A Comment On Superfractors

When it comes to 1 of 1 cards in this hobby, there have been more mistakes than successes. Obviously the quad logo auto 1/1s in Exquisite are one thing, but they go all the way down to the 10,000+ 1/1s in Topps Moments and Milestones. One specific type of 1/1 has trancended the normal contructs of value surrounding base parallels, and I know that many people buy just to seek them out. Back in the 1990s, when refractor technology made its play, Topps literally put every possible design into its different parallels. Then they started numbering them. Then they started numbering them REALLY low. Then they made the granddaddy of all chrome cards, the 1/1 golden ticket Super-fucking-fractor.

Dont get me wrong, the idea of the Superfractor doesnt bother me one bit. Having a 1/1 parallel in a set built on the success of the different variations of the cards actually make sense. Its the look that I just absolutely hate. The cards look awful in my opinion, they always have, mainly due to the fact that the whole card is printed on that gold atomic mega refracting x-fractor board. Why not just put a nice gold border on it? How about using the gold atomic mega refracting x-fractor board, but only for the outside of the card?
Listen, I know you chromies are going to crucify me for this post, and I understand that the card itself is an icon even with the weird cardstock, but I just cant see myself ever going after one. After seeing the potential for gold bordered cards with the gold refractor autographs that are inserted in this year’s product, it has become clear how awesome a 1/1 like that could be. Instead of putting up with a player pic you cant see, you now have a really sleek addition to the parallels of the base set.
I am not kidding myself with the idea that Topps may actually change the look of the Superfractors, but I will say that its disappointing each time I see a card look like this:

Product Review: 2009 Topps Chrome Football

Instead of doing a normal review as I usually do, Im going to discuss Chrome in relation to the box break I was able to do today. Three more breaks will be coming on Monday, but due to a lack of time today due to meetings, I didnt have a lot of freedom to hang at the shop. I did my break as I planned, and I am actually pretty happy with the result.

I love the look of these Chrome cards, especially the different refractors that are available this year. There are a few drawbacks this year, which I will get to, but overall the set looks amazing. Topps’ design for their flagship was spot on, which means that the design for Chrome was also pretty awesome.

For the cards I pulled, most of the photos were great as well, something that was a drawback for last year’s product. They experimented a little too, as some of the Rookies were photographed with their helmet off, or in weird poses. It actually works pretty well, as the monotony of the same pose wears on the overall presentation of a set. My favorite of my pulls was probably the Hey Bey, as he looked pretty acrobatically posed on the shot.
However, not everything was great. First were the Cheerleader cards, which Beckett has hailed as the best football insert card ever made. That is like saying David Eckstein is the tallest player ever to play baseball. The Cheerleaders take up spaces that could be reserved for actual players, and I cringed each time I pulled one. When there is 40 cards in a pack like in the flagship jumbos, its one thing, but with 4 cards per pack, its ridiculous.
Secondly were the Chicle cards, which transferred about as well as expected to Chrome. They looked out of place, and should have just been axed with the Cheerios. A lot of wasted space.
On a good note, many of the colored refractors looked like they fit great. The color highlights the design, which means the retail blues should look perfect. I pulled Marques Colston, Brandon Pettigrew, and a few scrubs including Mr. 1:7000 Demetrius Byrd. Im hoping that in my other boxes ill hit a biggie like I did with McFadden last year.
Rating =
Autograph Cards

I think the Chrome autos are some of the best rookie autos of the year, despite the stickers they use. They hold value pretty well too, thus making the 50 dollar box a winner. I saw a Maclin pulled while I was at the shop, and was literally shocked at how cool it looked. Topps added in printed wording on the cards as well, which will completely deter people from slapping fake stickers on the non-auto RCs like in previous years.
The coolest looking pull of the day was definitely the Brandon Pettigrew black refractor auto that the owner pulled out of some loose packs he had, as the sleek black border made the card look great on the refractor board. They were numbered as low as the Rookie Patch autos, which should have been the plan from the beginning. No patches needed. Everyone at the shop agreed.
Lastly are the down point of the autos, something I discussed a few days ago with the Stafford. As if on cue, I pulled a Stephen McGee patch auto out of my box, which was better than a scrub, obviously, but wont be added to my collection either. The patches look ridiculous on the cards, most of them looking like one color boxes that obscure the picture. Im hoping I can maybe trade it for a Harvin that someone doesnt want.
Overall, the autos looked pretty nice, no matter the crap patches that Topps is trying to force into a classic set.
Rating =
Relic Cards
There are no relic cards in Chrome.
Value To the Collector
As with any Chrome product, there will be lots of value to be had. The base rookies are even valuable, despite the lack of any numbering. I think for the price of a box, the amount you get back can usually be pretty close to what you put in, something that rarely happens with any product thats produced these days.

