Finally, after months of waiting, 2013 Topps Chrome football is LIVE!
I was waiting in my local shop as soon as the UPS truck was scheduled to show up, and you can imagine it was quite fun to be able to crack a few boxes. For the 2013 set, we are now starting to see that a few things have changed, mostly for the better.
There are changes to both the parallel structure and the autograph content, most of which is positive, but some parts of it have left collectors questioning what to expect. I love that the blue wave refractors and blue wave refractor autographs were packed out this year, as the cards have been awesome in person. Similarly, seeing that most, if not all the rookie autographs are hard signed, including the variation SSP autographs and rookie auto patches. The on card relics are the first hard signed cards of this sort for 2013, and its great to see that we can get them done as quickly as November. It used to be we had to wait a very long time.
The auto patches are really quite awesome this year:
The only true detriment to the product is the size of the autograph checklist. Although boxes are cheap by today’s standards at 69 a pop, its still a bummer to pull a guy like Ryan Swope – who has already retired from the NFL due to concussions. Same thing for guys like Da’Rick Rogers and others, that will likely water down the content immensely. Personally, I didn’t see a true DUD box in the couple of cases I watched, with more color autos than I have ever seen come out. We got a good look at what a color explosion looks like with 2013 Bowman, and though this isn’t at that level, there are a ton of nice autographs to be had.
In opening about 3.5 boxes at Sports Cards Plus in San Antonio, I can reassure everyone that Topps Chrome is still a great box to break, even with a weak class. My best pull was a Le’Veon Bell autograph SSP variation refractor, along with a Joseph Randle refractor auto and a Vance McDonald refractor auto. I wish I had the money to open a case, as it would definitely be fun to go through all the cards. Chrome is about as fun a break as there is, and the best part is that the autos aren’t always the best cards in the box. Its one of the only sets where the rare parallels can get some serious cash, and though the class is weak, there are loyal Chrome collectors that will be all over the cards they chase every year.
Its clear that the rookie class will hold back the true potential of this set, but it is still the best product we have seen so far. I would highly recommend at least joining one of the many group breaks on the sites out there, as it will at least be worth your time to get some of your favorite rookies that way. Hell, even go buy a pack or two, as it wont punch you in the wallet along the way.