Before writing this post I went back to see what I said about 2010 Bowman (click here). I rather liked the 2010 set. I'm afraid I can't say the same about the 2011 set. As they have for the past 15 years or so, Bowman sticks to the same color scheme. Black and green for rookies......black and red for veterans. The set design is just blah and the photography is nothing to rave about. I bought 2 blaster boxes at the local Target. I did not get any duplicate cards in the two boxes. There were 8 packs in the box (actually 7 packs and 1 Extra Pack Each!). There are 10 cards in each pack. The pack breakdown is : 4 base cards, 2 prospect cards, 2 chrome cards, and 2 insert or parallel cards. I'm also happy to report that, unlike Gypsy Queen, the checklist cards do not count as a card. There are 220 base cards. At 32/box, it would be pretty expensive to attempt to complete the set by buying blasters. I understand that the hobby box packs have 5 base cards per pack.
They have revived the old Bowman International parallel set from the mid-1990s. I'll bet a bunch of you were writing letters to Topps asking to bring this parallel back. The card has a dufex finish like before. I got two of these. Here's Lance Berkman from some foreign country named Texas.
The Gold Parallel is back as well, 1 per pack.
The Blue Parallel is back. These are serial numbered to 500 and I got one of them.
And, apparently working on the theory that you can't have too many parallel sets, this year there is a Green Parallel (numbered to 450). This card is uglier in person than the scan indicates. There are also Orange (numbered to 250) and Red (1 of 1).
There is the usual Prospects set, still blue and white. Over the past few years I have often liked the design of the Prospect set more than the base set. Last year, Bowman dropped the white area with a facsimile signature at the bottom of the base cards. I'd be happy if they'd drop this from the Prospect cards as well.
The box advertises that there are 2 chrome cards per pack. As usual, these are the Chrome Prospects cards. If you look at this scan about a third of the way in you'll see a printing mark. It runs pretty much the length of the card, there is a similar line on the other side of the card but it doesn't show as much. Just about every chrome card I got is marked like this. Very poor in my opinion. There are a number of different parallels but I didn't get any.
Another older set card being brought back as an insert is Bowman's Best. If a pack has one of these, it counts as a Chrome card. These look most like the 1994 Bowman's Best. I got three. The other two are separately numbered Prospect cards which have a blue background. I am assuming that the rookie cards have a green background. There are 50 cards in the set.
There are four insert sets. The Topps of Class set has 25 cards and I pulled 2 of them. This is a new insert this year.
Back from last year are the Topps 100 cards. There are 100 of them (no kidding). I pulled 5.
Also new this year is 25-card Bowman's Brightest set. I pulled 2. I like this design. I think it would have been nice as the design of the main set to get out of the black and red rut.
And finally, another new insert, the 25-card Finest Futures set.