Do you know what one of biggest costs of producing a base card is for card companies? In reality, it is procuring photos for their sets. The cost of images is not usually considered by collectors but as anyone who lived through the 1982 Fleer set and some of the arguably terrible photographs used in that set (Tommy John is a great example), if you have a lot of bad photos, you have a set which collectors quickly dismiss. On the other hand, if you have a set with great photos such as the Stadium Club brand, collectors still remember the innovation if nothing else. While many collectors had issues with the 2014 Stadium Club set, I heard nothing but praise for the quality of the photos.
The images used for these sets have already been paid for and using the same photos as in the regular set reduces an important cost in making a product. Way, way back in the day, one advantage Pacific Trading Cards had in making their sets was company owner Mike Cramer was taking many of the photos himself. When you don’t have to pay a photographer, cards are cheaper to produce.
The Chrome mini product design is essentially the same as the regular set, except the cards are 2-1/4” x 3-1/8”. There are 24 packs in the box with four cards per pack. And just as with the basic Chrome releases, there is one rookie autograph promised in each box. The current on-line pricing for these boxes is between $45-55 per box which is again significantly below the price point upon release and works out to around 50 cents per card.
Base Cards: 88 of 220 or 40 percent of the set. We did not notice any of the photo variations. The rookie cards fall at one per pack and there are 100, so you’ll need to work to fill what’s considered a ‘base’ set.
Pulsar Refactor (#d to 102): Vincent Jackson
Camo Refractor (#d to 99) A.J. McCarron
Fantasy Focus: DeMarco Murray, Matthew Stafford
Rookie Die Cut: Kelvin Benjamin
Rookie Autograph Pink Refractor (#d to 75): Tre Mason
If you liked the regular set, I suppose you’ll like Chrome mini, but without a lot of differences from the regular issue, it’s kind of hard to understand the appeal. The rookie potential might be OK, especially if the price keeps dropping before the start of a new season.
You can see what’s available on eBay here.