I would be lying if I said I didn’t cringe a little bit when I saw the 2022 Panini Donruss Elite Football TMall hobby case hit the floor at our back door recently.
This product has been brutal to our shop in years past as I can clearly remember last year being completely unable to sell it, even at or below our cost, so we decided to crack almost a full case box by box. We were more and more disappointed as we opened each box, as we didn’t land any solid cards or come anywhere close to making our money back. Profit? What’s profit?
So this week we decided to open a box to test our luck with this year’s offering.
The configuration is five cards per pack with six packs per box. We are looking for three parallels and two inserts per box on average, of course.
For those collectors unaware of what T-Mall is, its formerly known as Taobao Mall, a Chinese language website for business to consumer online retail sales. Panini introduced T-Mall products a few years ago with mixed results…and that’s being nice.
Speaking of mixed results, we cracked into our slim box with the same hopes.
In the first few packs, we pulled a red rookie parallel of Quay Walker of the Green Bay Packers numbered to 399.
Walker has played well, recording over 100 tackles, a few forced fumbles and a sack. We also pulled a rookie card numbered to 99 of Pittsburgh Steelers DeMarvin Leal. Leal has nine total tackles all season and hasn’t recorded a stop since October.
We then pulled a nice insert card featuring Jonathan Taylor commemorating his 2021 NFL rushing title in a set called Title Waves.
More rookies arrived a bit later as we pulled a David Ojabo numbered rookie card. Fans might remember that the linebacker out of Michigan suffered an achilles injury during a pre-draft workout and missed a good chunk of his first NFL season.
Next was a red parallel of New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, numbered to 399.
Down to our last pack, we ripped it and it paid off a bit as we pulled a really nice Pen Pals featuring an on card autograph of Washington Commanders workhorse rookie running back Brian Robinson, Jr and a sharp looking Elitist Lawrence Taylor, which looks like it should be hanging in an art gallery and not getting ripped out of a pack of cards.
While the contents were a bit better than our past breaks of TMall and we received some numbered parallels, this one didn’t move the meter for me at the price point of nearly $150. I am a huge fan of the Elitist insert set that the LT came out of but they can each be had for a few bucks apiece, at most.
Check out sports card boxes offered in Sports Zone’s eBay store here.