Topps has come under fire recently for poor quality control, most notably regarding the many issues involved in the 2022 Topps Chrome Update Release.
Therefore, the top brass at Fanatics could not have been happy to hear about some problems with the 2022 Bowman Draft Baseball release. One of the key Bowman releases of the year. Therefore, it is commendable that Topps is taking responsibility for the 2022 Bowman Draft Baseball Production error.
Bowman Draft has become one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated baseball releases. It gives collectors the first crack at the freshest prospects out of the draft and a shot at the Bowman 1sts of future legends.
The 2022 Bowman Draft has been well received. Breakers and casual collectors report solid hits, and the design is pleasing in a classic Bowman way. The set includes seven prospects in the top 100 list. In particular, Elijah Green seems like a top-notch prospect in this release.
On January 11, 2023, Topps announced a specific issue with its 2022 Bowman Draft Baseball release. They explained there was a printing error on some of the parallels in the product. As a result, there were cards affected for 20 players in all. But in the case of all 20 players, all cards within four parallel categories were involved.
Apparently, the problem is with one of the automation machines at the Topps plant. It was affixing the wrong sequential serial numbers. The issue has since been fixed.
What is wrong with them? The only issue is that the serial numbers printed on the cards are incorrect. The error did not change the design of the card in any way. They are indistinguishable from other parallels unless you carefully examine the serial number. Topps has stated that the cards’ print run and parallel structure has not been affected in any way.
The four parallels featuring incorrect serial numbers are:
The players with misnumbered cards consist of the following:
The company announced Wednesday that after a review, a printing snafu resulted in the same serial number applied to cards of 20 players across four colored parallels.
Here is the statement from the Topps owned Fanatics company in full:
“We have been diligently reviewing the card numbering of a set of subjects in the 2022 Bowman Draft Baseball product. While the total number of cards in the set and specified parallels accurately reflects the checklist, select subjects feature duplicative numbering due to an automated numbering error in the production process. This numbering issue was isolated to the 20 subjects within the sky blue, purple, aqua, and blue parallels (all subjects affected are listed below).
As the production error does not affect the print run or parallel structure, Topps will not be re-printing cards or making product modifications. Please note that we have been in contact with PSA, SGC, and Beckett to confirm that the grading of these cards will not be impacted in any way. They will be able to answer any grading questions you may have directly.
We are working closely with our external partners on a daily basis to consistently improve our processes to deliver great products. We appreciate your ongoing support as we continue to build the best collector experience possible.”
Let’s assume that Topps is upfront about the issue’s extent. If so, it should not have a notable long-term influence on the value of the cards. Furthermore, they have denied that the serial error is anything other than cosmetic and did not entail changes to production numbers or the print run.
All the cards mentioned are numbered. So, the exact print run is vital to determining value. After all, a /199 card is worth considerably less if we know more than 199 copies have been printed.
The cards in question have the following stated print runs:
Topps and Fanatics stated they would not be reprinting the product wholly or partially.
The grading companies examine cards and create the population reports using the serial numbers provided by card producers. Therefore, the processes of PSA and other grading companies are sensitive to errors of this sort. However, Topps assured the general public that this would not be an issue, according to their statement:
“We have been in contact with PSA, SGC, and Beckett to confirm that the grading of these cards will not be impacted in any way. They can answer any grading questions you may have directly.”
I guess this will not become a significant problem, and you can collect and keep these cards, assuming you believe in the player. Numbered parallels of Bowman Draft are often a good investment. However, it may be worth seeing how many of these pop up on the market and in the pop reports. It may give us an idea if print runs have been affected in any way.
Topps is under some scrutiny now, considering the terrible problems that plagued the 2022 Topps Chrome Update release. The issues involved were so severe as to mar the entire product.
In the case of the 2022 Bowman Draft Baseball, the problems appear to be relatively minor. We doubt these serial number error cards will be worth any extra money. But the value should suffer no decrease either.
It is ultimately a healthy sign that Topps is being transparent about printing mistakes. Every company makes errors, and this one is nothing unusual or egregious. The step Topps took to contact the grading companies is also reassuring.
We don’t believe that this mistake takes away from what seems to be a very strong Bowman Draft release. However, keep an eye on population numbers in the future to be sure.
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