Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Buried Treasure - 1993 Donruss Studio

Welcome to the second installment in what has now been renamed “Buried Treasure”. I think it's a little bit catchier. The first set we covered was 1996 Topps Laser. If you like, you can read that post here.

I was amazed that while researching this set online I found basically “zero” information about it. Love it or leave it, ALL of the information I found came from Beckett and the only “working” link that I found in Google took me to eBay. After nearly emptying my PayPal account tonight I am proud to say that I will finally own this set! It wasn't expensive, I'm just almost “card money” broke. I also found two other listings for a complete set if anyone is interested in picking up one of their own. The cheaper of the two on eBay is listed here.

Donruss began creating the Studio set in 1991 and continued through their 1998 release. It was then absent from the market in 1999 and 2000 but was resumed in 2001. Donruss issued a new set each year until 2005, the last year that Donruss was licensed to create MLB trading cards.

Don't you miss the days when the checklists were part of the set? They were never valuable but they are even more worthless nowadays. Regardless, the base set consisted of 220 cards, with only 218 of them being actual players. The other two cards are checklists for the set. There was only one promo card printed, that of Ryne Sandberg, and a total of 4 insert sets accompanied the base set. 12 Studio Heritage, 10 Studio Superstars on Canvas, 10 Studio Silhouettes which were found only in the jumbo packs, and 5 Studio Thomas cards (Frank Thomas).

I intend to try to build the insert sets to accompany the base set so if you have any that you are willing to trade, please let me know. Given that this is a 15 year old set that has been largely forgotten, it may be easier said than done. I have never seen any of the inserts and had never heard of them before tonight. I thought this was a standalone base set.

I have always considered this the best looking set ever made. And, as best I can remember, this was the first set to give Upper Deck (the new quality heavy guys in town) a true run for their money in the early 1990's. Early 90's Stadium Club was great, but I don't think it could compare to 1993 Studio. Studio may not have affected them in sales, but I like to think they caused UD to reevaluate their idea of photography.

Studio never seemed to regain the magic of the 1993 issue. In my opinion, no set in the history of the hobby, before or after it, has ever been able to match it. But, thats just one guy's opinion...

I think the pictures speak for themselves...

4 comments:

mmosley said...

I am partial to the 1991 Studio set. The black and white photos are great. The 1992 set had more personality (Jose Lind holding a sword) but didn't look as good as 1991's version. I like the patches in the background in 1993 but not so many of them. I think this would have been a great insert design.

capewood said...

I like most of the Studio cards and this was one of my favorites.

jv said...

The only problem with the early Studio sets was that there wasn't much variety...

They had great ideas but they shouldn't have built an entire set on it. Take three, or at least two, good designs and make the base set more appealing.

These sets get old quick side by side...

Anonymous said...

i have soe of the 1994 set if you'd be interested 843-333-7926