Select Zebra print runs are unknown due to the fact that the cards do not have serial numbers, and Panini doesn’t release such information. That said, conversations across a number of platforms and sports card forums have settled around a print run of 20-50, with suggestions that the print run has increased in recent years.
Said differently, nobody knows. And while I had to bring you here without a concrete number, we do know that the number is unknown. As if simply understanding the different Select card levels wasn’t hard enough!
Given all of that, let’s take a look at the details of the relevant conversations being had about the subject.
From Beckett’s 2021 Select Football Checklist. While it’s more directly about the odds of pulling a Zebra print (as a case hit), it provides a mathematical starting point.
Although not numbered, according to Panini, Zebra Prizms are among the toughest in the product, landing approximately one per 12-box hobby case.Beckett
In addition to asking about the print run of Zebras from Select, we have other animal skins to consider as well, including elephants, tigers, and giraffes.
In the breaks I’ve watched I’ve seen 1-2 zebras per case. I think Tiger is more rare— Good Will Accounting (@GoodWillAcctg) September 14, 2022
The popular Blowout Forum has this thread, in which a member states estimated print runs from 108 boxes of product. The only issue is, that product is 2018-19 Select Basketball. So, while not current, it might be a starting point.
“Estimated Total Cases 3600
Print Run Estimates
Concourse Silver 820
Concourse Scope 360
Concourse Tri-Color 860
Premier Silver 670
Premier Scope 230
Premier Tri-Color 400
Base Courtside 860
Courtside Silver 30
Zebra (All 3 Tiers) 13″
Sports Card Analytics
Last, for a little more in-depth analysis, Sports Card Analytics put together this deep dive into 2019-20 Select Basketball. Now, I’ll be honest, I haven’t yet read the whole thing. But, a couple of points to pull out.
One, just because I mentioned it above, is a nod to the fact that, whatever the print run, Zebras seem more plentiful now than before.
“The Zebras are multiplying like rabbits. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. But, they do appear to be at least a bit more plentiful this year.”Sports Card Analytics
Second, there is a breakdown of data based on videos of case breaks, with this tasty bit about Zebra prints in particular:
“I observed 17 cases of the product being opened. That was a lot of YouTube breaks. In these 17 cases there were 9 Concourse, 9 Zebra, and 12 Courtside Zebra parallels. This distribution leads me to believe the Zebra parallels have the same print run across all three sets. This is a deviation from all the other non-serial numbered parallels.”
So, again, do we have perfect data? No. Do we have enough to know Zebras are fairly rare? Yeah. Is that good enough? No. I mean, when trying to value sports cards, a big piece of the puzzle is rarity. Is it too much to ask to have that information made available?