investing in Obsidian Basketball 

With a pre-order price of $350, is this Obsidian set worth ripping, holding, or should you pass?

One pro for the product is the price. The downside? The biggest cards from this set are autographs and there’s no Wemby autograph to chase. 

So is paying $350 for a new box of Obsidian a good move or too risky? Here’s our take on how to consider investing in Obsidian. 

Investing in sealed boxes

If you’re investing in sealed boxes with the intent of holding them, here are some numbers to consider.

Shop for boxes of 2023-24 Obsidian Basketball on eBay

  • Current pre-sell of 2023-24 hobby: $350
  • Current resell of 2022-23 hobby: $300
  • Current resell of 2021-22 hobby: $280
  • Current resell of 2020-21 hobby: $375
  • Current resell of 2019-20 hobby: $360

A couple of takeaways here.

For one, is that the rookie class matters. At the time of writing, Anthony Edwards is the hottest player in the league and his 2020-21 rookie class boxes are selling for more than any.

But even then, they’re not selling for enough to make me think investing in these boxes is a good long-term hold. I’d go as far as to call it a bad move, at that. 

Investing in rookies

If you’re looking to invest in singles, the best cards would be numbered parallels and rookie autographs from the rookies included in the set.  If you can buy raw and get them graded — bonus points for that. 

So buy short prints, autographs and colored parallels if you want a long-term hold and love Obsidian, but I’d personally think any money you spend on Obsidian would be better used with a more popular product. 

Bottom line: Rip, Hold or Pass?

Despite a fairly affordable price, Obsidian is too risky to rip and too unproven to hold. This one is a pretty clear stay away. 

What do you think of this product? What will it be worth in 5 years? Let us know on Twitter @card_lines.

Shop for boxes of 2023-24 Obsidian Basketball on eBay

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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