26 July 2019

Hobby Box of 2019 Panini Donruss WNBA Basketball

For a long time the WNBA license has resided with Rittenhouse Archives, where the annual trading card set was released in a factory set format, usually with some kind of autograph content inserted randomly. It was kind of surprising to see that Panini grabbed the license to make WNBA trading cards, so I ordered up a box of their first WNBA product, 2019 WNBA Donruss.


Each box has 4 packs in it, with 30 cards per pack. There are 2 autographs in each box. Seattle Storm player Breanna Stewart appears on the packaging.


There is a big list of inserts and parallels, although surprisingly there are a relatively small number of parallels. with print runs of 199, 99, 10, and 1. I would have expected to see more mid-level parallels in that gap between the /99 cards and the /10 cards.


The branding on the packs matches pretty closely with the branding on the box.


Here's a look at some of the base card fronts. The last dozen cards or so are Rated Rookies. Out of a 100-card base set I pulled 89 cards with no duplicates, so it will take a couple of boxes to complete a set.


The card backs look like a Panini Donruss product. You get one year of stats, a career stat line, some biographical information, and a paragraph about the player.


I got six Optic cards in the box, with four regular Optic cards and two Holo cards (I guess you get Holo cards in Optic now instead of Prizms). 


I also pulled a few of the less-shiny parallels, a couple of the /199 variety and one /99 card.


I like the look of most of the inserts. I think you will either like them or hate them based on how much nostalgia you have for the insert sets of the 1990's. I pulled 5 All-Stars inserts.


I got 3 Express Lane inserts in the box. I was happy to get some Houston Comets content with that Sheryl Swoopes card. I haven't picked a favorite team in the current WNBA. The Comets were my favorite team, but they folded a long time ago.


I got two Franchise Features cards in the box. I'm glad that I recognized a lot of the names in the set. I haven't followed the WNBA very closely for a while, so I was worried that I wouldn't know anyone, but I knew more players than I thought I would.


A couple more inserts are League Leaders and Retro Series. I pulled a Retro Series Press Proof parallel of Lindsay Whalen. I think most of the inserts have parallel versions.


The Rookies inserts appeared 4 times in the bow, with two base inserts, a Press Proof parallel of Katie Lou Samuelson, and a Purple parallel of Asia Durr.


The last insert set is Swishful Thinking, and I got three of them. Elena Delle Donne makes another appearance here. I think I pulled more cards featuring her than I did any other player.


My two autographs were of the base variety, with one being rookie Asia Durr and the other being Seimone Augustus, who was the #1 pick in 2006 and has won 4 championships with the Minnesota Lynx along with 3 Olympic Gold medals.

Overall this was a pretty fun box to break. It might be fun to work on building a full set of base and inserts, although I have to believe the price point on this product will come down a bit from the $80 or so per box that most vendors are asking now. If you could get boxes in the $45-50 range this would feel like a better value, and I would imagine that by Black Friday they might get there unless the print run turns out to be very small or demand is higher than I imagine it is.

8 comments:

  1. Hey Raz, welcome back to blogging after the break. That is cool that WNBA is back...at least temporarily....and the collation looks great.

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    1. I'm trying to get back into blogging and enjoying this part of my collecting hobby. I do wonder how many WNBA sets Panini will push out. They have a tendency to overdo things a little.

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  2. Don't follow men's or women's basketball anymore. But Sheryl Swoopes. Now that's a name I recognize.

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    1. I was glad to see some names from the history of the WNBA in the product, although they seem to be limited to inserts and autographs.

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  3. Those inserts are quite awesome. Although seeing "Mayo Clinic" on the uniforms kind of kills the effect.

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    1. I guess the need for sponsorship dollars is greater than the need for aesthetically pleasing uniforms. I think it would be fun to build all of the insert sets for this product.

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