Optic Football 2021 is set to release on June 22, 2022. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming release in the 2021 Donruss Optic Football review and checklist.
Optic has been a collector favorite since its release in 2016 as a football and basketball product. As a result, it’s widely considered in the top-tier mass-market sports card royalty along with Prizm and Select. These three products all feature chromium cards and Prizm-based inserts and parallels, giving layers of scarcity and different eye appeals for collectors to pursue enthusiastically.
Optic football is distinguishable for its Rated Rookie cards, some of the most iconic rookie cards yearly. Much like Silver Prizm rookies, Optic also has a Silver parallel (called the “holo,” to add an extra layer of confusion.). The Optic holos are rare, valuable, and impressive looking and always have a lower population than Silver Prizms on the PSA pop reports.
Optic is a product for collectors who enjoy ripping packs. Unfortunately, those products are becoming more difficult to find in the current state of the hobby!
This year’s hobby product has a familiar composition, in line with the previous iterations of Optic: a box consisting of:
Don’t be surprised to see that price move in either direction before release day.
What’s new with Optic in 2021?
In short, very little. But, if you’ve opened Optic 2021-22 Basketball or Optic 2020 football, you’ll have a good feel for everything you need to know.
One awesome draw of the product is that many of the autographs are on-card. This time, the Rated Rookie autographs include Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Najee Harris, and all the other top RPS Rookies from the 2021 Class.
The popular product is adding at least one new parallel for 2021 – ice. Collectors can look for Base Ice #’ d/15 and Rated Rookies Ice #’ d/15.
There are also a few new inserts: Gifted Rookies, Rising Sons, Global, and Legendary Logos. While these add a bit of fun variety, they’ll be nothing to write about in terms of value. The Gifted Rookies, unfortunately, look very cheesy.
Besides low-numbered parallels, the other big-pull potential lies with the Downtown cards. They’re already SSPs, but this year they will have parallels down to Gold Vinyl 1/1!
Love parallels? Here’s a look at the Optic rainbow for 2021 football.
Collectors should also keep their eyes peeled for Rookie Patch Autographs numbered 25 or less. “Legendary” versions also feature veteran patch autographs to 25.
In short, 2021 Optic is the same ol’ formula that collectors love with new rookies and just enough tweaking to keep it feeling fresh and exciting.
With a preorder price of $900, buying a box of Optic is not an impulse buy. But don’t worry – we’ve done the work for you.
The nice thing about Optic and the other opti-chrome brands is that you at least get a few cards. I’m scared of a $1000 box that only has 8 or so cards because that’s genuinely a roll of the dice. But, on the other hand, with a product like Optic that has 80 cards, at least you’re going to get something, you know?
Still, it’s a significant investment; you must think long before pulling the trigger. So here are a few different ways to think about investing in Optic.
If you’re investing in sealed boxes with the intent of holding them, here are some numbers to consider.
|2017 Hobby Box||$4,000|
|2018 Hobby Box||$1,899|
|2019 Hobby Box||$550|
|2020 Hobby Box||$1,400|
Most importantly, based on the assumed release cost of $1000, it looks like that investment cost will almost always be profitable. The only box that doesn’t sell for more than $900 now is the 2019 box, which has an outlier of a bad rookie class (Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones?). The 2021 class has too many quarterbacks and flashes of potential to be considered in that tier. I’d already think of it more like the 2018 class.
And, of course, as I’ve written before, the rookie class always matters. Again, this might sound like a no-brainer, but it must be said when investing in a sealed product.
Optic isn’t a bad option if you buy a sealed box to sit on – especially if you like the 2021 rookie class and believe in Trevor Lawrence and company. But the stars need to align for you to expect the same kind of returns as the 2017 boxes.
And this hasn’t been verified by Panini, but more boxes are being printed in 2021 than in 2017 and 2018. So, this alone will help cap the potential if you buy this product sealed with the hope to flip in 5 – 10 years.
Optic rookie cards are one of the blue-chip investments of modern Panini rookies – perhaps second to only Prizm. So, if you’re going to invest in just one card of anybody, Optic is a great way to go.
Your best bet of making a guaranteed profit on this product is finding a few holos of players you believe in. Make sure to buy them raw (after asking the seller for more pictures), then get them graded.
If you can scoop up silvers of the rookies you like and grade, you’ll be set for a long-term hold. Collectors go nuts for Optic PSA 10s, especially if you can get cards in one of the two rarest tiers.
But caution: as with all new releases, don’t buy the first Optic cards that appear on eBay for this year. The price will inevitably drop as the supply meets the demand.
Optic is my favorite brand (particularly basketball), and it keeps getting even better yearly while still capturing the magic of what makes the product special.