White sparkles are some of the rarest cards from one of the most sought-after brands in the hobby. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the riskiest rips for any collector. After all, these three-card packs often sell north of $500. But if you have a big-time white sparkle rookie, you’re also talking about loads of cash. So are they worth buying? Find out in our guide to Panini White Sparkle Packs.
Panini Direct sells white sparkle packs, typically in a Dutch auction format. They look like the Prizm base set but with a glittery “white spark” refraction on the card’s surface. Most Panini Products have a white sparkle pack alternative. However, the only way to get them at release is by buying from Panini’s website.
Panini does not number White Sparkle cards. However, the estimated print runs are just 20 cards total. The true treasure of the white sparkle packs is the randomly inserted 1 of 1 rookie autograph cards.
The 2020-21 Prizm basketball release is an excellent example of how risky these packs can be. The three-card packs started as a Dutch auction for $500 and worked their way down to around $400 before selling out.
Collectors who did manage to acquire one of the packs for $400 were still making a big gamble. Consider this: 2020-21 Prizm basketball has 300 cards in the base set, with 60 total rookies. Assuming even distribution, only one out of every six white sparkle packs should have a rookie.
The worst news? If you don’t pull a rookie, or you don’t get lucky hitting a big-name veteran, you end up spending $400+ on three cards that might resell for $30.
See what we mean about risk?
White sparkle packs are an SSP – a super short print – meaning Panini doesn’t number them. However, the company issues a minimal print run.
When these cards were released in 2015-16, whispers were that each card had a population of about 20. Unfortunately, since Panini doesn’t reveal how many packs are left in stock during these Dutch auctions, it’s impossible to know for sure.
If we assume, there are about 20 cards printed for each player of the 300 player basketball sets, that means there are about 2,000 three-card packs produced.
Likewise, if we assume, there are about 20 cards printed for each player of the 400 player football sets, that means there are about 2,600 three-card packs produced.
If I were to bet, I’d assume the print run of white sparkle has crept up since 2015-16 – the print run of everything else has. However, by not numbering the cards, Panini is keeping things close to the vest and insuring collectors don’t know as much as we probably should.
White sparkle began as a basketball-only release, but it has since spread to Prizm NFL, Soccer, Racing, WNBA, UFC, Draft Picks basketball and football, and even Optic – although the Optic version doesn’t demand the same respect.
If you’re looking to acquire white sparkle packs for yourself, you have two options: buy as a Dutch auction or buy on the secondary market.
Buying as a Dutch auction is probably the safest way to ensure you get the best price possible (we use “best” very loosely here). Still, the limited print run typically allows flippers to resell for a 10 – 20% profit quickly.
In some cases, the value of these packs will continue to grow. For example, look at this 2019/20 Prizm basketball pack going for $1,099 on Blowout Cards. Other times, the packs never really gain much momentum. Again, it depends on the sport and the rookie class involved.
Are Panini White Sparkle Packs worth purchasing on the secondary market? No. That’s the short answer.
If you want more, here it is: Prizm white sparkle packs aren’t worth buying from Panini, let alone paying more for on the secondary market. The packs are so risky that you shouldn’t consider buying them unless you’re financially secure enough to throw $500 in the dumpster and not think twice about it.
You could hit a monster white sparkle card, like this Ja Morant white sparkle rookie that sold for $3,200. However, there are usually going to be 2 or 3 rookies out of a draft class that will sell for that much, plus 2 or 3 veterans (depending on the sport).
Keep in mind: you’re spending $400ish on a chance that you pull one of about 6 big cards, with a checklist of about 300 cards, that gives you a 2% chance of drawing what you desire.
Hobby boxes can be risky, but they’re still not as high-ceiling, low-floor as these packs.
White sparkle cards are a gem to behold, but they’re best to admire from afar. The packs are far too risky to buy and rip, and if you’re buying them to flip, the 10 – 20% potential profit you will quickly lose it in eBay fees, shipping, and taxes.
They’re great-looking cards, but unless you’re looking to add a particular player to your PC, it’s much better to watch somebody else rip the white sparkle packs, so you don’t have to.