2010 Bowman Platinum BaseballBox Price: $110-$120
Good: high quality patch cards, 3 hits per box + 1 bonus redemption auto box topper, deep rookie and prospect checklist
Bad: boring card design, parallel madness, hard to see collecting angles, box price too high, feels thrown together, not sure why it needed to be made, retail blaster box leaking ruined the new product excitement, card surface issues
The card design has it's moments, but those moments are few and between. The card design feels like it takes a little piece from products like Topps Platinum Football, Bowman Sterling Baseball and several other products I can't put my finger on with the result being a product that comes off generic, thrown together and lacking in originality. The only saving grace are the patches inserted into the rookie, prospect and USA autos, but they feel out of place and would have been better off being saved for a better product.
Another issue I had was with the condition of all the chrome stocked cards in the product. I would estimate the average condition of these cards to be around an 8, nearly every card suffered from surface dents, surface scratches or a rough cut on one of the borders.
There's plenty of quality player's like Stephen Strasburg, Jason Heyward, Mike Trout, Miguel Sano and Jackie Bradley Jr, but the method to Platinum's madness is just that, madness. It really feels like the game plan behind this product was to throw every big name at you in order to cash in one last time on the stacked 2010 rookie class. On top of that, the parallel and refractor system is out of control and doesn't make much sense. Also, the inclusion of the occasional veteran card feels odd and out of place.
I've never been more conflicted with a product's checklist, as the names are outstanding, but the entire package wasn't put together in a thoughtful manor. Getting a Strasburg, Heyward, Sano, Trout or any other big time rookie or prospect should be hard to get, that's what makes a card meaningful.
If this were a $70-$80 per box product, there would be plenty of value in ripping a box, but at $120, there's very little reason to rip a box of Bowman Platinum when you could break almost 2 boxes of 2010 Bowman Draft for the same cost - Draft is a substantially better product. The only value in Platinum is cherry picking the patch autograph singles on eBay.
One thing that really killed the value of Bowman Platinum was the random "leaking" of retail blaster boxes and packs over a month prior to the hobby release. This really dampened the level of excitement for the hobby release, which conversely hurt the product's overall value. Without the "new" factor, Platinum lacks the novelty factor it desperately needed.
Fun Factor: 3/5
The only real excitement is the presence of 3 hits + the bonus box topper redemption auto, but the autographs are largely unappealing in appearance when compared to other 2010 Bowman and Topps autos. Opening any prospect driven product is exciting and I did pull a beyond awesome Jason Heyward Multi-Color Refractor Patch Auto Redemption, but this was one heck of a pull and not par for the product, so I'm not going to let it persuade me into giving it a higher rating.
Simply put, this wasn't nearly as fun as the 2010 Bowman Trilogy (Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Draft) or the recently released 2010 Topps USA Baseball Box Set. How about this for a concept, a product called "Bowman Trilogy" that is a mix of all three Bowman's that costs $120 a box and delivers 3 hits? Now that would be awesome! Platinum however is not.
The Bottom Line: 3/5
I'm not sure why this product needed to be made, Bowman Chrome offers better prospect autos, Topps USA Baseball offers better USA autos and Topps Chrome offers better veteran base cards. Bowman Platinum feels like a rushed product should, thrown together with very little continuity and craftsmanship. The one cool thing about the product is that it delivers some decent rookie patch autos of overshadowed 2010 rookies like Jose Tabata, but there's no reason to spend $120 on a box when the singles can be purchased on eBay.
I'm all for prospecting products, but with the Bowman Trilogy (Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Draft) and products like Topps USA Baseball and Donruss Elite Extra Edition currently available, I see very little need for this product. I think it would be far cooler to integrate patch parallels into Bowman Chrome. Too many similar products dilute the market and hurt the industry as a whole, that effort would be far better served improving existing brands.
Each $120 hobby box delivers 2 autographs, 1 patch auto and 1 bonus redemption auto box topper. If you are a collector who likes trying every product, then by all means, but to collectors on a budget it's simply not worth ripping a box, especially with better and cheaper prospecting products currently available.
2010 Bowman Platinum Baseball Review,