Sunday, April 12, 2015

Barry Larkin Collection 354: 1996 Donruss - #442

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Donruss
Card number:  442

A lot of people have a love/hate relationship with the Donruss brand.  Some people absolutely deplore some of Donruss' earlier works (such as 1991 Donruss) while they applaud some of the later stuff (such as the 1996 sets).  Other people feel that the earlier Donruss sets were actually the better sets.

For me?

I find myself straddling the line.  I happen to like the 1991 Donruss set a lot (don't send me any in a trade though as I've actually completed the entire set already) but I hate the 1990 Donruss set.  I like a one or two of the later Donruss sets but the majority of them don't interest me.  As for the 1996 set, it falls firmly in the "not interested" camp for me.

In a nutshell, my disdain for the 1996 Donruss set can be summed up by the ugly foil square in the middle of the front of the card.  It completely obscures a good chunk of the otherwise nice full-bleed photograph...and it looks so desperately out of place that I can't help but be distracted by it.

The back of the card isn't much better - I find the statistics somewhat annoying to read (why abbreviate the years?  Why not just type out 1989 rather than '89?  Stupid).  I also don't like the vitals listed in a credit card stripe at the bottom of the card...another poor design choice in my book.  All told, the 1996 Donruss set is much, much closer to the 1990 set than it is to the 1991 set in my book - and that's not where you want to be on the spectrum of Donruss sets!

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