Sunday, August 31, 2014

Product Review: 2014 Topps Chrome Baseball Hobby Box

If you’re a baseball card collector, this is the product your very familiar with. Topps Chrome has always been the standout amongst the giants for popularity and continues to be so with it's 2014 edition.

This year the product will have some slight changes the packaging offering the standard Hobby box as well as a Jumbo Box version. The difference between them is cost, 4 exclusive 1989 Chrome Inserts and 3 additional autographs in the Jumbo.

With Chrome everyone wants collect the Rainbow. Refractors have always been king in this product, X-Fractors, Blue, Black, Sepia, Gold, Red, Atomic, and Super Fractors are consistent in 2014. Along with Refractors, collectors will be hunting down very elusive Photo Variations of 25 players. These seem to be very hard to find with early box breaks, consider yourself very lucky if you pull one in your single box.

Over the last couple of years the inserts within Chrome have been increasingly getting better and more collectible. 2014 is no exception. All-Time Rookies takes those famous Rookies cards and putting them through the Chrome technology. 1989 Topps is another cool retro insert from Topps which puts today's stars in the 1989 design. Die-Cuts are back with the Chrome Connections insert. Topps Shelf is a new insert that looks like another hit in the design books for Topps.

Autographs are a big ticket item in Chrome with all of the hottest rookies from the season put into the product. 45 Rookies are included into the 2014 set, all come with the various Refractor Parallels and all are on-card autographs. These tend to be some of the most valuable Autographs of a players career which make everyone chasing them down. Other inserts have Autographs included among the variations but these are mainly veterans.

Lets see how we did on our Hobby Box:

Base Cards: 58
Base Card Rookies: 18
Refractors: 8 - Bautista, Darvish, Fielder, Samardzija, JR Murphy, Singleton, Headley, Carpenter
X-Refractors: 4 - Alvarez, Billy Hamilton, Ventura, Jansen
Black Refractor: 1 - Dean Anna /100
Topps Shelf: 1 - Adam Jones
1989 Topps Chrome: 2 - Trout, Pujols
Chrome Connections Die-Cuts: 2 - Tanaka (x2)
Rookie Autograph: 1 - Andrew Lambo
Rookie Refractor Autograph: 1 - Yangervis Solarte /499

The Base cards in Chrome always look more expensive and better looking than Series I, II, and Update. You really can't go wrong with any Chrome product in Topps line and collecting the set is always a fun thing to do. Some of the cards do have some flaws from production due to the Chrome technology process.
Refractors are my favorite pulls in the packs. We had a few nice ones come through in our box and regardless of player, Refractors are awesome!
The inserts we pulled are pretty cool. I like the Gypsy Queen/A&G look of the Topps Shelf cards. Very nice looking with the Chrome technology. Who knew the 1989 design would look so much better in Chrome? Well they do in this insert. We pulled both Angels stars which is nice. 
The strange part of this box was that I pulled two inserts of Tanaka Chrome Connections. This was strange to me and we haven't pulled two of the same insert in more than a decade. At first I wondered if they were different versions but no such luck. Nice Die-Cut card though.
The two Autographs we pulled were of Lambo (Standard Chrome) and Solarte (Refractor). Both on-card and both have decent autographs with Solarte's being the better of the two. We didn't pull a top notch rookie or even one that is playing everyday in the bigs, however things can change and both of them have a chance to make it. The Solarte autograph being a refractor will have some good secondary market value. 
Overall we continue to have a love of Chrome. This years product didn't disappoint, the checklist is great, the inserts are better and you can't go wrong with two rookie autographs in each box. You'll be in Refractor heaven with Chrome each year and this year could provide you with a hot rookie like Abreu or Tanaka. We might be buying a few more boxes to put together a set, however buying boxes to do it might take some extra coin that you may not want to part with. We would recommend this box to any Baseball or Chrome collector. Go out buy a box and have some fun!

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: 4.8 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 4/5
Design: 5/5
Parallels: 5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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