2011 Donruss Elite FootballBrand: Elite
Donruss Elite returns for another season of numbered rookies, die-cuts and autographs. The most notable new additions to the tried and true Elite formula is intriguing to say the least, those being the first ever book cards in Panini history.
Box Configuration: 20 Packs/5 Cards Per Pack
Pack Price: $6 SRP
Product Type: Mid-End Football Card
Geared Toward: Die-cut die hards, Set builders, Collectors looking to get an early start on the 2011 football card season, Book card connoisseurs, Numbered rookie seekers
What's In The Box:
- 4 Autograph/Memorabilia Cards
- 4 Rookie Cards (#'d to 999)
- 1 Status or Aspirations die-cut parallel
- 7 Additional inserts or rookie cards
- The first ever "book cards" in Panini history, highlighted by "Throwback Threads" dual player book cards!
- Every 12-box case will deliver either a booklet or dual-signed Passing the Torch card and one or more autographs from a checklist that includes Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Mark Ingram among others.
- 200 card base set featuring 100 veterans and 100 rookies
- NFL Shield and Team Logo on-card signatures from the biggest names in the 2011 NFL rookie class
- Autographed RC parallels numbered to 499 or less
- Aspirations and Status Die-Cuts numbered to 49 or less
- Throwback Threads checklist featuring Otto Graham, Sammy Baugh, Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith and Dan Marino.
- New Passing the Torch combinations such as Peyton Manning/Sam Bradford, LaDainian Tomlinson/Ryan Mathews, John Elway/Tim Tebow and Michael Irvin/Dez Bryant.
Preview Card Gallery:
2011 Donruss Elite Football Set Checklist Index
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2011 Donruss Elite Football Cards Product Review
Reviewed By Doug Cataldo
Good: 2011 NFL Rookies, freshly designed inserts.
Bad: If ever there was a trading card set that needed a revamp, it's Donruss Elite. Suffering from a bad case of the same old, same old, it is actually difficult to tell the difference between cards from various years. Only the logo gives a hint to collectors. Elite harkens back to another era of collecting, one when inserts were limited, didn't contain memorabilia or autographs and you were lucky if they were sequentially numbered. Elite insert cards were a huge chase among collectors and their past popularity spawned what it has become. Today, Elite is lost among the many football sets in the same price range that look better, have a higher-end feel and have many better features.
The Bottom Line: Football fans in limbo, wondering whether or not they will even have a season to watch this year, are looking for an olive branch. They want something tangible they can sink their teeth into and while the business of football might be letting them down, the trading cards are always there to ease the pain. Whether Elite is deemed a good or a bad product, some collectors will grab it because they need a football fix.
Card Design: 1.0/5.0
The base card design is uninspired and so similar to other years of Elite that it is frustrating as a collector to watch a series that was once praised and sought after as one of the hobby's most attractive sets plunge towards rock bottom. Lose the foil board, change the design and give collectors the originality and strong designs that made this a beloved insert series in the first place.
The rookie cards provide a slightly different look. They are horizontal instead of vertical and have some nice looking images of the future NFL stars. However, the design is also lackluster. I can't believe someone actually thought it was a good idea to put the sequential numbering on the front of the card and over the rookie insignia. They are barely legible and look terrible. The autographed “Turn of the Century" rookie cards also have serious design issues. One-eighth of the card is covered with a semi-transparent white box. The box is meant to showcase the signature, but it is really just a spot to place a sticker. This would've worked on a vertical design, but on a horizontal layout it eats up most of the photo and they appear sloppy. Lastly, the backs tell you what round the player was drafted, but not what pick he was.
One word comes to mind – revamp.
The inserts, on the other hand, are quite attractive. Legends of the Fall are particularly striking. The colors pop on these cards, which feature fan favorite NFL players with a skyline in the background. Gold foil highlights only enhance the overall design. Down & Distance, Craftsman, Power Formulas and NFL Shield all would have made more of an impact as the base card design.
The checklist is deep, containing 100 veterans and 100 rookies. Elite goes deep into the draft to provide collectors with a large amount of rookies. You can't always pull a first-rounder, but you should find between four and six, and maybe even a few autographed ones. But you could unpack Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Mark Ingram and others top selections. There are even some all-time great autos from Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Franco Harris and John Elway.
Collectors expect a lot from a $100 product. Elite is hovering in that zone. While it delivers quantity, it doesn't scream quality. There are going to be good boxes and bad boxes. That's the way of the hobby. But you are going to need a good rookie auto hit or a combination of some good sequentially numbered rookies and a veteran or legend autograph to make this one feel like you received your perceived value.
The Fun Factor: 2.0/5.0
Opening Elite in 2011 is like those yearly trips to the house of one the relatives in your family that you barely know. You know, the one with the plastic couch covers that smells like old feet and cottage cheese. You go in knowing exactly what to expect and sometimes you are pleasantly surprised, while other times you just can't wait to get back into the car and make your way home. What would make Elite more fun? It needs a makeover. Give us a fresh take on an old favorite, and Elite could be a Contender(s).