Preview: 2012 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Please join me in the Bowman prayer:

Our Topps,
Who art in NYC,
Baseball be thy name,
Thy prospects come,
Thy will be chrome,
In our box as it is in production.
Give us this day,
Our daily pack,
And forgive our anger,
As we forgive our busts.
And lead us not into scrubs,
But deliver us the superfractors.
And thy is the blue, red, and gold refractors forever,
Amen.

October 17th, 2012, is the day of the prospectors sabbath. It also happens to fall on my birthday. It’s the day that 2012 Bowman Chrome baseball is set to release, showcasing some of the best up and coming talent in the game. One of the most collectible sets for rookies of all time, it’s back with everything prospectors need to either make or break their banks.

Each box contains 18 packs per box with 4 cards per pack. You will also find 1 autograph per box with every third box containing an extra autograph. You will no longer find USA baseball autographs this year, but Topps has added a couple of cool additions.

My favorite addition is the Legends in the Making die-cut autographs, featuring some of the best young talent in the game with a sweet die-cut design and autograph. While the full checklist isn’t out, it’s rumored you may find Albert Pujols, Felix Hernandez, Yoenis Cespedes, and Buster Posey amongst others. I love the addition of some solid veteran autographs in a product, and while limited, I like the idea here.

You’ll also be able to find the return of Bowman Black autographs from other products and Future Game patches and patch autographs. Again, while limited, I really love these additions compared to the typical cards you get in the box.

Your typical box is again lots of colorful refractors and an autograph or two. The refractors really haven’t changed all that much, so you know what you are getting into with those. Each parallel is numbered lower than the next one going from standard refractors all the way down to superfractors. That formula hasn’t, and will probably never, change.

So get ready to take a day off from work and open your case or boxes of this product. I already have the day off since I do turn 27 years old, so hopefully I’ll be able to find a box somewhere to open at a price around $67.

You can find out more information about 2012 Bowman Chrome on Cardboard Connection.

And don’t forget, you can get Blue Wave refractors through wrapper redemption once again this year.

Topps Has Finally Changed Things Up with 2012 Chrome Baseball

Repeatedly, I am always down on Topps for their flagship Chrome products. Mainly because that’s all it is. Flagship with Chrome finishing. Personally, I don’t think that will ever change, but this year Topps has finally changed things up enough with 2012 Topps Chrome baseball to keep me interested in the product.

No black background, die-cut!

While I was unable to provide a preview before heading off to my honeymoon, I wanted to make sure I write something about a product that I usually don’t really care about. This year though, I wish I had done a preview before the product came out so I could discuss some of the changes that looked good.

My main gripe about Topps Chrome has always been the same. Same design, smelly chrome on top of it. Big whoop. And yeah, the base set is still the same design with chrome on top of it. But there are improvements in other areas that really caught my eyes. It’s kind of like Topps Chrome meets Topps Finest as far as the inserts go.

I’m a sucker for die-cuts, and 2012 Topps Chrome really showcases some neat designs with the die-cuts involved front and center. Whether it’s die-cut autographs or some sweet die-cut inserts, Topps has literally changed the landscape that they have done in the past with Topps Chrome inserts. In the past, it’s been nothing really new or striking. This is a big change.

Also included are buybacks for autographed Chrome cards for players that never had a Chrome rookie autograph card? Not a bad idea, but I could see that going over much better in Bowman Chrome or something like that where those are the rookie cards people really carry a lot of weight for.

Topps really had to fill a void because of the USA National Team being licensed by Panini now, but I really think that was a god send to Topps as it gave them a chance to be a little more creative and provide some cards that really make the set more exciting.

Preview: 2012 Bowman Signatures Football

The first NFL licensed product of the season is set to release in just 6 days. 2012 Bowman Signature will hit the shelves as a new high end product for this season. With an autograph or an autographed relic in every pack, you will get a ton of ink for your collection or to sell.

Each box of this product comes with 5 packs and 5 card per pack. As stated, every pack will feature an autograph or an autographed relic card. It appears as though this is a very rookie heavy product, with a few veteran autographs thrown into the mix. But the real value here will be the top picks autographs in paralleled form.

You may find 2 rookie autographed refractors and 3 rookie parallel autographs per box. There will also be some red ink parallels that are just limited to 15 copies. Parallels will be to 99, 25, 1, and printing plates. I’d imagine those superfractors would go for a pretty penny. You can also find dual and triple autographs like an Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III dual auto. Nice, right?

