Product Review: 2009 Donruss Threads

Of the three retail boxes I recently purchased, this was the one I was least excited about. I had seen card scans on other sites when the product went live and wasn’t real wild about them. I guess the allure of buying fresh wax was too much for me to turn away.

2009 Donruss Threads
2009 Donruss Threads – Retail Box

2009 Donruss Threads is available in retail boxes of 8 packs of 5 cards. I paid $19.99 (plus 6% sales tax) for my box from K-Mart, which calculates into around $0.53 per card. Not the cheapest per card rate out there, but by no means high-end either. Let’s jump to the breakdown:

Base Cards: 38
Rookie Cards: 1 (#150 Jason Phillips)
Inserts: 2 (College Greats Shonn Greene and Gridiron Kings Darrius Heyward-Bey)
Hits: — (none)
Duplicates: — (none)

2009 Donruss Threads
Click image for full sized scan

1st Down, Design: How would be the best way to put this? Awful? Dreadful? Just down right bad? This certainly is not the worst base card design, but it will never win awards to beauty, either. The very bold diagonal lines really draw attention away from the point of the card, the pictured football player. The player name plate cutting straight across the picture is also distracting and adds needless barriers. The one nice part? I like how the player pops out of the top of the design and then fades into and behind the design on the bottom. That nice subtle touch is lost, however, by the overall needlessly loud design elements. One last thought, I know serial numbers are all the rage now, but do we really need to number every rookie card produced? It’s great that I pulled one of 999 copies of Jason Phillips’ Donruss Threads rookie card, but honestly, who cares? If it’s more than 250 or so, don’t bother serial numbering these things.

2nd Down, Inserts: The College Greats insert is interesting. The design ties in nicely to the base card, although in this case that is actually a bad thing. I know that a lot of football collectors hate seeing college uniforms and logos in their NFL sets, but I do not mind it as much. What I do mind is having a set called “College Greats” and showing rookies. Granted, some of the rookie class of any year could be considered to have had great college careers. But why not show old time players? When the early football sets are released, collectors are excited to see the rookie class in their new uniforms and numbers. If you absolutely need to have a college themed insert, don’t use the rookie class. Period. In a nice contrast is the Gridiron Kings set. I have aways really liked these inserts, and this year’s effort is actually well designed. I like the painted image, the silver accents, and the overall clean appearance. Again, I don’t know that rookies should be included in sets like this (case in point Hey-Bey who has done absolutely nothing to be considered a king, even in lowly Oakland). At least he is in his new Oakland uni.

3rd Down, Collation: It’s tough to gauge a product line’s collation when you are only getting 40 cards. The biggest indication of a problem would be duplicates, which I did not have in my box. I only got two inserts, which is a little disappointing, but again, there were so few cards that it’s just too hard to say if the collation was good or poor.

4th Down, Overall Value: Retail boxes will never deliver great “value” as it is usually defined in the Hobby. The lack of good inserts and very rare “hit” pulls (that are not rare at all in hobby boxes and are therefore not valuable in and of themselves) makes resale value tough. Donruss Threads did add Brett Favre’s very first Vikings card as a retail exclusive. Those base cards sold for as much as a lot of good autographs, so certainly that adds a level of value. However, overall, you are almost always going to get what you pay for in the retail portion of the Hobby. At $20 for a box, that’s just not very much.

RED ZONE RESULTS: KEY PLAYER EJECTED, LEADS TO A TURNOVER ON DOWNS I thought of this red zone result right after I decided to add this element to my product reviews. I wanted to save it for a “deserving” product. To me, 2009 Donruss Threads is that product. The base card design is just unforgivable with today’s highly advanced graphic design technology. Maybe I was close minded, but I was unable to get past the use of rookies in college themed inserts and the overall lack of value . Sorry Donruss/Panini, you struck out with this one. Enjoy the early shower.


One Response to Product Review: 2009 Donruss Threads

  1. Tim H says:

    I did pull a rookie auto out of last year’s threads. Too bad he doesn’t play anymore though.

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