Preview: 2011 Panini Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball

With Panini getting a MLBPA license, baseball cards are really going to be back in business at Panini/Donruss besides the one release per season of this product here. It is exciting seeing someone else get back into the baseball fold and Panini is just the company to do it.

Due out December 21, 2011, is this prospect heavy product sure to make prospectors go crazy over their prospects they claim are “can’t miss”. Every box will have 20 packs and 6 total autographs for you to feast on from a 150 player checklist.

There will also be dual, triple, and quad autographs inserted. Did I mention that 30 of the signers are all first-rounders? Yeah, there will definitely be some quality autographs in this set for the prospectors or those who want to find their team’s up and coming stars.

As always with Elite, you also find your Aspirations and Status die-cuts, some with autographs as well. This looks to be chocked full of prospect goodness and should be another hit with the prospecting community.

Panini has even released a checklist of 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition baseball for your viewing pleasure with some great names on it.

Remember, December 21, 2011, get that prospector in your family a nice little Christmas gift!

Preview: 2011 Panini Donruss Limited Cuts Baseball

Well it’s not entirely baseball, but it’s close enough that we will label it as a baseball product. Coming in December, Panini America will be creating the next high-end sports cut-autograph-per-pack product called Donruss Limited Cuts that they claim will change the genre forever. (After Upper Deck’s latest attempt, this shouldn’t be too hard)

This product will deliver cut autographs from some of the biggest names ever in sports, politics, entertainment, and pop culture with single, dual, triple, and quad autographs and cuts from over 140 deceased baseball Hall of Famers. (Hence why I gave this a baseball label) Every card will be numbered to 49 or less with over 200 cuts numbered to 15 or less.

There will be 1/1 booklets of quad cut autographs from some of the greatest teams in history, some more quad and dual autographs featuring some of the greatest teams ever, cut autographs from all time greats like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Honus Wagner and more!

And finally, there will be some cuts from other sports like golf, boxing, football, horse racing, as well as former U.S. Presidents, movies, television, and other pop culture icons.

I really wonder what Panini can do with these resources now and wonder if this can top a product like Legendary Cuts or Leaf’s cut autograph offerings. Only a full checklist will really be able to tell, but at least these designs look fabulous. If the checklist succeeds, this will be the next big thing in cut autographs.

At one cut per pack, the price hasn’t been released yet but I could see this product going from anywhere between $250 – $350. If the checklist is better, even higher.

You can go to the official Panini Peek of this product for more images and information or check out some behind the scenes photos!

Want to see some highlights?

Review: 2011 Donruss Elite Football

2011 Donruss Elite football produced by Panini is back this season with all the die-cuts, autographs, and memorabilia you have come to expect from the brand since it was created. Also returning is the foil board design that has made this product stand out from the beginning as well. This product will bring you all the rookies from the recent draft as well as the veterans that you have always love and delivers in that department. It definitely has it’s positives and negatives, but with the right adjustments next year I believe that this product will be capable of returning to it’s former glory.

2011 Donruss Elite football comes with 5 card per pack and 20 packs per hobby box. On average you will find four hits in your box. There are autographs, game used jerseys, and patches available including Panini’s new booklet cards. At a little less than $100, this is now about average for this type of product. Let’s see what we got.

Base:

Inserts:

Rookies:

Game Used/Autos:

Design:

First we are going to talk about the design and I have a few things to say about that. First, I understand the lack of images because of the lockout. I will not take points off for that, it’s not your fault. Also, Elite has always been a foil board brand so I won’t take points off for that. I’ll start with the rookies. The horizontal rookies just don’t look right. Why the change from a vertical layout I don’t understand. And putting the serial numbering on top of the words on the left? There is so much other room on the card not used you could of put those anywhere else. It’s terrible to try and read. Finally, the huge white box where the autograph stickers go on the rookie could of been made smaller. I know that’s where the die-cut goes but the sticker won’t be on the die-cut anyway as there is plenty of room. Speaking of the die-cuts, a little boring there, but it does allow less of a possibility for damage to be honest so I don’t mind it that much. The inserts are awesome and I actually like the NFL Shield and helmet rookies. The base is boring to me, which means the rookies are also boring to me on the whole. I think those should start again from scratch, but I enjoyed everything else.

Checklist:

If there is one problem I have with the checklist is the 100 rookies. 100 rookies means 100 rookies autographs. With them numbered to 899 you are going to have a ton of rookie autographs. I understand they are cheap, but how many people really collect offensive and defensive lineman? Personally, I would cut those autographs in half and use the left over money for some extra veteran autographs. The veteran autographs you do have though are solid. There is a solid group of veteran autographs you have the possibility of pulling and the Throwback Threads with NFL legends is a great subset as well as Passing the Torch and Down and Distance. Great insert subsets which include autographs and game used pieces. I’m all for cutting down those rookies though.

