2020 Donruss Product Review

Card Design:

Donruss does get into the nostalgia bucket like Heritage by having retro cards from the 1986 design. This includes on all of the Diamond Kings cards. Plus if you love classic cards like Rated Rookies, then Donruss fills your need. You just have to get used to one glaring element – no logos. With Panini not having the baseball contract, it is forbidden from showing logos so players with blank jerseys and hats is an acquired taste. The basic design is sharp with a diagonal border, a flag backdropping the player name and a rotation of colors as the background. The base set has 264 cards comprised of the previously mentioned Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies plus Retro 86 and cards honoring the San Diego Chicken and Domingo Ayala.
Score 3.75/5.0

Checklist Review:

As stated before, Donruss consists of 264 base cards including 30 Diamond Kings, 30 Rated Rookies plus two more at the end of the set (Luis Robert and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo), 150 cards of veteran players from all teams, 50 cards in the 1986 design (Retro 86) and the aforementioned cards for the Chicken and Ayala. The Diamond Kings are full of young stars including Tatis, Bellinger, Acuna, Alonso, Vlad and Soto. Speaking of young stars, the youngest are in the Rated Rookies set including Bichette, Aquino, Lux and Alvarez. The regular core portion of the set has all of the key veterans like Buehler, Strasburg, Betts, Bellinger, Yelich, Cole, Kershaw, Scherzer, Trout, Lindor, Verlander, Bryant and Harper. But you also need the youth which is what everyone wants to chase with players including Tatis, Torres, Ohtani, Vlad, Eloy, Biggio, Moncada, Soto, Acuna, Hiura, Kikuchi and Alonso.
Score 4.1/5.0


Donruss although it is lacking the logos still has a special place in our collecting hearts. We reminisce back to when it started in 1981 and it still draws us all in. Whether we have built Donruss sets in the past and can’t stop or we love to chase the hits (and Donruss has a lot of those too), it still has strong collectable value. No matter what, we all just can’t turn away.
Score 3.9/5.0

Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:


If you want Parallels, Donruss has you covered and then some. There are a host of different Parallels which can fit the need of the “rainbow chaser” or give the pack ripper or breaker many more options to get a card more than just a base. The Parallels include this lengthy list: the “Rainbow” (Blue Holo, Orange Holo, Pink Holo, Purple Holo, Red Holo plus Yellow), Independence Day, Baby Shark, Career Stat Line/Milestone Stat Line/Season Stat Line (varied numbering), One Hundred (numbered to 100), On Fire (numbered to 75), Presidential Collection (numbered to 50), Look At This (numbered to 25), Artist Proof (numbered to 10), Press Proof (numbered to 5), Number 1 and Printing Plates (both numbered 1/1).

There are more cards to chase with Donruss’ Insert sets. There are 11 total sets: Whammy (5 cards with a cartoon feel), Rated Prospects (10 cards numbered to 999 with Parallels featuring players that would be the next Rated Rookies), Now Playing (12 cards of young stars numbered to 999 with Parallels), Highlights (12 cards paying tribute to the old boxed Highlights set numbered to 999 with Parallels), The Rookies (8 cards in the mold of another older boxed set numbered to 999 with Parallels), Elite Series (13 cards in another blast from Donruss past numbered to 999 with Parallels), Divisions (6 cards playing on the baseball divisions with a player from each team), Contenders (4 cards with 4 players on a team with Parallels), Dominators (13 cards numbered to 999 with Parallels), American Pride (26 cards of recent draftees numbered to 999 with Parallels) and As Seen (6 cards with the “As Seen on TV” feel numbered to 999 with Parallels).
Score 4.4/5.0



Donruss keeps up the chase with a hefty dose of Autos and Relics available to be pulled. Let’s look at the Autos first. Classified is a 10-card set of young stars with Parallels (Blue, Gold, Black). Classics is another 10-card set with a mixture of past and present stars again with Parallels (Blue, Gold, Black). Sky High also has 10 cards of young stars with Parallels (Blue, Gold, Black). Signature Series is a “signature” Auto product in Donruss. This year’s version has 51 cards with Parallels (Blue, Gold, Black). Retro 1986 has the 1986 design and features 98 cards with Parallels (Red, Pink, Gold, Black). Plus, there are Auto/Relic cards of Domingo Ayala and The San Diego Chicken. The San Diego Chicken also has a Relic card only. In addition, the Retro 1986 design has Relic cards in a 50-card set. Donruss Materials is a 47-card Relic set with Parallels (Red, Gold, Black).
Score 4.0/5.0


Donruss is a roller-coaster product with some key cool things to look for: Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies, the Retro 1986 design and some cool Autos to chase. However, it also has the typical down from Panini with the lack of logos. Still, it has a fun factor that can’t be ignored. Enjoy yourself and rip away (or break away if that is your fancy) because your smiles will outweigh your frowns.
Overall Score 4.03/5.0

2 responses to “2020 Donruss Product Review”

  1. Thanks for reviewing since perhaps due to affordability it’s one of the first time I’ve actively sought to get extensive team parallel sets. My experience / feelings have been that firstly those Diamond King emojis look awful – whoever thought those were a good idea! I also don’t love the way they split the base cards up into normal and retro 86. It means when it comes to rainbow sets the normal cards look to have a different shade than the 86s due to the underlying blue stripes. I’ve now won several ebay auctions for pinks that are purples or reds because the sellers couldn’t easily differentiate the shades and the cards don’t indicate the shade via any code on the backs. The foil/chrome reflections and angle of a photo make it really hard to pick the colour when bidding also. I’ve ended up with a bunch of 86 pinks that look purple and reds that look like pinks. Not a great choice of shades from Panini I think. Still a fun set and I’m loving the emojis even if they are pricey and hard to source.

    The diam

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I meant to say that boy some of those Stat Line parallels are particularly uninspiring too. Identical card but with just the tiniest little stat strip. I just couldn’t bring myself to bother collecting them.


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