Why Is The 2021-22 Photogenic Basketball Set Winning So Many Fans?
Photogenic Basketball is a new NBA product that dropped in late June. As the name suggests, it emphasizes more creative photography that captures big moments and shows off players’ personalities.
So far there’s been a lot of buzz about this product, but not all of it’s positive. While some love the concept, others feel it’s a redundant product in an already cluttered basketball market.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this new release; what we like, what we don’t, and whether this product really has a place in the hobby.
Panini NBA Photogenic set overview
NBA Photogenic Basketball launched as an online exclusive through Panini’s website, hitting the shelves on June 20th at 11:00 AM Eastern. The product was sold through a descending auction in which boxes started at $500, with price drops every 5 minutes until it sold out.
The product is now available on the resale market and has been selling for between $300-350 – well below Panini’s initial asking price.
Stylistically, it’s drawing a lot of comparisons to Stadium Club, a baseball product that tries to give its audience a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite players. Very few of the Photogenic Basketball images are action shots (unless you count the card of Steph Curry shooting warm-up shots from the tunnel).
Instead, Panini is opting for a more creative approach. This set will include iconic moments such as the Kevin Garnett screaming after the ’08 finals, alongside sillier pictures like Vince Carter on a basketball court with a picture of himself getting drafted.
It’s worth noting that this product is relatively low on inserts and parallels. While there are some, Panini seems to be opting for a smaller, more straightforward set with this one.
What we like about the 2022 Photogenic Basketball release
Personally, I am a fan of what NBA Photogenic is trying to accomplish. I get that this release won’t be for everybody, and that’s OK. From what I can gather from the images released so far, I think it will fill a niche in the NBA market that no other product currently offers.
Panini is trying to tell a story with these pictures. There are already so many cards that use the same action shots over and over. And look, I enjoy a great Ja poster as much as the next guy, but it’s fun to see a product trying something new with its photography.
Some critics are saying that this product feels “incomplete” and would be better as an insert within a bigger product. The problem with that is it means you’d have to buy a bunch of cards you might not be interested in, just to hope you can be lucky enough to eventually land a Photogenic card. By releasing it under its own line, collectors who are interested in the product can grab as much of it as they want.
What we don’t like about NBA Photogenic
No on-card autos.
This is frustrating because it puts a low ceiling on how valuable these cards can be. I get that it’s likely going to be marketed as a lower-end product, but some of the cards look really cool and have the potential to be iconic. With the sticker autos, these cards are limited in their ultimate value.
All we can hope is that Photogenic Basketball is popular enough this year for Panini to consider using on-card autos next year.
I also was not a huge fan of the Panini-exclusive release format. Cutting out local retailers sets a dangerous precedent. Third-party sellers have been the backbone of the hobby for decades; even Panini reaffirmed its commitment to smaller vendors a few years ago. I don’t really get the thinking here, and I hope this doesn’t become commonplace in other Panini releases.
Best cards in the Photogenic basketball set
My favorite cards have to be the Jalen Green and Scottie Barnes rookie cards. The two youngsters are wearing their draft day gear, holding diamond studded basketballs against gold backdrops, in a style that is vaguely reminiscent of Lebron’s Topps RC (these are flashier, but the concepts are similar.)
I’m also a fan of the “Shoe Game” cards, which highlight specific players and surround them with images of different shoes they’ve worn over the years.
What’s inside the NBA Photogenic 2021-22 set?
The product is only sold as a hobby box. Here’s what one will contain:
- 5 cards per pack
- 10 packs per box
- 50 cards total
And here’s what Panini has released about the card breakdown inside:
- 3 rookies
- 3 parallels
- 3 inserts
- 1 Auto
2021-2022 Photogenic Checklist base info
Here’s the checklist for the 140 players included in the base set:
1 Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks
2 Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks
3 Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
4 LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers
5 Keldon Johnson – San Antonio Spurs
6 Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets
7 Jimmy Butler – Miami Heat
8 Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets
9 Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz
10 Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers
11 RJ Barrett – New York Knicks
12 Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies
13 Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans
14 Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics
15 LaMelo Ball – Charlotte Hornets
16 DeMar DeRozan – Chicago Bulls
17 Darius Garland – Cleveland Cavaliers
18 Jerami Grant – Detroit Pistons
19 Christian Wood – Houston Rockets
20 Tyrese Haliburton – Indiana Pacers
21 Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
22 Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves
23 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Oklahoma City Thunder
24 Cole Anthony – Orlando Magic
25 Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
26 Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns
27 Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers
28 De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings
29 Fred VanVleet – Toronto Raptors
30 Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards
31 Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers
32 CJ McCollum – New Orleans Pelicans
