When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this site may earn a commission from the eBay Partner Network. Thank you.

You must have heard of Kaboom cards if you are a mad sports card collector like myself.

Introduced by Panini in 2013, the Kaboom sports cards are famous for their rarity and explosive design. Looking at a Kaboom basketball or football card is like finding your favorite athlete in a superhero comic!

Some in the industry predicted a one-and-done (this means one year and then done). This was not the case and the exact opposite occurred.

Today, KABOOM! football and basketball are some of the most sought-after cards in the industry. It is not uncommon for a KABOOM! rookie card to sell for $2,000 or more at a high grade.

This article will explore the world of Kaboom cards, including what makes them valuable and what packs you can pull them from. We will also look at my ten favorite Kaboom card investments, so read until the end!


Why are Kaboom cards so valuable?

These cards are valuable because they are among the most in-demand trading cards. Notably, their high demand comes from their rarity, unique design, and the popularity of the athletes they feature.

Shop my Top 3 KABOOM! Cards at eBay

The distinct “KABOOM!” graphic and the vibrant, explosive artwork make these cards stand out among others. Typically, they are released as a “one-per-case”, making them quite rare and, therefore, more valuable to collectors. 

12 Best Football Cards to Buy in 2024
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Joe Burrow Rookie Cards

Additionally, the cards feature top athletes like Lionel Messi and Steph Curry, further driving up their desirability and market value.

Therefore, despite initially receiving criticism for their “juvenile” appearance, Kaboom basketball/football cards have exploded in popularity. They are super short print inserts that are notoriously difficult to pull from Panini packs. So, consider yourself extremely lucky if you get your hands on one!


Packs and the KABOOM! Brand

Several different football/basketball packs allow you to pull a vibrant Kaboom card.

What football packs have Kaboom cards?

For football, they have been included in products like Panini Absolute Football.

What basketball packs have Kaboom cards?

Kaboom cards are often found in basketball sets like Panini Crown Royale. 

Below you will find a complete list in which KABOOM rookie cards can be found via pack.

These cards are inserted randomly and are known as case hits, which means that just one card may be found in each case of packs.

Here is a list of packs you can look out for, with the sport mentioned along with the 1st year of its release (where applicable):

  • 2013 Panini Innovation set (1st-year Kaboom basketball cards) 
  • 2014 Panini Excalibur set (basketball) 
  • 2015 Panini Excalibur set (basketball) 
  • 2016 Panini Excalibur set (basketball)
  • 2018 Panini Crown Royale set (basketball) 
  • 2018 Panini Kaboom! selected (multi-sport rewards-exclusive, 1st year parallels)
  • 2019 Panini Crown Royale set (basketball) 
  • 2019 Panini Absolute set (1st year Kaboom football cards) 
  • 2020 Panini Crown Royale set (basketball) 
  • 2020 Panini Absolute set (football) search
  • 2021 Panini Absolute set (football, 1st year kaboom baseball cards)
  • 2021 Panini Crown Royale set (basketball)
  • 2022 Panini Crown Royale set (basketball, 1st year gold parallels) 
  • 2022 Panini Chronicles Draft Picks set (basketball)

My Top 10 KABOOM Cards

Now that you know the hype, here is a list of my 10 top. Hint: it’s not all about basketball and football! 

1. 2021 Lionel Messi Panini Donruss Road To Qatar Kaboom! #1

2021 Lionel Messi Panini Donruss Road To Qatar

Kicking off this list (pun very much intended) is a card featuring the all-time soccer great Lionel Andres Messi.

The card vividly captures Messi in mid-action, featuring an explosive “KABOOM!” graphic that matches his dynamic play style. He’s in the blue Argentina away kit, the number 10 visible on his jersey. He is undoubtedly controlling the ball with his head amid one of his mazy runs against the opposition defense.

The card is framed with a vibrant, starburst pattern background, emphasizing energy and impact. In the bottom right corner sits the Argentina national team logo, highlighting Messi’s allegiance. Meanwhile, on the top right, you can see the “Road to Qatar” icon, which signifies the 2022 World Cup tournament in which the tricky winger made history.

