When I first saw that Bowman Chrome was being brought back, I got VERY excited to see what they were going to come up with. Back in 2009, I thought the set had legs as a sister set for the wildly popular baseball version, before it was axed due to poor performance. After seeing the way 2014 came to be, Im feeling the exact opposite of excitement. This set is looking worse by the day, and there is no other way to put it.
With not much opened, tough to find some of the nicer hits:
The situation is very simple here, and I think Topps did not do a very good job helping us to understand what was going on. I went into Bowman Chrome expecting on card autographs and a refractor structure that was done similar to baseball (red ref /5, gold /10, orange /25 etc etc). What we got was an NFL branded equivalent of 2014 Bowman Football, released prior to the draft. That is just not going to fly with people, even though they got some autographs from lower tier rookies who have had an impact this year.
Dont get me wrong, I like the way the design looks now, just like I did back then. The new "Bubble" refractor parallel type is actually pretty cool. However, the checklist quality is so crazy bad, that you should celebrate a nice pull with a bottle of Cristal. I say that because it might be easier to hit the lottery than pull a nice name out of this stuff. The only good thing is that Chrome only costs 65 bucks a box, so you wont be out a rent payment unless you bust a case.
Its severely annoying and disappointing that the majority of the autographs are stickers. One of the main reasons I was so excited was for the on card autographs, and Topps Chrome undermines the quality here with its volume of nicer on card autos through the product. I opened 3 boxes, and wound up with 4 sticker autos. Although I know Topps tried to add content by putting in extra autographs, it looks more like a dump of inventory than anything.
Like most of Topps’ products, the stuff looks really good. The die cuts are interesting, the colored refractors look great, and when you pull a nice card, its going to be valuable with so few people breaking boxes of it. All of those things I like.
I dont like that there is veritably no differentiation between Bowman and Bowman Chrome, as I expected there would be. I also dont know what is going to happen to the NFL uniform redemptions that were present in the early set, but now overlap because of the cards in this release. Its too bad, because I really though there was a lot of potential here. Yet, because Topps literally has no ability to sit on the metric ton of scrubby stickers from bad players, they need to get rid of them faster than usual. With no Magic this year, Bowman Chrome must be it.