First look: 2012 Topps Chrome Football


By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

On the heels of the NFL Players Rookie Premiere, Topps is readying one of its most popular football products.

Topps Chrome is coming back with all on-card rookie autographs. The product is scheduled to come out in early November.

There will be at least 45 different rookies in the product with autographs. But what makes the set fun for many collectors is all the Refractors. The 24-pack hobby boxes – with four cards in each pack – will have eight different refractors. With a 220-base card set – 110 veterans and 110 rookies – that’s a lot of cards to chase.

Here’s a breakdown of the types of refractors in Topps Chrome:

・ Refractor, numbered to 150
・ Military Refractor, numbered to 99 (new for 2012)
・ BCA (breast cancer awareness) Refractor, numbered to 75 (new for 2012)
・ Prism Refractor, numbered to 50 (new for 2012; Hobby only)
・ Black Refractor, numbered to 25
・ Gold Refractor, numbered to 10
・ Red Refractor, numbered to 5 (hobby-only)
・ Superfractor, numbered to 1 (hobby-only)

Single-player rookie autographs aren’t the only features of Topps Chrome. Up to 40 rookies will also have autographs with jersey patches. In addition, there are dual and triple rookie autographs. Some of the autographs will have also photo variations.

Topps is reaching in to the vault pulling out old designs for many of the autographs and inserts.

Autos will be on designs from 1957, 1965 and 1984 Topps.

The 1984 design insert (35 subjects) will fall on average of one in every six packs. There will be three types of Refractors (regular, Gold, Prism). Also 15 subjects will be featured with on-card autographs, which are numbered to 15.

The ’57 and ’65 inserts fall at an average of one in every 12 packs. The ’57 design will feature 30 rookies and have a regular Refractor. But the autograph version of the ’57 cards are hobby-exclusives.

The ’65 design will also have 30 rookies and have Refractor, Red Refractor, Prism Refractor and autographed versions.

Topps isn’t done there. What else is coming to 2012 Topps Chrome?

Die cuts.

Red Zone Rookie Die Cut cards to be specific. There will be 35 subjects on these cards (1:24) and come in several Refractor types as well: blue (/50), Gold (/25), Superfractor (1/1; Hobby only) and Refractor autographs (1/1), which are hobby-exclusive.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.


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  1. deeez 25 May, 2012 at 17:09

    while i feel for the cancer victims ,survivors and their families
    , hey topps while you donating some profits or proceeds to the cancer charities for use of the pink refractors… or are they just taking advantage of the use of the color

  2. JC 26 May, 2012 at 08:22

    Tops better not be getting all ADHD like they are with Lineage/Archives/etc. baseball. I don’t want to open a pack of cards and have every card look like it is from a different set. That’s stupid. Wake up Topps, it looks like a 3rd grade art class through together the set design.

  3. BigMike 27 May, 2012 at 20:28

    Don’t look to bad as long as they don’t the typical “machine scratches” that I have seen on most Topps/Bowman Chrome products.

  4. N. Adams 28 May, 2012 at 09:14

    I love the look ofthe Luck card. That 84 topps retro is way cool for the old guys like me who chassed the Marino and Elway RC’s when the 84 set was released. I hope there are more cards in the set that look like that.

  5. Richard 29 May, 2012 at 13:10

    “The 1984 design insert (35 subjects) will fall on average of one in every six packs. There will be three types of Refractors (regular, Gold, Prism). Also 15 subjects will be featured with on-card autographs, which are numbered to 15.”

  6. Damniels 20 September, 2012 at 12:37

    i really like the chromes my fav dont know why but i dont care too much for all the inserts like in 2010. i like the fact that rookies have diffrent looks. i cant really get ne hobbys unless carried by local retail, which occurs less than tebow throws a spiral. i usually dont travel far to buy cards or ne internet buys it just seems a lot more exciting to go buy a box n open it right away!!! especially this rookie class

  7. Scott Bennett 7 November, 2012 at 16:19

    just bought a blaster and I can’t find anywhere where there’s photos of the different variations and inserts..this is a eBay listing nightmare until more info is released

  8. JOE CHAFIN 16 November, 2012 at 03:36

    I like the cards but there is way to many refactors and different styles. i just bot a blaster box and then went and bot 7 hobby packs and opened them separate and i did way better on the retail blaster box and your garrenteed a Rookie Relic card so i dont think the hobby packs are all that special.

  9. chad 4 November, 2014 at 19:25

    wow..I bought a card today.. been researching all friggin day and can’t even find one like it. I’ve got a graded 10 andrew luck 1957 retro. It’s gold Bordered chrome. It’s the only gold 1957 retro I’ve seen. I’ve seen some 1984 retro’s that are numbered to /75 that are gold. Don’t know if there’s serial numbers on it. But yeah I bought it today because I thought it was rare. It’s so rare it’s not listed under any of the websites. Has anyone seen one or know what it’s worth?

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