2014 Topps Chrome Football finally hit retail stores around me this week despite it being out for about a week now. I went to a local Target to pick up on blaster box (scans below).
While I was waiting for it to hit the shelves around me I did some research about the product. I watched breaks on YouTube and read up on the product.
I'm starting to think that 2014 Topps Chrome Football might be the most pack-searcher proof retail product to hit stores in a long time -- and maybe ever. Here's why.
First of all, the retail version of the product only has autographs for hits. There are no jersey card hits in the packs (except for the Walmart blaster boxes which each have a jersey hit in it but I'm not counting those). This isn't like Topps Series 1 or Series 2 Baseball which has a plethora of bat and game-used hits in it to find. And let's face it, we pack searchers know that those relic hits are always a lot easier to find than autograph hits.
Second, the autograph hits are pretty much all on-card autographs. I've watched a ton of Chrome Football breaks online and Topps did a really good job this year getting the players to sign their autographs on-card. So gone are the days of finding the autograph hits by searching for the stickers. You can't feel on-card autographs!
Third, the retail product is only sold in rack packs and blasters. I remember when I first started pack searching in 2012, Chrome Football that year was sold in retail boxes too. So you had the opportunity to search individual packs to find autographs, die-cuts and minis. But this year with the product only being sold in rack packs and blaster boxes it's a lot harder to search. Rack packs can be searched for die-cuts and minis with a little work, but it is tougher and more time consuming. You're not going to be able to find autographs at all in rack packs. Blaster boxes are impossible to search for autographs.
Fourth, the redemption rate in 2014 Topps Chrome Football is less than 1%! So gone are the days of redemption-heavy products where you could easily find redemptions.
Fifth, the pack wrappers are foil wrappers. Even if you bought rack packs and blaster boxes, and opened them up to individually examine each pack, you still probably couldn't figure out if there was an autograph card in the pack since the wrappers are foil and the autographs are on-card.
Retail 2014 Topps Chrome Football is pretty much the most pack-searcher proof product that I've ever seen. I'm not sure if Topps did this by design or not. I'm actually of the belief that they did. Chrome is one of their flagship brands. Making the product as difficult to search as possible makes it a more attractive product to purchase on retail shelves since the chances of a hit being there is a lot higher than those products which are easy to search.
So if you're a non-pack searcher reading this blog post, I would say that it's pretty safe to buy retail 2014 Topps Chrome Football without any worry of it being searched dry of all the hits.