Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Random Packs Of 2012 Bowman Football

Going back to part of my Father’s Day presents from my kids, I got a rack pack of 2012 Bowman Baseball and a rack pack of 2012 Bowman Football. The football rack pack came with 3 8-card packs plus 3 retail-exclusive purple rookie parallels.

I really like this set and I think that Topps did a wonderful job. The base set consists of 200 cards, 100 veteran players and 100 rookies. There are 50 SP variations from the rookie’s checklist. There are a handful of parallels for the 100 rookie cards on top of the SPs, including Gold (Retail No #), Purple (Retail No #), Silver #/99, Green #/25, Red 1/1 (Hobby) and Printing Plates 1/1 (Hobby). The rookie set also includes autographed versions of 56 rookie cards, which also have their own Red Ink parallels #/15.

The base set’s veteran cards are interesting, the focus is all on the player and being that every image used is an action shot it makes for a pretty sweet set. The background on each card was blurred so you are drawn to the player, the center of attention; the players are then sharpened thus giving them almost an art/cartoonish definition. Some of the photos have actually become a bit distracting because the detail was magnified to the point of excess, for example the Vincent Jackson card was sharpened so much that his arm hairs became distorted and a glaring issue which does not appear natural.

Because the veterans checklist is limited to only 100 players Topps included only the best. I pulled a nice collection of players including Cam Newton,  Calvin Johnson, Aaron Hernandez and Mike Wallace. The front of the cards are pretty nice, as I said the focus is all on the player just like a card should be designed. The back of the cards include a bio, last season's stats along with a complete career stats plus a write up on a breakout performance.

The rookie cards have drawn some negative reactions from collectors. Because Topps got the set out so quickly the rookies had not been photographed in their pro uniforms so to make sure that the rookies got in to the set Topps designers removed the background, Photoshopped all college names, numbers and logos and then overlaid a hue layer over the player using their pro team’s colors. One thing you will notice that the darker team colors like blues and greens came out reasonably well but the warmer reds caused a color distortion for the players as well as the uniforms. I included a couple of different rookie cards, two have green overlays (Curry and Cunningham), two have blue (Wright and Claiborne) and two red overlay (Herron and RG3). Dan Herron and RG3 actually look orange the other players all have a more natural skin tone.

I pulled two Gold parallels, Kendall Wright and Dre Kirkpatrick and three retail-exclusive Purple parallels, Curry, Herron and Cunningham. The best rookie by far is the RG3. This kid is going to be a monster in Washington, while I do not like the Redskins I am pulling for this kid.
I close out on a couple of inserts, an Andrew Luck Accolades and a Luke Kuechly Chrome Refractor Rookie Autograph. The Accolades set is a 10-card set built around 7 players and the awards/honors that they received last year. The checklist includes three Andrew Luck cards, Dwayne Allen, Justin Blackmon, Luke Kuechly, Morris Claiborne, two RG3 cards and Trent Richardson. I pulled the Luck Player Of The Year card (AL2). What struck me as odd is that the RC logo is included on the card, I never considered an insert as a rookie card.

 The Chrome Refractor Rookie Autographs are nice cards (outside of the players in Photoshopped uniforms), a nice action shot on one side and a cut out team helmet on the other side.The die-cut helmet adds depth and texture to the card. The best thing about the set? The autographs are on-card. The checklist includes 43 rookies so many of the players will likely show up on their team's roster with a handful making it in to the starter role. I pulled Luke Kuechly, the #9 pick from the Carolina Panthers. He will almost definitly slide right in as a starter so I can not complain much, especially considering that I beat the retail odds just pulling an autograph. I would have prefered Nick Foles, but I have been watching some auctions and I can pick one up for a couple of bucks down the line.

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