Every year that I have collected cards, I have chased down the Chrome rookies and autographs of any player I collect. In football, Topps Chrome has always carried a premium look and position in the hobby, and for the first time in almost 5 years, the product is crossing into high end territory for pre-sales.
Here are some of the recent pre-release box sales. Its never been this high since the MSRP drop in 2008:
Over the last few years, Chrome has taken on an initial release that goes into two different areas of the hobby. The low end set collectors love it because it isnt too expensive to compile the set, and the high end chasers love it because the autographs sell for a ton. At 65 bucks a box, its probably the most fun one can have on a break of that price. This year, its different, as prerelease prices have risen sharply due to speculation of product availability and the strength of the class. Last year’s set was under-produced, which led to a spike in price after people realized how scare it was. Last year’s class was similarly strong with Cam Newton driving the prices, followed by Dalton, Locker, Ponder and company.
There is no secret that the prospect of pulling low numbered refractors and autographs in Chrome can lead to big bucks, and collectors have driven up the box price every year as a result. However, its been 5 years since the last time it was at this type of speculation PRIOR to release.
Sure doesnt hurt that the cards look incredible, either. A patch auto design that trumps all that have come before it, on card autographs from the top rookies on 3 different subsets within the product, and new refractors are going to make this a great break. However, I might not be able to justify buying a 1 auto box for this price. The cards may be the best they have been in years, but when its so difficult to make any money back on a break, its hard to have fun in the process.
I love Chrome, as I said before, maybe above any other product that is released every year, but my excitement is diminished when I find out that I will have to stick to retail and singles due to initial release price. Maybe, once the box breaks hit, the prices could come down a bit. Hopefully Ill have the option to get a box or two, as it is close to impossible to pass up for me.