First look: 2013 Bowman Chrome mini baseball set



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Bowman Chrome. Minis. Prospects. Rookies. Factory Set. Bonus Refractor parallels.

Those few words should sum up it all when it comes to Topps‘ latest release — a test-run if you will — that will take the 2013 Bowman Chrome set, modify it into a 330-card prospect and rookies edition and release it in a shrunken but high-end factory set form.

The 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini set will arrive on Feb. 19 with 12 sets per case and each of them including at least 30 bonus parallel cards — a mix of extra Refractors that includes:

— Standard Refractor, limited to 125

— Blue, limited to 99

— Green, limited to 75

— Gold, limited to 50

— Black, limited to 25

— Orange, limited to 15

— Red, limited to 10

— Purple, limited to five.

— 1/1s that include Superfractors and printing plates

In addition, there will be X-fractor Hot Boxes that have every card in the set as an X-fractor. Those will be limited to just 100.

Based on factory cost, the sets should cost at least $200.

Click here to view the checklist as provided by Topps.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. David J 24 January, 2014 at 22:59

    Will this be another online exclusive? I noticed the “H” on the box which normally represents Hobby, so I am doubting it. I am sure there will be a ton of these sets opened by the case load as soon as it hits, as there are plenty of people who love their refractors. It would be a lot easier to pay $200 if there was at least 1 autograph in each set.

  2. Ken 25 January, 2014 at 10:50

    I agree with Jackson! Plus, although I’m a long-time Bowman set builder, I’ve never been a “mini” fan, and will definitely pass on this one!

  3. David Brewer 25 January, 2014 at 17:34

    What a ridiculous price. It prob cost them like 7 dollars to make the entire set. This should be like 50 or 60 dollars retail.


  4. heyyo 27 January, 2014 at 12:32

    Well, we know Topps will make a TON of money off each box. Cards are already designed, they just needed to be renumbered. A mini card probably uses about 50% less card stock too, so printing and material costs will be down. I’d be shocked if each box costs more to make than $30 or so, so selling them at $200 each should make both dealers and Topps a good chunk of change. I heard they’re printing around 3,000 boxes. The question is, will fans pay a premium for singles just because of the high cost of the box?

  5. Jack Dean 13 March, 2014 at 11:20

    I’m confused. This Bowman “mini” set was released in February 2014 but it’s being claimed as a 2013 product. It feels like a celebration of reprints but in a smaller form. If this reprint approach continues I wonder if the regular cards are going to lose some of the significance.

    I remember when 1948 Leaf cards were relabeled as being 1949 because some or perhaps all were actually made in early 1949. This was a big deal when you consider players who were considered rookies with 1948 leaf but year after rookies when later identified as 1949. Seems like the same rule should apply here.

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