Tuesday, October 02, 2007

1st Impressions: 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition

By now you must have heard that Donruss-Playoff will be releasing a "baseball card" set this December. I put the words "baseball" and "card" in quotation marks because 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball is neither licensed by Major League Baseball nor the Players Association. It will be, of all things, a college baseball set.

You'd think Topps or Upper Deck would have come up with a college-themed baseball card set by now. But if necessity is the mother of invention, then I guess getting your MLBPA license yanked is the mother of college baseball cards. (Yeah, I know. Bad analogy, sue me.)

Essentially D-P is taking a page from the EA Sports play book. A couple of years ago, EA had their MLB video game license revoked. They responded by putting out the same baseball video game, but with college teams and players.

The same concept is at work with '07 D3E. The set will feature 25 first-round selections from this year's MLB First Year Player Draft, all in their college (or high school as it were) uniforms. In addition, the base set will also include a handful of first-rounders from this year's NBA draft, as well as various other college athletes, coaches, and celebrities.

Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, that's where the similarities with EA Sports -- whose MVP Baseball holds its own with the fully-licensed competition -- ends. Donruss' fore into college baseball cards seems remarkably similar to the fully-licensed card sets they were putting out before their license was (mercifully) terminated.

I mean, this is Donruss-Playoff we're talking about. Did you actually think that D-P wouldn't screw a good idea like this up? Most of the "rookie cards" (their term, not mine) will be autographed-only and serial-numbered to 999 copies. And yes, there will be an inordinate and unnecessary amount of multi-leveled parallels, inserts, autogamers, and combinations thereof.

So alas, Donruss is back in the baseball card business (sort of). And while I won't be collecting it, it will be interesting to see how the rest of The Hobby reacts to D3E. Will it be treated as just another pre-rookie/minor league issue (i.e. mid-90s Classic), or as a pseudo-legit Draft Pick product like 2001-03 Upper Deck old Prospect Premieres?

MSRP: $5 per five-card pack. Street Date: Dec. 19th.


Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is where the term 'amateur' ends and the term 'paid professional' begins. There's a marked difference between making a trading card set of college players and one of professionals, one that either myself or Donruss/Playoff seems not to have grasped.

dayf said...

These are all 2007 draft picks, so they are all now professionals. I'm looking forward to seeing an actual checklist so I can figure out what the heck a rookie and a common are. It kind of looks like there 75 draft picks, 5 'other' (Rick Majerus is shown in the sell sheet) and then 50 more autographed rookies to make a 130 card set. Looking over all the parallels and inserts about made my head explode. Apparently the autographed rookies have autographed parallels. huh?

I'm willing to give this a chance since I want Donruss back in the game. There's always a chance they'll screw it up and make all the good draft picks auto only, but I'm willing to wait until see a checklist. I still think that in any case it will fly off the shelves as long as the autographs are good and plentiful. I've seen too many people open box after box of Chrome just for the autos.