Pre-season football cards have become a mess. Upper Deck has the NCAA exclusive, and as a result, the card companies have had to adjust to make products without the ability to use college uniforms. The trend is not pretty, but Topps found a good mix in 2013 Bowman, airbrushing pictures and using chrome stock to make up for the lack of ability to use pictures the right way.
Here are a few examples:
As part of this set, Topps had a great idea, offering redemptions for hard signed Bowman Chrome autos to be signed when NFL uniforms became available after the premiere. These cards are finally going live, and they look to have been WELL worth the wait.
Here are the NFL cards – done in a similar style to the ones linked above:
When it comes to redemptions, these types of programs can backfire if not done correctly. Topps has already been in deserved hot water for Customer Service practices, but man the results are hard to argue with. I already thought Bowman was a million times better than the Panini pre-season releases, as they chose a much more unattractive approach. Even worse when you see some of the amateur work done in airbrushing NFL uniforms.
These cards are actual photos in actual uniforms, and look tremendous. From the looks of the search results on the redemptions, they are also tough pulls, which should only help to catapult the value. We have yet to see any of the Bowman Black redemptions which should be coming soon – also done in NFL uniforms.
Its not saying there arent challenges, as hard signed rookie autos arent special at this point in the year. I think that is a main reason why cards like this have to turn out PERFECTLY. Based on what we are seeing, they turned out about as good as possible. Plus, im never going to turn down a Chrome auto at any time in the year.