1. Card Design:
ATC did not write a review for 2019 Donruss Base, otherwise this would be a short, and sweet, section. The overall feel of the card design has a modern-day version feel of “1985 Donruss”. The “Optic” logo replaces the “Donruss” logo in the upper right-hand corner of the card (Donruss Base was featured in the upper left-hand corner). Overall it’s a rather blah design, with a simple white border. It’s really not that impressive and it very forgettable. Optic is the chrome version of Donruss Base.
2. Checklist Review:
Featuring a 200-card base set, with 30 Diamond Kings, 56 Rated Rookies, 4 All Stars and 100 Veterans, it’s a nice blend of subjects. Optic is not a mirrored CL of Base, but it’s very close. The base set features 18 parallels, along with the 1/1 Gold Vinyl, as well as another 7 FOTL (First Off The Line) parallels. So, yes. This is your typical Panini overproduced product. The CL also features 8 auto and 8 inserts sets. Half of the inserts sets are chrome parallels of Donruss Base inserts sets, while the other half are new for Optic. Your individual score, as was mine, is really predicated on how much you like “shiny” cards and how much you like chasing tons, and tons… and tons… of parallels.
If you like Topps Flagship, or even more so, Topps Opening Day and Topps Big League Baseball, then Donruss Optic should fall in your wheelhouse. As I previously mentioned, you have to be a fan of low(er) end products, first and foremost, but you have to be a chaser of parallels to really get pumped up for Optic. There should be enough on the CL for team/set collectors to pursue, but it won’t be the most desirable product, since it lacks the license which motivates a lot of team/player collectors.
4. Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:
There are a lot of colors to chase when it comes to parallels, so everyone will have their own favorite. Considering that there are over 25 to choose from, it’s tough for anyone to suggest their favorite to another collector. The MVP insert and autograph sets are personal favorites. If you were collecting in 1989, then the Optic MVP sets might be ones you want to add to your collection. The insert set only features 15 subjects, all current players, with 24 subjects (only 2 of which are currently playing) on the auto CL. The auto CL includes fan favorites, along with HOF’ers such as George Brett, Pete Rose, Jose Canseco, Dale Murphy, Brooks Robinson and many more!
Optic does not have relics, unlike Donruss Base, but has enough autos to choose from. There is nothing special here, except for shiny auto’d cards. The re-sell value is low(ered), due to the lack of license, so only real player/team collectors will be adding these to their respective PC’s. The one nice auto set is the 1985 Retro set, featuring 19 subjects. Here you can find autos of players such as Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dave Stewart and even Ted Simmons! Overall, these autos won’t be featured parts of one’s PC though, although most can probably be purchased for well below comps from other releases.
I did my best to look at this release objectively. However, for the past few years, I’ve been a big proponent of combing Optic and Donruss Base in to one product and have the Optic be “chase” parallel cards. There really is no reason for these two products to be separated, since their overall CL’s are far too similar. For a product (Donruss Base) that already has a fairweather reputation amongst collectors, adding a “2.0” product reeks of duplicity.
Overall Score 2.4/5.0