For as long as I can remember, Topps Chrome has been one of my favorite sets of the year. Even back in 1998, I scrambled to get a Topps Chrome Randy Moss Rookie Card in my collection as soon as it came out. Chrome was the best of the best back then, and everyone knew it. Now that high end means a box that costs 200-400 dollars, Chrome has become one of the lower end sets released each year. However, its staying power relies on the fact that Topps always designs a great looking set, and delivers what Chrome has delivered for years.
Lately, with other products like Five Star or Triple Threads taking center stage on the calendar, Chrome hasnt had the type of attention from the manufacturer that it deserved. Much to my happiness, 2011 is different, and Chrome is finally being done the way I have always wanted it to be. On card autos, a great looking design, and of course, the same structure that made it the set I loved to collect.
Per the sell sheet, there were only supposed to be a handful of hard signed cards in the set. The Black refractors and rarer parallel autos, the Bowman Chrome autos, and the Rookie Recognition set were the only ones labeled originally as on card. From Topps’ tweet this morning, we may be getting more than originally advertised, and I cant tell you how happy this makes me.
Looking at the four pictures below, we can see that the Bowman Chrome and Rookie Recognition cards are there, and I must say that I am excited. Although I am not a fan of the concept behind the rookie recognition set, it looks cool at least. The BC cards look even more awesome on the Chrome stock than it did for the flagship set, and with a hard signed auto, it makes me sad that it wont be a stand alone set again this year. They look that good.
As for the two other autos, this is where it gets interesting. First, we can see the atomic style refractor that is hard signed, something I believe was advertised on the sell sheet. Im not a big fan of the weird refractor patterns they use, but I dont hate them either. It looks kind of cool with the design from base Topps this year, and I think these cards will be HIGHLY sought after. We also see the other picture, which looks like a base auto with a hard signed signature. This is beyond wonderful for all the Chrome collectors out there, but without confirmation we can only speculate as to whether or not they will be a rare parallel.
UPDATE FROM TOPPS: 75% of signatures in Chrome will be hard signed, no word yet on which players will be stickers.
Chrome is slated for release on 10/26, but that may change. The sooner the better, as I count the days each year for the set to be released. One can only hope that what we see is actually what will happen, and if previous sets are any indication, that is exactly what will occur. Kudos to Topps again!