Archive for Topps Chrome
I have a thing for electric closers. Kimbrel definitely fits the mold and about three years ago I bought this raw 2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autograph for my collection.
Kimbrel has been a stud ever since, but demand for his cards decreased due in part to the fact that he had since been traded to the San Diego Padres. About a month ago a BGS graded refractor version of the card hit COMC at less than the price of a blaster box. Needless to say I popped on it.
And then as the card was being shipped to me, Kimbrel was traded to the Boston Red Sox, my favorite team. Timing was perfect for this acquisition.
So, about a month ago I quietly sent out a handful or TTM requests to some players who admittedly were longshots. These were guys I did not expect to get ANYTHING in return, but figured it was worth a shot since it was pretty early in the year. Well, the first one returned, and lo and behold it was longest shot of all, Yu Darvish.
The Iranian-Japanese right-handed pitcher has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since he came to the Major Leagues in 2012. So, on Friday night, my wife and I were having dinner at a local establishment, sitting at the bar, and in the background I heard that Darvish had a perfect game going through 7 innings. Surprise!
Then out of nowhere, my wife tells me that I got a small envelope in the mail at my mother-in-law’s house and she pulled it out of her purse. It’s the Darvish return envelope! (Worth noting that my wife has no idea who the envelope is from, other than “Y.D.,” the initials that I placed on the envelope
I rip it open at the bar (kinda funny to watch me do this I bet) and instantly see that my 2012 Topps Darvish rookie card is within the envelope, but is unsigned. Behind the Topps card is an over-sized card often given away by clubs, and it’s signed … digitally.
Waste of time.
Whatever term or phrase you want to describe this situation I suppose could be justified. But what you cannot say is that Darvish is a bad guy for not signing. There are lots of players — let alone mega superstars — who simply do not signed through the mail and their requests simply go un-returned.
So while I did not get a real Darvish autograph in this attempt, it was still a cool story, given the circumstances. And I do appreciate the return.
On a side note, a day later I received this TTM return, I did receive a real Darvish autograph, one that I purchased on eBay a week earlier. It’s the pictured 2012 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs, graded BGS 9.
True clearance prices for sealed packs of baseball cards in a retail setting are rarely seen. Most stores blow through product before there is a chance for it to sit around. And in the cases where stock has collected dust, the packs are sent back to the distributor and then they are repackaged in another form.
And in the occasions where cards are marked down, they usually are brands that are not super appealing. Well, in some Toys R Us stores right now, you might find something that is appealing — 2010 Topps Chrome baseball, and in some places 2010 Bowman Chrome baseball.
The 2010 rookie class is one that continues to be at the front of the hobby even two years later.
Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, Marlins outfielder Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton and Indians catcher Carlos Santana are the five names that led that fairly deep rookie card class. And in Topps chrome you have a shot at their rookie cards, as well as signed versions that can be worth big money.
Toys R Us appears to have been restocked with loads of 2010 Topps Chrome rack packs which feature three sealed retail packs (4 cards per pack) and a retail exclusive pack of three orange refractor parallel cards. The original price on these packs was $9.99. These are now available to you for $4.99.
And while the odds for any autograph are tough, and the chances to land one of the aforementioned five rookie studs are even worse, the opportunity is there. And no one is passing up that chance when it comes at basically $1.66 a pack.
I’ve visited three Toys R Us stores this week and found Topps Chrome in each of them, and in one store I actually located a blaster of 2010 Bowman Chrome for $12.99. (I opened it, it was bad …. really, really, bad.)
Needless to say I cleared out all of the Topps Chrome packs, and it is always fun to look back and see this many refractors.
And those rookies? Yeah, pulled a few of those too:
Needed a few more things from Walmart so I had to make a quick trip. Lo and behold they got the new 2011 Topps Chrome football blasters in this morning. This almost never happens here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Usually we get them a week after they start hitting retail shelves on the east coast. Anyway, I broke my blaster on video. Shiny stuff inside.
Topps hit the nail on the head with its new Topps Chrome retail packaging.
On Friday, I found some time to go to Target, and there I found the new Topps Chrome, which I believe hit Hobby Shop shelves a week ago. At Target, they had the product in three forms — Blaster boxes, Gravity Feed retail packs and a new Value Pack-style rack pack as seen above.
One of the major issues with retail products in general is the fact that it is impossible to find the stuff in un-searched.
Blasters are nice, but they require you to spend $19.99 to get the packs. So you’re basically out of luck if you only want a few packs. Topps has apparently solved this issue with the new Value Packs.
As you can see, for $8.99 you get three sealed, un-searched retail packs and then a bonus packs of three orange, retail-exclusive refractors. Are you saving any money? Not really. But you are ensuring the integrity of the packs … and you get the free pack of shiny goodness.
So yeah, kudos to Topps and their packaging company.
I guess you’re wondering if I bought any? Yes. I bought one. Not really in a position to go nuts on cards right now, plus retail Topps Chrome is rough. Odds on rookie autographs in retail? 1 in 171 packs. Ouch. Hobby odds I believe are 1 in 12 packs.
The three free refractors are a pretty cool touch. They come in a see-through package that can easily be searched once outside the main seal. But while inside it is impossible. Again, loving this. My pack contained theseKila Ka’aihue (RC), Kevin Russo (RC), Aaron Hill.
It’s tough to judge a product based on three packs, retail ones at that. But the “fun” factor was solid. Would I recommend these for others? Depends on the type of collector you are. A few packs here and there won’t; just don’t go overboard thinking you’re getting a steal.
I took the day off to deal with a doctor’s appointment in the morning and a class for new parents this afternoon, so in between I figured I’d stop into the hobby shop to see what was cookin. Needless to say there isn’t much out there worth buying. A box of Bowman Draft would have made sense, but the fact that Buster Posey seemingly is the only base chrome auto worth having really doesn’t do it for me. Damnit, Razor. You ruined it. Anyhow, after much though (I pondered a box of 08 UD Goudey, but turned it down) I decided to take the tame route and go for five packs: 1 Goudey, 2 Bowman Draft and 2 Topps Chrome. Continue reading