What Are Kaboom Sports Cards? – A Full Guide To The Popular Insert

This site contains some affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, at no extra cost to you.

This site contains some affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, at no extra cost to you.

Kaboom sports cards are rare insert cards that are released in various sports card products, by the card manufacturer Panini.

They’re known for their stunning, bold, comic-style designs, and few insert lines have captured the attention and admiration of collectors to the level that Panini’s Kaboom cards have. 

Let’s take an in-depth look at the Kaboom insert line, with a guide on everything you need to know about one of the hobby’s most popular brands.

Table of Contents

A Background To Kaboom Cards

Kaboom sports cards are rare and valuable insert cards that are released in various sports card products by the card manufacturer Panini.

They’re known for featuring a visually striking design, with explosive, comic-style visuals, which generally resonate well with collectors, and they’ve become one of the staple features in Panini’s sports card releases.

Kaboom cards are easily recognizable, partly because of their unique style and design, and partly because they feature the word ‘Kaboom!’ on the front in big, bold letters.

Some collectors liken them to the very popular Precious Metal Gems inserts of the 90s era, in terms of popularity and impact on the hobby.

The Kaboom inserts are released across numerous sports, and generally have small checklists of star athletes.

When Did Panini First Release Kaboom Cards?

Panini first released Kaboom cards in their 2013-14 Innovation Basketball product; The insert’s checklist featured 20 basketball stars.

The Kaboom insert then became a multi-sport line when Panini released them in their 2017-18 Select Soccer product.

Following that, Kaboom sports cards were first introduced to football card collectors and baseball card collectors in the 2018 Panini Rewards Exclusive Set.

The insert later debuted for UFC collectors in 2022 Instant UFC, and WWE collectors in the 2023 Revolution WWE release.

Which Panini Boxes And Packs Have Kaboom Cards?

Knowing which Panini packs that the next Kaboom release will be in is not a short answer, because it varies from year to year, and across different sports.

Here’s a list of the Panini products that have included the Kaboom insert subset in previous years, from some of the hobby’s most collected sports.

Basketball Card Products With Kaboom:

2013-14: Innovation
2014-15: Excalibur
2015-16: Excalibur
2016-17: Excalibur
2018: Panini Rewards Exclusive Set
2018-19: Crown Royale
2019-20: Crown Royale
2020-21: Crown Royale
2021-22: Crown Royale
2022: Chronicles Draft Picks
2022-23: Crown Royale

Soccer Card Products With Kaboom:

2017-18: Select
2018: Panini Rewards Exclusive Set
2019-20: Prizm Premier League
2020-21: Prizm Premier League
2021-22: Donruss Road To Qatar
2022-23: Donruss FIFA
2023-24: Donruss FIFA

Football Card Products With Kaboom:

2018: Panini Rewards Exclusive Set
2019: Absolute Football
2020: Absolute Football
2021: Absolute Football
2022: Absolute Football
2023: Absolute Football

Baseball Card Products With Kaboom:

2018: Panini Rewards Exclusive Set
2021: Absolute Baseball
2022: Absolute Baseball
2023: Stars & Stripes USA Baseball

How Rare Are Kaboom Cards?

Part of the great allure that Panini’s Kaboom cards have, is the fact they are extremely rare and hard to find in packs.

If you’re generalizing, It’s hard to say exactly how scarce Kaboom cards are, because it varies slightly depending on which year and set that they’re in (and Panini doesn’t publish the odds), but if you pull or buy a Kaboom card, then you can almost guarantee it has less than 100 copies.

The Kaboom inserts are typically a product’s case hit.

Often, an entire case, of a product that they’re in, will likely contain only one Kaboom insert card, from a checklist of usually around 20 different Kaboom cards per product, so you start to get an idea of how hard they are to find in packs, especially if you’re after a specific name from the subset.

Do Kaboom Cards Have Parallels?

Kaboom cards do have parallel versions, but that wasn’t always the case.

Panini introduced parallels for Kaboom in the 2018 Rewards Exclusive set, with Gold versions, that are serial-numbered to just 10 copies, and the coveted Green parallels, which are 1-of-1 versions.

However, since first introducing parallels for Kaboom sports cards, not every subsequent Kaboom set comes with parallel options, some do and some do not; It’s dependent on whether Panini include parallels for a particular Kaboom set.

Panini Kaboom Base Card And Parallels

Why Are Kaboom Cards So Valuable?

If you look into the factors that determine the value of a sports card, then it’s clear why Panini’s Kaboom insert cards are so expensive to buy on the secondary market.

It’s largely because of their extreme rarity, and also the popularity of them – They’re some of the most sought-after sports cards in the modern era of the hobby.

The basic principles of supply and demand tell you that these cards, which are so popular and sought-after, but also very scarce, are going to be worth big money.

The value only increases as you add variables like the player featured on the card – More collectible and popular names increases demand even further.

The serial-numbered parallels are even more valuable than their base counterparts, because they become even rarer, with the 1/10 Gold versions, or the 1-of-1 Green versions; So, lower supply and higher demand, which makes them tougher and more expensive to buy.

What Are The Most Popular And Valuable Kaboom Cards?

