Is 2012 Topps Chrome Releasing At Too High End of a Price Point?

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:

2012 Topps Chrome Hobby Box Pre-Sale

2012 Topps Chrome Hobby Box Pre-Sale #2

2012 Topps Chrome Hobby Box Pre-Sale #3

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.

8 thoughts on “Is 2012 Topps Chrome Releasing At Too High End of a Price Point?

  1. All of the online dealers like BO, ATL, and DA havent been preselling either. And i assume its because of what happened last year. Glad i got two cases at $780 each.

  2. As someone who has put together the Chrome base set every year (and still chasing the base refractor sets) I’m disappointed in it’s no longer a mid-level set. I always enjoyed the simplicity of having a collectable set that didn’t need a bunch of crap jerseys and sticker autos to add “value”. Topps always does an amazing job with this set, I’m just disappointed that it’s become all about the hits when they started adding autos and various refractors.

    I think I’m sticking to retail since I should be able to get 5 blasters for the cost of a hobby box and I’m interested in building the set and not the in pulling the hits.

  3. The phenomena that is Chrome hobby box pricing has me very divided as well. Last year, I bought a couple boxes when it was $65-75 dollars and I was hooked! Then, to my disappointment, I saw it jump to over $100 a box and I was effectively priced out of the fun. It just doesn’t seem as fun to bust at $100/box as it is at the $70 range. Plus, with only 1 auto per box, you don’t get much in the way of hits. Last year, I switched to retail for the simple fact that I could get 5 blasters for the price of 1 hobby box.

    On the other hand, when the 2nd auto is so often a FA who is probably already out of the league and so many jersey cards go for a buck on ebay, are the extra hits really necessary?

    The main thing that held me back on pre-ordering a case of Chrome this year was Topps’ performance on their early sets like Bowman Sigs. Are they going to water down Chrome this year to cash in on the hype? Furthermore, did 2011 Chrome hit at just the right time when the market for cards was gaining strength? In late 2011, looking at ebay auctions it seems like the prices for singles were taking a pretty big jump higher. I think Chrome might have been just a great product that came out at exactly the right time to take advantage of the market.

  4. I usually buy 3-4 boxes each year and make the set, with inserts. At $100 per box instead of $70, can’t do that this year. I guess I will be buying retail from Target, which is not too bad because i love those orange refractors.

  5. If Id had known it was going to have on card autos last year I would have bought the 3 cases I could have. I didnt buy it direct last year because I could never justify the $70/box price for 1 auto and the good ones are tiered… I have made the autos sets for less than the cost of a direct case every year.

    I did buy direct this year just to hope to flip for a 20%+ gain in the first week. Blow out has had pre sales but they dont last long and they go up higher every time they find another case to offer. Last time I saw their price was over $1100 for a case…

    In my opinion retail is the way to go. There was never any logical reason that last years hobby shot as high as it did. The only difference was the sepia refractors.

    On a $ per $ basis retail is a far better way to go if you make the base set and want to bust a lot of packs. For $100 could get a hobby box or you could get 40 packs from blasters and probably the same crap auto youd have gotten out of the hobby. There are usually retail only refs like xfractor or purples as well. For the same $100 you could also get 30 packs in racks and the 30 orange or whatever exclusive rack refs they are going to put in there….

  6. I got lucky with my LCS and locked in a case at $70/box. I can’t wait to see what I get!

  7. It is not hitting with too high of a SRP, but many in this industry are playing games with this product. Check out your LCS and it seems that there are better deals to be had. My store and many others will be taking care of collectors at much less than the C-Note many of the “more affordable online sellers” are getting.

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