2010 Topps Chrome Baseball Review

Here we are a full month after we busted open our case of 2010 Topps Chrome, and I’m finally getting around to writing our review.  Let’s dive in, shiny side first, shall we?

24 packs per box, 4 cards per pack

Main Set
I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the quality control on the set.  I didn’t really notice that, except to say that the cards were bow shaped in some certain direction.  Personally, I didn’t think anything of it, because it seems to me that this is always how Chrome and the early days of Finest have turned out.  This years may be more pronounced, but it’s tough to say if this is really a bad thing, since the cards should be fine if you place them in a binder or in a normal toploader.  There is this white powder that comes in the packs, assumedly to protect your cards from sticking together if they’re sitting in the packs too long.  I suppose it’s possible that this is a contributing factor.  If that’s the case, I’d rather have the powder protect my purchase.  And maybe I got lucky, or I’m not as eagle-eyed, but I didn’t notice roller problems, either.

What I did notice was an incredibly bland set.  There were quite a few nice pictures in Series 1 & 2 flagship this year, most of them horizontal.  Considering that this set draws from those two releases almost exclusively, it’s a shame they couldn’t pick better photographs to match the player selection.  Out of the 220 cards in the set, only a small handful stand out to some degree, and even the ones that make the short list leave something to be desired.

It's hard to get a good group scan of these

See what I mean?  Obviously one of the drawbacks is that even if you like the image, you’ve seen it before.  The Chrome set becomes essentially another group of parallels for you to collect with added rookie flavor.

I think that’s my other gripe about the product – it’s too rookie oriented.  Out of 220 cards in the regular set, the last 50 are rookies.  The only autographs you can possibly get are rookies.  If you’re not a rookie collector/hunter, then there’s not much here for you and you might as well just buy or trade for your singles and move on.

I know it’s been mentioned extensively on Wrigley Wax but it’s worth mentioning again.  What is Rich Harden doing in this set as a Cub?  What is Rich Harden doing in this set, for that matter?  I just don’t understand how you can get pictures of these 50 rookies in time to include in your set, but you can’t change Harden out of a uniform he never wore in 2010.  He hadn’t been a Cub for almost a full year.

If you put Lincoln's face on that ball, we're through

It’s the little details like this that can greatly skew the overall perception.  On the plus side, there are no SPs to speak of, so collecting the set should be relatively easy.

If you want a rehash of everything Topps from this year, then this is the product for you.  Aside from the various types of refractors of the set, you can also find a slew of Heritage, National Chicle and 206 cards in Chromed out editions.

Just a sampling of what was found in our case

I’m sure there are people out there that won’t like this, but I think this approach to the inserts is a good idea.  It can promote the other products so that collectors can get a feel for them to maybe buy more.  It makes some level of sense considering that the entire set is based on an existing product.  It gives certain player collectors all the more incentive to hunt down cards or buy packs.  More importantly, it means we don’t have chrome versions of CYMTO or Legendary Lineage or When They Were Young stinking up the packs.  And I like seeing these more so than WBC cards from last year, because I enjoy getting Major League players in my packs (a big reason why I largely avoid Bowman).


The only hits you can grab are on-card Rookie autographs (or redemptions for them), which should come two per box.  Falling one per case is a Team USA auto.  The player selection will really be determined in a few years when this rookie crop figures out how good it really is, but one “mistake” to be found right away is the absence of Buster Posey.  All the other big names are here, including non-redemption Strasburg autos, but Posey didn’t make the cut for this product.  Odd.  The autos of course fall victim to the endless parallel versions, but try not to count that against them too much.  Besides being on-card there is one positive to draw from these.

Do you think he's glad he got traded?

Yes, the autographed versions have different photos.  Granted, the secondary photos aren’t all that amazing either, but at least a little bit of extra effort went into them to make them special.

I know it’s not an amazing product, but there’s one other factor to consider and that’s “fun.”  I can’t really put my finger on why, but I absolutely loved opening this stuff.  Maybe it was the breadth of refractory goodness that was potentially waiting for me on the other side of the pack.  Maybe it’s because as a kid I only dreamed of having enough money to get a box of Chrome and I was channeling that youth.  Maybe it was the on-card autos.  Whatever the reason, even though it’s not an original set, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Design – **
Set Collecting – *****
Inserts – ***
Hits – ****
Overall – *** out of 5

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