Product: 2014 Topps Chrome Baseball blaster
Break Date: August 25, 2014
Hit Breakdown: Purple Refractor pack
Summary: Topps Chrome was a great product last year, so I was pretty excited for this year's edition. The rookie class included is great, and it's just generally a fun break, what with all the refractors. So, when I saw blasters start to pop up in the Breaks section of the various message boards I go on, I figured it was time for a Target trip, and they had it in stock; I grabbed two.
The blasters all have a pack of purple refractors, so I started with there. There was a rookie in there, which is always a plus, and a Posey. Outside of that, though, the first blaster was fairly pedestrian. The only card worth noting was a blue Ivan Nova refractor, numbered to 199, and frankly the only reason that it's mildly interesting is the numbering. Nova's was hit or miss before he went down for the year in April.
The second blaster, though, turned out to be pretty nice. The first pack yielded a Masahiro Tanaka rookie, and the second had a Chrome Connections die-cut Yu Darvish. I liked the Connections subset last year, and these look even nicer.
The two cards that made the break, though, were a Tanaka refractor and an autograph - and a refractor auto at that. The jury's still out on Andrew Heaney (he was great in the minors but got shelled in the bigs), but it's definitely a nice retail pull.
So, the second blaster was definitely better than the first, by a longshot. Any auto out of retail is great (I can't say that enough on these blog posts), and I don't recall pulling any autos out of Topps Chrome last year. I know that Chrome has photo variations again, but I haven't seen any screen shots yet of what they look like...so on the chance that one of my packs had one of those, it would affect the grade of the break.
Grade for the product: B+
Grade for the break: B+
Blue Refractor /199: Ivan Nova
Xfractor: Wilmer Flores (RC), Jacoby Ellsbury
Purple Refractor: Yangervis Solarte (RC), Mark Trumbo, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt
Refractor: Josmil Pinto (RC), David Price
Refractor Autograph /499: Andrew Heaney
Chrome Connections: Yu Darvish
Xfractor: Jason Heyward
Purple Refractor: Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Giancarlo Stanton, CC Sabathia
Refractor: Masahiro Tanaka (RC), Jose Ramirez (RC)