Some baseball card collectors favor Bowman baseball above all others. Even though collectors know there is usually just one autograph hit per box there are usually some sparkling young players to pull and the promise of others who find their way to stardom later. Well, Topps Chrome Football is the same way. The price point, the Chrome look as well as the guarantee of an autograph card, usually a rookie, makes this a go-to product with football collectors.
By now we’re all aware of the less than spectacular (to this point) 2013 NFL rookie class, this product has done nicely since being released. As of the Thanksgiving break these boxes, which have 24 packs per box and four cards per pack, are selling for $65-75 from leading on-line retailers. When I stopped in my local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX), the owner reported decent sales at $74.25 per box. He also gave me his weekly update on how frustrating the 2013 football rookie crop has been and how that hurt the sales of almost all 2013 football which has been or will be released.
He also mentioned that this has been a rough time to order any Panini between the sparse rookie crops in both basketball and football and understands that aspect is beyond Panini’s control. To me, writing these reviews, I would like to see more Panini stuff sent to me not only because I enjoy opening boxes and doing reviews but when your rookies crops are bad, the more product awareness you can generate, the better off the company is. I think this is a case of being penny wise and pound foolish for Panini.
I’ve always heard rumors the leading rookie each year in short-printed in Chrome. I always say I do not believe that because with perfect distribution a collector pulls any one card on the average in one every three boxes. Well, that means in a 12-box case you will pull three cards of any rookie. If you only get three cards of the key player out of a case you might also think the card is short printed, but in reality the cards are just difficult out of sealed cases.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 73 out of 220 with no duplicates. Remember the earlier comment about every card one in every three boxes, here is the math proof of that theorem. We did not receive any.
Blue Wave Refractor: DeSean Jackson
Black Refractor (#d to 299): J.J. Watt
Blue Refractor (#d to 199): Patrick Willis
1959 Minis: DeAndre Hopkins, Joseph Randle
1965: Robert Woods
1986: Tyler Eifert, Mike Gillislee, Dion Jordan, Cordarrelle Patterson
Rookie Die Cuts: Tyler Wilson
There are a lot of base cards in Chrome, but not nearly enough for a set, so this product sort of straddles the line between set building and hit dispensing.
Williams made a huge splash earlier in the season and his future looks pretty bright. As another receiving option after Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Williams is just another weapon for Tony Romo. I’ll take my chances on having a nice month or two with this card in the very near future, especially with over 40 different players signing for the product, many of whom are currently buried on the depth chart.
Considering this rookie class, we feel lucky. There’s a nice group of inserts and although we didn’t get one, the chance of pulling a pose variation is enough to make collectors feel better about opening these boxes. Chrome isn’t as big as it was in 2012 but that’s not unexpected.
A lot of 2013 Chrome Football has been opened already. Nearly 19,000 lots are currently listed on eBay.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]