Messi, a certified legend of the game, has a bevy of awards, including a record eight Ballon d’Or wins. He is renowned for his goal-scoring and playmaking abilities. His legacy is defined by his incredible vision, precision, and consistency on the field. 

His club career, especially with Barcelona, saw him win every trophy he could, but international glory eluded him for a long time. Until that is, last year, when he finally led his national team to its third World Cup with a string of dazzling performances in Qatar.


2. 2022 Stephen Curry “Nap Time” Panini Crown Royale KABOOM! #11

2022 Stephen Curry Nap Time

Take a nap bro!

The card spotlights Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors as he performs his iconic “Night Night” celebration. Every time you see the Warriors wizard in this pose, you know he just broke opposition fans’ hearts!

He is wearing the blue and golden Warriors uniform with the #30 visible. The background explodes with the “KABOOM!” logo. The Warriors logo is neatly situated at the top right, while Curry’s name anchors the bottom.

Think of three-pointers, and the first name that will come to your mind is that of Steph Curry. He may not be the tallest on the court, but he can launch deeps 3’s better than anyone! 

His stats are as impressive as his gameplay, often leading the league in three-point shots and earning multiple MVP awards. Moreover, who can forget his record-breaking 50-point game against the Sacramento Kings last year? Undeniably, Curry’s status in the NBA is nothing short of legendary.


3. 2021 Luka Doncic Panini Crown Royale KABOOM! #1

2021 Luka Doncic Panini Crown Royale

The card features NBA star Luka Dončić of the Dallas Mavericks in a triumphant pose, expressing intensity and passion. Mavericks fans know this sight all too well after a game-winning moment!

The card’s background, filled with the vibrant “KABOOM!” graphic and a vivid burst of colors, captures the explosive energy Luka brings to the court. His name and team are prominently displayed towards the bottom right of the card. The Mavericks logo sits in the top right corner. 

Dončić is celebrated for his remarkable court vision, scoring prowess, and ability to perform under pressure. Currently ninth on the NBA’s all-time triple-doubles list (62), Doncic forms one of the league’s most formidable backcourt duos with Kyrie Irving.

While his recently sprained ankle wasn’t great news for fans, reports suggest that he could be back as soon!


4. 2021 Trevor Lawrence Panini Absolute KABOOM! #K41

2021 Trevor Lawrence Panini Absolute KABOOM! #K41

The card displays Trevor Lawrence, quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, seemingly in a pre-throw stance, focusing downfield.  

The background’s “KABOOM!” graphic electrifies the scene, mirroring the energy Lawrence brings to the game. The QB is wearing his white #16 Jaguars kit, holding the rock on which the NFL logo is visible. 

You can see the Jaguars logo to the right of Lawrence’s knee, while the “RC” logo is visible on the top right. At the bottom, you can see his name in stylized print.

As a highly-touted rookie, Lawrence entered the NFL with impressive collegiate stats and a reputation as a potential game-changer. His ability to read defenses and deliver precise throws speaks to his status as a cornerstone for the Jaguars’ future.


5. 2020 Joe Burrow Panini Absolute KABOOM! #K-JB2

2020 Joe Burrow Panini Absolute KABOOM! #K-JB2

The card features Joe Burrow, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, in an action pose that looks like he’s ready to launch the ball forward. He is wearing the black Bengals kit, #9 prominent on the front.  

The vibrant “KABOOM!” graphic and the electric blue background amplify the energy Burrow brings to the game. The Bengals logo is at the bottom right, while the “Rookie Card” symbol sits on the top right. 

Burrow quickly made a name for himself in the NFL with his sharp skills and competitive spirit, leading his team deep into the playoffs and proving his worth as a top draft pick. His vision and throws were largely responsible for leading the Bengals to Super Bowl LVI. 

Thanks to a $275 million contract extension last year, “Joe Cool” is also the highest-paid player in NFL history.


6. 2020 Justin Herbert Panini Absolute KABOOM! RC #KJH2

2020 Justin Herbert Panini Absolute

This trading card showcases Justin Herbert, quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers, in a poised stance, ready to make a play. He is gripping the red football securely in his hands, perhaps scanning the field before he launches it.  

The “KABOOM!” graphic above him matches the explosive potential he brings to the game. He’s framed by a kaleidoscopic background of vibrant colors that convey a sense of energy and excitement. 

