Release Date: October 17, 2012
Price Point: $5 per pack or $68 per box at Blowout Cards.
Product Loadout:  4 cards per pack, 18 packs per box, 12 boxes per case.
Hit Ratios: 1 Autograph per box.
Checklist Provided by Cardboard Connection 2012 Bowman Chrome Baseball

Product Information:

  • 220 card base set featuring 170 veterans and 50 rookies (1-220)
  • 110 card Prospects set (BCP111-220)
  • Franchise All-Stars (40 cards, 1:18 packs)
  • Futures Game Checklist (43 cards, 1:18 packs)
  • Legends in the Making (25 cards, 1:24 packs)

Parallels/Autograph/Game Used:

  • Refractor parallel (1:4 packs)
  • X-Fractor parallel (retail only)
  • Green parallel (retail rack packs only, 3:pack)
  • Blue Refractor parallel (#’d to 250)
  • Purple Refractor parallel (#’d to 199)
  • Gold Refractor parallel (#’d to 50)
  • Orange Refractor parallel (#’d to 25)
  • Red Refractor parallel (#’d to 5)
  • Superfractor parallel (1/1, hobby only)
  • Printing Plates (1/1, 4 each, hobby only)
  • Blue Wave Refractor (prospects only, wrapper redempton)
  • Prospect Variations (20 cards)
  • Prospect Autographs (41 cards, 1:18 packs)
  • Prospect Autographed Refractors (#’d to 500)
  • Prospect Autographed Blue Refractors (#’d to 150)
  • Prospect Autographed Blue Wave Refractor (redemption only)
  • Prospect Autographed Gold Refractor (#’d to 50)
  • Prospect Autographed Orange Refractor (#’d to 25)
  • Prospect Autographed Purple Refractor (#’d to 10, hobby only)
  • Prospect Autographed Red Refractor (#’d to 5, hobby only)
  • Prospect Autographed Superfractor (1/1, hobby only)
  • Prospect Autographed Printing Plates (1/1, 4 of each, hobby only)
  • Bowman Black Autographs (25 cards, #’d to 25, hobby only)
  • Franchise All-Stars Dual Autographs (5 cards, #’d to 25 or less, hobby only)
  • Futures Game Patches (42 cards, #’d to 10)
  • Futures Game Autographed Patches (10 cards, #’d to 5, hobby only)
  • Legends in the Making Autographs (15 cards, #’d to 15 or less)
  • Rookie Autographs (4 cards)
  • Hat Redemptions (39 cards)

Box Contents:

  • 70 total cards
  • 34/220 base cards, 0 doubles
  • 22/110 prospects, 0 doubles
  • 2 Futures Game (Kolton Wong, Jonathan Singleton
  • 5 Refractors (Irving Falu, Johnny Cueto, Jordan Danks, Camden Maron and Matt Dominguez)
  • 1 Blue Refractor (Drew Leachman)
  • 1 Futures Game Autographed Patches (Manny Machado 2/5)
  • 1 Franchise All-Stars (Andrew McCutchen/Gerrit Cole)
  • 1 Prospect Autograph (Nomar Mazara)
  • 1 Legends in the Making (Bryce Harper)

My feelings on Bowman Chrome have long been publicized so I’m not really going to go over them right now other than to say that I still think that the entire Bowman concept needs to be redone fresh.  That being said…

What I Liked:  I like the inserts in this year’s set, and I like how refractors are one for every four packs as opposed to one per box like they were in base Bowman.  This is something Topps needed to fix, and they did it.  I also like the fact that I got a monster hit, but hey, who doesn’t?

What I Didn’t:  With Bowman being huge on the prospecting end of things, I still think only one autograph per box and very limited color is … really not a good return on the amount of money a box runs.  You’re paying nearly $1 a card for hobby (and just over that for retail) and the vast majority of the cards end up next to worthless.  Sure, this is the same with every product, but the problem is only highlighted in a prospect-heavy set such as Bowman Chrome.

Overall Thoughts:  Part of the issue with Bowman, as I’ve said, is that it’s three sets where two would do just fine.  The vast majority of prospects in these sets are in single or double A ball and are years from seeing time in the bigs.  For every Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper there’s a Bo Bowman (22nd round pick, appeared in 2010 Bowman…hasn’t played MiLB since 2009).  Bowman is years from being ‘Home of the Rookie card’.  It’s not even ‘Home of the Prospect Card’ anymore, because people really only want their chrome parallels.  As with many of Topps’ sets, it appear that this set is here …. because it should be here.  There’s no real ‘draw’ and the wrapper redemption was actually gone within a week of the product being live.  While this box was not in any way an average box, I cannot see this product being worth the hype unless you’re a serious prospector.  Personally, I’d rather play routlette — the odds are beter.

Collation:  2/5
Pizazz:  3/5
Design:  3/5
Total Score:  3/5 (rounded up)


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