Tuesday, April 2, 2019

2018 Donruss Optic

Donruss Optic is one of my favorite releases each year. I don't get many packs, mainly because the pack prices are steep even for retail, but I do get a few packs each year.

It's almost like a baseball card on steroids, in a good way, not a shaming of our national pastime way. The chromium-stock makes all the difference. I shouldn't be swayed by this. Topps Chrome doesn't give me the same satisfaction, even though it's a very similar card type. Maybe it's just the fact that it's Donruss and not Topps or the fact that the word chrome doesn't factor into the name. I can't quite place my finger on it.

In fact the only reason this release isn't a top priority for me is the parallels. All seventeen parallels. I'm sick of so many parallels. It makes getting a complete set through packs almost impossible, even though the base set is only 175 cards.

Well, technically the base set is 186 cards. Panini pulls some Topps-level shenanigans. Card #176 is available as a variation. Cards 177 - 186 are only available as inserts in 2018 Panini Chronicles. It really reminds me of what Topps did with their 2008 Update and Highlights set featuring Topps Heritage High Numbers. I was not happy with that marketing decision by Topps, but I understood the reasoning behind it.

The White Sox have five cards in the set and no variations. There are still the seventeen additional parallels.

2 - Yoan Moncada DK
53 - Thyago Vieira RR
59 - Nicky Delmonico RR
80 - Jose Abreu
81 - Frank Thomas

For only five cards, the White Sox have a nice variety in there. A Diamond King, two Rated Rookies, a veteran and a retired Hall of Famer. Not too shabby. It makes up for the trip through parallel hell.

Donruss Optic is not a perfect release, but it has a lot going for it. A manageable sized set, a good mix of players and chromium technology. It's brought down by the seventeen parallels and being split over multiple releases to complete the base set. There's a lot that went right though and that's what counts. Now only if Panini can get fully licensed, this might be an unstoppable powerhouse.

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