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A Third 1/1 Superfractor Found In 2023 Bowman Chrome?

bowman chrome superfractor triples

We have all looked at numbered cards and wondered if this is the accurate number. After all, when there are 75 copies of a card, we would be unlikely to know if there are really 80 or 90 circulating. Many are never graded or sold.

But 1/1s are a different story. They are more likely to appear on social media, get graded, or be sold for high prices. And all you need are two of them in circulation to prove that the numbers are wrong.

That is precisely what happened with the 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors of Cleveland Guardians and up-and-coming prospect Juan Benjamin. Our coverage of the Bowman Chrome Triple 1/1 Superfractors scandal has the full story.

View 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors on eBay

Three cards surface in the Bowman Chrome Triple 1/1 Superfractors scandal  

The existence of more than one of the 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors of Juan Benjamin was quickly noticed when two of them were hit in high-profile breaks. First, one surfaced in a beak held by Mitch’s Box Breaks.

Then, the next was found in a break held by Hobby House. Finally, the third turned up in a Kosher Cardz break. The story was broken in the account of @bowman1of1

The reactions were sharp. One commentator said straight up, “This is fraud. Topps assured us they were positive that these were printed exactly 2:1.”

How did this happen?

It’s pretty unlikely that Topps did this on purpose. Imagining how something like this would not be discovered in the current hobby ecosystem is hard. And, of course, that leads to much needless embarrassment for the folks at Fanatics.

But mistakes of this type are easy to make. While there is only supposed to be a single 1/1 out in the wild (duh), that doesn’t mean only a single copy is printed.

Indeed, more than one of these cards is made in case there is a need for a replacement. Topps policy is that if you receive a damaged card, they will mail you an intact copy in exchange if you mail the damaged item back.

View 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors on eBay

The problem with 2023 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor doubles

We have known there is a problem with the Superfractors in this product for a while. According to coverage in Cardlines from September 30, 2023:

“When news began to slowly break that the Superfractors in 2023 Bowman Chrome were numbered 1/1, but that two copies of each 1/1 card were produced and available in packs, collector anger understandably took hold. It has come to light that 95 purported 1/1 Superfractors actually had “twins.”

The 2023 Bowman Chrome SuperFractor buyback program welcomed

Topps was aware of the problem and tried to take responsibility for it. Their announcement read:

“Collecting community, we are aware that duplicate, non-autographed SuperFractors have surfaced in 2023 Bowman Chrome Hobby Boxes. After looking into the matter, we can confirm that there is one duplicate of 95 non-autographed SuperFractors that were included due to a production error.

Please know that we take these matters seriously. We have identified and addressed the issue, as well as implemented new procedures in an effort to prevent this from happening ever again. Rest assured that we are focused on delivering great products for collectors. We have made and will continue to invest significantly in improving our manufacturing and operational processes.

We hold ourselves accountable to the hobby and will continue to work tirelessly in order to improve the experience of collectors. To that end, we are offering what we believe to be a generous buyback program for each of the impacted cards. The offer levels are set by card and will be available to the first person to claim and submit a verified copy of each impacted card.”

How the buyback works

According to the Topps website, if you get one of the affected SuperFractors, this is the procedure to follow:

  • Check the buyback list below to determine if your SuperFractor is eligible and if the buyback is still unclaimed. 
  • Send an email to bowmanchromebuyback@fanatics.com with:
  • Subject: Buyback Request for {Card Code} {Player Name}. 
  • Attach a clear photograph of the front and the back of the card lying on a piece of white paper with your first and last name written next to the card.
  • Attach a form of government ID. 
  • Include your complete mailing address.
  • The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2024.
  • We will respond to your email as soon as possible with further instructions.
  • Payments will be made via ACH, wire transfer, or PayPal.

If you go to the Topps website, you can view the buyback tracker. It tells you which cards have been bought back by Topps and what price they offer for each card. Their prices are quite generous and often beat the expected market price.

View 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors on eBay

The Juan Benjamin Bowman Chrome card and the buyback

According to the Topps website, the card in question, the Juan Benjamin card with code BCP-151, is still pending. In other words, as of the writing of this article, it has not been bought back. The price for the buyback is $5,000.

Of course, this raises a lot of questions. The terms for the buyback are clear. Once a card is sent in and paid for, it will be removed from the list of cards eligible for the buyback. But as we know, in the case of the Juan Benjamin card, there are (at least) three copies of the SuperFractor in the wild. So, according to the rules, the other two are out of luck.

And, of course, we have no guarantee that there aren’t more than two copies of other SuperFractors in this set. It is possible that the Juan Benjamin card was at the edge of one of the sheets, so an extra copy was produced.

But we don’t know that for sure. And even if that is the case, we can’t be sure there aren’t others like it.

View 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors on eBay

Was this a promotion?

Some pundits believed the Topps reaction was a bit too swift and convenient. In addition, the buyback prices are very generous. So, was this a kind of promotion for the product? There is no way of knowing. But it always made Fanatics look sloppy, so it’s probably not a very advisable promotion.

But now that there are three copies of (at least) one of the cards, Topps is really painted in an unflattering light. This makes it more likely that the buyback was a swift response to an error rather than a pre-planned marketing ploy.

After all, if this was all planned, they would not put three Juan Benjamin cards in the product. Or if they did, they would mention that fact in their press release.

Are any of these cards fake?

The odds are pretty low that any of the three Juan Benjamin cards are fake. The breakers who pulled these three cards are all pretty well known. There are witnesses to each break by the very nature of things. All the cards look real; we know there are duplicates in the wild.

However, the buybacks have gotten a lot of promotion, and plenty of money is around. So, it’s not impossible that an unscrupulous actor has gotten involved. But this card is not one of the massive money buybacks.

There are items for $35,000 and $75,000, which, on the face of it, would seem like more likely targets for forgery.

View 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors on eBay

The final word on the Bowman Chrome Triple 1/1 Superfractors scandal

We already had a problem here when Topps announced it had included 95 duplicates of SuperFractors. But at least they had taken responsibility and acted to compensate people who pulled a SuperFractor that turned out to be a /2. But now, with a third card surfacing for one of these supposed 1/1s, we have no idea where this ends.

We have seen plenty of scandals and issues with releases in the hobby. They usually get worked out or forgotten. Most likely, that will happen here as well. But if this becomes a recurring problem, it could lower the value of low-count cards everywhere.

One astute Blowout Forums user pointed out, “Everyone is affected if the #s released/reported can’t be trusted. Then, the value of every single card you own is capable of nosediving. I think it’s naive to consider only those who pull one of these cards are affected.

Prospecting/collecting is based on scarcity and perceived value. Anything that disrupts that affects everyone who collects modern cards. Therefore, a lot rests on Fanatics and Topps’s ability to control this situation.

View 2023 Bowman Chrome Superfractors on eBay

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is the emeritus editor of Cardlines. He continues to write for several hobby outlets, including this one and Cardbase. He collects primarily vintage baseball and soccer and has a weird obsession with 1971 Topps.

In his spare time, Shaiel is sobbing into his bourbon when the Mets lose and playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a past life, Dr. Ben-Ephraim was a political science professor, journalist, and diplomat. But cards are more fun.
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