The most desirable Panini inserts are, without a doubt, the beloved Kaboom! cards. But several other inserts from the company are rising in value and cache. Perhaps chief amongst them is the Marvels inserts.
Panini has successfully incorporated the Marvel comics and movies aesthetic into these inserts. They are incredibly attractive. But are they worth collecting, and if so, which ones are worth going after? We have all the answers for you in the full Panini Net Marvel inserts guide.
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What are Panini Marvel Inserts?
Panini has created a lot of inserts over the years. Most have left a little mark and are greeted by collectors with a collective shrug. A select few have monetary value, and even fewer have received a level of cultural importance.
The Panini Marvels series has, both because the cards are beautiful and because Marvel movies are an essential part of our contemporary culture. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made over 40 billion dollars between the seemingly endless stream of movies, comics, and TV shows it has spawned over the years.
One of the keys to the franchise’s success is the distinct artistic aesthetic accompanying the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By all accounts, the Panini attempts to bring that look to the sports card world have been remarkably successful. I’m not a particularly big fan of Marvel movies in general, but I’m completely captivated by the quality of these inserts.
The Net Marvels cards first appeared in 2018-19 Donruss basketball. Everyone loved the design, but most assumed they would be just another unimportant Panini insert. Perhaps, nice enough to stick around for future releases. But indeed neither rare nor unique enough to garner genuine value.
They were wrong. Net Marvels and their football equivalent, Gridiron Marvels, and UFC Octagon Marvels, are among the most valuable Panini inserts now.
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The question many have now is, will these prices remain high? Or are Net Marvels and the other spinoffs just a cultural fad? We will look at prices, and print runs to figure this out.
Where to pull Panini Marvel Inserts
The Marvel inserts have appeared in a wide range of releases over several different sports. However, they are most closely associated with the Donruss releases.
Indeed, we are confident they will remain a feature of Donruss releases for a long time to come. Therefore, I compiled a complete list of all releases that include Marvel inserts.
2019 Donruss – Shop
2020 Donruss – Shop
2021 Donruss – Shop
2020-21 Donruss – Shop
Donruss Road to Qatar – Shop
How many Panini Marvel Inserts are printed?
There is definitely some confusion out there regarding the question of how rare these Panini Net Marvel inserts are. One member of the Blowout Forums community asked why these cards are so expensive. After all, he said these are common inserts.
But they aren’t precisely common insert cards. Panini often issues Net Marvels as hobby box exclusives. Still, they aren’t case hits or anything like that. To better understand their rarity, let’s look at their population numbers.
We should note that the “Press Proof” versions of these same cards are significantly more scarce. For example, there are less than 100 graded versions of the LeBron James card. And, of course, the Kawhi card is under-graded rather than underproduced.
So the more desirable LeBron and Zion cards give a much better reflection of the actual population count. Although let me say the hobby is consistently selling the incredible Leonard short.
Comparing the print run to Downtown and Kaboom! cards
In looking at population reports from PSA, we see the following numbers of graded cards:
CardPSA 9sPSA 10sTotal
2020 Panini Absolute Kaboom! Tom Brady471875
2018 Panini Steph Curry Kaboom!404085
2018 Panini Kaboom! Josh Allen453999
The math is very simple. For every Kaboom! card, there appear to be about 10 Net Marvels. There is also a rarer version of these Kabooms! The gold version is very uncommon, and there are only 4 graded ones of the Tom Brady card, for example.
And what about Downtown cards? Do the Marvel Nets cards have higher populations than them as well? Let’s take a look at a few popular ones.
CardPSA 9sPSA 10sTotal
2018-19 Cornerstones Downtown Luka Doncic104454
2018 Panini Donruss Downtown Patrick Mahomes II132033
2020 Donruss Optic Downtown Joe Burrow11883233
Comparing the numbers for Downtown, we see some interesting elements. When Downtown was a new insert back in 2018-19, it was even less common than Kaboom!
However, they seem to have to change the pops and more or less quadruple the numbers. So it is now more common than the Kaboom! cards. There seem to be about four times as many of each Marvel insert in circulation.
So, the Marvel Nets are limited edition enough to justify high prices. They are also highly attractive and culturally relevant. But, of course, all of that raises the price. But how does it compare in value to the rarer inserts?
Panini Marvel Inserts value
We have seen that the pop counts for Marvel inserts are quite a bit higher than the other highly sought-after Panini inserts. At first, their cards were very cheap. They were seen as just another one of many Panini inserts. One member of the Blowout Forums made a mint picking them up in their earlier days:
“I like to hoard things, and this set caught my eye, and so did the price at the time ($1-$20). I bought the whole set in press-proof format, non-press-proof, and then tried to get 100 Lebrons… I made it to 94… and then the price just went insane. I just checked the price of a box is $1800 … or 180 per pack.. wow
Net Marvels (or any of the inserts, for that matter) fall about 3 per box, so 30 per case.
They caught fire and have massive market interest, and I don’t see them going down anytime soon. IDC what anyone thinks. I love these and think this design kicked ass.
This is junk? Keep shoveling it into my piehole.”
Comparing Marvel Insert Prices To Downtown and Kaboom!
The cards took off during the COVID boom and have retained their place as a major favorite with collectors. But what do the prices look like? Especially in comparison with the other popular inserts?