You can also find your veteran autographs as well with the Inside the Numbers subset. With autographed relics which include jumbos, patches, and jumbo patches, it should be a great addition to what appears to be a rookie heavy product.

My only issue, getting these out so fast doesn’t give Topps the time to get these rookies in their NFL uniforms, unless that was just the case for the sell sheet. So I’m hoping we can get Mr. Luck in a Colts uniform by street date.

Bowman Signatures football releases on May 30, 2012, with a price around $180 from what I’ve seen online so far. Word is this product has a limited print run as well, which may help secondary values.

Preview: 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball

The rookie favorite in baseball is coming out in a few days bringing back the chromey and on-card goodness that Topps always delivers with this product. Prospectors and collectors rejoice every year when Bowman Chrome comes out by buying cases of this product in hopes to pull some of the most coveted rookie autographs of the season.

This year, each box should supply one on-card prospect autograph from a great checklist of possible autographs. You can find your standard chrome autographs or a chrome autograph refractor with a multitude of different parallels. Red, gold, orange, blue, regular, or superfractor! The lower numbered the parallel, the more it will be wanted by other collectors and prospectors out there.

This year, Bowman will be including several different inserts to kind of break up the monotony a little bit. You will find 1 Bowman’s Best Prospects card per box, 2 Bowman Chrome Throwbacks, and 2 Bowman Chrome Futures inserts. All of these you can find in different refractor versions as well.

As always, there are several veteran and prospect base cards as well with different refractor versions coming in about 2 per box as well.

And as an additional hit, you may find a Team USA autographed card as well in your box which is a nice little addition for Bowman Chrome. Some of these “pre-rookie” autographs come in handy in the future if the player makes a name for themselves.

At 18 packs per box and a little under $70 for a box, Bowman Chrome always provides solid value, especially if you hit a nice rookie auto.

Preview: 2011 Bowman Platinum Baseball

…and the Bryce Harper chase continues. Harpermania continues with the release of 2011 Bowman Platinum baseball on July 27th, 2011. Bowman Platinum is personally my favorite of all the Bowman brands Topps puts out each year, even more than Bowman Chrome. Why you ask? Autographed relics and the insertion of some veteran autographs. See, I’m not a huge rookie collector or rookie person so I like products with some chances for veteran autographs as well and Bowman Platinum provides this for me and collectors like me.

With on card autographs and use of the Chrome technology, this makes 2011 Bowman Platinum one of the best looking sets of the baseball season. You will find 2 Chrome technology autographs per box in the regular and all of the different refractor versions that you can pull. Green, blue, gold, red, and super refractors can be found as well as printing plates. There is a checklist of 41 minor league stars to fill these autographs out, including the Messiah himself, Bryce Harper. These cards look sharp with chrome technology and on card autographs.

At one per pack you will also find refractor prospect cards with a nice 100 card checklist. Don’t worry, I will have a link to the checklist at the end of the article. Speaking of refractors, you can also find two regular refractors per box in all the colors I mentioned above plus the X-Fractor. Plus you will have your base parallels found at about 7 per box.

My favorite addition in Bowman Platinum the past couple years is the autographed relic. This autographed relic contains either regular jersey cards or prime patch cards. The patch autographs are numbered 25 or less in their refractor versions. The other refractors numbered higher are just the regular jersey cards. These don’t appear to be on card autographs though, but would definitely look better being on card.

Case hits in this product are multiple autographed cards. Dual autographed relics, dual autographs, triple autographs, and hexagraph autographed book cards with either a manufactured patch or just 6 six autographs. Finally, the 60th Anniversary autographs will be randomly found in this product as well continuing on previous Topps releases in celebration of their 60th anniversary.

In all you will find 24 packs in a box with 5 cards per pack for a little over $100. The design of this product is very solid although it looks kind of similar to last year with very small differences in the base design. Still, it’s Harpermania and these will be snatched up quick to try and pull a Harper autograph. I hope the delay in this product will bring a Harper autographed relic, kind of like Strasburg last year.

But enough about Harper. He’s an image from my favorite National League team, the Atlanta Braves.

I promised a 2011 Bowman Platinum checklist too, didn’t I?