The trading card industry boomed during the pandemic, as people stayed home and rediscovered hobbies they’d had as kids. Baseball cards were often at the top of the list. But with a return to some semblance of normalcy on the horizon, the industry hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down.
Want proof of that? Just try to find shelves at Target or Walmart — or your local baseball card shop — fully stocked with current Panini or Topps packs and boxes. It’s darn near impossible, and has been for months. Especially with the new year of baseball products having now arrived.
Here’s a look at what Panini currently has out, and the release dates and information on future products. We’ll keep this article updated as 2021 rolls along.
2021 Donruss Baseball
Release Date: Out now; released March 12
Product details: 24 packs per box; eight cards per pack; 16 boxes per case
Box break: Two autographs, one memorabilia card, 24 hobby-exclusive Blue parallels, four Independence Day parallels and one Liberty parallel per hobby box, on average.
Target/Walmart retail options: Blaster, Fat Pack, Hanger Box, Mega Box
Panini says: “Donruss Baseball combines fan-favorite players along with one of the deepest rookie classes ever to get the 2021 season off to a strong start. Retro 1987 Signatures and Retro 1987 Materials showcase top rookies and superstars on a classic Donruss design. Hunt for fan-favorite cards and autographs from The Famous San Diego Chicken. Look for the return of classic inserts like Dominator and Elite Series to accompany new chases like Unleashed and Trending.”
2021 Select Baseball
Estimated Release Date: April 14
Product details: 12 packs per box; five cards per pack; 12 boxes per case
Box break: Two autographs, two memorabilia cards, three numbered Prizms and five inserts per hobby box, on average.
Target/Walmart retail options: Blaster, Cereal Box (shape of the box, not actually cereal)
Panini says: “Returning for the 2021 season, Select Baseball delivers baseball’s top prospects, star rookies and veteran superstars on sought-after Optichrome technology. Look for autographs from today’s best in Sparks Signatures, X-Factor Signatures and more. Hunt for new ultra-rare inserts like Rookie Explosion, Firestorm and more. Find autographs from a loaded 2021 rookie class in Rookie Jersey Autographs.
2021 Diamond Kings Baseball
Estimated Release Date: April 28
Product details: 12 packs per box; eight cards per pack; 12 boxes per inner case, two inners per master case.
Box break: One autograph, one memorabilia card, two Gray Frame parallels, one Plum Frame parallel and 12 inserts per hobby box, on average.
Target/Walmart retail options: Blaster, Hanger Box
Panini says: “2021 Diamond Kings Baseball perfectly blends the legends of yesterday with the up-and-coming superstars of today to create a product suitable for all collectors. Hunt for ultra-rare insert sets like DK DeLong, Blackout and more. Legendary memorabilia has long been the calling card for Diamond Kings Baseball, so be on the lookout for it in DK Materials, Jersey Kings, Bat Kings and Diamond Cuts. Find the first autograph memorabilia cards of the 2021 rookie class in DK Material Signatures.”
2021 Prizm Baseball
Estimated Release Date: May 12
Product details: 12 packs per box; 12 cards per pack; 12 boxes per case
Box break: Three autographs, three Silver Prizms, four Blue Prizms, five Red Prizms and three numbered Prizms per hobby box, on average.
Target/Walmart retail options: Mega Box, Cereal Box
Panini says: “2021 Prizm Baseball showcases a 250-card base set featuring legends, current stars and rookies that are ticketed to be future impact players in the league. Whether we’re showcasing star rookies in Rookie Class, big-time bats in Lumber Inc. or game-changing talents in Fireworks, all our insert sets this year are sure to impress. Cristian Pache, Nate Pearson and Casey Mize headline one of the strongest rookie classes in years and their autos can all be found in Rookie Autographs. In addition to our fan-favorite Color Blast, this year’s Prizm introduces a new ultra rare insert, Lava Flow. Look for three autographs per hobby box, on average. Also find one Hot Box per case containing 24 exclusive Navy Blue-Carolina Blue Prizm parallels.”
2021 Absolute Baseball
Estimated Release: Summer 2020
Product details: Two packs per box; 10 cards per pack; 10 boxes per case.
Box break: Two autographs, two memorabilia cards and one numbered insert per hobby box, on average.
Panini says: “Returning in 2021, Absolute Baseball delivers the perfect blend of nostalgic hits with a modern twist giving collectors of all ages something to hunt for. Tools of the Trade Signatures comes in 2, 3, 4 and 6 swatch versions and features memorabilia from past legends and current stars. Absolute Baseball will showcase autographs from the extremely deep 2021 rookie class on multiple materials like baseball leather, wood pieces and more. Look for hobby-exclusive parallels Holo Silver (#’d/199), Spectrum Blue (#’d/149), Spectrum Red (#’d/99), Spectrum Gold (#’d/10), Spectrum Black (#’d 1/1) and Printing Plates (all #’d 1/1).”