Enter 2011 Bowman, a perennial love it/hate it set. I tend to fall more toward the "love it" side because I like collecting the occasional prospect set, not to sell them--that never works out--but because I genuinely have fun doing so. I don't get the "I bought a box of these and don't know any of the guys--this set is dumb" faction because you know what you're getting into with Topps (then again, you could argue I'm just as dumb for buying Topps and complaining about their trademark terrible collation and QC).
Anyway, I had hoped to score some rack packs since that's where all the action seemed to be, but the Meijer I went to today only had these two blasters. How did my 2011 baseball blaster debut go? Read on to find out.
Purchased from/price: Meijer, $19.99 (x2)
Packs/cards: Eight packs of 10 cards (x2)
Set size: 220 Base Cards; 110 Prospects; 110 Chrome Prospects
Key features/cards: Have you heard of this guy Harper? Lots of rookies, "rookies" and "First Year" cards, plus the usual smattering of autographs and parallels
|Fronts: Base, Prospect, Chrome Prospect|
|Backs (Base, Prospect, Chrome Prospect)|
- Set completion:
- Base cards: 62/220 (28%)
- Prospects: 32/110 (29%)
- Chrome Prospects: 15/110 (14%)
- Base cards: 0/62
- Prospects: 0/32
- Chrome Prospects: 14/29 (48%)
However, a special note, because this happened: I opened one pack that was shorted one Chrome card, and the one Chrome the pack contained was pretty chewed up, like-a so:
Topps made up for shorting that pack by kicking in an extra Chrome in the next one, but first someone let their kid use it as a teething ring:
|Bowman's Best: 2, Miguel Sano and Ryan Braun (1:6, 2-3 expected)|
|Bowman's Brightest: 2, Mike Trout and Tyson Auer (1:8, 2 expected)|
|Finest Futures: 4, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Domonic Brown, Buster Posey (1:4, 4 expected)|
|Gold parallel: 16, including the ones above (Granderson!) (1:pack, 16 expected)|
|Green parallel: 2, Cole Hamels (#105/450) and Ronald Bermudez (#275/450) (1:13, 1 expected)|
|International parallel: 2, David DeJesus and Brent Sinkbeil (1:8, 2 expected)|
|Topps 100: 6, all above (1:3, 5-6 expected)|
|Topps of the Class: 2, Lucas Duda, Chris Carter (1:8, 2 expected)|
It seems like these are being nabbed more often from racks and value packs when it comes to retail. The easiest pulls are 1:42, which isn't terrible, except of course that means about 1:5 blasters.
Best card: My favorite was the Thames Purple Refractor, mainly on looks. Thames was the Jays' 7th round pick in '08 and showed some nice power last year to go with some pretty good stats this year.
Quality control and collation: 15/20 Ten for the Base/Prospects and five for the inserts, zero for the Chromes. I freakin' got doubles of almost every single Chrome I pulled, and two of them were wrecked! Big thumbs up for the base collation, though.
Base set: 17/20 Not exactly a big departure from recent Bowman sets, but that's ok. As usual, I'm more drawn to the design of the Prospects set. 330 seems like a reasonable total as usual for the base plus prospects, and I'm happy to ignore the Chromes as I usually do.
Inserts: 13/15 While some of the sets (such as International, Topps of the Class, Finest Futures and Bowman's Brightest) don't do anything for me, I really like the Best and non-Gold/non-International parallels, plus the Topps 100 aren't bad. You sure do get a lot. Negative points only for the always worthless Golds, the ToppsTown of Bowman.
Hits and extras: 10/15 Points based on potential since I've seen some pretty nice stuff get pulled, including Superfractors, great color parallels, and autographs, including the latest little baby baseball Jesus, Bryce Harper.
Value: 25/30 Out of the two boxes, I averaged 31 base, 16 Prospects, 15 Chrome and 18 inserts. Plus I got to bust eight packs (twice). I'm satisfied with that for $20, though a hit wouldn't have hurt.
Overall: 80/100 As usual, one of my reviews falls in that B-C-minus range, but I was reasonably happy with these. I think my biggest requests would be for Topps to remove the Chrome from this set, then ditch the tremendously useless Golds (or just not make them 1:pack). From what I've seen, I think you're going to want to go with rack packs, but I don't see anyone regretting grabbing a blaster of these.
Just about all the inserts are available as usual as parts of larger trades, but I'm not putting together a base wantlist until I figure out if I want more of these.