Ask for a nicely designed card and get it.  A few days ago I was wondering where are all the card designers have gone.  After railing on Donruss Panini for using the same designs over and over and over, they go and release a nicely designed set.  Donruss after years of baseball and football cards, has entered the realm of Basketball.  Their first set is a tribute to the days of yore, when collecting was so much more fun! The design of the rated rookie cards is a nice throwback to the 1984 Donruss baseball card set.  I am not a huge fan of the rookie photo shoots, but I do understand their necessity.   That being said, I am not sure why they couldn’t photoshop out the curtain rods of the backdrop.  I am really hoping that this is not the final print of this card.  The base cards are going to look a bit like this: Again, I do love the nice tip of the cap to the 1984 Donruss Baseball card set.  They reworked the design but it still has a great feel to it.  I’m not a basketball fan or a basketball card fan, but I can easily see myself collecting this set.  There is also a parallel set that is going along with it, that is a die cut version of the base card.  The insert cards of the release are in my opinion unspectacular.  As willing as they were to change up the base design of the card, they fall back to old designs for the autographs and game used.

Although the chances of pulling one of these inserts is low, the cards do have a nice flow to them.  The autograph only card seems to invoke a UD spX look to it.  I do like the “Magicians” card of Steve Nash, I have always been a fan of patch / autograph cards, and this one has a nice flow to it.  The Kobe jersey card is just tired looking.  It reminds me of a lot of Panini jersey cards.

The set will consist of 296 base cards, and each box will contain on average 3 autograph or game used cards and 20 die cut parallel cards.  It should go live on December 22, 2010 and as more details, such as a checklist and pricing becomes available, I will post it.

As a non-basketball card fan, I can honestly say that I will buy a box.  The set in my opinion is worth collecting, even if I am not a fan of the autogamers cards.  What is your take on this set?  Collect or Dump?  My initial review is a 4.5/5, let’s see how it will hold up when I actually buy a box.

4 responses »

  1. Carl says:

    As a former basketball-only collector I gotta say that Panini MIGHT be righting the ship. There was only one product from the 2009-10 Bkb release that I enjoyed: Crown Royale. The rest were all cheap knock-offs of each other. I can sum up the rest of Panini’s releases with just a couple lines:

    Foilboard geometric shape base cards with the player photoshopped into the Tron world. #’d parallels that are barely redesigned (die cut, shapes are different shades, or both). Sticker rookie autos without any re-design to the base card. Inserts that have themes that are mere excuses to use their retiree-licensed autos that are generally stickers and a one-per-case Kobe auto that are now worth 1/3rd-1/5th of what Kobe autos were a year ago.

    I already opened one pack of 10-11 Panini basketball and I was happy to see real live photos used without foilboard, and the Donruss looks like it could be OK. It’ll take some real work to get me excited again.

  2. Mike says:

    I really like the concept of using the Rated Rookies tag for the rookie crop. It’s a moniker people know and remember – going back to the glory days of collecting. I like the color filter they seem to be using (at least on the scans) to make the photos look just a little bit “faded” and retro. And I’m on board with the idea of the ’84 design. I’m not really a basketball collector either, but initially on this product, I could see myself wanting to pursue further.
    As for the screen rods and such, those might be intentionally left in there to give it a “photo shoot” feel – considering these cards were made before the guys played any preseason games. It reminds me of shots where you have a guy looking into one camera for the “formal” shot and another camera set up on the side capturing the setup, crew, screens, etc. to give a perspective of the ambiance of the moment. Whether Donruss did that intentionally or not, who knows. But that is what first crossed my mind.
    The insert examples shown were eh, but I’d rather take the card for what its worth – autos and patches – than worry about whether the graphic flows or not. In the end, that is what seems to make or break chasers for me.
    Overall, I like it. In keeping up with the Joneses, this could be a step in the right direction for Donruss after some really lackluster attempts in year’s past with baseball and football.

  3. sanjosefuji says:

    I’m glad they chose to pay homage to the 1984 Donruss baseball design… it’s one of my favorites from that company during the decade. I’m also glad they’ve decided to bring back their rated rookie logo for their cards… it’s one of the things that comes to mind when I think of Donruss (Diamond Kings are the other thing).

  4. Wonderful Job on the Site!

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