Saturday, November 7, 2009

Which Chrome Style Brand Works The Best?

Each year, Topps releases 4 or so Chrome board sets for the NFL, all of which are pretty popular releases. Bowman Chrome and Sterling, Topps Chrome and Finest, all have huge collector followings for different reasons, but which one reigns supreme?

2009 Base Design

I think this category is a two horse race between Finest and Topps Chrome. Finest went with a simple, yet cool design that hearkens back to the glory days of finest. Topps Chrome's design this year was also great and simple, more so than any other Topps flagship design for the last few years. For this I am more partial to Chrome because I bust so much of it each year, but the base design has to go to Finest for the way the team color elements combine with the full bleed, borderless design.

Winner: Finest

2009 Refractors

Bowman Chrome and Topps Chrome are the home of the refractors, so its obvious that they are going to be at the top here. Finest's Pigskin Refractors are cool, but the others are a bitch to even recognize. Bowman Chrome's design lends itself more to the colored refractor look, and I really like what it means to truly have the rainbow with these. The Red Refractors even look better than the Topps one, and carry more value. You also have silver and bronze box toppers, which can be a parallel nightmare, or cool depending on how you feel about the number of refractors in Bowman. Topps is more simple, but the numbering is a little too high for them to make a truly centerpiece worthy piece. This one goes to Bowman Chrome.

Winner: Bowman Chrome

2009 Autograph Rookie Cards

I think all four sets have their merit in autograph cards, but Sterling's awful design and relic placement takes them out of the running. As for Bowman Chrome, the autos fit well into the design, and the colored refractor autos look very good. However, Topps Chrome's look that much better in my opinion. First off, the Black and Gold refractors are awesome, and the swatch placement on the ridiculous jersey autos is better than Bowman any day of the week. Finest probably would have taken this spot, but they added a needless swatch when it wasnt needed on ALL of their base rookie autos.

Winner: Topps Chrome

2009 Added Content

Whether its the letter autos in finest, or the one per case base variations in Topps Chrome, there has been a move for added content this year. Bowman Chrome has added more refractors this year, but that isnt really a good thing in some cases. Sterling, well, Sterling is quickly becoming a distant fourth in everything here. Im not really a letter person, but the finest ones that are built with pro uni colors are nice. However, when you see how much the 1 per case variations go for, its a tough race with Topps chrome. I love the idea, but I cant decide what works best.

Winner: Topps Finest and Chrome (tie)

2009 Price

Sterling is automatically a fourth place for having such a huge price tag for the junk you get. Finest is nice, but there isnt much value outside of the autos in that box. For Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome, you can miss on the auto, but still do awesome on the box thanks to the value of the refractors. They are both under sixty bucks, but Bowman Chrome gives you a box topper, and a bunch of color per box. Topps has the possibility of reds, and coppers, but there isnt much else in a hobby box.

Winner: Bowman Chrome

Overall Champion

When it comes down to it, I think this is going to continue to be a tight race between the two Chrome brands, though this year, Topps Chrome just has a little more going for it. The design is great, the autos are great, and most of the added content is great. The Cheerleader cards are fucking annoying, but you can still get past them because the other cards are awesome. The values of the box hits are higher, and the retail prowess is great on it. Its at the top of the leader board for a reason, as so far its my favorite product of 2009.

CHAMPION: 2009 Topps Chrome

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Topps Chrome has really been addicting this year. When it was released, I had every intention of breaking just one box. Then three weeks later, I realized I had broken a case worth of it. Awful, but awesome at the same time.