The “RC” logo highlights Herbert’s rookie status at the top right, and his name is prominently displayed at the bottom.  

Herbert made waves in the NFL with his mighty arm, quick decision-making, and impressive stats, quickly becoming a standout player and one to watch in the coming seasons. 

In fact, in the 2023 regular season, he was among the top five quarterbacks in the league in terms of QBR. This stat just goes to show what he is capable of as he continues to improve his game.


7. 2018 Josh Allen Panini Kaboom! Card RC #JA

2018 Josh Allen Panini Kaboom! Card

This dynamic card features Josh Allen, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, in a throwing stance. The follow-through shows Allen’s gaze locked on the ball as he tracks its trajectory. 

The “KABOOM!” graphic is present here, adding a pop of excitement, similar to Allen’s explosive impact in games. The blue and white colors reflect the Bills’ uniform, while the “RC” symbol on the top right denotes his rookie status.  

His name and team name are also visible at the bottom.

Allen quickly ascended as a key player for the Bills, drawing praise for his strong arm and athleticism. His ability to make plays both in the air and on the ground has made him one of the most promising quarterbacks in the league. 

The Bills #17 ranks third in the postseason in terms of QBR, which highlights his form this season. He will undoubtedly be carrying this red-hot form into the upcoming clash with the Chiefs!


8. 2022 Sean O’Malley Panini Instant UFC Chronicles Kaboom! #9

2022 Sean O'Malley Kaboom 9

The card captures UFC fighter Sean O’Malley in his signature pose mid-fight. With his raised arms, he looks to be sizing up an unfortunate opponent. 

The background features the vibrant “KABOOM!” visual that reflects O’Malley’s dynamic presence in the octagon. His stance and raised gloves suggest readiness and defense. The UFC logo is prominent on the bottom right, below a print of his full name.

O’Malley is famous for his striking skills and colorful personality, both in and out of the ring. His fighting style is as bold as the card’s design, often leading to impressive victories. He has become a fan favorite for his performances and unique character in the competitive world of MMA.

As of January 16, 2024, O’Malley is #7 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.

9. 2022 Alex Morgan FIFA Donruss KABOOM! #20

2022 Alex Morgan FIFA Donruss KABOOM! #20

The card showcases soccer star Alex Morgan in her blue U.S. national team kit. She appears focused in her mid-stride pose. The #13 is visible on her jersey, along with the U.S. national team logo. 

As with all the cards in the series, the “KABOOM!” graphic adds an explosive backdrop, matching her dynamic play. The Donruss logo is in the top right corner, while the FIFA logo is on the bottom left. Her name is in white font on a red graphic positioned toward the bottom right.

Alex Morgan has made her mark as a forward with exceptional skill, speed, and a keen eye for goals. Her stats include an immense 121 international goals, contributing to the U.S. team’s success in the World Cup and Olympic tournaments. 

Morgan’s influence extends beyond her on-field achievements, making her a role model and a celebrated figure in women’s soccer.


10. 2019 Travis Kelce Panini Absolute Kaboom! #K-TK

2019 Travis Kelce Panini Absolute Kaboom! #K-TK

The trading card features Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. The tight end is wearing the red-and-white Chiefs uniform, passionately celebrating a moment during a game. 

The backdrop’s “KABOOM!” graphic, bursting with energy, complements Kelce’s presence as a top tight end in the NFL. The Chiefs logo is visible on the top right, tying him firmly to his team. Meanwhile, the player’s full name is present at the bottom of the card.

Kelce is known for his impressive stats, consistently ranking at the top among tight ends for receptions, yards, and touchdowns. His role in the Chiefs’ offense is pivotal, often being a game-changer with his reliable hands and route-running skills.

The nine-time Pro Bowler will be looking to put in a serious shift in the divisional round clash against the Buffalo Bills.


Are there fake Kaboom cards?

Generally speaking, I have never seen a fake KABOOM rookie card (of any sport). This doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but it would be extremely rare to run across a fake card.


Can you get Kabooms out of value packs?

Pro-Tip: Value packs refer to a Booster pack or a Blaster box.

Yes. KABOOM cards can be found in value packs such as Booters or FAT packs.

Categorized in: