Tag Archives: 2012 Bowman Platinum

Weekend Pickups

Part 1:  Accidental Purchases

I had to run some errands on Friday night, so I found myself at Target.  I am not capable of entering a Target without leaving with some cards, therefore I found myself in the card section.  I was contemplating getting a blaster box of Bowman Chrome but decided that it would be better not to spend $20 on a blaster, instead I decided on a few packs of BC.  I spotted a value pack (discussed herein) and figured that was the best bang for my buck.  Fast forward to the parking lot, I grab my pack out of the bag only to discover that what I grabbed was a value pack of Bowman Platinum.  I’m not a huge fan of BP this year (see previous post), so I thought about going back in and exchanging it but laziness got the better of me and I decided to open it.  Was I glad that I did.

Turns out that this value pack contained what I like to call a “retail superpack.”  A retail superpack is a retail pack that contains an autograph.  I suppose I could have just said I got an autograph, but why be simple when I can invent terms.  I got a Carter Capps autograph out of the pack, now I don’t know who Carter Capps is or if he is related to Matt Capps, but what I do know is that I got an on-card autograph of a Mariners prospect who threw 28 k’s in 25 innings with the big club this season and 19 saves along with a 13 k/9 in AA.  Seems like a solid performer and card worth holding on to.

Aside from a solid autograph I also pulled a few more interesting cards.  First, a Yu Darvish rookie card.  We all know about Darvish, so I’ll save any sort of analysis but i’m hoping to get a few bucks for it since I’m not a Rangers fan.  I also got a Wil Myers Top Prospect card.  Myers looks like he could go on to accomplish big things as a power hitting prospect in the Royals system.  Anecdotally, I watched him almost hit for the cycle in Tucson, putting solid contact on the ball every time he swung, statiscally he hit 37 bombs between AA and AAA along with an average over .300 and a 10% walk rate.  He’ll need to cut down on a high 20’s strikeout rate before he’s a star in the majors.  I also pulled a Troy Tulowitzki Cutting Edge Stars die-cut card.  This is another straight to eBay item given that I’m not a fan of Tulo or die-cuts, however as far as die-cuts go it’s fairly solid lacking the jagged edges that so often make them look stupid and horribly gimmicky.

The value pack also came with a bonus pack of Purple Refractor Prospect cards.  Nothing too exciting here, a couple of solid pitching prospects.  Hopefully something that will be interesting someday.

Shelby Miller

Matt Harvey

While it is still not favorite product, for reasons discussed previously, I can’t argue with good pulls, so overall this was pleasant mistake.

Part 2: Topps Update

I hadn’t purchased any packs of Update since it was released, so when  I found myself back at Target on Saturday I said to myself “no time like the present.”  I didn’t say that, but I wanted some so I got it.   The design is, of course, the Topps base design this year, so you know already if you like it.  I personally think it is solid as I mentioned in my Topps Mini post.  The draw of Update to me is always the rookies and the All-Star relics.  While I was disappointed on the relic front completely (I may have too high expectations for my two pack purchase), I did get a couple of interesting rookies.  First I got Trevor Bauer, who is a very exciting D-Backs prospect out of UCLA.  He has a crazy delivery and an even crazier warmup routine (look it up), but I’m afraid that his arm will explode ala Mark Prior in the next couple of years, so I’m prepared to enjoy watching him for the next couple of years because that is all we may get.

Don’t sleep on 174 k’s in 146 innings between the majors, AAA, and AA. Crazy numbers.

I also pulled a Jodany Valdespin rookie, not the most exciting player but, as I’ve said, the best name.  I do feel like I’ve seen this card before though…


Maybe it’s because we have…

Reusing photos is bad form Topps, bad form.  Minus 3.

Aside from a few rookies, the rest of my interesting pulls were parallels.  One gold, one target exclusive red, and one gold sparkle.

Yadier Molina Gold

Rhiner Cruz Red.

Anibal Sanchez Gold Sparkle.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that the Oakland A’s yellow uniforms are the best in baseball.  I dare you to argue with me.

Part 3: Panini Prestige

My second target trip also resulted in a couple packs of 2012-13 Panini Prestige.  My dislike of Panini is well known, but I wanted to get a few packs of basketball because it’s basketball season and I’m starting to get excited.  Prestige, unfortunately, suffers from some of the normal Panini trappings, the cards are over-designed and they shift the emphasis off of the photography as whole and just focus on the player featured.  The base cards do use restraint in regards to logos and the bottom borders that contain the players name, so that is a plus.

