Topps may not exactly have had the best track record in a few areas of the hobby over the last few years, but there remains one thing that they do better than any other company. They have found a way, amidst the hobby’s change to relic and autograph focus to create value in rare parallels that lack those elements. So much value that it literally defies my understanding. It all reaches up to the pinnacle that is the 1/1 Superfractor. I would go as far as saying it is currently the most important type of card in any sport in any brand.
Under the search for 1/1 in football right now, the top sold card listed among all others is a Superfractor:
Other cards are similarly impressive:
Years ago, I tried to fight against the tidal wave of Superfractors that were flooding the market in just about every single Topps product. Topps Chrome, Finest, Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Sterling and others all had a Superfractor element, and in some cases, a large contingent of them. It was getting to be overwhelming. especially considering how little I really liked the golden hexagon pattern that adorns each of the examples.
Since that timeframe, I have just come to terms with its aura and legacy among hobby collectors of every sport, and how much it really means. At this point, a world without Topps Superfractors is almost as unwelcome among collectors as a world without Topps. That is a powerful concept. It is so powerful that other companies have even tried to copy Topps’ formula down to a T, most of the time with very limited success. Panini has even recently tried to make identical replicas for the first time, which only shows how much even they covet the success of these cards.
Just adding the Superfractor pattern to a card makes it more valuable thanks to Topps’ consistent success in this space:
Football's best card of the year comes from a box that usually costs about 70 to 80 bucks, and I cant even understand how that has come to be. In all the different sports that they exist, the biggest sales of the modern era have all been Superfractors. Luck, Strasburg, and others all dominate the top selling lists of the recent years.
The Topps Chrome autographed Superfractor is so valuable, that it will outsell any other chase card for bigger players, even those that come from boxes that cost five times the price. Logos, ridiculous patches, and other tactics are no match, and each year only comes to show how much that gap is growing. EEven the cheap lower tier players still sell for significant money.
This only serves to beg the question of what might happen when Panini takes over football in 2016? The answer isnt as clear as you might think, as the top selling products of the year all come from Topps. Add in that the worst selling products of the year are almost all under the Panini umbrella, and that is not good for business. Even if Panini were to find a way to get to the level of quality that Topps has consistently shown in their Chrome brands, they would struggle mightily to build their own comparable element that the Superfractor represents.
Just adding these cards to products makes them more valuable, which makes me wonder why a product like Topps Five Star was never thought of as a candidate to have Superfractors despite not being a chrome product. Bottom line, a world without these mammoth chase cards is going to be a tough one for many to stomach, and I think its worth considering what that might mean for some of these horrendously bad Panini products. Will the floor continue to drop out, now that there is no incentive for the products to improve? How many more years of Panini Prominence can everyone tolerate before the vomit inducing designs are just too much? Will the Superfractors of the past be that much more valuable? Who knows. The only thing I have to warn is that people better be ready for a big change, and if what people are saying is true, its not going to be good.