Averaging two autographs in every Hobby box, 2023 Donruss Elite WWE hits the mat for the first time as a standalone wrestling product.
The Elite brand of trading cards dates it origins back to a Shop-At-Home promotion in 1993. Manufactured by the Donruss company, each of the cards in the 20-card set were printed and serial numbered to 5,000 copies. While that might seem exorbinant by today’s standards, it was pretty cutting edge at the time. To add further value to the promotion, the first 2,500 cards were autographed. Viewers who purchased boxes of Donruss baseball received one card. The autographed versions in particular were quite popular with collectors and commanded hundreds of dollars at trading card show across the country.
From Promotion to Insert Set
The aforementioned promotion was so successful that the following year, 1994, Donruss expanded the brand as a randomly inserted bonus into the base set for that year. The Elite inserts were issued in two series of six cards each. Utilizing a continuous numbering system from previous years, card numbers 37-42 could be found in Donruss first series packs and card numbers 43-48 in series two. The production run was increased to 10,000 copies of each card. The unique diamond vision bordering design created the illusion you were looking into the field of play where the photos were taken.
From Insert to Brand
The Elite insert set continued in that fashion until 1996 when the Donruss company released it as a stand alone set in their hockey category. This was followed up by a baseball version in 1997. The 150-card set was an instant hit with collectors. Distributed in a Hobby only format and printed on a mirror-like foil board, boxes delivered 18 packs with 8 cards per pack. Over the next few years, the set size remained the same but the pack-out configuration and price point changed moderately.
Elite Gets the Extra Edition Treatment
In 2007, after losing their MLB license to manufacture officially licensed trading cards, Donruss turned to collegiate athletics to fill the void and released Donruss Elite Extra Edition. The new brand continued the tradition of mirror foil board, serial numbering and various inserts. The early years of Elite Extra Edition proved to be a windfall for prospect collectors who now had an alternative to Bowman, which had long dominated that aspect of the hobby market. Additionally, the Donruss Elite Extra Edition brand lent itself well to Panini’s acquisition of the USA Baseball license in 2012. Bolstered by the added content, the product provided new opportunities to collect early cards of baseball’s top prospects. Since becoming Panini America, the Elite brand has been utilized in other sports, including 2012 Elite Football, the upcoming 2013 Elite Football, and 2012-13 Elite Basketball to name a few.
Elite Card Sets
Browse our database of Elite trading card sets, which feature product reviews, set checklists, expert analysis, price comparisons, and more.
An annual release from Panini, 2023 Donruss Elite Football offers some of the first rookie cards of the year featuring NFL uniforms.
2022-23 Donruss Elite Serie A Soccer is back for another year of Italian league cards, including limited autographs and relics.
Collect a second season of EPL stars with 2022-23 Donruss Elite Premier League Soccer. Look for limited autographs and relics.
2022-23 Donruss Elite La Liga returns for a second season of Spanish clubs and star players. Look for limited autographs and relics.
The all-new 2022-23 Donruss Elite FIFA Soccer features top clubs and national teams across the globe. Rare hits includes autographs and relics.
Boasting on-card autographs and rare lenticular inserts, 2022-23 Donruss Elite Basketball covers the latest NBA rookie class along with past and present stars.
Top MLB prospects await in 2022 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball. Each Hobby box delivers eight autographs and two relics.
Featuring the newest NFL rookie class, 2022 Donruss Elite Football averages two autographs and one relic per box.
Offering limited autographs and relics, collect the stars of the Italian league in 2021-22 Donruss Elite Serie A Soccer.
Debuting with collectors, 2021-22 Donruss Elite Premier League features past and present stars of the EPL.
A new option for collectors, 2021-22 Donruss Elite LaLiga Soccer features past and present stars from the Spanish league.
Back as a standard NBA Hobby release, 2021-22 Donruss Elite Basketball features popular Pen Pals and Passing the Torch Signatures cards.
Find top prospects and international standouts with 2021 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball. Each Hobby box contains eight autographs.
Grab the next wave of NFL cards in 2021 Donruss Elite Football. Each Hobby box averages three hits.
