2017 Donruss Optic

More appealing than Prism? The new Topps Chrome?

2017 Donruss Optic Review

The Playoffs are upon us! I love playoff football because it seems to be played on a different level. There is only one shot to move forward. Baseball and Basketball playoffs are great too but there are potentially 7 games to decide who moves on. In Football, it’s do or die for 60 minutes. I have seen the best teams wilt in that single game and I have seen some of the most unlikely players become heroes. But the football playoffs invite the best of the best and the nothing short of that will get through the gauntlet. Football is a violent sport; and the team holding up that Lombardi Trophy has been beaten up for 20 weeks in an effort to be crowned.


In football cards, there is also a pretty brutal gauntlet throughout the year. It starts with Leaf and Sage, then comes Score and Donruss, and then Prestige, Prizm, Playoff, Select, Absolute, XR and so on. But then, at the end of the year, a champion takes center stage. A relative newcomer, Donruss Optic has quickly become a favorite in the hobby world. Collectors love chromium based cards and Optic has a design that is more appealing than even Prizm. Some people have dubbed Optic as the new Topps Chrome but I believe it is even better than that!

The base cards are very similar to base Donruss but all have the chromium look and shine. The set is made up of 200 cards; 1-100 Veterans, 101-150 Rookies and #151-200 Rated Rookies. The Rated Rookies have a classic looking photo of the player in a posed setting without a helmet. Each section of the checklist also has a rainbow of parallels to collect. Each has the numbered parallels; Aqua (299), Orange (199), Blue (149), Red (99), Purple (50), Black (25), Gold (10), Green (5) and Gold Vinyl (1). Base Veterans have Holo and White Sparkle while Rookies and Rated Rookies have Bronze, Holo, Lime, Pink, Red and Yellow and White Sparkle.

There are multiple autograph designs as well including; 1981 Tributes, Fans of the Game, Gridiron Kings (1:1), Inducted (#’d to 10), Rated Rookies, Rookie Dual Auto, Rookie Gridiron Kings, Rookie Patch, Rookie Triples, The Rookies, Rookie Parallels, The Elite Series and The Legends. There are also Rookie Phenoms and Rookie Threads memorabilia inserts to be found. As for inserts, there are some really good designs here. First, there is the 1981 Tribute, which is a throwback to 1981 Donruss. There are also; AKA (Nicknames), Fans of the Game, Gridiron Kings, Illusions, Inducted, Rookie Gridiron Kings and The Rookies. As you might have guessed, there are parallel color versions of these as well.


LOWER PRICES 1/2″ Lucite. 4 screws. Beveled edges. 3-1/2 x 5-1/4 x 1/2″.

There is a lot to unpack in Donruss Optic and I have busted a box to give you a sneak peek if you haven’t bought any yet. A box is about $80-$100 depending on where you find them. There are 20 packs with 4 cards in each. Each box has stated odds of 1 Autograph, 10 Inserts, 10 Parallels, 10 Rookies and 10 Rated Rookies. Each box also promises a lot of glitter and shine! Let’s see how my first box of the year turned out.

Here is an example of a Base Eli Manning and the Red Parallel numbered 80/99. I will go ahead and make clear that I LOVE the colorful parallels in Optic.

The Aqua Parallel is one of my favorites. This Russell Wilson is numbered 14/299.

This is just a Base AJ Green but it’s still a great photo of a great player!

There is a very subtle difference in the Base and the Holo Parallel. The Holo is on the left and the Base is on the right. Look at the bottom border to see the difference. These are also not numbered but have “Prizm” printed on the back of the card.

Here is one of the players we will be seeing in the playoffs. LeVeon Bell is a major part of the Steelers offense and they are projected to make a deep run.

This is a Blue Parallel of Chad Kelly that is numbered 52/149. Kelly is a sneaky name to remember next year for Denver. He is the nephew of Jim Kelly and has the tools to be an NFL QB. He just had some maturity issues at Ole Miss but it sounds like he is getting those in order.

Jared Goff is a playoff newbie this year but has played extremely well in his 2nd professional season. He and Todd Gurley are looking to make a run in the playoffs this year.

The Red is quite striking as well on this Adoree’ Jackson RC that is numbered 37/99.

All of the Rated Rookies have a Blue design. I hit some really solid rookies in this box with DeShone Kizer, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara.

I pulled Tyrann Mathieu AKA “The Honey Badger” in the AKA Insert. I also pulled a Cam Newton Blue numbered to 149.

As a child of the 80’s, it is hard to beat the 1981 Tribute Inserts. It is even better when it is a former UGA Bulldog like Matthew Stafford.

Gridiron Kings are a spin on the Diamond Kings of early Donruss Baseball. Philip Rivers has been a steady QB over his career but he just can’t get the Chargers over the hump.

I had one pull from The Rookies Insert Set and it was a good one. Christian McCaffrey is headed to the playoffs and is in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFC.

This Corey Coleman Gold Parallel was numbered 6/10! Anytime you can pull a card that is numbered 10 or lower, you have a nice card for your collection.

Even better than the Coleman that was numbered to 10, I pulled this beautiful Jordan Howard 1981 Tribute Green Parallel numbered 3 of 5! Love this insert and parallel color!

The autograph in this box was a Joe Mixon Blue numbered 1/49. Mixon had an up and down season but has a bright future if the Bengals can rebound from this poor season. Also the autographs are “on card” in this set, which makes them even more appealing!

There is a lot to love about 2017 Optic Football if you are an avid football card collector like me. The cards look great, they are very affordable for the quality, autographs are “on card” and the rainbow parallels are some of the best you’ll find. I am a huge fan of Optic and I hope they keep the formula for years to come because it is working! I’ll vouch for this product all day and if you give it a shot, I think you’ll feel the same!



Trading Card BOXES – White Corrugated. One-piece boxes. LxWxH

Holds 330 cards 5-3/4 x 3-3/4 x 2-3/4″ (I.D.) Cards store sideways. Made from 200# test corrugated cardboard. Just fold together; needs no tape or glue.