Monday, September 30, 2013

Product Review: 2013 Topps Chrome Baseball Hobby Box

Last week was special for Baseball collectors as 2013 Topps Chrome arrived. Chrome has a very big following within the community and is one of the most popular products collected within Baseball Collectors. For the last 3 years we've found ourselves to be waiting on the day that Chrome is released and piece together the set for our own collection. This year is no different, and with the surging rookies for 2013 included this will be yet another great set to collect.

Hobby boxes come 24 packs with 4 cards, providing you with only 96 cards in each box. This makes collecting the sets or subsets a bit of a challenge but fun at the same time. With a set of 220 cards you will need a few boxes to put together a full set due to the other goodies Topps packs into each box.

The other goodies for collectors are the famous Refractors that make Chrome what it is. Refractors, XFractors, Blue, Black, Gold, Sepia, Red, Camo, Atomic, Pink, and SuperFractors make up the mass of parallels you can pull from a box. Not only the Base Cards have these Refractors but also the Rookie Autographs are included.

This year there a re a few new things to look for within the product. One being the 25 Base Card Photo Variations. These are popular and are a little tough to find so far. Of course the top players are included in these which will make it a hunt for those super-collectors to pickup. Some new inserts are also included into the 2013 edition. Topps 1972, Chrome Connections Die-Cut, and Dynamic Skills Die-Cuts are three new sets introduced. Die-Cuts are always a fan favorite so they will be popular in the secondary market.

Autographs run wild in 2013 and not only with Rookies. Ten Autograph Inserts including rookies and Veterans are to be found within the hobby product. Some of these include 2 or more autographs including a Division Die-Cut Boxloader that is in the shape of a pennant.

Not to be outdone, Topps also has inserted random Hot Boxes to be found. These Hot Boxes are only Refractors. No word on the odds within a case to pull one but if you do end up finding one of these your sure in for a treat. 96 Refractors within one box is just crazy!

We've talked enough about what you could find, lets see what we did find within our box:

Base Cards: 74 (0 Doubles)
Refractors: 7 - Puig, Chapman, Altuve, Beltran, Lutz RC, Bumgarner, Lynn,Youkilis
XFractor: 4 - Justin Upton, Gio Gonzalez, Jedd Gyorko RC, Evan Longoria
Blue Refractor: Hiroki Kuroda
Black Refractor: Matt Holliday
1972 Refractor: 2 - Derek Jeter, Joe Mauer
Close Connection: 2 - Verlander, BJ Upton
Dynamic Skill: Jered Weaver
Autograph: 2 - Rob Brantly, Adam Eaton Redemption

No matter what you think of Topps Series 1 or 2, Chrome just makes them so much better with the technology doesn't it? Trying not to be too biased but I love Chrome, shape clean cards and with some of the best parallels in the hobby. We came away with 74 cards of the base set, which leaves us well short of the 220 needed. We'll need either a couple more boxes or try to source out the remaining cards needed for our 2013 set. The Refractors that we pulled were great as always, with no change to the technology to the Refractor, XFractor, and Black Refractors. However the Blue Refractors are a lighter Blue this year. A nice change and look just as sharp.
The new die-cut inserts are great. The Close Connections have very crisp cuts and are a very solid die-cut. The design of the Dynamic Skills is nice with the honeycomb background. The 1972 Topps inserts are nice and remind us of Archives, but in Refractor form.
The Autographs we pulled are not the best Rookies to pull and we even pulled a Redemption. You can never go wrong with On-Card Autographs and even with the two players we pulled you can't be disappointed. Eaton is the best of the two even though it's a redemption.
Taking into account that we paid around the $80 price point and received 2 Autographs, a great assortment of Refractors, and along with the inserts and zero doubles with the 74 Base cards we did pretty well. The price point is perfect for this product, you won't find the value of any other box coming close. Zero doubles is great as well as it does well for Set collectors, even though you come short of 100 cards you still feel the value of what you have opened. The inserts this year were well done and the Die-Cuts will be popular in the secondary market as well with set collectors. Overall this wasn't an amazing box but the value in the box is top-notch. We'll continue to open a few more boxes and collect the set as always. Highly recommend this product to any baseball fan. Even if your not a baseball collector this could be one to look into and try.

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 5/5
Parallels: 5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Concept: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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