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Guide To 2023 Clearly Donruss Football Checklist

2023 Panini Clearly Donruss brings the style and appeal of Donruss football cards to an acetate cardstock, where collectors can pull see-through rated rookies, rookie autographs, and unique parallels. 2023 Clearly Donruss Football Checklist is set to release on May 24, 2024.

But at $275 per box as a pre-order, should you go all-in or is this a product you can see through and stay away from?

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Clearly Donruss 2023 product introduction

Perhaps more than any other, this product is a spin-off from Panini that nobody asked for – and I’m not sure anybody truly wants it – but when the sports card market exploded, the innovated product team at Panini put their heads together and said, “We’d make more profit if we made see-through Donruss cards.”

The premise seems somewhat akin to the transformation of Donruss into Donruss Optic, a shift we’ve seen mirrored by other lines like Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome. However, introducing a third variation of Donruss might seem excessive to some, despite the undeniable appeal of the rated rookie cards that collectors cherish.

The aesthetic of these cards is genuinely striking and attractive, but collectors should temper their expectations when it comes to grading.

The acetate material used for printing these cards tends to retain scratches from the manufacturing process, and the edges and corners often lack crispness. In short, these won’t grade well. 

Shop for boxes of 2023 Clearly Donruss Football on eBay

For those who prioritize the unique aesthetics of their collection over the grading potential, Clearly Donruss presents a refreshing alternative. This line offers a collecting experience that stands out from most other brands, catering to enthusiasts who appreciate novelty and visual appeal in their sports card collections.

What to expect from 2023 Clearly Donruss

Opening a box of Donruss Clearly offers a blend of the familiar and the fresh. The classic Donruss aesthetics are there, evoking a sense of nostalgia I associate with the brand, yet the acetate cards add a distinct twist to the experience. 

Whether you find it appealing or not, opening the box is a quick affair. Priced at $275, each box contains four packs, with five cards in each, making it easy to go through them swiftly. This is in contrast to the Donruss 2023 hobby box, which packs 180 cards across 18 packs.

In each box of Donruss Clearly, expect to find a diverse assortment of 20 cards, including acetate rated rookies, inserts, base cards, and autographs. Essentially, it offers the same types of cards as the standard Donruss set, except these are transparent. Here’s the breakdown of what to expect in the hobby box, as outlined by Panini.

Here’s how it breaks down:

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2023 Clearly Donruss Football hobby box

Each box of 2023 Clearly Donruss Football hobby box contains the following:

  • 4 packs
  • 5 cards per pack
  • 1 autograph
  • 2 parallels
  • 8 base
  • 8 rated rookies

2023 Clearly Donruss checklist details

Clearly Donruss Football returns with an enhanced offering that highlights its signature Acetate cardstock, combining it with the flagship Donruss Football brand to produce stunning visual effects. 

The collection features a 147-card base set that includes 50 veterans, 50 Rated Rookies, and 47 autographed Clearly Rated Rookies, all adorned in an array of eye-catching parallels that are sure to be sought after due to their rarity.

But, note, that the autograph set doesn’t include autographs of Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Will Levis. 

The insert lineup features transparent options like Clearly My House, Gridiron Marvels, Night Moves, NU-Clear, and others. Collectors can also look forward to a dynamic array of autograph cards, including Clearly Rated Rookie Autographs and several other themed autograph options.

Value of 2023 Clearly Donruss Football

2023 Clearly Donruss hobby boxes are pre-ordering for $275/box, but are they worth that price?

If you’re buying to rip, there are cautions flags all over. For one, the rookie cards won’t be worth much. Especially raw, and they don’t grade well, either.

So the $200+ dollars you don’t offset with rookies and base will come down to the 2 parallels and one autograph, unless you happen to pull a case hit. And bearing that in mind, you’ll still have to get incredibly lucky on the pull to hit a big-name rookie auto. If you really want one, you’ll be better off buying one on eBay and getting exactly what you’re after. 

All in all, this is not a good rip.

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Investing in wax

Maybe you’re buying to sit on this product in the future. 

Here’s how the product has been selling (as of 5/13/2024):

  • 2023 Pre-order price: $275
  • 2022 hobby box: $195
  • 2021 hobby box: $230

While the price isn’t attractive, the brand isn’t any better. If I had to guess, I’d think 10 years from now collectors will still greatly prefer Donruss and Donruss Optic over Clearly Donruss, so I’d lean toward “stay away” if you’re thinking about tihs product.

Investing in singles

The same logic from sealed wax above applies to the Clearly Donruss singles: if you’re wanting a really nice Rated Rookie auto from this set, don’t buy one. Instead, buy a Donruss or Donruss Optic rookie auto of the same player, and maybe even one with some parallel color. Those cards have already proven to have long-term appeal and feel significantly less gimmicky. 

Should you absolutely not buy a Clearly Donruss single to invest in? No. Especially if you can find a good deal (or a fantastically-uncommon PSA 10), but across the board it’s not as sure of an investment.

Bottom line: Should you rip, hold or pass on 2023 Clearly Donruss Football?

2023 Clearly Donruss Football is not a rip. The only chance you get your money back is getting exceptionally lucky with a nice rookie autograph of case-hit. There are boxes that will contain more than $275 of cards, but 9 out of 10 of them will ont. 

It’s not a hold, either. If you’re thinking of investing in it, you’d be better off buying sealed products or singles of the Donruss or Donruss Optic products instead. Those have withstood the test of time and established themselves as staples in the hobby.

And that leaves one option: the pass.

Clearly Donruss might be a fun twist on a popular product, but sadly it falls flat on crossing all the investment boxes. If you buy this product, do it to have fun. Not to make money.

What do you think of 2023 Clearly Donruss? Share your thoughts on Twitter @card_lines.

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Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.

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