I’ve been opening Bowman every year since 1998. As time went on I graduated from a few packs to hobby box to a jumbo box to multiple jumbo boxes and finally a case every year. But over the last few years, the price has been so astronomically high that I found it impossible to justify buying a case or even a hobby box, so I’ve resorted to buying blaster boxes at retail prices. Even that has become more difficult lately, which frustrates me because I don’t get to open much of a product that I have loved for two and a half decades.
This year I decided I would try something different. Rather than spend a few hundred dollars on blaster boxes which offer very limited upside, I figured I would go for the gold and purchase a hobby box of 2022 Bowman 1st Edition when it came available on the Topps website. Released almost a month before Bowman, the main differences with this product are the lack of chrome cards and the inclusion of a first edition stamp on the paper base cards. Rather than chrome refractors and paper border colors, parallels in the product include colored foil fronts.
Boxes have 24 packs, each with 10 cards. At 240 total cards, and a base set of 150 cards, collectors should theoretically get a complete set in a box even when accounting for parallels. However, I did not. I was 8 cards short of a set, despite having numerous duplicates and a few triplicates. That was super frustrating for me.
I did, however, beat the odds on parallels. I got exactly how many Sky Blue foil parallels I was supposed to get; they are seeded 1:2 packs, and I received the requisite 12. Importantly, 11 of those 12 were 1st Bowman cards, which is some nice added value. Blue foil cards, numbered to 150, fall 1 in every 17 packs, and I got two in my box. A nice addition was toward the end of my box, when I also got a Yellow foil parallel numbered to 75 of Adrian Sugastey. Landing 1:33 packs, that was a welcome find after having already gotten two blue foils.
Autographs are a tough pull, and I didn’t get any. Interestingly, there is no 1st Edition stamp on the autographs, meaning they’ll be indistinguishable from the regular Bowman releases once that product is live.
Even though I was disappointed in falling short of a complete set, I really enjoyed opening the 1st Edition box. Like the other Bowman I open, I’ll stick these cards in a box and check back on it in a few years.