Promising to provide some of the year’s best rookie cards, 2009 Bowman Sterling is hitting hobby shop shelves today. The much anticipated hobby exclusive release is available in boxes of 6 packs of 5 cards each. The base set consists of a variety of base, autograph, relic, and autographed relic cards, as well as parallels and variations.
The set contains 50 base rookie cards serial numbered in several parallels (Refractor #/199, White #/89, Black #/50, Gold #/25, and Red 1/1). There are also 50 autographed rookie base cards with several parallels (Refractor #/75, Black #/25, Gold #/10, White #/5, and Red 1/1). Additionally, there are 85 relic base cards, consisting of 34 rookies and 51 veterans and legends, also available in several parallels (Refractor #/199, Black #/50, Gold #/25, White #/5, and Red 1/1). And if that wasn’t enough, there are 25 rookie and 20 veteran autographed relic base cards with several parallels (Refractor #/75, Black #/25, Gold #/10, White #/5, and Red 1/1). Also inserted into 2009 Bowman Sterling are all 4 printing plates used to print the 85 rookie and veteran relic cards, the 50 non-autograph rookie base cards, and the 50 autographed rookie base cards. Finally, there are dual autographed cards seeded one per 4-box case that include autographs from 40 current and retired NFL players on numbered gold Refractor cards.
Per Box Breakdown: 6 packs of 5 cards each (30 cards total), including 12 rookie cards (2 per pack), 6 autographed cards (1 per pack), 12 relic cards (2 per pack), and 2 autographed relic cards. Each 4-box inner display case will also contain 1 dual autographed card. This adds up to more than 30 cards per box, so an autographed relic or dual autograph will obviously replace a single autographed card in that respective pack.
My first thought is, wow, that is one confusing product checklist. Obviously this is a product specifically designed for the higher-end collector who chases valuable cards or is a player collector who is not afraid to lay down top dollar for his/her favorite player(s). If you are strictly a set collector, stay as far away from this product as possible! If the pre-release mock ups you see above are accurate to the actual release, I think the cards are actually pretty good looking. They may be a tad too shiny though as the images above almost have a shine to them on the computer screen, without being printed on foil board. I am interested to see how all the parallel colors are worked into the design. Is there a border like Topps Chrome, or is the entire design the specific parallel color? Whatever the case, these cards do promise to be highly sought after and able to fetch some nice money on the secondary market, especially from prospectors who have their rookie targets all picked out. Boxes can be purchased for about $230. At almost $8 per card, that is way too rich for my blood, but I’m sure there are plenty of collectors who are pumped up and plan to buy cases of this stuff. I would love to see some singles in person, but that is probably as close as I’ll get.
What do you guys think? Is this right up your alley, or are you passing on this mid-to-high end product?