I did a preview of this product a few months ago, you can go back and read that here, I won't rehash too much of it. There are 203 base cards in this set. Wait what?? Yep there are 200 in the box, but Panini announced yesterday that if you send your 24 wrappers in you get a bonus pack with cards 201, 202, and 203 which will be bonus rated rookie cards. Panini wouldn't say who they feature yet. You can find the information, instructions, and mailing address here at Panini's blog. I really wish the base set was a little larger. I think a 600 card set would have been perfect, but I'd have taken a 400 card set too. 200 just seems so small, almost like the base was an afterthought.
Alright lets have a look at the cards.
Panini also put a bunch of retired players in the mix.
Over all the look of the base cards is really nice and Panini has selected a lot of photos that really look good despite the lack of logos.
Also numbered into the set are the Diamond Kings and Rate Rookies, just like they use to be back in the day. They are also pretty hard to pull.
Each box also comes with a box topper
I think one of the best things about the set and the box is that while there are a fare number of inserts and a few parallels, there really aren't that many. And a few of the inserts fall only one per box or less.
First up we have the Stat Line parallel cards. There are two versions the Career Stat line and the Season stat line. I got two Season Stat lines and one Career. They are serial numbered to the stat which is neat.
There are also Press Proof parallels. Gold and Silver. I got one Silver Press Proof serial numbered to 199. The gold version is numbered to 99.
Alright onto the inserts.
One of the new inserts, at least I think this is new, correct me if I'm wrong, is the Breakout Pitchers and Breakout Hitters insert. You get two colors red and blue. I'm not sure is the color is just alternated or if there is some other meaning, because it's not by league or by position. Still a really cool looking set.
Next up is Hall Worthy. I think this might also be another new insert. Sure similar ones have been done, but I'm not sure if this was ever a regular Donruss insert. I only pulled one out of my box, but I'll take the Big Unit.
I ended up pulling 4 Power Plus inserts. A nod back to the 1985 Action All Stars Design.
Next up are the inserts I really like. The Elite inserts from the 90's were huge. The first serial numbered cards, the Elite and Legends cards were like money in the bank and an incredibly hard pull.
First up we have the Elite Dominators. I pulled two of these. A nice one of Prince Fielder. Still labeled as a Tiger. Prince's base card does list him with the Rangers.
Besides the fact I didn't any autos in my box I will say that I do love the design. The cards look good. I wish the set was larger and that the Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies weren't so hard to pull to build the set. I think I got 4 each in my box. I haven't collated the set yet, but I'm pretty sure I got a full set from card 46 to 200. I've also already sent in my wrappers for my bonus cards too. I didn't pull any Team MVP or No No's cards, I think they are as tough as those Hall Worthy cards. The Elites and Domintor cards look great
and so do most of the other inserts. And there's even some foil board for those who crave that. Overall not a bad first try for Panini. I think with a little tweaking this could become Panini's flagship baseball set and maybe even compete with Topps.
I think most of my hits are going up on ebay to help pay for the box, but I should have some extra base if anyone needs some help with the set and I'll have a needs list up soon.