CardPSA 10 Value
2019 Donruss LeBron James Net Marvels$863
2019 Crown Royale LeBron James Kaboom!$9,369
2016 Studio LeBron James Downtown$1,204
In the LeBron cards, the Net Marvels aren’t worth much less than the Downtown, despite being far more common. As we can see, neither card can compete with the Kaboom! However, it is about ten times more valuable than the Net Marvels card, which makes sense because it is also far more scarce.
The Zion Williamson cards play out a bit differently. The Downtown here is from the more limited One and One product, and so it is worth even more than the Kaboom! But Marvel continues to perform well. Here at about 25% of the value of the Kaboom! despite being about ten times more common. So, these cards are a substantial investment in relation to their scarcity.
A Guide To The Top 10 Marvels Panini Inserts
The marvel inserts are still in their early days. We saw that they were first introduced to basketball in 2019 and had their longest history there. Meanwhile, they are only starting their tenure in football, UFC, and soccer.
But they already have a remarkable back catalog of cards. And some have attained an exceptional level of popularity despite the limited time they have been around. So, here is our attempt at putting together the top ten ever. I took into account aesthetics and current value and took likely future prices into account as well.
10) 2021 Panini Donruss Net Marvels Erling Haaland
The soccer Net Marvels have yet to scale the heights of their basketball equivalents. But if there is any card that might, it’s this Erling Haaland. The kid appears to be at the start of a world-beating career.
He has a ton of early cards, but this one is gorgeous and unique. I would pick up a couple at their reasonable price of $104 for a PSA 10.
9) 2021 Donruss Net Marvels Anthony Edwards
I’m a big believer in Anthony Edwards and an admirer of the design of this card. He is up to 25 points a game this season, and to me, this is among the best rookie cards out there. How much will one set you back? You can get a PSA 10 for $100. Thank me later.
8) 2021 Panini Donruss Gridiron Marvels Trevor Lawrence
We can’t be sure if Trevor Lawrence will be a legend quite yet. But his ability to steer the Jags into the playoffs and past the first round and his placement as an alternate in the Pro Bowl bode well. In addition, this is one of the most attractive Gridiron Marvel cards out there.
The almost fluorescent light blue of the Marvels logo, offset with Lawrence’s excellent drawing, has the feel of an iconic card. Only one PSA 10 of these has ever been sold, and it went for $10,000.
7) 2021 Donruss Net Marvels LaMelo Ball
Ball made a significant jump in his game this year and continues to trend upwards. The Net Marvels has a lot of competition from other rookie cards, but these stand out from the crowd to me. Pick one up for an average of $152 for a PSA 10.
6) 2019 Panini Donruss Net Marvels LeBron James
There are so many great LeBron cards, and this one is a bit late in the game to be one of the top ones. Still, it’s the first “King James” card in the series and has a seriously iconic look. The drawing is one of the best in the series, and if I were a LeBron collector, it would be indispensable. A PSA 10 averages at $863. My bet is that it will go up when he retires.
5) 2019 Panini Donruss Net Marvels Luka Doncic
Not exactly a rookie Net Marvel but close. Therefore, this should be one of the most essential Luka inserts in the long term. So, I think it is grossly undervalued at an average of $465 for a PSA 10. But I will say the design is pretty lackluster by the high standards of this insert. Perhaps that is dragging down the value somewhat.
4) 2019 Panini Donruss Net Marvels Zion Williamson
The jury is still out on where Zion Williamson’s career is going. But for now, the stunningly talented center appears to be back on track for superstardom. If that trend continues, this card will be huge. 2019 was Zion’s rookie season, and to celebrate,
Panini gave this card the kind of powerful look that befits a superhero. His pose holding the ball and yelling is powerful, and the lettering on the Marvels logo and Zion’s name is, well, a marvel. The current price for a PSA 10 is $1,955, and it may be a lot higher in the future.
3) 2021 Panini Donruss Net Marvels Steph Curry
Not exactly a rookie Curry card. But it does come from the season where the legend broke the all-time 3-point shooting record. And the design is far more attractive than the 2019 Net Marvels design.
What makes this a winning card for me is the “featuring Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors” logo at the bottom. A highly successful touch of the Marvel universe. The price is particularly low for this one. It’s a steal at an average of $201 for a PSA 10.
2) 2019 Panini Donruss Net Marvels Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis is probably the best player of his generation and is well on the way to a Hall of Fame career. And the designers of this card gave him the Incredible Hulk look this beast of a player deserves. With such a phenomenal player and perfect-looking card, it goes for an average of $279 for a PSA 10.
1) 2021 Panini Donruss Gridiron Marvels Patrick Mahomes
I can’t say this is one of the best designs in the series. It certainly isn’t. However, it is a fairly excellent and representative image amongst the Gridiron Marvels.
But more importantly, it is the first Mahomes card in the series. And since Patrick will most likely be remembered as the definitive quarterback of his generation, this is a good one to have. A PSA 10 of these averages at $1,569.
Final thoughts on Panini Marvel Inserts
Because of Marvel’s beautiful designs, relative scarcity, and cultural importance, these cards seem like legit investments. Note that each of these cards also comes with a press-proof version. They tend to be worth quite a bit more, and the pop counts are very low.
The 2019 standard versions of the cards tend to be quite valuable. However, the more recent ones don’t do that well. People are seeking out the press-proofs or even more limited parallels. So, if you can get your hands on those Panini Marvel inserts instead, it will pay off.