2008 MLB Topps Chrome Set Review

Review: 2008 MLB Topps Chrome

The Basics:

What I opened: 3 different 2008 Topps Chrome Retail Boxes (7 packs with 4 cards plus a 2 card bonus pack each)

What I paid: $19.99 per box

In three boxes, I got 48 of the 220 base cards (21%). For $60, I don’t think that is a very good deal at all…especially since I didn’t receive any duplicate between the boxes. I received seven X-Fractors, which are (by far) the ugliest insert in the set. On the other hand, I received 9 Refractors (which are the best looking of the parallels in my opinion). Since the X-Fractors and Refractors are both seeded 1:3, I was happy with a slight edge in numbers for the set I liked better. I also received 3 blue bordered refractors, I can only assume that are seeded approximately 1 per retail box. At that rate, the blue set is virtually impossible to complete without spending a lot of time (and probably money) on eBay.

I received 6 different Trading Card History inserts. Although each card is interesting on its own, the cards look foolish in a binder together since each design pays tribute to a card design in history (for example Soriano’s Hires Root Beer card). The Chrome Refractor Trading Card History (Ramirez) is ok, but again, with only 400 sets not too many people will complete the set. Finally, the blue Trading Card History card (Beckett, numbered out of 200) is 100% ugly. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to complete that set…but I hope someone does because my card is headed off to eBay shortly.

The two Mantle insert sets are collectively boring. I’m sick and tired of Mickey Mantle overload in every Topps set. Giving the same cards the chrome treatment doesn’t make them any more interesting to me. The All-Rookie insert set is also nice, but again, not terrible exciting. I don’t see any of the three aforementioned sets going for much money.

The inclusion of Topps Heritage Chrome Cards was a nice idea (for me anyhow). I collect the Heritage set (and the Heritage chrome set usually), so I essentially added to two different sets with the same box. Finally, the Dick Perez sketch card insert set is kind of neat, though why Mr. Perez is so famous for his portraits is beyond me, most of the drawings look terrible! The Refractor Perez cards look nice as well, and since the set is smaller there is a chance to complete it without a lot of financial sacrifice.

The Bottom Line:

I give the 2008 MLB Topps Chrome a 65/100.

Pros: I like the Chrome Refractor parallel set and the base cards. I liked not getting any duplicates in three boxes (combined). The Topps Heritage Chrome inclusions were a nice touch.

Cons: The Mickey Mantle overload has ran its course, especially when you only get 4 cards per pack. The X-Fractors are disgustingly ugly. The blue bordered cards seem like a waste of time. Finally, it will take a huge amount of boxes to be able to complete even the base set ($60 for 3 boxes yielded just over 1/5 of the total base set).

Box Breakdowns:

Box 1
17 Regular Chrome Cards
2 X-Fractors
3 Refractors
1 Blue Bordered Refractor
2 Trading Card History (Reyes and Santana)
1 All-Rookie Team (Roy Oswalt)
1 Mickey Mantle Home Run History
1 Topps Chrome Refractor (J.R. Towles, #335/559 Rookie Card)
2 Dick Perez Chrome Sketch Cards (Ichiro and Joba Chamberlain)

Box 2
16 Regular Chrome Cards
3 X-Fractors
3 Refractors
1 Blue Bordered Refractor
2 Trading Card History (Ortiz and Andruw Jones)
1 Trading Card History Refractor (Manny Ramirez, #017/400)
1 Mickey Mantle Story
1 Topps Chrome (Chone Figgins, #0709/1959)
1 Dick Perez Chrome Sketch Cards (Jose Reyes)
1 Dick Perez Chrome Sketch Card Refractor (Prince Fielder)

Box 3
15 Regular Chrome Cards
2 X-Fractors
3 Refractors
1 Blue Bordered Refractor
2 Trading Card History (Justin Upton and Alfonso Soriano)
1 Trading Card History Blue Refractor (Josh Beckett, #062/200)
1 All-Rookie Team (Ryan Zimmerman)
1 Mickey Mantle Story
1 Mickey Mantle Home Run History
1 Topps Chrome (Tom Gorzelanny)
1 Dick Perez Chrome Sketch Card (Mickey Mantle)
1 Dick Perez Chrome Sketch Card Refractor (Josh Beckett)

Insert Odds (as stated on box):
Sequentially Numbered Refractor 1:3
Sequentially Numbered X-Fractor 1:3
Copper Refractor 1:12
Topps Heritage Chrome 1:15
Topps Heritage Chrome Refractor 1:41
Topps Heritage Chrome Black Refractor 1:400
Trading Card History Insert 1:4
Topps All-Rookie Team Insert 1:9
Mickey Mantle Story Insert 1:20
Mickey Mantle Home Run History Insert 1:12

(Plus a bunch of rare autographs and such that I didn't pull)