The 2020-2021 release of Mosaic NBA is set to hit the shelves on December 2nd, 2022.
While Mosaic is generally pegged as a lower-tier release, there’s still plenty of reason to get excited about it. Mosaic is a go-to for basketball collectors who are interested in an affordable product with a ton of chances at parallels and inserts. Its flashy designs feature an opti-chrome finish, giving it a distinct look that collectors recognize.
In this article, I’ve got everything you need to know about Mosaic. I’ll tell you what I like, what I dislike, the product’s origins, and the investment outlook for this upcoming set.
The name Mosaic first started resonating with basketball collectors over a decade ago as one of Prizm Basketball’s most popular inserts. The card really broke into the public eye in 2020 when a Giannis rookie sold for $1.1 million, instantly making it one of the Greek Freak’s most valuable cards on the market.
The Mosaic insert was known for its shiny look. Player images were typically shrouded in refractors, with diamond or oval patterning.
In 2017 Panini released its first-ever Mosaic standalone product. While it still used the Prizm name “Mosaic Prizm 2016-17”, it was a complete set ‒ not just an insert.
In 2020 they dropped the association with Prizm, releasing simply “19-20 Mosaic Basketball.” While the product maintained most of the glimmering aesthetic Mosaic had become known for, it had officially joined the ranks of an official NBA release.
This year’s release is currently set to come out on December 2 after a series of pushbacks. When the product was first announced we were told that it was coming in June, as Panini appeared to be trying to get back on its regular schedule with basketball releases.
While a drop during the NBA finals would have been great, most of us knew that the June date was highly unlikely. Eventually, that date got pushed back to October, where it stayed for awhile before recent reports have shown that a date in December actually seems more likely.
You can set an alert directly with Panini to be notified when the product officially drops.
Mosaic 2022 basketball is plagued by everything you would expect with a low-end product: sticker autos, a bunch of retail release formats, and rampant overprinting. While the 41 hits in a hobby box might catch your eye, the reality is that products like this need a lot of hits to get your attention.
Even its biggest hits aren’t worth much, because, in the words of the great villain Syndrome from Incredibles, “when everyone’s super, no one is.” Too many hits lead to the parallels and inserts not having great resale value.
Despite all the popular criticisms against Mosaic, there’s a lot that I like about it as well. Stylistically, buyers know what they are getting. A seasoned basketball collector can look at one of these cards and instantly know its brand. Carving out a unique identity is a big plus in a market that feels increasingly oversaturated every year with indistinct and redundant releases.
Secondly, I love that products like Mosaic are still accessible to the everyday collector. The price doesn’t exclude a majority of buyers, and can serve as a gateway into the hobby for younger collectors. I mean, no one’s breaking into collecting with a case of Flawless.
Easily available products like Mosaic are how young people develop a love for collecting, and can still make for an entertaining rip for a seasoned collector.
A few mockups have been released on the Panini site so far. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Stained Glass is a classic insert, and I think this year’s Mosaic version is the cleanest it’s ever been.
This iconic card typically only showcases one of the ten best players in the league with Steph, Giannis, and Durant all having been on the stained glass checklist two years in a row.
Straight Fire is another card that they seemed to have improved a lot. Last year’s version had a corny look, that featured a more realistic background flame and wasn’t well received by a lot of collectors. This year Panini has drastically improved the look of this card.
Straight Fire doesn’t have as elite of a checklist as Stained Glass, but it still features 20 all-star caliber players who tend to have a flash to their game.
21-22 Mosaic NBA will likely be sold in a variety of formats. In the past, we’ve seen a hobby box, FOTL, blaster boxes, hanger boxes, and mega boxes. So far we’ve only seen information about the hobby box, which is currently set to be released on Dec 2nd and is being pre-sold for $500.
Here’s what each hobby box will contain:
And here’s what Panini has released about the card breakdown inside:
Like many of the other NBA products that have been released this year, Mosaic is leaning into the NBA’s 75th anniversary, offering a commemorative parallel. Here’s a list of all of the possible parallels:
As an unreleased product, we don’t know exactly what the checklist of featured players will be. That said, last year’s product should give us a decent idea of what will be included.
Last year’s base set included:
This box includes an eye-popping 41 hits – 1 auto, 20 prizms, and 20 inserts. Some of those hits will include:
If you’re solely interested in making money investing in cards, Mosaic shouldn’t really be of much interest to you.
While it was a trendy investment 4 years ago when boxes were being sold as online exclusives at $100, the market has more than caught up with the current demand for Mosaic. In the last few years, we haven’t seen a profitable rise in value over the boxes’ SRP.
The singles market hasn’t been much better. Mosaic isn’t highly sought after among the big spenders, and even some of the “rarer” parallels and inserts don’t go for much more than $10 on eBay.
The main redeeming factor in investing in Mosaic is that the 21-22 rookie class was pretty good. As you likely know, hobby boxes will live and die by their rookies. If you really believe that multiple superstars will emerge amongst this year’s class, then there is a chance Mosaic wax could rise in value down the line. I go into more depth on this year’s NBA rookies in my Select Basketball review here.
All that to say, don’t expect to make much flipping or ripping Mosaic. This is the type of product you buy for the love of the hobby.
Mosaic will be back in the coming months. Panini hasn’t messed with what’s been a popular formula ‒ no new inserts, similar hobby box breakdowns, and the classic reflective Mosaic aesthetic.
While the product shouldn’t necessarily be at the top of the list for investors, its low price point and high number of hits should make it an accessible and fun product for basketball fans everywhere.