by Rich Klein
I write quite a bit about my local card store (Triple Cards in Plano, Tx.) and frankly, one of the reasons is that between the owner and the regulars who usually attend the store’s popular trade night (most Wednesdays 5-7 PM) the feedback is excellent on new products. Everyone is honest and lets me know if the product is good or not so good. I get to hear about some of the better pulls and some of the quirks in the various sets. The clientele usually opens a decent amount of any baseball product and as such, becomes a great sounding board on any new product.
My 2012 Bowman Chrome review box appeared on a Wednesday evening and when the box arrived, I went down to Triple Cards to see how my box compared to everyone else's. During my break, the collectors there did inform me of many salient facts about Chrome and I thank them for their feedback not only about this product but all of the others I have opened for the past three years while doing these box breaks on SportsCollectorsDaily.com.
2012 Bowman Chrome is in the same general mode as the past decade or so with 24 packs in a box, ten cards per pack and one autograph card in every box. The Chrome cards are, of course, in the same design of the 2012 Bowman set except Topps uses their patented "Chrome" technology on them. Of course, as always, this product is very popular among collectors and investors who are trying to get the big hits of today while also hoping for continued value down the road. Triple Cards reported selling 11 cases at $76.95 per box while leading on-line retailers are in the $60-65 range per box.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 25 all different out of 220. That is slightly more than 10 percent of the set. One of the clients at Triple Cards reported a case buster was not able to complete a full set as he was missing five cards after breaking down the case. This is obviously not a product for base set builders unless you’re really, really dedicated.
Base Prospect Cards: 34 of 110 all different or a tad more than 30 percent. We did not pull any SP's in these cards.
Base Set Refractors: Quentin Berry, Jarrod Parker
Blue Parallel Refractor (#d to 250): Jason Heyward
Purple Parallel Refractor (#d to 199): Max Scherzer
Franchise All-Stars: Carlos Gonzalez/Nolan Arenado; Felix Hernandez/Danny Hultzen
Futures Game: Tyler Austin (A collector at Triple Cards informed me that a collector receives three of these Franchise All-Stars/Future Game cards but always in a 2-1 ratio so at least one of these cards comes out of every box)
Legends in the Making: Robinson Cano
Autograph Prospect: Trevor May
Autograph Prospect Refractor (#d to 500): Nomar Mazara (As an aside, according to the collectors at Triple Cards, approximately one of three boxes has two autographs in a box which is nice since that is better than promised)
One of my favorite expressions about products based on rookies and prospect such as Bowman Chrome is see us in five years and see how we did from our box. Of course, receiving two autographs makes for a better experience than just receiving one. And although base cards are not considered as important as they once were, the paucity of these base cards may make for some interesting long-term possibilities as well.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]