Saturday, September 13, 2014

This one time, at Target...


...I stuck a rack pack of 2014 Donruss Series 2 in my cart.

I can't tell you exactly how or why it happened. My dad and I were just casually strolling along the Target card aisle yesterday when I saw a rack of bright red wrappers hanging at eye level.

It didn't look like a single customer had touched them, and I didn't even know what they were at first. It took me a minute to process the Donruss logo and remember that Panini had released Series 2 a couple weeks ago.

I don't know why, but I had the sudden urge to grab one, even despite the fact that I hadn't bought a single pack of Series 1. I even went so far as to publicly put down the design on this blog with the handful I'd picked up in discount boxes these past few months.

Still, even for a mediocre set, 30 cards for five bucks isn't that bad of a deal. My dad grabbed the fifth rack pack off the hanger (because of the five-dollar price tag) and we went on our merry way.

The cards may be forgettable, but Panini sure knows how to design a wrapper.




I see 2014 Donruss as a good idea gone haywire, though I'm not sure all the fault can be placed on Panini.

Not having the ability to feature logos is a big obstacle to get around. Still, Panini could've done a little more to make these cards stand out a bit. I had to resist the urge to yawn a few times during the course of this rack pack.

Mr. Jeter woke me up a bit, thankfully.




(1978 Topps + 1987 Donruss) - MLB logos = 2014 Donruss!

That seems to be Panini's formula with this set.

The slanted team names in the bottom-left are very reminiscent of '78 Topps, while the little baseball-filled gaps in the borders are about as '87 Donruss as it gets.

I guess the white borders could also be attributed to '78 Topps, but I think it's more due to the fact that we're living in a white-bordered universe here in 2014.




Yes, Topps can get a little boring with using the same "game face" shots over and over again.

But at least Topps still produces a few memorable photos here and there. Every card from this rack pack looked exactly the same.

At least I pulled a few guys I collect. 

That's about all I can ask for out of a five-dollar rack pack.




There was some shiny to be had once I got past all the boring base cards.

But even Mr. Price left me scratching my head.




The "Stat Line" series in 2014 Donruss is an obvious nod to the similar parallels that appeared in the mid-2000's.

The originals actually look really nice and were a fun concept. Divided into both Season and Career Stat Lines, each card is numbered to a specific statistic from the featured player. That Endy Chavez, for example, is limited to 66 copies because of the 66 runs he scored in 2003.

Because Panini chose to plaster 876 CAREER STRIKEOUTS on the front of that Price, I assumed it'd be limited to 876 copies. Nope. Looks like every Stat Line parallel is numbered to 400.

That pretty much takes the fun out of what used to be an original concept.




All the inserts and parallels I pulled were rebirths of old Donruss-related designs.

While I was happy to pull a card of Jose Altuve, the man behind my newest player collection, I don't think the Donruss Elite brand is one that we need to revisit.

It was boring enough the first time.




Diamond Kings has and always will remind me of something I might see in a horror movie.

Not that I watch horror movies or anything. I'll stick with Ferris Bueller's Day Off, thank you very much.

The longer you look at those old Diamond Kings, the scarier they get. The 2014s took out that freaky slasher quality, but they still don't grab my attention.

I'm already regretting scanning that Rusty Staub now.

It'll start popping up in my nightmares soon.




That Hernandez insert was probably my favorite card of the rack pack.

Although it doesn't have anything on the original Studios, of course.

I can applaud the thought process behind this grand Donruss revival, but I can't get behind the effort. There's not enough here to make this brand even halfway interesting.

I think it's safe to say that my liaison with Donruss will turn out to be a one-night stand.

6 comments:

Jeff said...

Shoulda scanned a 1984 Diamond King for comparison.

Nick said...

Didn't think I had one until I remembered Rusty just now. It definitely looks better side-by-side with the 2014 edition.

mmosley said...

Diamond Kings were my favorite when I was a kid. Still have a soft spot for them. Wish they weren't so short printed.

Matthew Scott said...

I still need to post my 4 boxes of Donruss I opened in July as my get well present to myself when I was recovering from surgery. I think the overall consensus is that the inserts are kind of cool, but the base set is bland and boring.

Jupiterhill said...

The only real problem I have with the set is not having the logos on the cards. Otherwise I like the set, but not enough to go out and buy many packs.

Julie Owens said...

Nick, I hope you aren't feeling too dirty and ashamed. I fell for the same rack pack. Some wrapper! Just another proof to "it's what's on the inside that counts." Love your blog! I'm eyeing this card: 2013 Panini Golden Age Carolina Brights Mini #96 Bill Freehan. Perhaps I can find something you need. I'll get to searching!