Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shiny Object!

​Unsurprisingly, given the universal allure of shiny objects, the first box I finished opening from last week's shopping spree was a blaster of 2013 Topps Chrome, containing 32 cards.

2013 Topps Chrome #96 Yoenis Cespedes
Cadillacs and Buicks of the 1950s led us all to equate chrome with a silver color. I'm glad to see that the borders of 2013 Chrome match that bias, as several previous years used yet another white border. Even in their flagship set, Topps has only given us a non-white border once in the last decade, so I welcome the variety.

Incidentally, I don't believe Topps has ever done a flagship set with full-bleed photos. Upper Deck gave that a whirl 20 years ago, and I'd say it's long overdue. Or at least put a player photo on the back again. It's almost like Upper Deck never existed.

But I digress. Back to the blaster. One of the eight packs was a plain, unmarked silver foil, clearly calling attention to itself as the "bonus pack". Inside were four of these purple refractors.

2013 Topps Chrome Purple Refractors #154 Nick Franklin
Though it would have been ideal to find a Rockie in this pack (or anywhere in the blaster), despite the purple not being quite the Rockies' shade, they're pretty cards and the group of four will stand out in a binder.

Speaking of binders, one of the two insert cards was of the die-cut variety, from the same set that Nick at Dime Boxes wrote about last week, in fact. His post pointed out how challenging it can be to place these into a standard 9-pocket page.

2013 Topps Chrome Chrome Connections Die Cuts #CC-AB Adrian Beltre
I have to agree, though this card certainly is...different. And fragile. Sure, it's on thick Chrome card stock, but that is an awful lot of corners that could get dinged. I bet that using a couple of standard cards as a "sandwich" then removing them once they're in the page would help save that exotic die cut design.

The other insert was significantly less fragile.

2013 Topps Chrome 1972 Chrome #72C-AP Albert Pujols
The psychedelic, disco-era 1972 design it's one of just a handful from the '70s that I can identify at a single glance. All the white borders and horizontal chevrons found during that decade just blend together.

Looking ahead, 2014 Chrome was released quite recently. I'm sure it'll be a while before those start showing up in the clearance section. But at least they're silver.

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