New Releases

New Card Review: Bench Warmer Eclectic

Bench Warmer has done a lot of high-end sets lately—Hot For Teacher, Vegas Baby, etc., all loaded with fantastic, low numbered inserts. But the price for these sets, around the $100 per pack range, precludes many of us from partaking. Enter Bench Warmer Eclectic, the.

By May 23,2014  5

Bench Warmer contents

Bench Warmer has done a lot of high-end sets lately—Hot For Teacher, Vegas Baby, etc., all loaded with fantastic, low numbered inserts. But the price for these sets, around the $100 per pack range, precludes many of us from partaking. Enter Bench Warmer Eclectic, the product that will appeal to budget-minded collectors, and still provide plenty of entertainment value.

Eclectic is a word we don’t hear much, it means “composed of materials gathered from various sources,” which fits this product perfectly. Each box contains 60 packs from previously released Bench Warmer sets, a boxed set of 1994 Series II Bench Wrmer cards, one oversized boxloader card, plus a team bag filled with new and older inserts. The contents span Bench Warmer’s twenty plus years in existence.

It all comes in a large pink box with Leaf shrinkwrap and foil seal. Upon opening, the first item you’ll notice is the Jumbo box card, loose on top of all the tightly jammed in packs. Mine, from a 2005 set, was slightly warped, but no creases or dings. I then removed the packs and sorted them out. Yes, 60 packs, that’s more than two average boxes, plenty of opportunity to feed your pack cracking fix!

Bench Warmer Eclectic 1994 Charisma Carpenter base card

Bench Warmer Eclectic 1994 Charisma Carpenter base card

There were: 13 BW 1992 Premiere, 5 BW 1994 Series II, 4 BW 1997, 1 BW 2002, 5 BW 2002 Series 2, 3 BW 2003 Series 2, 2 BW 2003 Series 3, 7 BW 2005, 1 2005 Signature Series, 1 BW 2006 Series 2, 1 BW 2008 Signature Series, and 17 BW 2013 Bubblegum Edition.

Not surprisingly, many of the packs were from the earlier sets and the inexpensive Bubblegum set, but there were still a couple of Signature Series packs, promising at least two autographs, and the potential for other hits is there. Some of these sets I had completed, others, like the Bugglegum Edition, I was missing a number of cards, so I hoped to fill many numbers from my want list.

But before I crack into the packs, there is the team bag full of prime goodies, including exclusive Eclectic products. There was one Carmen Electra Insert and two promos from past events. There were also two autographs from previous sets, one from the 2013 Bubblegum Set, the other from 2011 Happy Holidays, two autographs commemorative autographs, one of mine was my favorite BW girl, Flo Jalin signing a 2014 Valentine’s Day card. There are supposed to be three Eclectic Autographs, but I received four, three with gold foil and one with green foil numbered to 10. Finally, there is an exclusive Eclectic Swatch card, with a large swatch of material.

Bench Warmer Eclectic Swatch Card

Bench Warmer Eclectic swatch card

Bench Warmer Eclectic 2005 Kiss Card

Bench Warmer Eclectic 2005 Kiss Card

As mentioned, there is a 1994 Series II Factory set, with cards numbered 121 to 220 after the 1992 set. Five special foil logo cards are included in the factory set. I also had some loose packs of these, and since possible foil cards are in them I opened them too. It is interesting to see the early Bench Warmer sets, how different they are from what is produced today, as well as to see some of the girls who appeared in the early sets, such as a pre-Buffy Charisma Carpenter on card #212.

I already had the 1992 Premiere set, minus one card, so my plan here was to open packs until I found the elusive card number 71. I opened all the packs, got two each of 70 and 72, but no 71! Grrrr! These cards had been in packs for 22 years, and they are stuck together, but a slight flex of the cards loosens them and none of the cards were damaged.

Now on to the rest of the packs…I love to read the backs of the cards “Deidre loves athletic people, skydiving and mountain climbing…” I’m still looking for my perfect Bench Warmer, who “loves lazy old guys who collect cards.” Many of the other packs had cards I found on my wantlist and I started a couple of new sets. I did really well with the Bubblegum Edition, I found more than 20 of my needs, plus several foils from the Bootcamp and Hot Moms subsets. Most pleasing were three autographs from this set!

And yes, the bubblegum is still edible…

The two Signature packs yielded an autograph each as well, but one of the 2005 packs had a surprise, a lovely BW model planted a lip-stick laden smoochie right on a Kiss card! Kiss cards and swatches are harder to find than autos, so I was pretty happy with that one.

My final tally: 1 new base set, several foils and chase cards, about 35 cards off my want list, 13 autographs, 1 swatch card, and one Kiss card. Not bad for the price of an average box of cards. Bench Warmer fans will definitely want to look into a box of these.

Bench Warmer Eclectic 2014 Valentine's Day autograph card

Bench Warmer Eclectic 2014 Valentine’s Day autograph card

Bench Warmer Eclectic autograph card

Bench Warmer Eclectic autograph card

 

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5 Comments

  • hammer May 23, 2014 Reply

    I was hoping these were going to be around for the Philly show, looks like a fun break

    1

  • scificardsfi Cards May 23, 2014 Reply

    A welcome change from the high end products. Looks like you got a great box Don!

    2

  • Bill Zeralsky May 27, 2014 Reply

    Great review (Love the humor) Loads of nice cards coming from only one box… Wotta Deal!

    3

  • kshah July 7, 2015 Reply

    How much did the box cost? I am thinking its worth getting one of these…

    4

    • Don Norton July 7, 2015 Reply

      kshah, now I can’t recall exactly what I paid for these, I’m thinking it was just a bit more than what you’d pay for a normal box, maybe $75-79. I got mine from Sci Fi Cards, Hope you get a good box!

      5

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