Topps Announces Bowman Aflac Authentication – For Free!

From the recent Topps press release:

“The AFLAC High School All-American Autographed cards that were inserted into packs of the recently-released 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects did not get sequentially numbered.  The seven subjects included Archie Bradley, Dylan Bundy, Larry Greene, Travis Harrison, Francisco Lindor, Robert Stephenson and Blake Swihart.

To ensure the autographed card’s authenticity, Topps has teamed with PSA on a program that allows collectors to have their card certified and graded free of charge.

Collectors holding any of the seven different cards pulled from packs of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects should send their card and return information to the address below.  Each card’s autograph will be examined for authenticity  as well each card will be graded on PSA’s standard scale (1-10).  In addition, all graded cards will feature language on the descriptor tab that is exclusive to this program.

Only AFLAC cards pulled from packs of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks will be accepted.  The Topps/PSA program offer is good until July 1, 2012.

AFLAC Certification Program

c/o Topps

1 Whitehall Street

NY, NY 10004″

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Overall, I think this is a great thing done by Topps to ensure that these autographs are in no way forged or altered. So a big kudos out to them for the good deed. I didn’t pull one in my box of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects, but they are pretty rare.

Review: 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball

I know I haven’t reviewed many Topps products out there, but I thought I would pick up a box of Topps’ newest offering, 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball. Basically, this is a mix of Bowman and Bowman Chrome but with only the draft picks and prospects with either their first Bowman card or their rookie logo card. This whole RC logo thing confuses me now so I won’t get into it, but that is what is going on now. Anyway, here’s what I pulled.

Base:

Parallels:

Autograph:

Design:

This is kind of a review on all of the products combined to make this product. I actually really like the Chrome base design. It’s clean, has nice borders, nice photography, and the white box where the autograph goes matches the rest of the card and doesn’t look out of place. The rookie logo cards also look really solid, but my real issue is with the first bowman base cards. The black border on those cards just looks out of place. I would of much preferred a white border and I think it would of looked a little better. But I think overall it’s solid.

Checklist:

Checklists in a prospect set are hard to judge, especially for a non-prospector like myself. But there are a few names I recognize and I know some prospectors love a lot of the names on the checklist. I also know people who say there are some glaring omissions from this product as well. As a non-prospector, it’s hard to comment, but I’ve taken many prospectors comments for my rating.

Value:

Value is another hard one with a prospector product. With prospects, you won’t know much about how the cards turn out until a few years down the road. So you have to look more closely at the checklist and the value of what’s in there now. And with the checklist being decent, that’s a good start. However, this product is all about the rookies. With the rookies being paralleled to all infinity, it decreases a lot of the value of the product itself, unless you hit a very low numbered rookie or rookie autograph in it’s paralleled form. I just don’t think it has the value that it once had.

Overall:

Overall, the design is solid overall. Most of the cards are color coordinated and clean all around so it’s pretty visually appealing. The checklist is tough to gauge, but taking input from others, I’ve determined it’s a decent checklist, but it could use a little work with some of the glaring omissions. Maybe it’s Topps saving some value for next year’s installment? Speaking of value, it’s another tough call in a product like this. But with all the parallels, it decreases the value of the base rookie and even some of the higher parallels. Include the autographs in there too and you may only get lucky to get some real good value out of a box. But at a lower price point, a prospector may want to have some fun and see what they can pull. You’ll find all the major league talent in the world, just no major leaguers (except for those who were called up later in the season), which makes this definitely a prospecting product.

I need to do some video editing as this video is a little too long, but I had a lot of fun with some comments on the product and it will be up when I grab a chance.