What’s Hot in the Shop: It’s a Chrome World

Hello fellow card maniacs.  I need to apologize for the brief writing vacation.  My shop has been inundated with some of the sickest collections I have ever had walk in and my night time fun job hit a busy stretch.  Throw in having to price 1.300+ cards on COMC that recently went live and I hope that explains my recent absence.

Usually this time of the year, collectors focus almost exclusively on the NFL (fine the NBA and NHL seasons are starting or about to get rolling too) but it is a new MLB 2013 Topps Chrome Box2013 Topps Chrome Yasiel Puig 1972 insertrelease that is tearing things up.  2013 Topps Chrome baseball hit late last week and if it was any hotter, it could melt the Avalanche’s ice at Pepsi Center.

With 2 autographs per box, the chance at refractor hot boxes and the possibility of pulling signatures of some player named Puig, I’m not surprised that this release (that was actually due at the end of August) is selling, but am more than floored that it is rocking harder than the encore at a Metallica concert.

Felix Hernandez Jered Weaver 2013 Topps Chrome Back to BackWhile I have seen two refractor hot boxes already, the collectors in my store have not been lucky enough to pull one of the Back-To-Back Autographs that are limited to just 5 copies (like this Felix Hernandez/Jered Weaver beauty).  Some of the popular pairings include Trout/Hamilton, Trout/Harper, Bautista/Cabrera, Darvish/Ruy and more.

Another elusive insert are the Autographed Patches /10.  Trout is the big hit once again (here’s one on eBay), but I can see where shredders would also be looking for the Machado, Freese, Darvish, CarGo, Profar and more.

OK, I have to admit that when I heard that 2013 Topps Chrome MLB got pushed back to AFTER Todd Helton’s last home game instead of having a month plus left in the season to bolster it, I had my Chicken Little moment , but collectors are more than embracing this release.

By the way, for those of you who don’t live and breathe sports cards, somehow this release was allowed to hit the same day as 2013 Bowman Chrome MLB.  I mean if they released it the same day as Triple Threads, 2013 Topps Chrome Bryce Harper black parallelit would not be going after the same clientele.  But since they are basically brothers, it might explain why Bowman Chrome is not being as well received.

My store started with 5 cases of Topps Chrome and come Monday when I was essentially sold out.  By the time I called my distributor that same morning, I was offered some at $16 over cost which is pretty remarkable for a release I thought was going to be under cost by the end of the weekend. It will be interesting to see where Topps Chrome goes, but since the Avalanche won 6-1 Wednesday night and #1 pick Nathan MacKinnon had two flashy assists, something tells me that next week, I might be talking up 13/14 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL.

Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo.  You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here.  Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter.  Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook  and you can email him [email protected]