Value:

The number of rookies used and I think just the looks of the rookies alone cut down on value. To the vast majority of collectors, not many want offensive and defensive lineman autographs. They just don’t hold value and aren’t worth the price of the box. I do know that some do, so I think cutting down on these would be a great start. As I said above, use the money towards more veteran autographs. I can’t say anything about photography because of the lockout so I won’t. I’m just really hoping for this lockout to end so I can see players in their actual jerseys on cards this season, otherwise it might be kind of grim which does weigh on value just a little bit on the secondary market. Out of my 4 hits, I hit 3 rookies. Two stickers autographs and an event worn jersey. We all hate sticker autographs and event worn jerseys are just that, event worn. I know the use of the event worn jersey is important for rookies, but when I have 2 sticker autographs to go along with it, it hurts a little bit. This product needs a little more of a veteran presence in the common box break.

Overall:

Overall, 2011 Donruss Elite is a decent product. It’s definitely good for the period of time it is to get ready for the season but after that there are much better products coming out by all the companies making NFL trading cards. The design needs some work and I would actually either completely re-tool the set from scratch or create something new that Panini can say is originally theirs. The number of rookies and rookie autographs is too large and can use some work on filtering out who and how many players sign. It can allow for some more freedom on the veteran side which I feel this product lacks a little bit.

I’d like to thank Panini for providing this box for me to review. Please visit their various links I have posted around the blog. I don’t get anything for you clicking on them, but they have a GREAT blog and lots of information about their products on their website. I highly recommend it.

And, as always, here I am opening the box so you can see everything pulled as I pull them along with some random commentary and information how to win some of the cards!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOX9L7VHhj4]

And again, for those who don’t want to see my ugly mug for 10 minutes, post your comments about this year’s Donruss Elite in the comments for your chance to win. I’m giving every review I have a contest one week to post.

I Love Finding Cards

I love finding cards when I least expect it. I was digging through some boxes recently when I was looking for my Wheels Main Event cards I posted the other day. While searching for those cards I came upon probably 200 inserts and rookies that I had packed up and moved from Connecticut last summer.

First off, last summer I tried moving my entire collection from Connecticut to Oregon. I chose UPS as the best way to handle the shipping and boy was that a bad idea. The box was mangled and many cards were so damaged they lost all value. Those all went into the trash. Luckily, the majority of those were base cards of star players. I was able to save many of the inserts and rookies that were packaged separately inside the box. A few have slight damage but are still manageable.

In the group I found a lot of great inserts. Chrome refractors, low serial numbers, and regular old inserts…the majority from around 2005. I was excited to find them.

Some highlights:

A bunch of Bowman Chrome star refractors

A bunch of 2005 Donruss Studio Portraits (all numbered to 50 or less) of star players

A bunch of acetate cards (Score! I thought those were gone)

A bunch of Bowman Chrome and Heritage rookies

It was a great stash of inserts. I have yet to go through them and price them and really check to see how bad some of the damage may be. The better ones will probably be sent to CheckOutMyCards eventually. I’ve been saying for months I would send them a package of inserts to sell on there. There has got to be somebody who wants some of these inserts.

If anyone has any wants please send me an email or leave a message here with your email. I have like 400 inserts/rookies total just hanging around here doing nothing. Even a couple of printing plates. Oh, 99% of them are baseball in case anyone else was wondering.

 

Acetate Card of the Day – 2005 Donruss Studio Jason Varitek

Last week I wrote about my love for acetate sports cards and my experiences collecting them. I figured I would start a post every week or so about an acetate card in my collection. I will be discussing the design, set, and anything else I feel is pertinent to the discussion. And with 2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey coming out today with their acetate insert set, I figured it would be a good day to start. My box is probably being sent out today, but I have plenty of other acetate cards laying around.

Featured acetate card of the day:

2005 Donruss Studio – Studio Stars – Jason Varitek

2005 Donruss Studio was one of the first sets I worked on in my return to the hobby in 2005. Studio Stars was one of the first insert sets I completed as well. Sadly, when I moved a bunch of my cards left over in Connecticut out to Oregon, a box with this insert set in it went missing. Luckily, I keep all my Red Sox cards separate from the others and they survived.

2005 Donruss Studio was fun because of the city scape in the background. I know it’s been done for years before that but I enjoyed the player on the front with the city in the background. There was also a bunch of nice insert sets with some pretty nice patch or autograph hits. The highlight of my several boxes of 2005 Studio was a Masterstrokes Auto/Jersey/Bat of Miguel Cabrera numbered out of 25. But I always loved the acetate insert set.

The design of this card is definitely top notch. The player is featured in the middle of the card with a fiery background which makes the player pop out from the card. The lettering on the top and bottom is bold with team colors on top of the clear area making it pop out even more and easily readable, even if shown through my back window. The foil area on the top left changes according to the parallel, this time being blue as this card is numbered out of 50. Overall, absolutely beautiful looking card.

Jason Varitek is currently the backup catcher for the Boston Red Sox. He has spent his entire Major League career with the Red Sox after he was traded as a prospect from the Seattle Mariners in one of the best deals in Red Sox history. The Red Sox traded Heathcliff Slocumb to the Seattle Mariners for prospects Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Needless to say, this deal would reap great benefits for the Red Sox. Derek Lowe would throw a no-hitter and become a central piece to the 2004 World Championship team. Jason Varitek would become one of the best defensive and offensive catchers in the league as well as the best caller of a game in the league. He went on to catch no hitters from Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz which is a Major League record. He may have had another when Devern Hansack had a no hitter through 7 innings, but the game was called due to rain. He was the first Red Sox captain since Jim Rice and in my eyes should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame someday.