by Chris Harris
Now in its third year, 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball will be released in late July, about halfway between 2012 Bowman and Bowman Chrome. And while most of the product’s structure remains unchanged, Topps has added some new additions for collectors to chase after.
The base set will consist of 100 cards and will be supplemented with an equal number of Prospect “inserts.” Unlike in other Bowman-branded products, the Prospects will be printed on Chrome Refractor card stock, short-printed, and seeded into packs at the rate of 1:4. The usual number of serial-numbered Refractor parallels will also be available. Joining the Prospects in the insert program are two 50-card sets: Cutting Edge, which spotlights rookies and current Major Leaguers on die-cut cards, and Top Prospects. The Cutting Edge cards will also have autographed and/or game-used “Relic” editions and the Top Prospects will have a die-cut parallel which will be limited to 25 serial-numbered copies.
Each 20-pack Hobby box of 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball promises at least three autographed cards, one of which will have a game-used “Relic” embedded in it. The Autographed Prospects will have a minimum of 35 minor leaguers signing on-card, with the accompanying slew of parallels. Collectors should expect to find two Autographed Prospects per box. The Autographed Relics will feature a mix of both prospects and Major Leaguers and collectors should expect getting one in a Hobby box. Unlike the Autographed Prospects, the Autographed Relic will have a sticker autograph. Again, the usual number of Refractor parallels will be present with some of the low-numbered Refractors sporting a swatch from a jersey patch. Collectors can also expect to find various multi-player signed autographs and Jumbo Patch cards exclusive to Hobby packs and serial-numbered to only five copies.
The big additions of Bowman Platinum are of the super-scare autograph and “Relic” variety, and while most collectors should not expect to actually find any, some lucky collectors will walk away some unique and potentially valuable cards. The “Product Hit” is a one-of-one Bryce Harper Bat Plate card, taken from a bat Mr. Harper is said to have used in an Arizona Fall League game last year. Topps will also randomly insert into packs exchange cards good for various game-used items from last year’s AFL All-Star Game.
It should be noted that these redemption cards will be good for an intact game-used item and not just a piece of a “Relic” cut-up and mounted on a card. While some of the intact items include such non-layer specific items as bases and balls, Topps will be giving away at least 20 game-worn caps through this program.
Rounding out the low-numbered autographs, are the second batch of Hobby-exclusive Bowman Black autographs, and 35 Purely Platinum autographs – one-of-one autographs signed on a metal surface.
2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball is scheduled for release the week of July 25. Each Hobby box will contain 20 packs of five cards and sell in the $80-$85/box range. Check out the slideshow below.
Chris Harris writes the popular hobby blog Stale Gum.