Saturday, May 18, 2013

2013 Bowman

All right.  I love Bowman. Always have and probably always will.  To me, they are the most consistent product in terms of quality and collectability.  So, therefore, they will always be tops in my book.

I had a few bucks, so I went down to Sports Treasures LLC (our LCS) and picked up a few packs of the new Bowman.  No, I didn't hit any big names or autos or whatnot.  What I did find was a very nice looking product, great photos, and a huge set for the collectors in this world.  Like I said before, Bowman is nothing but consistent.

The first thing you notice about any release of Bowman is the abundance of parallel cards.  There's orange and red and blue and purple and refractors....the list goes on.  But, to me, that's part of the appeal of the Bowman line.  I collect Rays players.  I would love to have every single variety of David Price card available, in every color, even though he's injured and was pitching like shit.  But, that variety is cool, and extremely profitable.

The base set isn't very large, 220 cards.  But, once you factor in the Chrome cards they insert into every pack and all the parallels, well the set can start looking kind of large.  In a nod to the set collectors in the world, Bowman puts a fairly generous eight cards into every normal (not jumbo) pack.  Eight cards is a lot in a pack these days, sadly.  So, the set folks will likely be scooping this stuff up.

The autographed subsets look pretty normal for Bowman.  Lots of prospect autos.  So, at least at this time, you can't be sure that what you hit will be worth anything.  This makes the set good for long-term collectors and pretty poor for flippers.  Looking on eBay, it looks like Byron Buxton might be the wunderkind for the season.  But, there are autos from Manny Machado, Mike Olt, Profar, and Danny Hultzen, which should add some excitement to cracking packs and boxes.

One new bit:  Bowman is throwing mini-cards in to this years product.  I can't remember them doing this before and I am a big fan of mini cards.  So, that's cool.

Anyway, that's Bowman in a nutshell.  Check out the sportscardradio site for more details.  They rock.

My "hits" from the three packs:  Barry Zito orange (#'d to 250), a Sam Selman refractor, and a Nolan Arenado mini.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

2013 Gypsy Queen

Now for the product that doesn't usually let me the disappointment department: Topps Gypsy Queen.

The past few years I have bent over for a few boxes of the GQ.  It's really tough for me to stay away from this stuff.  It's nicely priced and it's like the mentally disabled half cousin of Allen and Ginter.  And I freaking love A&G.

So, for the purpose of this review only (I intend to stay away from Gypsy this year) I found a few pennies in the backseat of the car and bought exactly one pack.  I did just about as well in this one pack as if I would have bought a box: got nothin.  Anyway, the design looks similar than in past years but a little bit better.  At least Topps did away with the purple-ish color scheme and went to a more dignified green.

The set looks pretty good:  300 base and 50 sp's.  That's pretty do-able for our set collectors out there.  However, in fifty years do your kids want to show off your collection of Gypsy Queen?  I would guess not...but, hey, who knows?

Of course, the Queen is doing the mini cards.  I enjoy the mini cards.  I collect mini cards from all brands.  I think they're neat and a little bit quirky.  It pleases me to know that the mini's probably confound some players when I send them to be signed TTM.

The auto/hits checklist looks a little slim.  Sure the current big names are there (Trout, Machado, Harper, etc...) but the product looks a little slim in the retired players department.  At least Nolan Ryan and Cal showed up for this one. The autograph booklets and the triple autographs and the bat barrels are new...I think...and look like a pretty cool addition to the product.  There are TONS of parallels and inserts.  This should keep people buying.  However, there might be people that sit back and wait for these cool inserts to hit the secondary market.

Anyway, that's the Gypsy Queen for this season.  Tons of inserts, still a little blah on the whole product though.  But, maybe that's just my past hang-ups.  Maybe I'll buy a box and see...

Oh.  Here's how my pack went:  Neil Walker base, A. Cabrera base, Paco Rodriguez RC, M. Holliday base, J. Votto base, Jim Abbott "No Hitters", Barry Zito mini, D. Freese base, Frank Robinson base, and Josh Rutledge base.

And Here's the checklist if you need it.