The list of Panini Kaboom cards that are detailed below are some of the most significant and valuable options from the insert line across multiple sports and release years – They’re listed in no particular order.

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Kaboom! #TB

Tom Brady 2018 Panini Kaboom! #TB

Tom Brady is one of the most collectible names in the sports card hobby, so no surprise he has one of the most significant Kaboom cards.

The 2018 Panini Kaboom Brady base card is worth thousands, but it has a Gold (/10) parallel and a 1-of-1 Green parallel which are worth far more – The Gold version has sold for $120k in the past.

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2018 Panini Kaboom! #GA

Giannis Antetokounmpo 2018 Panini Kaboom! #GA

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a star of the NBA, with multiple Kaboom cards from various sets, but the 2018 Panini Kaboom Giannis card is the key option, because it has both the Gold and Green parallels.

While the Gold version has sold for huge money in the past, it’s the 1-of-1 Green parallel which holds one of the record all-time sales for Kaboom, selling for just under $100k in 2021.

Patrick Mahomes II 2018 Panini Kaboom! #PMA

Patrick Mahomes II 2018 Panini Kaboom! #PMA

A second-year card for the great Patrick Mahomes, but his 1st Kaboom insert, and one which comes with the highly-valuable Gold and Green parallels.

The Gold (/10) version has sold for $80k before, which is no surprise for such a successful and popular player.

Stephen Curry 2018 Panini Kaboom! #SC

Stephen Curry 2018 Panini Kaboom! #SC

Another generational NBA talent, Steph Curry was included in the 2018 Panini Kaboom set, which has the Gold and Green parallels.

The Gold version of this Kaboom card sold for $66k in 2022.

Kylian Mbappe 2018 Panini Kaboom! #KM

Kylian Mbappe 2018 Panini Kaboom! #KM

One of soccer’s most collectible names in the modern era, Kylian Mbappe’s 2018 Panini Kaboom card is a significant one, it comes with the Gold (/10) parallel and the Green 1-of-1 parallel.

Cristiano Ronaldo 2018 Panini Kaboom! #CR

Cristiano Ronaldo 2018 Panini Kaboom! #CR

One of the greatest athletes and soccer players of all-time, Cristiano Ronaldo has multiple Kaboom cards, and while this 2018 Panini Kaboom isn’t the first, it is the first to have the Gold and Green parallels – The Gold (/10) version has sold for over $15k before.

Lionel Messi 2018 Panini Kaboom! #LM

Lionel Messi 2018 Panini Kaboom! #LM

Again, like Ronaldo, Lionel Messi is considered one of the greatest soccer players ever, and he also has multiple Kaboom cards; The same applies for Messi, this 2018 Panini Kaboom card isn’t his first, but it’s the first to have the more valuable parallels.

Back in 2022, the Gold version (/10) sold for over $33k.

Luka Doncic 2018-19 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #23

Luka Doncic 2018-19 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #23

A star name rookie card, and an extremely rare Kaboom – This elusive 2018-19 Luka Doncic Crown Royale Kaboom is one of the most valuable base Kabooms there is.

There are no parallels for this one, but the base card has sold for well over $20k in the past.

LeBron James 2013-14 Panini Innovation Kaboom! #18

LeBron James 2013-14 Panini Innovation Kaboom! #18

This one isn’t just significant for being LeBron James’ first Kaboom card, it’s also from the first ever Kaboom set.

While LeBron has multiple Kaboom cards from later years, some of which have the valuable parallel versions, which this one doesn’t, it’s still one of the key Kaboom inserts, and one of the most valuable base cards from the brand.

It’s sold for over $15k in the past.

Zion Williamson 2019-20 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #18

Zion Williamson 2019-20 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #18

Zion WIlliamson came into both the NBA and sports card hobby with a lot of hysteria and anticipation, so no surprise that his first Kaboom card, which is also a rookie card of his, is worth big money, or at least it was at the time of release.

Kobe Bryant 2019-20 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #16

Kobe Bryant 2019-20 Panini Crown Royale Kaboom! #16

This 2019-20 Crown Royale Kobe Bryant Kaboom card has added significance for being like a tribute to the great, having been released shortly after his tragic death.

Kobe has numerous Kaboom cards that came before this one, including one from the debut 2013-14 Panini Innovation set, and options which come with the Gold and Green parallels, unlike this one, but it’s one of the most valuable base options, having sold for as much as $20k.

Can You Pull A Kaboom Card In Retail Packs?

Yes, although it’s very uncommon, you can pull Panini Kaboom insert cards in retail products, but they’re often only available in hobby boxes.

Not every Kaboom set will be available in retail packs and boxes of the product they’re released in, but some are – For example, retail packs of 2021 and 2022 Panini Absolute Football did offer the chance to pull a Kaboom card.

Jason Clarke

Jason Clarke

Jason is a lifelong sports fanatic and a huge fan of the NBA and NFL. He's long been a collector of sports cards - For over 20 years in fact. He collects various different sports, as well as some non-sport cards. He has a particular soft spot for 90s basketball inserts. Find Jason on X (Twitter): @jason_clarke91.
Shopping Cart