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.

Design/Creativity
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.
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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.
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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.
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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)

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