The rookie cards, as always are the chase.  While the base design is tolerable, the rookie design is too busy.  I wish that Panini would have just used the base design for the rookies, having a different design destroys the continuity and makes it seem like a subset.  Subsets do not hold up over the years.  On a personal note, I was happy to get a Kyrie Irving rookie, while the second round picks have a place in the set, I’m tired of getting them.

Finally I pulled a couple inserts.  First was a Steve Nash Hardcourt Heroes.  I’ll never forgive Nash for going to the Lakers (if he wanted to win he should have gone to the Heat, at least they are not the Suns direct rival) and this card is ugly and it sucks.  Another generic, non-sense Panini insert.  Blech.  The other insert was a  Larry Bird/Magic Johnson Connections card.  This card, by all accounts, should be something I hate; the pictures are cut outs of the players and the card is busy.  But I like it.  The images are of younger Bird and Magic, the foil logo gives it a nice touch and they way the players are off-set is pleasing to the eye.  Another surprising design success by Panini.  Maybe there is hope.

Prestige boasts a solid checklist, featuring this and last years rookies as well as autographs of past, present, and future stars.  The design is tolerable but not special.  Panini needs to look at classic sports card design and get away from gimmicky, 90’s cards to really get it right.  Overall, 3/5.







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2012 Bowman Platinum, or is it 2011

2012 Bowman Platinum, looks a lot like 2011 Bowman Platinum.  Was the product popular enough that it didn’t necessitate a new design? Doubtful.  This feels like laziness to me.




Now, I know that every set has its hallmarks.  I know that Topps wants to create brand recognition, but they have done nothing to improve upon 2011 Bowman Platinum, or 2010 for that matter.  And I’ll go on record and say that the 2011 design wasn’t anything special.  The cards are “shiny” which means they’re working from a disadvantage to begin with, then add to that awful modern, “high-end”, borders and pictures which play a secondary role, and you have a recipe for sh*t cards.  Bowman Platinum is a mid-range prospecting set, so I understand that people aren’t buying them for the design, they are buying them for the prospects, but Topps could at least take the time to make improvements and changes to make the new issue interesting.

Beyond not changing the design, Topps didn’t even both to chang the chase cards, which include different colored cards, ala the Fleer Precious Metal Gems, that are butt-ugly.  There has never been an aesthetically pleasing card, in my estimation, that takes a picture and makes the background a shiny green mess.  Bowman Platinum includes gold, emerald, and ruby cards that are inserted at various rates.

I suppose calling those “chase” cards may be an over-statement, especially when people who buy Platinum are doing it for the prospects.  Topps satiates this need by falling back on their Prospects insert set and prospect autographs.  However, in this way, Platinum necessarily takes a step back from last year.  Last year was Harper-mania, this year is Trout-mania.  2011 Platinum included a bunch of interesting Harper related chase cards.  2012 Platinum includes Trout cards and Harper cards, which are cool, but a year late.  These aren’t first time prospect cards and won’t elicit the same reaction as the Harpers did last year.  There just isn’t the same prospecting class this year as there was last year.  Though you never know who will take off and become a star, so maybe I’ll eat my words in five years.

I purchased a $10 value pack of Platinum at Target.  It included three packs and a special pack with purple prospect cards.  The pack is a good deal, even if I’m not a huge fan of the product.  As mentioned herein the design is similar to last year, so if you liked last years design, you’ll like this years.  I see no reason to get into it any further than that.  I pulled a gold Mike (ahem…Giancarlo) Stanton card and a Miguel Sano Prospect refractor.  Interestingly, all the cards in this years set are refractors, so the non-colored refractors have this interesting texture on the cards.  It is kind of a rough texture and is a bit distracting.  If Topps wants to go all refractors that is fine, but at that point just use colors to differentiate because the texture bit is not good design.  (Sano is a solid prospect, so this card, despite its odd texture, may have been my best pull, only time will tell).  The purple cards are dreck, but maybe at some point one of the prospects will be the next Derek Jeter and then I’ll get all excited about my purple card.  Maybe.

It might be hard to tell, but it’s bumpy. Bumpy is not the best texture.

Overall, Platinum is exactly the same product as last year but with a less exciting prospecting class.  The autographs are the main draw (see checklist), so I’d suggest buying a box if you’re interested, buying packs is not likely to net you with anything other than some base cards and a few parallels. If you have the money it’s probably worth waiting for Sterling and if you don’t have the money I’d still recommend waiting for Draft Picks and Prospects.  Either one of those products will offer the same prospecting fun, but with the added benefit of getting a true high end card or a true first professional card, respectively.  Platinum, as a mid-range, mid-season, product just doesn’t hold a candle in any regard to the other Bowman products.  Grade: 2.5/5

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