Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Snow at 94°

 My brother and I made a very rare trip to our local Wal-Mart on Saturday, which was an unpleasant 94° out for. My Wal-Mart usually doesn't have a good card selection and theirs is even smaller now than it was last time I visited, right around Christmas time. 

I didn't walk away empty handed, though. I got a blaster of Hoops, or so I thought. It was actually Hoops Winter, which is basically a reissue of regular Hoops but with snow added digitally to each card and gold foil instead of silver. As much as I dislike cards with messed with photos, I actually like these a lot. I've always loved snow, and they still show the real picture- mostly. They fall right in the spot of "messed with but whimsical enough that I like them" and I am not unhappy that I didn't notice the Winter label on the box. 

An even better aspect of it, is that I didn't have a single one of the Winter cards. I had opened 3 packs of regular Hoops. No duplicates! That's always a good thing and never a guarantee with Panini which tends to have the cards always come out of the packs in the same order, including inserts and parallels. 

You can see the white snow all over the design here, and with the snow bank on the top. I like how you can still see the real photo, just with the snow added to it. 

Because getting cards has been fairly rare recently, some of the veteran players appear in my collection for the first time from this blaster. This is Peyton Watson. 

I especially like the cards that show alternate uniforms. There are so many these days- each NBA team wears at least 4 uniforms every year, and at least one of them is exclusive to that season, so there are a lot of jersey designs that don't appear in my collection...and may not appear on any cards at all. I don't even know. 

Al Horford has been in the NBA since 2007 and finally got to celebrate a championship this season. 

I pulled both cards of phenom, #1 overall pick and Rookie of the Year winner Victor Wembanyama, my first two cards of him in NBA uniform, and 2nd and 3rd cards overall. The base rookie, shown second here, is actually an error as it's missing some foil from the final A in his last name, but odds are it will stay in my regular collection and not get moved to the Error collection. While Wal-Mart had 2 or 3 more blasters, I don't really have the money in the budget to get them. 

The top card of him is from the Tribute subset, which really doesn't need to exist. Just an excuse by Panini to get the superstars into the base set twice, and keeping active players from getting a single card. 

The inserts are also snowy, although a little hard to see on the Arriving Now of Anthony Black. The Holofoil parallel of Maxwell Lewis is more easily seen. 

I still have one pack left to open, but this was the only parallel I've gotten so far, a purple foil parallel. Personally I'd much rather have parallels than inserts. 

I also pulled the one per blaster autograph or relic, and it is my first and so far only card of Jaquez Jr.

Finally, here is a Winter card and a standard Hoops card showing the difference. 


  1. These are actually very cool cards to see!

    1. Yeah I really like them. I've missed a couple of years of the set completely so that makes them even better.

  2. Snow in the middle of a heat wave?? What timing, lol.

    Two Wembys in one blaster is tough to beat. The De'Aaron Fox is a nice one as well. he always has cool cards.

    I'm thrilled that Horford finally won a title. I probably would have pulled for Boston anyway, being a New England guy, but the Jay's and big Al (not to mention Porzingis) made it a lot easier.

    1. Oh yeah, no complaints there. The high flying guys always have some awesome card photos. I was good with whoever won the title, as I've mentioned before Jason Kidd is my mom's all time favorite player so I would not have minded a Mavs win, although Kyrie Irving is my least favorite player so I don't really mind that they lost either.

  3. Nice!! Scoring two Wembys is luck!

  4. Congratulations on pulling two Wembanyamas in one box! I haven't seen any of this year's basketball blasters on Target shelves (my local Walmarts don't carry cards), but if I did... I'd buy one just for the chance at pulling a rookie card of his. Don't follow hoops anymore, but everyone says this guy is amazing.

    1. Oh he is. His skills are insane and he's just a kid. Plus he's 7 foot 4, so he's got that going for him too. He will likely be a Hall of Famer when all is said and done.