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.

Get a NBA Photogenic 2021-2022 hobby box on ebay

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.

Gold Pregame Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini 2021-22 Photogenic
2021-2022 Panini NBA Photogenic Giannis Antetokoumpo Gold Pregame /10 basketball card

Check out the highest priced cards of the 2021-22 Panini Basketball Photogenic set

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.)

The hottest NBA basketball Photogenic cards on ebay auctions right now

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.

Joshua Primo NBA photogenic 2021-2022
Another popular rookie, the Johua Primo 09/19 Gold Rookie Card from the 2021-22 NBA Photogenic set

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:

  • Veterans
    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
    Rookies
    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

Parallels/Inserts

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
  • Pregame
  • Respect
  • Rookie Focus
  • Rookies in Motion
  • Unforgettable
  • 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.

Bottomline

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:

Full Panini 2021-22 Photogenic Basketball Checklist

Brian Marshall

Brian Marshall

Brian’s a Denver based freelance writer, who’s interested in all things Denver sports. He’s an NBA aficionado who still can’t get over Derrick Rose’s ACL tear, and will happily debate anyone who doesn’t believe that Nikola Jokic is the greatest basketball player on the planet.


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