Thursday, August 4, 2016

Happiness is a Box of 2016 Donruss

Along with the box of Ghostbusters cards I reviewed a few weeks ago, there was also a box of 2016 Donruss that came along with them. I opened a few packs back in the spring, pulled 3 hits out of four packs, and was really blown away at how great the cards were, even for a logo-less product. While this won't be a super thorough review like the Ghostbusters cards, there were still lots of highlights to be had.

Everyone has probably seen the base cards for this by now as it was the first release of the year from Panini. There's a healthy mix of current players, up and coming players, and retired starts, not to mention the San Diego Chicken. Even with the fact that there are no logos or team names on the cards, these are still some pretty good shots and Panini did a fairly decent job of hiding the fact that there are no names or logos.

Like they did last year, there are some throwback cards, this time from 1982 Donruss. It seemed like there was one in every pack. I really like the Rickey Henderson cards of him, well literally, stealing bases.

Now here comes the fun stuff, the inserts! I haven't seen the Masters of the Game inserts talked about a lot, if at all, but I really like these two cards. They have that artistic look like Diamond Kings and have a really nice design to boot.

There are photo variations although, unlike Topps, you can actually pick out the variations without having to consult some sort of online repository. The photo variations have a nickname, such as the case of the Ken Griffey Jr. card above, or some sort of note like "NL ROY" or something to that effect. I was expecting more than one of the pink parallel cards and for what they are, they're okay but not really my thing.

Rookies were plentiful and these are three of the best that I pulled. I like how the Rated Rookies are a different design from the base set but the "Rookies" subset seems like overkill.

Now we're getting into the good stuff. First up these 82 parallels of some sort. The design on the Prince Fielder card looks like the ink blotches from one of those visions tests while the Donaldson has some sort of 80s zebra print thing going one. The Elite Dominator and the Elite Series cards are one per box inserts. While I like the Elite Series DeGrom card, it feels almost unnecessary as Panini does the Elite cards as one of their late season releases.

Ok, now the very good stuff. This Dansby Swanson parallel is numbered out of 400Swanson was flipped to Atlanta last winter as part of the ridiculous Shelby Miller trade. When all is said and done, I think Atlanta will come out the winner as Miller has been a complete disaster for Arizona.

Speaking of Arizona, the hits from the desert continue with this Peter O'Brien autographed jersey card. I really like the concept of this series with jersey pieces and signatures from up and coming players. The patch itself is no small piece either which makes it that much better.

This must be some sort of Diamondbacks hot box! First the Dansby numbered card, then the O'Brien autograph jersey card, now this Archie Bradley jersey card. For lack of a better term, this is the "base" card design as there are different versions of these in both red and green (each of which are numbered). The design on this is a bit dark and I personally think this card would have benefited from a jersey swatch from a color other than black. 

Nola is one of the top pitching prospects for the Phillies and when I pulled this out I was pretty happy. You can't really tell from the scan but it's numbered as well, even though it's a sticker autograph, which really doesn't bother me as it blends in pretty well with the white. I like the blue background and the general design a lot on this. 

Here's another jersey card set that I think is pretty cool where it's a jersey piece from a team of a current player, in this case Jake Arrietta being represented as a member of the Orioles. This is my first Orioles hit I've had in a long time and I'll gladly take it, especially since he's one of the best pitchers in the National League, well at least until he cooled off recently.

I'm not sure this card could be classified as a hit but I'm going to put it in that bucket anyway. This is a test proof card of Alex Rodriguez numbered 9/10 as this is apparently the magenta version. There are other versions of the test proof cards in cyan, black, and yellow. Needless to say, I was pretty happy to pull this out of the next to last pack when I broke into the box. This sucker went right into a top loader.

Overall, I would say this was a really good product to tear into. You get a lot of stuff, be it numbered cards, hits, inserts, and base cards, as evidenced by the picture below. Whatever you're into, I don't think you could go wrong with this. It's moderately priced too. Counting the A-Rod test proof card, I pulled five hits out of a box that guaranteed three. 


  1. Great box, looks like it was a fun rip. Thanks for posting!

  2. Need that Junior variation!!

    1. I'd offer it to you but it's already been set aside for someone.

  3. I bet Zippy would take that Arod off your hands if you were looking for a trade partner.

  4. Nice to see some Expos representation, though I'd like to see Pedro as an Expo in one of these. I think all of the retired player cards I see of him are as a Red Sox player..

  5. That looks like it was an entertaining break. Congrats!