Topps Chrome has become one of the steadiest products for Topps over the years. In football, especially, the success has to do with the rookie class which can lead to fairly explosive prices. On the other hand, if you have a rookie card season such as in 2013, these boxes become albatrosses for dealers. Either way, once again, there are 24 packs with four cards per pack and in 2014 Chrome Baseball, there are two guaranteed autographs per box. The design, of course, is based on the regular Topps set.
But when I stopped in my local card store *Triple Cards, Plano) to discuss this box and receive some help, we got involved in a fascinating discussion to a person such as me who loves to play with math. I’m going to round this slightly, but understand the general principles are the same. When I came in, the boxes were just short of $80 while the jumbo boxes were a shade over $175 so we are just going to use $155 for these purposes. The owner asked me why, at least some of his customers were much preferring the jumbo version to the standard hobby version.
The $80 hobby box has 96 total cards but two autographs. Thus the card cost is about 83 cents per card and the autograph cost is $40 per card. Meanwhile the jumbo boxes have 156 cards but with five autographs so the jumbo autographs cost is $35 per card while the cost per card is $1.12. Thus an interesting question becomes are you more interested in working on sets or are you more interested in the hits?
We realized the autograph collector preferred the jumbos while collectors working on “master” sets much preferred the hobby boxes. The dichotomy matched what the owner told me and we agreed those choices were up to the individual collector. The local stores (I also visited Nick’s Sports Cards) were between $75 and 80 while leading on-line retailers are currently between $60-65 for hobby boxes.
Base Cards: 76 of 220 or just a shade over 33 percent of the set. It doesn’t look like we found any photo variations.
Refractors: Andrew Cashner, Matt Cain, Yu Darvish, Chris Davis, Jon Lester, David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Jered Weaver.
I do want to mention here that I was a bit frustrated when I opened this box and could not find the refractors. When I brought the box into Triple Cards he pointed out to me where the refractor word was noted and how it was changed from where it had been for years.
For years, the refractor word had been by the card number but this year the refractor word was by the Topps logo in the back. Decisions such as that are fine, but please give us more warnings in the future. Even the owner of Triple Cards mentioned it took the seventh person who opened boxes in his store to identify where the refractor word was noted.
X-fractors: Alex Cobb. Onelki Garcia, Greg Holland, Kevin Siegrist
1989 Chrome Variations: Jose Abreu, Dustin Pedroia
Chrome Connections Die Cut: Chris Davis, Troy Tulowitzki
Refractor Autographs: Andrew Heaney, Chris Owings
No, we did not get any big hits out of this box but the content did provide some nice cards to look at and as always the quality of the chrome cards are top notch.
The die-cuts look nice and while this isn’t a ‘hit based’ product, there are enough inserts here to keep things interesting.
Since both of our autographs have been leading prospects for their teams in recent years, there is always the long-term chance that at least one of them will become a star in the next few years.
To see 2014 Topps Chrome Baseball on eBay, click here.