Good: Team Patches rookie autographs, Solid prime patches, Relatively low price point, John Wall, Solid rookie auto checklist
Bad: All over the place numbering, uncollectible inserts and parallels, base card overload, nothing new, hard to see collecting angles
The Bottom Line:
2010-11 Rookies & Stars is a solid basketball card offering that gives collectors a chance to grab the latest rookie autographs of big names like John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors and Wesley Johnson. For all intensive purposes, this is last year's Rookies & Stars with updated rosters. If you're a big time basketball card collector and rookie auto connoisseur, Rookies & Stars should hold you over for the time being. Rookies & Stars is essentially "Prestige Plus", meaning it does everything Prestige does only better. Each 24-pack hobby box delivers 4-hits for a box price of roughly $80-$100.
I have to say, I just don't enjoy Rookies & Stars the way I used to. The card design feels like a re-usable template and leaves you wondering whether there was any thought put into the set. The card design features the same over the top futuristic backdrops, mysterious parallel and numbered card system, sticker drops and lacks the signs of life present in an excellent product. One thing that bothered me was the fact that some of the base set pictures were identical to the one's used in Prestige, the most glaring example is LeBron James' base card. The one area where the card design excels is the manufactured rookie patch autographs, which are as sharp looking as ever and among the best looking low-end rookie autos in the hobby.
Autographed cards and relics of 2010-11 rookies like John Wall, Evan Turner and Derrick Favors give the checklist a substantial jolt of life. The inserts and parallels are frustrating, as the numbering is all over the place and it's near impossible to see the collecting angles. When collectors can't see the big picture of a product, they are far less likely to collect it. Another thing that frustrates me is how Panini doesn't put pack odds on their products. I would really like to see Panini make a concerted effort to clean things up and provide collector's with a well thought out checklist from top to bottom next year, as I like the product and would like to see the kinks ironed out.
The value of Rookies & Stars is excellent thanks to the hottest rookie in the entire hobby, Wizards' rookie point guard John Wall. Due to Wall's presence in the product, people will rip far more Rookies & Stars, which will boost the value of each and every player on the checklist. The Rookies portion of the product offers an excellent value to collectors, it's the Stars part that struggles to establish any meaningful value.
With each passing year, Rookies & Stars seems to get less and less fun to rip. The more you open, the more you realize that the product is a house of cards that lacks the type of intrigue and excitement of a complete product. That being said, it's still a fun box break experience due to the presence of big name rookies, but I would really like to see this product retooled so it can reach it's potential. If you enjoyed last season's Rookies & Stars, there's no reason you shouldn't enjoy this years, as it's the same product with a fresh rookie class.