1. Card Design:
The base set is a solid, if forgettable design. The subject pops in front of the background, offering an almost photoshopped feel. The team logo is in the upper corner above the player, while the lower corner offers the Elite logo, alongside the player’s name. Just above the Elite logo is the player’s jersey number and position. ATC doesn’t generally offer any thoughts on other CL’s in this section, but due to the fact that Elite is a bit different, we are going to. There is a 1999 Elite subset, which can also be a de facto base on its own. With the Donruss Elite logo included and the subject’s last name featured in bold along with side, this chromium subset offers a nice alternative, or 2nd base set for collectors to choose from.
2. Checklist Review:
The 200-card base set is broken down in to two sections, which is a running theme in most Panini products. The first 100 cards are the veterans, while cards 101-200 are the rookies, all serial-numbered /699. You will have seven parallels to choose from (sans the 1/1). The Base Aspirations is another 200-card subset/parallel to collect, featuring the same layout as the traditional base. All 200 cards have differing serial-numbers associated with their own Die-Cut parallels all #’d /24. There is another base subset, Base Status, which follows the aforementioned Aspirations, with a unique numbering layout. The CL features a nice blend of auto, dual auto, relic and insert sets, with a lot of diversity from the players of today to those of yesteryear.
It’s hard not to consider this a highly collectible CL. There are multiple base CL’s to choose from, which should satisfy the needs of player/team collectors. There are also a lot of autograph sets, relics and inserts to choose from. There are plenty of parallels, of course, and plenty more chase cards. Collectors should enjoy scouring this CL for their respective collecting needs. It’s a very deep CL, so most collectors should find something on it for them.
4. Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:
For insert collectors, most should fall in love with the Playmakers inserts. The subject is in front of a stage curtain, offering a really nice background illustrating the point that the playmaker is “putting on a show”. Another novel insert set, is the Elite Deck. This set features 20 subjects and has the design of a deck of playing cards, with the player having a mirror image, such as the face cards in a traditional deck of cards. The 10 card Elite Company insert set is also unique, as it features five players, all coming from the same school, some of which are retired/HOF stars alongside today’s rookies/veterans.
Elite has 11 auto sets and another 6 that are relic-only. The Elite Rookie Autographs are typically highly sought after from this set. They aren’t as collectible as Contenders but are included in that next level down. Although only 10 subjects, the Pen Pals Dual Autos is an exciting addition to the CL The CL has 10 different dual collections of teammates including Kyler Murray/Andy Isabella. Relic cards are what they are, but the Throwback Threads relic set is very solid. 10 subjects, /299, this CL features Howie Long, Archie Manning, Bo Jackson and more!
This is a really solid product. It comes in at an “affordable” price point at around $129.99 MSRP. You’re going to get around 100 cards per box, so you’d need 2+ if you’re going to chase a base set. Box odds suggest 2 autos, 1 relic, 8 inserts and 6 parallels. Like so many products we’ve reviewed, you can do much worse, and could do better (most likely). If a mid-range football product is your thing, Elite should suit you just fine. Overall this should be a good rip!
Overall Score 3.7/5.0