Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2016 Panini Diamond Kings - The base cards

I picked up a blaster of Diamond Kings at Walmart late last week. I debated buying two but I'm sort of glad I didn't. I was a big fan of the early 2000's Diamond King sets (especially 2004). I didn't think Panini could do better.

I did a little searching for other posts on this product but couldn't find anything but this has been out a few weeks so I'm sure I'm not the first. I did find a couple of video box breaks (one by Beckett.com, which wasn't too bad and was only 9 minutes long with comments limited only to the players on the cards). The other was a case break, over an hour, of which I could only stand about 3 minutes.

The cards are printed on canvas textured card stock and the pictures appear to have been painted, much like the Diamond Kings of old, when they were part of the Donruss set (the 1980s), inserts (the 1990s), or a separate set (the 2000's). These new Diamond Kings are, I'm pretty sure, not painted but some sort of Photoshop effect.

Looking a scans of the cards only gives you only one of the 3 main aspects of these cards. I mentioned the canvas texture which you can sort of see, especially on the backs. The other is the smell. Yes, these cards stink. I think they smell like oil paint.  It's not a real pleasant odor. 

The first 50 cards of the 200-card set are what I would call Legends, famous ball players from the past who are deceased. Of the 42 cards in the box, I got six of these. Some of them are players you don't often see in modern sets.

All the cards follow this same pattern. The background painting stops before the top of the card but the top of the players head protrudes into this area. Of course there are no logos or team names. I'll have to say that these cards are more visually interesting than 2016 Donruss but share one of Donruss' failings. Offensive players are mostly batting, pitchers are mostly in their windup or delivery, and catchers are mostly in their catching gear. The cards automatically become less interesting when there are no logos.

I don't much care for the backs at all. A repeat of the front picture in a frame (yawn). Some bio info in microscopic type, barely larger than the font used for the copyright info. Just for comparison here is a back from 2004 Diamond Kings.

 "Crowning Moment" paragraph, a comment on the artist and past appearances as a Diamond King.

Cards from 51 to 139 are mostly current players, except for cards except for 10 non-consecutive cards between 123-135, which are living retired greats.  I got two of these.

Here are some of the current players. I got one Astro and one Phillie each but at least they are desirable cards.

If you're sharp eyed, you've noticed, just on 4 cards, what I noticed, the tops and bottoms of the cards have pretty much identical "brush" strokes. Note on the bottom right, the little arc of white dots. It's on every card.

The last 40 cards are rookies with a slightly different front design.

The player's name is in a black box at the top and there is white bleeding in from the sides for some reason. The DK logo and team name and position are in the team color instead of white.

There was in insert or parallel in each of the 7 packs. I'll cover them tomorrow.

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