2012 Topps Chrome Football Review

by Rich Klein

Whenever someone or something is gone for a while it is always nice to see them return. Each year around Thanksgiving weekend some Beckett price guide people past and present meet for lunch. It is always fun to catch up and hear the latest about the hobby from those people still immersed in it on a daily basis.  Over the long holiday weekend, I also got reacquainted with some recent Topps products.  The company has been dealing with the aftermath of superstorm Sandy but thanks to PR man Clay Luraschi and the rest of the crew, a 2012 Topps Chrome Football box was delivered for review.

Once again, Topps Chrome offers 24 packs in each box with four packs per box. The cards utilize the same design as the basic Topps set except with the chrome technology added. The funniest part to me was when I went to my local card store (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) to ask about this product and he mentioned how everyone is convinced Andrew Luck is short printed compared to Robert Griffin III. (By the way, I got a Griffin and not a Luck out of my box as well). Now I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but for Topps to do something like that is really cost prohibitive. Last year I heard the same thing about Cam Newton being short printed. You know for Topps to truly short print a base card like Luck, they would have to make a separate sheet and then insert those cards individually and let me assure you for a base card, that makes no sense at all.

Topps has brought the retro concept in with the 1957, 1965 and 1974 Topps designs being utilized for some of the inserts.

So how is the product performing in the secondary market?  Triple Cards sold through more than a dozen cases and the price per box has gone up from $85.50 to $108.50 with another small increase coming. Meanwhile, leading online retailers are right around the $100 per box mark.  Other card shops say Chrome was flying out of the door during its initial release earlier this month.

Here’s what we pulled:

Base Set:  74 of 220 or about 1/3 of the set. And remember for those conspiracy theorists, in an 12-box case with perfect distribution you would should receive three Andrew Luck cards. So remember that before you get all upset if you do not get a Luck card out of a box.

Refractors: Justin Blackmon, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chandler Harnish, Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker,  Bruce Irvin, Eric LeGrand (For those of you who might not know this story, LeGrand was the Rutgers Scarlet Knight player paralyzed during a 2010 game, and his old college coach is now an NFL coach. LeGrand was signed to a contract and Topps has now honored him with a card as well. I presume that LeGrand is receiving some extra money for his card appearance to help with what has to be staggering and lifetime medical costs. In addition, Panini also put a special LeGrand card in their Prestige product this year. Congratulations to both manufacturers for helping a special person and player who has touched many of us with his courage).

Camouflage Refractor: #d to 499: Tim Hightower

Red Refractors: #d to 399: Brandon Taylor

2012 Topps Chrome Foster Prism RefractorPrism Refractor: #d to 216: Arian Foster

Blue Refractor: #d to 199: Rob Gronkowski

1957 Style: Coby Fleener, Lamar Miller

1965 Style: Coby Fleener, Reuben Randle

1974 Style: Nick Foles, Michael Floyd, Chris Givens, T.J. Graham

Quarterback Rookie Reprints: Michael Vick

Red Zone Rookies: Alshon Jeffery

Rookie Autograph: Dwayne Allen (redemption).

Overall quite an overall mix of cards coming out of a box and receiving an RGIII Rookie Card is always a treat especially after his star turn before a large national audience on Thanksgiving afternoon. He showed that he could very well be a superstar in the making and it has been a while since we could say the Redskins had a star quarterback. Fans of Gus Frerotte, Heath Shuler, Mark Rypien, Jay Schroeder may disagree but frankly the Redskins have not have a great signal caller since Joe Theismann.

The Allen redemption cards are selling fairly well on eBay in the $5-10 range so there is some value there.

We didn’t do great but the promise of this year’s NFL rookie draft class is driving sales and it’s possible some of the guys whose cards are under the radar now won’t be in a year or two which will only add to the staying power.  2012 Topps Chrome Football is just a nice product with a decent upside.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]