Panini Contenders and Donruss Optic are having a baby. 2017 Contenders Optic football will debut on February 23, putting elements of two of Panini America’s most popular pigskin brands into one release.
The product appears at first glance to be primarily a shinier version of Contenders, which annually provides some of the more popular rookie cards in the market. Each box of Contenders Optic will consist of one six-card pack that delivers two autographs (one on card), one parallel, one insert and two base cards. One of the autographs will be an on-card Rookie Ticket Autograph. Big hits will include low-numbered parallels with 1/1 Gold Vinyl at the top of that list.
The debut edition will have a throwback element in the form of Contenders Tribute Autographs, which recreates some of the top Contenders cards made in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 a group that included signed rookie cards of Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
Other subsets include Hall of Fame Contenders, which will include former players who are on the list of possible future Canton inductees, Round Number Autographs, which pair players taken in the same round of the 2017 NFL Draft and All-Pro Contenders, which will presumably include some of the league’s top current players.
Base cards will include Red, Blue, Gold and Gold Vinyl parallels (#’d/199 or less).
Expect 2017 Contenders Optic Football to open at around $100 per box.