Hearken back to a time where 1/1s were not as prevalent as they are today. Even more than that, before 2005 and the era of the Superfractor. I apologize if I am off in the year, but for argument’s sake, lets use the following 7 year’s worth of cards as our frame of reference for my following statement. During the course of these 7 years, Topps has produced more than its fair share of sets that contain the all-powerful 1/1 golden diamond refractor, or the Superfractor. Its become almost a benchmark for other 1/1s, as these cards in low end sets can sometime be worth more than chase cards from products retailing above 200 bucks a box. When other companies have tried to take the idea and make it their own, it takes on a new legacy. That, my friends, is hobby precedent, the most valuable asset in the card industry.
Just checking over ebay in the last few months, the asking and completed prices are insane for some cards:
2012 Topps Chrome Derek Jeter Superfractor – No idea how this card went for this much!
As of right now, Topps offers Supers in every product that uses the Chrome style technology. At a minimum, that means, all Bowman products (where the more the merrier), Platinum, Finest, Sterling, and even a few other opportunities. That’s not to say collectors don’t love these cards more than they should, however. As I have mentioned before, I don’t think the cards are all that attractive with the diamond pattern. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s a dumb idea to give people what they want, but as they say, sometimes too much can be a bad thing.
Maybe, its less about how many products contain the superfractors, and more about the quantities in which they come in each product. Finest Football alone has up to 8 superfractors per player, depending on which tier they fall on. That is an incredible amount, especially when many of them are insert sets that shouldn’t fall within scope for having 1/1 parallels.
With the release of Topps Chrome Baseball and Topps Finest Football, we have seen the recognition by the product developers that Superfractors = ratings. More importantly, that there is really no limit to the use of this special designation in order to separate a 1/1 from other 1/1s. My question, which I have asked before, focuses on when are there TOO many superfractors? When do they become less than the special cards they used to be. I can understand why this is a loaded question, but its still worth asking.
I think the answer lies in the chase. Because the Bowman products still drive the prospect market for Baseball, the trickle down effect has influence over every Superfractor there is. There is an aura about these cards, and even I got ridiculously excited when I pulled this card out of 2011 Topps Chrome Football. As long as that is still happening for collectors, we haven’t reached oversaturation. However, that doesn’t mean a scale back isn’t in order.