Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pack Wars: 2015 Bowman Football vs. 2015 Score Football

Here it is in late June and I'm already seeing 2015 NFL trading card sets hitting the retail shelves at my local Target. My curiosity usually gets the best of me and I end up grabbing a pack of the newest cards. This time it would be 2015 Bowman and 2015 Score. However instead of doing my usual "Pack Break" type post, I thought I'd try something different...


Let's take a look at each product and then compare it to the other brand and see which is the better buy. Sound simple enough?


Bowman: 7 cards per pack, $2.99 MSRP 

Score: 12 cards per pack, $1.99 MSRP

Before we even tear into the packs you can already see that Score is coming out a head with 5 additional cards and being a $1 cheaper per pack. If my memory serves me correctly however Score football packs used to come in at a buck a pack, so perhaps 2015 Score has upped their game?

Winner: Score


The base design Bowman chose to go with isn't bad, but to me it's awfully busy. The lack of foil on the front is a nice change of pace, however I could do without the design block thingies on the sides. 

The backs are typical Bowman fare. Resume, Skills and Up Close sections give you some insight to the player. Underneath you have last year's stats. That's about it.

Score again decided to go with a team color coordinated design and added silver foil. While I don't always care for foil, if it's used in moderation I don't mind it. Because this is a change for Score over previous years, I like it. The design doesn't impede too much on the photo which I like.

The backs use the same picture from the front, seems lazy to me, but Bowman doesn't even bother to put a photo on the back. Small write up of the player, last year's stats. Simple, but clean look.

Winner: Score


The last few years it seems as if the rookie cards in Bowman have this awful, drab look. Well that boring look is back. I can deal with the collegiate uniforms, but since Topps doesn't have the proper license they have to air brush out the logos like Panini has to do on their baseball cards.

The backs use the same design as used for the veterans.

Panini does have the collegiate license and I think it makes a big difference. The base design is basically the same as it is for the veterans, however you have the RC logo in the corner that Panini started using a few years ago.

The backs remain unchanged as well from the veteran design, minus the stats. In their place is the round and number pick they were drafted.

Winner: Score


Parallels come in a rainbow of colors and I just happened to pull a red parallel of Ereck Flowers. If it weren't for the serial number on the back, I wouldn't have known this was a parallel as it has that same boring look the RCs have.

Well what do we have here? A Red Zone Rookie Autograph parallel of Bernardrick McKinney! While not quite the same kind of parallel when compared to Bowman, you get the idea. Same design, just the border has been replaced with red foil. I'm kind of partial however to different colored border parallels over different colored background parallels.

Winner: Score


Well this comparison will be lopsided as I didn't pull a insert from the Bowman pack.

This Ground Gainers card is actually die cut, though with the white background it's hard to make out in my scan. Basically the card looks like a corner puzzle piece. I'm guessing there is some sort of aerial type counterpart card that "fits" onto the other side?

At first I thought this was a subset for the base set as I already pulled an insert from the pack...but it's another insert. Not my favorite design, but at least they are pulling in some history to the set with some retired players.

The last card in the pack of Score was yet another insert, Gridiron Heritage. I like the slightly retro look of the card. It fits the theme of the set quite well, both in design and player selection.

Winner: Score

Well it doesn't take a genius to figure out that I think 2015 Score easily topples 2015 Bowman. Perhaps the flagship Topps football would have been a better suitor to compare against Score, but it'll be another month or so before Topps has their base set ready.

As I mentioned earlier, Panini has really upped the quality of Score this year. It was a pleasant surprise for me and I found opening the pack was fun. Panini also has a contest going in each pack of Score football where you have a code to redeem online where a child over the age of 7 and their parent can win a trip to the Super Bowl 50 and be a "Kid Reporter"!

I should make mention that I'm basing my winner based on the 2 packs I opened. I haven't looked online at the checklist, insert ratios or anything else about each product. Heck, I didn't even know the 2015 NFL trading card season had begun until a few days ago when I grabbed these packs! No matter which pack of cards you pick up, it's just nice to know that the new NFL season is just a few short months away!


  1. Panini promoted Score last year from Topps Kickoff (or Opening Day if you perfer) competitor to more of a flagship brand like Topps Football. Hobby boxes now even promise a guaranteed auto. That doubled the price of Score from about $30 a box to over $60, but they did offer jumbo pack boxes as well. I personally thought Panini should have kept Score on the low end and created a new Panini Flagship football brand, but they don't listen to me.

    1. I'm not sure the $1 increased price is still worth it for Score, but whatever I'm not in charge of Panini. As many sets as they crank out however, I would think it would make sense to leave Score what it is and create something new to be on that $2/pack level.

  2. I really like the look of those Gridiron Heritage cards too.