Thursday, September 18, 2014

Product Review: 2014 Panini Donruss Series 2 Baseball Hobby Box

I've said it on Twitter, Blogs and other posts.......It's too bad Panini doesn't have a piece of the MLB licence. Since they came back into creating Baseball products, Panini has been on top of their game with cool designs, great photography and overall amazing products. The 2014 Donruss Series II product is no exception.

The follow up release to the popular Series I, Series II brings us even closer into the old Donruss look and feel. 24 Packs per box with 8 cards per pack make this a fun and enjoyable product to open. Aside from the 100 regular base set you have great inserts and Short Prints waiting within each box. Rated Rookies are again SP's and packed at 1:6 packs, Diamond Kings are also SP's and come in at 6 per box (on average).

The Elite series is packed into this Series and provide almost 1 per pack. These are a great edition for those set collectors to hunt down. With 100 cards in the set, you'll need a few boxes in order to complete it your self.

The Base set as well as Elite both have serial number parallels to chase like Career Stat Lines, Season Stat Lines, Silver Press Proof, Gold Press Proof, Dominator, Turn of the Century, Inspirations and Status are just a few to find.

You'll find 3 hits per box that can be either Relic or Autographs, some boxes I've seen have up to 4 hits which knowing Panini is more often that not. Your price point on this box is around $80 or so which isn't too bad for a product like this.

Lets see how we did on our box:

Base Cards: 133 (33 doubles) 
Rated Rookies: 4 - Springer, Cron, Martinez, Abreu
The Rookies: 4 - Bettis, Bethancourt, Hembree, Martinez
Diamond Kings: 6 - Fernandez, Trumbo, Gomez, Cepedes, Upton, Gonzalez
Elite: 24 - dArnaud, Abreu, Walker, Springer, Trout
Career Stat Lines Rated Rookies: 1 - Erisbel Arruebarrena /276
Career Stat Lines Base: 1 - Bautista /400
Season Stat Lines Base: 1 - Votto /400
Career Stat Line Diamond Kings: 1 - Marte /275
Silver Press Proof Base: 1 - Kolten Wong /199
Silver Press Proof Rated Rookie: 1 - Holmberg RR /199
Silver Press Proof Diamond Kings: 1 - Encarnacion /199
Gold Press proof Diamond Kings: 1 - Marte /99
Elite Face 2 Face: 1 - McCutchen/Kershaw /999
Elite Series 2: 1 - Bryce Harper /999
The Elite Series: 3 - Longoria, Cabrera, Beltran (all /999)
Elite Dominator: 2 - Wright, Tanaka (both /999)
Elite Turn of the Century: 1 - Headley /199
Elite Inspirations Die-Cut: 1 - Jeter /98
Elite Status Die-Cut: 1 - Cano /49
Elite Turn of the Century Autographs: 2 - Solarte, Nelson
Elite Status Die-Cut Autograph: 1 - Andrew Lambo /49
Jersey Kings: 1 - Derek Jeter

Lots to cover off here. With the base cards I enjoyed the card design and photography. Not getting the MLB logos is tough but some of the photos are very clever and look great. The backs are nice too with the 1988 feel to them. I did pull 33 doubles from the box which is pretty high, too bad there couldn't be a substitute for them but with a mid-low range product you have to expect this. 
Love the fact the Rated Rookies and Diamond Kings are SP's. Both are apart of the "Continuous Set" and could be the big sell to set builders looking for these cards. 
The Elite Series are a nice foil type design and come with veterans and rookies. They can chip so be careful when busting your box. Being a 100 card set, this is another one to watch on the secondary market. 
The Elite Series and Elite Dominator inserts are great looking cards. Again Panini is bringing back those old impossible to find inserts from the 90's and making them more available in this product. Both would be great to complete sets.
The Rookies insert set is an awesome "bring me back to 1988" design. Love the retro feel on these and a pretty cool set full of this years rookies. 
Parallels are everywhere in this box. I pulled 18 in the box, those are pretty good odds in a $80 box. With the different flavors to pull I really liked the Die-Cut and Career Stat Lines. 
I pulled three autographs in the box with one being a numbered die-cut. All three are sticker autos and of low tiered players. The Die-Cut is a cool card and only numbered to 49, Lambo is not a house hold name but again you don't expect trout to pop up in every other box.
I managed to pull an additional hit, that being a Relic of Derek Jeter. Nice looking card and a great player to pull in a pack.
Overall I love this product. It is so right for Set Collectors and Baseball lovers. It doesn't break the bank, you pull a lot of great cards and the retro look and feel to the box is hands down fun. It's one of those addictive products that you just can't get enough of. I'm strongly thinking about buying a few more boxes or maybe even look into a case of this stuff. Panini does it again without a MLB licence, you can only imagine what they could do with it. 

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Relics: 4/5
Autographs: 4/5
Inserts: 5/5
Design: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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