Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Bowman (A Collector's Crack Day Late and a Dollar Short review)

I went down to Don's, one of my LCS's in the area last Wednesday, and no Bowman, Don said that he got an email from Topps and the cards would be in tomorrow.  It was too bad to because that Wednesday was trade night at Don's and I'm sure he would have sold out of it. But I went down there after work on Thursday and lo and behold boxes of freshly opened Bowman. Don prices stuff on his costs and since this was the first batch and it was bought at introductory levels, that means that packs and boxes prices weren't threw the roof, yet.  I decided to pick up a couple jumbo packs of Bowman and play the Harper lottery.  I also picked up a Kimball Champions Mantle card from this years Topps for my Kimballs set. This was a score because everywhere I look people want at least 6 bucks for this card and I got it for cheap.

But, I digress, so late as always here is my two cents on this years Bowman.  It's as crappy as the last few years.  I remember talking to Don about how much money he's lost on Bowman over the years.  The only reason he made money last year was because of Strasmania and he'll sell out of Bowman this year due to the Harper lottery. I remember trying to put a Bowman set together a few years back and thinking this is terrible.  I mean the multi-numbering system.  More on that later, lets look at the cards and inserts I pulled and what I think.

Here is the base veteran card.  I opened the first pack and got this and one other Brewer coming up and thought man I just need to stop.  I was also going to pick up a rack pack of Retail to compare but couldn't find any.

The base rookie out of the main 220 card set.  Both of which aren't terrible, but not particularly great.

The regular Bowman Prospect's card.  Kinda looks like last years design.
Bowman Prospect's Chrome.

Bowman gold parallels.  One per pack, jumbo and regular hobby.  If you looking for these best to buy smaller, cheaper packs.

I also got one orange parallel.  These are numbered to 250 I do believe.

Oh is that candy??!!
This was actually the first card I saw when I opened my first pack.  Score!  Since I officially decided to be a Braun supercollector, any pack pulls are always welcome.  I think I like this insert set the best, I just wish this card would have been chrome etched like the originals.  These are on foil board and look like something Panini would put out.

My 2 Topps 100 cards.
And Topps of the Class. 

There are a few more inserts in this set that I didn't get any of and I'm looking for a Braun Finest Future's insert if anyone has one to trade. 

Now I realize that this review is only based on two jumbo packs, and to be honest I would have liked to bust a box to get a full feel, but I'm not dropping 150 bucks on a jumbo box on a set I don't want to collect.  A few observations first,  I wish Topps would just return to numbering all the cards into the set.  I don't mind the Bowman Chrome parallels or all the other color parallels.  It does seem like in Bowman, Topps takes the parallels to the extreme with the sheer numbers of different color parallels and refractors, but I actually like having cards to chase of certain players, and I understand that a lot of people like to pick up the prospect cards of future MLB players, so Bowman has it's place to that extent.  But as a set collector this set is a no go.  I mean I guess if I cared I could try to just put the base 220 card set together or go after the prospect set or the chrome prospect set but all of them together gets a bit overwhelming.  I think it would just be a better product if all the prospects were numbered in to a 500 card set, or what ever size set. Hell you could do what Upper Deck did with Champ's and number in every card issued into the set and really piss set collectors off. That and the price point for this product is way to high.  Topps has got super lucky with Strasmania and the Harper Lottery the last two years to make this product a success, but lets be honest the only reason anyone bought this product last year and this year were to try and snag some Strasburgs and Harpers. 

That doesn't mean I won't be trying to put a Brewer's set together. I will.  One of my goals was to complete a team set from all the offerings this year, not the super premium sets, but that would be nice too.

That being said Bowman is what it is and if you enjoy what it has to offer that's great.  To me I think my two packs of Jumbo will be all that I purchase and I'll be tracking down the remaining Brewers cards I need for my set through trades, ebay and other outlets.

I'm giving this product two Meh's.
Again I suppose if I'd had opened a full box, or pulled a sweet auto out of this product I might be a little more hot on this, but from what I've seen on the forums and blogs, no one is super excited about Bowman itself just the Harper and a few other prospects.


  1. I have that Braun Finest Futures card. I'm happy to trade it. Email me when you can.

  2. I don't know what it is, but it seems like even going back to the 90s and right on through to the present day I always seem to hate the look of Bowman sets. I suppose the base cards for this year aren't terrible, but those prospect cards...yuck