25 March 2013

2012 Bowman Retail Box Break (1)

Cue rapid heartbeat.

Let me get this off my chest, early on.

I love Bowman flagship, and I am extremely unapologetic about it.

Bowman provides collectors with a robust but not watered-down checklist. Tons of prospects but stars aplenty. Easy coloured parallels. A manageable retail price. The chance for hits is low, but no so rare as as bottom quality sets and not nearly as expensive as multi-hit boxes.

A hobby box of Bowman nets you one guaranteed autograph of what is very likely an unknown product. A year after it's release, I found a box of 2012 Bowman on Amazon for $50. That's half the price of a hobby box, same amount of cards, no guaranteed lame ass autograph.

Worth the gamble if you like the product, which I adore, and hey - you net about 30 parallels and a bunch of rookies and prospects. Sounds like money to me.

First - I had some goals for this box.

  1. 24 Gold Parallels - They're guaranteed, so this will obviously be fulfilled.
  2. 1-2 Blue (/500) or Green (/450) parallels. There are no stated odds, so I don't know what to expect.
  3. 4 Bowmans Best Prospects/Veterans. They're seeded 1:4, so there should be two of each.
  4. Individual Players: Xander Bogaerts and Oscar Taveras. I don't have any cards of these guys yet, so it would be awesome to finally get some. Ultimate goal is the International parallel of Xander Boaerts, featuring the flag of Aruba in the background. 
  5. 3 International Parallels: They fall 1:8, which is kind of steep for their meager "market" value. Bowman's main fault is that it is extremely overproduced, and the paper cards are "worthless" to many breakers and are even thrown out in some cases.
  6. An autograph. After pulling an auto from a Bowman Sterling rack pack and a Francisco Peguero autograph from a 2010 Bowman Chrome blaster, I am convinced their is a reasonable shot to get one, on average, in every retail box, row of blasters or row of rack packs.
I'll start with some base cards, but I won't address any of the goals or inserts in this post. I've seen other bloggers do this. Kind of a tease, I suppose, but oh well.

Hey, look you guys! Bowman base cards!
I grabbed just about every one of my favourite players, including Blue Jays - which many of the readers here helped out with since my return in September or so. If you want some Blue Jays from this set, let me know, as I have tonsssss. But I am also okay with hoarding them, so if you don't want them, I will take them.

I know they're not spectacular, but aside from 2008, Bowman is always a clean-looking set, with good color usage under-appreciated photography and subtle and dignified design. It's no 2010, which most find incredibly boring, but 2012 is a very solid year for Bowman. Before this box arrived I had decided to go after the complete set. I stand by my decision. 

Brarper Jr.
Prospects and veterans are equally represented in Bowman. No short prints.

Doesn't that sound like a novel idea? 

Say it aloud to yourself:

No short prints.

I am willing to bet a smile came across your face.

I did pretty well with prospects, scoring two highly sought-after ones pictured above in Bryce Harper (which I dinged after scanning) and Jackie Bradley Jr. Also, these two guyers:

Dillon Maples is one of the better pitching prospect of the Chicago Cubs (#4 on one of my more trusted sources if I remember correctly) and is also the subject of that sweet 2012 Bowman Platinum Autograph I pulled last month. Lindor, of course, has full-on Man Crush credentials at this point, and has become one of my stronger player collections of those who have never made a major league at-bat outside of Spring Training - and is the Cleveland Indians #1 prospect.

On to the review: Base Cards (Weighted 25%)

The design is clean. Crisp lines, solid colors matching team's primary . The foil is unnecessary and the lack of it would probably reduce price. A good deal of the prospects are photoshopped to horrific proportions, and recently traded players also show the same. Sometimes, the logos are placed directly on the crotch of the player due to poor photo cropping decisions.

Overall, nothing is offensive about the design and the checklist is very, very good. Overall, I give the base cards 4 out of 5.

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