Am I a Bowman Collector? (The N64 Controller Post)
February 20, 2021
There are just too many goddamned Topps sets and subsets and inserts and parallels and who can keep up. Looking at the line-up of Topps sets last year feels exactly the same as when I looked at an N64 controller for the first time. And seriously, Nintendo. The little joystick in the middle? Was that actually a joke? Did it ever get used? Even in Goldeneye, I don’t think I figured out how to use that dumb controller. The PlayStation controller I totally understood. It makes sense, there’s a reason it’s the jumping off point for all other controllers. But Nintendo, seriously, the N64 controller was the most baffling thing I had to contend with as a young man.
Topps sets are that confusing to me as well. Flagship has 43 insert sets just of the 1985 design. How do I handle that?
Simple, I go to GameStop and buy a PlayStation.
For me, I think the PlayStation in this case is Bowman. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Bowman is a Topps label brand. But it’s Paul-friendly. I get it. 13 different sets, and a couple of them I know right out of the gate I don’t need to worry about. Sure, there are a lot of inserts & parallels, but not nearly as many as in the Topps prime family of releases. The sets are also smaller by half (source: wildly unscientific comparison). But, what I like most about the Bowman cards is that they’re not taking every opportunity to retread vintage designs.
I love the classic 70’s and 80’s Topps designs, but I don’t need Topps to make sure that every player who ever got issued a cap gets on an ’87 wood border card. That’s why we have guys out there like Cards That Never Were and Topps Cards That Never Were. I’ve always been a Topps fanboy. As a kid I started by collecting Topps and just kinda always preferred Topps to other manufacturers. But I think I need to shift gears. If I’m going to jump into buying packs and collecting sets and just being around collecting again, I think I’m going to focus on Bowman. Sure, Topps still ends up getting the money, but that’s fine, it’s not a protest, it’s not a boycott, I’ve just finally found my particular lane in the game.