Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why Topps Retail Chrome May Be Better Than Hobby

Topps Chrome has always been the exception to the Hobby vs Retail debate, at least in my mind. I never think buying retail is even close a good idea, unless its something that is offered more efficiently in retail, or more cost effectively. When it comes to buying products outside of chrome, the good hits are at ridiculous odds instead of favorable, you usually pay a ton more for a lot less (in terms of hits), and the cards are even different sometimes. I am familiar its a little different for people who are out to collect the sets, but even then, hobby packs can usually live up to an beyond anything retail can offer.

With Chrome, its completely different. In addition to being able to pull all the normal types of cards from hobby, they have also added the Blue Refractors and XFractors to the product. The Blues look and sell great, and are even worth more than the coppers for some players.

Speaking of the coppers which come 2 per hobby box, those are available as well in retail, along with the blues and regular refractors as well. Paying 20 bucks for a blaster may actually net you some nice hobby cards, as well as an auto or some of the retail exclusives. Instead of paying 65 for 1 auto and 2 coppers, you are instead paying 20 bucks for 3 blues, 3 x fractors, 3 regular refractors, a copper (usually), and a possible auto, all which sell better than the hobby config. Considering that most of the autos in chrome sell for under 10 bucks, its not a big deal to give them up for the possibility of the other cards.

On top of all of this, the retail packs seem to be doing very well on the boards, and even here on SCU. I have bought 1 blaster and 3 fat packs, and I have ended up with a Sanchez copper and a Stafford xfractor among others. Those two cards alone have paid for my stuff. I have seen people pull black autos, gold autos, and regular autos aplenty over on blowout too, which only adds to the fun.

Im going to be picking up some more, as I think this year's chrome is the best in years. Its the first time I have actually bought retail over hobby.


  1. I don't think that there's even any question. Retail simply IS better than hobby chrome this year. You're getting more variety with essentially the same odds as hobby for about the same price currently. Add in the fact that I swear this year's xfractors blow last years' out of the water and you've got a winner in retail chrome.

  2. Topps chrome retail is kickass....I did a break of the stuff on video...and hit a Lesean McCoy auto of him numbered to is nice stuff!!

  3. Ehhhh. Agree and disagree. I've bought 12 blasters and 6 hobby boxes and my hobby boxes have all yielded me a decent auto (including Sanchez). No autos from the blasters yet.

    And 1 red refractor, from hobby. No plates from hobby. One patch auto from hobby (barden). So for now I lean to hobby. But I'll def buy up all the Chrome I can find in blaster form as well :)

  4. Retail is better every year, not just this year.

    The only thing you miss is more of the 99 cent no-name rookie autos.

    Blaster aren't the way to go - get regular retail cases for around $300 each. Much better ROI.

  5. Same is true for baseball. Every time I get a hobby box, I feel a little let down in comparison to blasters.

  6. I got three Topps Chrome blasters and I got Three prime-time auto's and one minor auto: DIRTY SANCHEZ auto, Brandon Pettigrew sticking to a Stephen Mcgee auto, and Mo Money Crabtree. I am SOLD ON RETAIL this year. I pulled more xfractors and rookie refractors then I care to mention. However I have no hobby shops in my area. After having this heart attack with my children we will be buying powerball lottery tickets this weekend!

  7. I've always stayed away from retail but after reading this I got the itch to bust some so I went out over lunch and picked up two blasters of 09 chrome and 3 blasters of 08 chrome (the 08 boxes were on clearance for $12.97).

    They were a fun break yielding tons of refractors and x-fractors but they only cards I pulled worth mentioning were a Crabtree x-fractor and a Stafford base RC. No autos.

    Even though I didn't get much, at least I didn't feel like I got kicked in the nuts like I do every time I bust a hobby box.

  8. I am 0-5 on blasters this year for autos.

    I also split a case of hobby and the best auto was a base McCoy. I am hurting bad this year on chrome.

    I did pull 2 Cheerleader refractors, sooo, I got that going for me. Which is nice.

  9. I konw you are talking football..but 2009 Topps Chrome Baseball is on sale for $12 at Wall Mart. I bought the two blasters they had left and pulled a blue Longoria & copper Longoria.

  10. The blasters are hit or miss. The regular retail packs and fat packs have produced lots of color. I have a stack of blue/coppers and xfractors on my desk as we speak, all from loose retail packs.

    Still looking for that Sanchez or Stafford though.

  11. In 2007 and 2008 (I do baseball btw) I bought hobby of Topps Heritage and didn't get me much except Paul Konerko GU. I bought few retail blasters boxes and I was surprised it better buy for your buck. I did pulled few GU bat cards but the one I hit big time is a Stan Musial GU. I was surprised this was stuck in retail than hobby. I start buying more retail afterwards. Last year I bought blasters of Allen and Ginter instead hobby. One of my favorite pulls? Mark Teixeira tag card. I felt you get more bang with your buck with retail blasters.