2020-21 Panini Donruss Elite Basketball is back as an online-exclusive NBA product with two autographs per Hobby box.
Look to the MLB’s future with 2020 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball. The EEE prospect brand offers collegiate and international stars.
2020 Donruss Elite Football adds a few new elements to the annual NFL card product. Look for three hits per Hobby box.
Returning after several years, 2019-20 Panini Donruss Elite Basketball features Pen Pals and Passing the Torch autographs for top NBA stars and rookies.
2019 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball highlights the newest assortment of prospect talent with eight autographs and two memorabilia cards per Hobby box.
2019 Panini Donruss Elite Football offers coverage for past greats, current NFL stars, and the incoming 2019 rookies. Each Hobby box averages two autographs and one relic.
EEE swings for the fences in 2018 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball. Featuring top MLB prospects, every Hobby box averages 8 autographs.
Featuring NCAA stars of the recent and distant past, 2018 Panini Elite Draft Picks Football averages five autographs per hobby box.
Featuring rookies in their NFL uniforms, 2018 Donruss Elite Football welcomes the first-year players while still honoring the seasoned stars. Hobby boxes average three hits with two autographs expected.
Catering to the prospect fans, 2017 Elite Extra Edition Baseball piles on the hits! EEE also averages one Future Threads Silhouettes autograph per hobby box.
Debuting in the college card world, 2017 Panini Elite Draft Picks Football covers top players heading into the NFL Draft. Every box features five autographs.
Providing ample coverage of the top NFL rookies, collectors can find two autographs and one relic in each hobby box of 2017 Donruss Elite Football.
Increasing the hits per box, 2016 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball maintains a focus on top prospects and delivering plenty of autographs and relics. Every hobby box includes ten hits.
2016 Donruss Elite Football offers old and new with a patterned base set and impressive relics. Each hobby box features two autographs, including one hard-signed Pen Pals insert, as well as one memorabilia card.
Centered on the top young players, 2015 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball offers autographs for many key prospects and 2015 MLB draftees. Each hobby box includes six autographs.
2015 Panini Elite Baseball sees one of the company’s oldest brands return as a standalone set without the Extra Edition name. Hobby boxes include four total autographs and memorabilia cards.
Promising more on-card rookie autographs, 2014 Panini Elite Football hobby boxes have four total hits. Other highlights include plexiglass Clarity inserts and Passing the Torch dual autographs.
2014 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball delivers a lot of autographs compared to similar prospect-driven products. Hobby boxes have at least six signed cards.
2013-14 Panini Elite Basketball returns with a familiar mix of design, inserts and die-cuts. Box highlights include two autographs, a pair of memorabilia cards and two numbered rookie cards.
2013 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball goes deep in bringing prospects and autographs to the hobby. Boxes promise at least six autographs from a checklist that includes more than 200 signers.
2013 Elite Football is the latest edition of the long-running brand. Hobby boxes deliver four total hits including at least two autographs. 2013 Elite Football also has a sizable number of basic insert sets.
Offering a premium spin on the longstanding brand, 2012-13 Panini Elite Series Basketball delivers four autographs per single-pack box. The set also marks the debut of new Elite Glass inserts.
2012-13 Panini Elite Basketball offers a familiar brand with a refined focus. Hobby boxes promise three autographs. All rookie cards are autographed and printed on clear acetate.
2012 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball delivers six autographs in every box. The prospect-heavy set promises a renewed focus on on-card signatures. First-overall pick, Carlos Correa, is among the set’s signers.
Freshened up with an updated look, 2012 Elite Football promises two autographs, two memorabilia cards and four numbered rookie cards in every box. Highlights include dual-signed Passing the Torch autographs and Rookie Inscriptions autographs.
2011-12 Eltie Hockey sees the resurrection of the brand as a full released after an absence of more than a decade. Boxes promise at least three hits, including one rookie autograph variation.
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. 2011 Donruss Elite snaps on June 15th, with each 20 pack hobby box delivering 4 hits.
2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball includes a comprehensive checklist of more than 150 prospect autographs, which are distributed at a rate of 6 per hobby box.
2010 Donruss Elite Football card reviews, product details, and box comparisons.