After a last minute delay, Bowman Draft released on Friday, December 14th. A staple in the Bowman lineup for the last several years, the 2018 release provides one of the first licensed products featuring autographs of this past years draft class.
This is a hobby only release, and comes in two formats. Jumbo boxes have 12 packs with 32 cards per pack. Each box has 3 autographs on average. Super-Jumbo boxes have 5 packs with 120 cards per pack. Those boxes have 5 autographs. Both the jumbo and super-jumbo packs have a fairly predictable mix of paper, chrome, insert, and refractor cards included with the base paper set making up the majority of the cards. They pre-release hype surrounding all the Bowman products has been a bit crazy over the last couple years. Collectors seem to love chasing the 1st Cards, and 1st Autos of these players despite the fact that they’ve never played a game at the major league level.
Are the prices of sealed wax worth it?
I’ll let you decide.
There seems to be a lot of excitement around this year’s class, and that has translated into a jump in what were already high prices for this product. At the time of release, jumbo boxes were retailing for around $190 a box, and super-jumbos for around $275.
The allocation issue I’ve discussed throughout the year once again came into play, and I only received one of the the two cases I had preordered. On a positive note, I ended up selling off 1/2 my case which allowed me to offset much of the cost of the boxes I actually opened. The funds from the refunded second case will add to the list of 2019 cases on order.
I recorded the break of one of the boxes here:
I’m not a huge fan of redemptions, but that is the first dual auto I’ve ever pulled, and with it being a gold parallel /50 at that! This will also be the first time I try out the Topps redemption system. I decided to go ahead and go through the redemption process to get the card in hand instead of just selling off the unredeemed card like I’ve done in the past.
I like the throwback and sterling inserts this year. It’s the 20th anniversary of the 1998 Bowman release, so Topps decided to create a special ten card insert set highlighting some of the best names of the draft. The Sterling Continuity continued and features the same ten names as the ‘98 insert set.
Colored paper and chrome parallels were plentiful in the boxes I opened, and I ended up with a nice little stack of serial number cards ranging from a print run of several hundred, all the way down to around /50 for the golds.
The Jonathan India base auto and the Kowar/Hankins Gold dual auto are probably the biggest ones I received. I had a couple more colored autos, but nobody huge.
What do you think about Draft?
I can’t make up my mind. On one hand, not knowing who many of these minor leaguers are can take away some of the enjoyment from opening up the packs. At the same time, it forces me to learn more about these young players than I otherwise would, and its pretty cool to dig through boxes of draft from a few years ago to see what hidden gems are still tucked away because they weren’t a household name at release time!
All in all, I think I’d rank the various Bowman products in this order:
What do you think? Would your order be different than mine?
Let me know your thoughts below!