Preview: 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball

The next Bowman product of the 2012 season will be released soon in 2012 Bowman Platinum baseball. With some of the issues kinked out and a better looking lineup of potential hits than the past, the third year of Platinum looks to be the best year of Platinum seen this far.

Every box of Bowman Platinum features 20 packs and 5 cards per pack. With autographs from some of the hottest prospects in the game, it’s one of the products that prospectors like to crack open to try and find that diamond in the rough in prospects.

Each box will contain 2 autographed refractors as well as one autographed relic card. Including these, you may also find redemptions for full game worn items from the Arizona Fall League. That’s right, full sized items. Not cut up and put into cards. Topps has done a great job with acquiring these items across all sports recently, and this is just another great addition to their products.

With parallels galore and tons of autographed content, you may ask…what else can I chase after? The new Purely Platinum autographs contains 1/1 autographs of metal cards with a gold autograph on them. Whether they are platinum or not, we don’t know, but it’s a cool addition to the product.

Get your prospecting and rookie fix on with 2012 Bowman Platinum baseball, releasing July 25, 2012.

Check out the 2012 Bowman Platinum checklist to see the players you can pull from the product.

Preview: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball

One of the favorite products amongst baseball card collectors and set collectors alike has returned with 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball. A&G has been a staple of the Topps baseball card lineup since 2006 where it was a huge breakout hit amongst collectors. This marks the 7th year of the retro product with some of the hits as good as ever.

A&G is a mix between baseball and pop culture. It leans on baseball side, but it also has many current and historical cards to pay homage to the original cards way back in the last 1800s.  It is both an educational and fun product where you have no idea what you might get while opening each pack. While Topps has cut down on some of the non-baseball stuff, it should be packed with a little bit of both.

As always, each pack will also feature one mini card and 7 regular cards. You will find mini inserts as well as the mini parallels you have grown accustomed too, except Bazooka backs will not be making a return. Instead, you will find “Baseball backs” in their place. A new addition, direct from Upper Deck’s book, is the inclusion of Entomology style cards where you may find a redemption for dead bugs embedded into cards. Upper Deck decided to end the bugs, and Topps is picking up right where they left off.

As usual, you will have your 3 hits per box in the form of autographs (from baseball and non-baseball figures alike), game used memorabilia cards, and rip cards. Rip cards are making the return where you rip the card to find a SP mini, autograph, wood parallel, or original A&G card inside.

You’ll be able to find 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter on July 11, 2012, for around $85. And don’t forget, crack the Ginter code once again and Topps will spoil you with fantastic rewards.


Preview: 2012 Topps Tier One Baseball

In a little less than a week Topps is set to continue their game changers for this season with 2012 Topps Tier One baseball. The one pack product that features a few hits is back and upgraded from last year’s somewhat disappointing first season. A lot of collectors had high expectations last year, but it looks like things have been remedied just enough.

Every pack guarantees one Crowd Pleaser autograph, one On the Rise autograph, and one relic numbered to 399 or less. Plus 1:4 boxes contains an extra relic as well. I’m happy to see the guaranteed two autographs in this product because the checklist is pretty solid.

Even the relic checklist is pretty solid. If you are a frequent reader of the blog you might remember our checklist of bat knobs that are included in this product. Over 100 1/1 bat knobs are distributed in this product.

But one of my favorites is the acetate autograph rookie reprint cards. Autographs on clear cards needs to come back and I know Topps and Panini are doing what they can to make that happen. All spear headed by me! (Well I like to think so!)

And of course, there are some pretty autograph relics included as well. The product looks much better than it did last year and I can’t wait to see some breaks of the product. I also can’t wait to see some of these bat knobs. With 100 bat knobs from 100 different players, those are sure to be a hit.

Look out on June 20, 2012, for this product at around $90.

Preview: 2012 Topps Pro Debut Baseball

Topps is back it again using their Minor League Baseball license to create 2012 Topps Pro Debut baseball.

While I’m not a fan of the product because I’m not a prospector, it’s filled with all the stuff prospectors love – autographs. Well it’s not just all autographs, but there are some memorabilia cards as well…and some sweet ones at that if you get lucky.

Each 24 pack box will feature 2 autographs and 2 relics cards. Each pack has 8 cards in it. The base set is 220 cards deep with 50 short printed variation cards. The only parallels are the gold parallels numbered to 50 and the 1 of 1 printing plates.

You will find 2 autographs in a box featuring some of the best young talent in the minor leagues. This will be the first autograph from some of those names, but the fact that they aren’t considered rookies and they are in their minor league uniforms causes them to be a little less valuable. It’s like a step below the Bowman brand.

You can find single autographs with a base version, a gold border version numbered to 50, and a red border version numbered to 1, and a printing plate version. There are also dual autographs with a gold version numbered to 10, a red version numbered to 1, and printing plates numbered to 1.

The relics consist of game used jerseys and bats and manufactured logo patches. There are jumbo patch parallels, however they are just numbered to 5. It doesn’t look there are any autographed relics according to the sell sheet which they had a few of last year I believe.

This product releases on June 13, 2012, for around $60 a box. Get some young star autographs before they make it to the big time products!

Preview: 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball

Coming out for its sophomore season on April 18, 2012, is the return of a 2011 hit. 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball is back after a great first season where collectors were extremely happy with the products and the hits in the product. (Despite Topps screwing up on the hit collation.)

The basic structure of the set at 350 cards, minis, and paper parallel inserts is just about the same. You’ll get just about everything that appeared in last year’s product once again, including some new hits. Every box will contain 4 hits at 2 autographed and 2 game used relics per box.

Some of the autographs on the checklist are spectacular with players like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Ken Griffey Jr. amongst others. And again, all these autographs will be on-card which makes this product look that much better and can also be found in mini form. You’ll also find your standard bat and jersey relic cards as well and the combination relic/autograph cards.

Some new inclusions in the “hit” realm are patch cards and 1887 Indian head pennies embedded into the cards. I know I’ve given Topps flak for embedding coins into cards but I like the 1887 pennies in here.  Also included is the “Gypsy Kings” insert set, kind of mirrored off the “Gypsy Queens” from last year. These “Gypsy Kings” are a fictional 1887 team with “autographs” and “relics”. Again, if these count as one of my hits when opening this product I would be pissed.

It seems like 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen should be another hit for this season. It should retail at right around $100 and while prices shouldn’t go up too much as it wasn’t heavily produced last season, it still looks like a worthy break once again.