For those of you who know me, you already know that I have always been a big Classics fan. In fact, it is fair to say that 2001 Donruss Classics really got me back into the hobby.
My interest in Classics is obviously rooted in the Legends aspect of the sets. From Ruth and Gehrig in that 01 set, to the legends of football, Sanders, Doak Walker, and Staubach among many others.
My cornerstone collection is my 08 Football Classics collection in which I completed the master set, all of the base, rookies, legends, and each of the bronze parallels of each of the inserts, it was set that became an obsession for me.
This year, I was eagerly anticpating the release to see how Panini would build on the product and ordered 4 boxes for myself as well as 5 more for a group break. Because of some delay issues, I got one box a few days after the product released just to tide me over til the rest of my order showed up.
My first box yielded many inserts, and was fairly consistent with others I had seen yielding a minor GU, a rookie auto, and a Flutie patch #d/50, and shorted one hit. Not a great box, but left me wanting more...in fact, one thing I did want more that wasn't there....was the checklist. That was a pre-cursor to what was coming.
Once the rest of the boxes arrived, I rushed home to do the group break. The first box didn't yield much, but the second box we didn't get a Shonn Greene auto #d/20. Not bad...not a huge player at this point, but was sure this was just a hint of what was coming....but it wasn't..it was the group big hit. Our next big pulls? A Celek auto #d/5 and a Classic Doubles of Jim Plunkett and Todd Christensen #d75/75. Compared to the names of Aikman/Irvin, Montana/Rice, Unitas, Elway, Buagh, Staubach/Dorsett, Sanders, Payton, Sayers, Marino....Plunkett and Christensen? This seemed a huge step down compared to previous years.
And the theme of not having the big names continued. Out of 5 boxes that I broke, thinking of players that are big currently, AP, PManning, EManning, Chris Johnson, Tomlinson, Favre, Romo, for inserts, and GU, we got exactly.....1?? A GU of Peyton? That's it? Not even an insert of these guys? Monday Night Heroes, Sunday's Best, Team Colors? Seems these insert sets seem to be made up primarily of second tier players...
My two personal boxes after this were a little better, but not much, yielding a Sayers GU as the big hit from those two boxes along with a Classic Combos of Cowboys players Bob Howley...and someone else I can't remember (and hadn't heard of)
Here are my thoughts on each of the insert sets through my various breaks...
Team colors seems to be more like School Colors from past years, just focusing on the college players coming in in their new uniforms.
Classic Singles even seems to be made up of players like John Taylor, Tom Rathman, Brent Jones, Ed McCaffrey, Curtis Martin.
Classic Combos, expect players along the lines of Henry Ellard and Jackie Slater.
Membership, I really thought this was a pretty set...would have liked to see players a little more popular though than Miles Austin. We did see a nice Sanchez GU in it though.
Dress Code, another pretty set, and at least player selection here is decent with Steven Jackson, Brandon Jacobs, Matt Ryan and Antonio Gates...
Sunday's Best and Monday NIght Heroes were also pretty insert set. PLayers here though of Josh Cribbs and the likes almost makes you cringe when you look to see who the player is.
Legends, well...don't bank on pulling any of the big names....I did see a Elway and Cunningham in my first box, but through the next 7....those are still the big pulls (even got dupes on them). And through 8 boxes...not a single auto of one.
Rookies, our big rookie pull was the #2 pick over all that just signed with Detroit, or perhaps San Diego new RB, but otherwise, this product was littered with defensive picks in the first round or 3 round and lower picks. Autos specifically seemed to come in very strong at 4th rounders and later (can anyone please get the companies to STOP doing free agent undrafted player autos? I think we got at least 4)
Value: 2007 it seemed every box I broke resulted in at least one card worth at least $30-50. I think from these 8 boxes may have resulted in one IF the Shonn Greene qualifies.
Insert sets: Nice design, put seems very poor player selection. Seems like buying a nice Porsche with a V4 that tops out at 60 mph. No get up and go in the inserts
GU: I had seen several boxes that seemed to have a patch in each box, but for us...just one appeared. And with the player selection that we mentioned earlier...this came in disappointing.
Autos: Getting a auto of a player #d to 5 would normally be really exciting...it must be a really good player right.....Brent Celek doesn't qualify for that category.
All in all, I give this product a very poor review. I felt bad for the people in the group break with me, and in fact, i still have one box that I haven't opened, just because I don't seem to want to see what's inside it....and that is sad! Granted, Panini gave out another hit in their boxes, and the price seemed to not go up, but I am betting in 6 months, you will be able to find this product at a greatly reduced price.
Simply, this set did not feature players of "Classic" status, and the missing checklist should have been my first clue.
You can still sign me as Mr. DONRUSS Classics