I think the combined value to set collectors and hit collectors is comparable, a feature that makes Chrome so good. Most hit collectors will not hesitate to pay for a box even though there is one hit for the price, and most set collectors love chrome for its yearly haul. The only drawback for both brands of collector is that the set is much smaller this year, though Topps unfortunately made up for it with gimmicky inserts like the Spirit Squad.
I think I got my money back on my box even without the McGee, mainly due to the other elements of the box. I got good rookies in Maclin, Freeman, Hey Bey, and Moreno, as well as a few good refractors. With the McGee added in, there is no doubt. Seemed like this was the case with everyone who busted Chrome today.
Rating =
Overall Impressions
Chrome is and always will be popular because its such a cool addition to the flagship product. This year is no dif
ferent, and I think it could easily be the most fun to bust until SPA comes out in december. For very little money you get a lot of packs to bust, some valuable rookies, and the possibility of a good refractor or auto. Odds are that one part of the sell sheet will come through for you, so it shouldnt be too big of decision to break this stuff. In my opinion, its the best product of the year so far.
Average Rating =
2009 Product Leaderboard (SO FAR)

1. Topps Chrome (4/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Upper Deck Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Philadelphia (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). Topps Football (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Icons (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Heroes (3/5 GELLMANS)
2(t). UD Draft Edition (3/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Donruss Threads (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Donruss Classics (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Donruss Elite (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Playoff Prestige (2/5 GELLMANS)
8(t). Bowman Draft Picks (2/5 GELLMANS)
13. Score Inscriptions (1/5 GELLMANS)
14. Leaf Rookies and Stars (0/5 GELLMANS – NR)

Could A Scrub Be The Most Expensive Chrome Auto Of The Year?

Demetrius Byrd played his college ball at LSU, was picked late in the 7th round of the NFL draft, and Topps couldnt even get a uniformed pic of him for the cards they produced. Crazy enough, the odds of pulling his auto out of chrome are MORE THAN the odds of pulling a Superfractor, thus making this cardthe most expensive scrub auto ever made.

Now, this could easily be a mistake, but Byrd’s odds are listed at 1:7000 packs for his autograph. To pull a 1/1 superfractor, the odds are one in just under 3700 packs. Im guessing that if the odds are true, Topps must not have gotten many signed stickers back from him, therefore limiting the amount produced and inserted. There were enough to put him on the checklist, but so few that the odds are closer to one every 24 cases. Based on that, you can expect that the amount of Byrd’s total signatures are less than any other player ever produced in a Chrome set. Crazy.
Factor in that Topps Chrome is one of the most widely collected sets of the year, and this autograph may be worth more than most of the other players from the past few years. Rarity drives price in these cases, and saying this card is Rare is an understatement.

The Song Never Remains The Same

I was doing my usual ebay updates to see what was coming now that Chrome is live, and I stumbled across this crap. I am shocked, to say the least.

Ooof, that is pretty rough. Im not sure why this was greenlighted, consdering the patch intrudes on the subject of the card. Never really stopped anyone before, right?
For some reason, last year, Topps Chrome added a new feature card to a product lineup that didnt need a new feature card. Numbered ridiculously low, the rookie auto patches were squeezed into a set that had no reason to include jersey cards. This year, the cards are unfortunately back, but thanks to the new design, there is practically no space to include the relic. So, instead of doing the right thing and ditching this idea, they put the cards in the set again without regard for how they look.
Its definitely too bad, mainly because Chrome was always that one product you could count on to avoid the gimmicks. As of this year, BOTH Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome will have these cards, and I have no fucking idea why. Is it really THAT important to add one more needless parallel, especially when the patches arent game used? Its like putting a PS3 console in a car for the driver. Why is it even necessary?
Listen,the solutions is pretty simple. This set would have sold regardless of these stupid looking cards, cant we just understand that they arent needed? They look ridiculous, they dont fit, and the cards are so rare that it shouldnt even be an issue. Keep Chrome free of gimmicky cards, its one of the last products that can still float without needless relics. I hope Topps will do their best to honor that in the future.

2009 Topps Chrome Is Live!

Topps Chrome is scheduled to be released on Thursday, and the first cards have hit eBay. So far, things look as they usually do, which is a good thing for everyone who loves this product, including myself. Im still not sold on the way the autos are being produced, but Im sure once I get a few of them in front of me, they will look much better.

Here are some from eBay (more coming soon):

Here is one player we now know is redemption. Sorry Titans fans.