33 Miles Bridges – Charlotte Hornets
34 De’Andre Hunter – Atlanta Hawks
35 Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks
36 Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers
37 Chris Paul – Phoenix Suns
38 Caris LeVert – Cleveland Cavaliers
39 Domantas Sabonis – Sacramento Kings
40 Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors
41 James Harden – Philadelphia 76ers
42 Anfernee Hardaway – Orlando Magic
43 Hakeem Olajuwon – Houston Rockets
44 Clyde Drexler – Portland Trail Blazers
45 Allen Iverson – Philadelphia 76ers
46 Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs
47 Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz
48 Desmond Bane – Memphis Grizzlies
49 Kyle Kuzma – Washington Wizards
50 Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics
51 Dennis Rodman – Chicago Bulls
52 Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat
53 Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks
54 Isiah Thomas – Detroit Pistons
55 Aaron Gordon – Denver Nuggets
56 Buddy Hield – Indiana Pacers
57 Anthony Edwards – Minnesota Timberwolves
58 Vince Carter – Toronto Raptors
59 Luguentz Dort – Oklahoma City Thunder
60 Patrick Ewing – New York Knicks
61 Kristaps Porzingis – Washington Wizards
62 Karl Malone – Utah Jazz
63 Pascal Siakam – Toronto Raptors
64 Dejounte Murray – San Antonio Spurs
65 Jason Williams – Sacramento Kings
66 Anfernee Simons – Portland Trail Blazers
67 Deandre Ayton – Phoenix Suns
68 Ben Simmons – Brooklyn Nets
69 Wendell Carter Jr. – Orlando Magic
70 Julius Randle – New York Knicks
71 Brandon Ingram – New Orleans Pelicans
72 Kevin Garnett – Minnesota Timberwolves
73 Bobby Portis – Milwaukee Bucks
74 Tyler Herro – Miami Heat
75 Dillon Brooks – Memphis Grizzlies
76 Russell Westbrook – Los Angeles Lakers
77 Norman Powell – Los Angeles Clippers
78 Malcolm Brogdon – Indiana Pacers
79 Kevin Porter Jr. – Houston Rockets
80 Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors
81 Saddiq Bey – Detroit Pistons
82 Dikembe Mutombo – Denver Nuggets
83 Spencer Dinwiddie – Dallas Mavericks
84 Collin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers
85 Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls
86 Gordon Hayward – Charlotte Hornets
87 Kyrie Irving – Brooklyn Nets
88 Larry Bird – Boston Celtics
89 Dominique Wilkins – Atlanta Hawks
90 Magic Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers
91 Charles Barkley – Philadelphia 76ers
92 David Robinson – San Antonio Spurs
93 Shaquille O’Neal – Orlando Magic
94 Lonzo Ball – Chicago Bulls
95 Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat
96 Ray Allen – Milwaukee Bucks
97 Gary Payton – Seattle Supersonics
98 Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns
99 John Stockton – Utah Jazz
100 Shawn Kemp – Seattle Supersonics
101 Cade Cunningham – Detroit Pistons
102 James Bouknight – Charlotte Hornets
103 Chris Duarte – Indiana Pacers
104 Josh Giddey – Oklahoma City Thunder
105 Jalen Green – Houston Rockets
106 Isaiah Jackson – Indiana Pacers
107 Jalen Johnson – Atlanta Hawks
108 Corey Kispert – Washington Wizards
109 Jonathan Kuminga – Golden State Warriors
110 Davion Mitchell – Sacramento Kings
111 Evan Mobley – Cleveland Cavaliers
112 Moses Moody – Golden State Warriors
113 Jalen Suggs – Orlando Magic
114 Cameron Thomas – Brooklyn Nets
115 Franz Wagner – Orlando Magic
116 Scottie Barnes – Toronto Raptors
117 Alperen Sengun – Houston Rockets
118 Ziaire Williams – Memphis Grizzlies
119 Kai Jones – Charlotte Hornets
120 Keon Johnson – Portland Trail Blazers
121 Joshua Primo – San Antonio Spurs
122 Trey Murphy III – New Orleans Pelicans
123 Tre Mann – Oklahoma City Thunder
124 Usman Garuba – Houston Rockets
125 Josh Christopher – Houston Rockets
126 Quentin Grimes – New York Knicks
127 Bones Hyland – Denver Nuggets
128 Jaden Springer – Philadelphia 76ers
129 Day’Ron Sharpe – Brooklyn Nets
130 Santi Aldama – Memphis Grizzlies
131 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl – Oklahoma City Thunder
132 Herbert Jones – New Orleans Pelicans
133 Miles McBride – New York Knicks
134 JT Thor – Charlotte Hornets
135 Ayo Dosunmu – Chicago Bulls
136 Kessler Edwards – Brooklyn Nets
137 Austin Reaves – Los Angeles Lakers
138 Brandon Boston Jr. – Los Angeles Clippers
139 Dalano Banton – Toronto Raptors
140 Duane Washington Jr. – Indiana Pacers
Here are the parallels and odds for the base set:
- Diamond Anniversary (#/75)
- Gold (#/10)
- Platinum (1/1)
And inserts included in the set:
- Championship Feels
- First Night
- Rookie Focus
- Rookies in Motion
- With Authority
- Shoe Game
Investing in NBA Photogenic
It’s tough to make any bold proclamations about the investment value of these cards, given that it’s in the first year of its release. That said, newer, lower-end products don’t exactly have a history of being profitable flips. So, if you’re looking to make some money, my advice is to stay away.
NBA Photogenic isn’t a product for the investor, at least not yet. It’s for collectors who are looking for an affordable product, who appreciate its aesthetic, and who want to actually collect the cards.
The one caveat I’ll give is this – I’m a fan of the “descending bid” auction format. It allowed the buyers to determine the value; we didn’t feel the product was worth $500, so many of us were able to get it for much less.
Even at $350, it’s tough to know if the value will go up. That said, I like the potential of flipping this product at $350 a lot more than I did at $500.
NBA Photogenic is a brand new release that looks to bring clever and exciting photography to the world of basketball cards. The cards in this set use pictures to tell a story.
It was released as a digital exclusive but is now available to buy directly from third party sellers on eBay. While the investment outlook on this product isn’t great, it is a fun release that could be worth the rip if you appreciate the concept.
You also might like these other releases:
- 2021-22 Panini Hoops Basketball
- 2020-21 Panini Flawless Basketball
- 2021-21 Panini Illusions Basketball
- 2021-22 Panini Orgins Basketball
Full Panini 2021-22 Photogenic Basketball Checklist
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