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   October 24, 2014



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New Topps Chrome set aimed at higher-end collectors
By GREG OLIVER and QUINN OLIVER - SLAM! Wrestling


For a collector, few things are as much fun as a box break, opening pack after pack of trading cards. When the new WWE set, Topps Chrome, arrived at the door the other day, it was all that my son and I could do to resist tearing into it right then and there.

Quinn, age 7, and I are not big time collectors, exactly, but we enjoy putting together a set of hockey cards every year, and go to the occasional collectibles show, where I try to sell as many books as possible to justify whatever we buy.

Since we went through last year's WWE set, Best of WWE -- Foley's words makes new Topps set worthwhile -- Quinn has been to two WWE events and has seen more on television, so it was a decidedly new experience opening the packs with him this year.

Here's an edited down version of some of our conversations as we opened away:

GREG: Huh. Only four cards per pack.
QUINN: What's 24 x 4? 48, right?
GREG: Try again.
QUINN: Oh right, 96.

QUINN: This is a cool card. Who's JBL? [It was one of the Jerry Lawler drawn cards, and it is pretty cool. Later we got another Lawler card, and Quinn said, "They're actually drawn? That's pretty impressive."]

GREG: Scott Stanford?!
QUINN: Who?

GREG: Mojo Rawley? Oh, he's an NXT guy. [There's a 20-card NXT subset.]
QUINN: NXT is WWE, except its sort of like Triple A.

QUINN: RVD! [First pop.]

GREG: Another announcer? [Tony Chimel would be our third. Who wants the double of Josh Mathews? Josh, if you email me, it's yours and you can peddle it on the convention circuit now that you are no longer a WWE employee.]

QUINN: Daniel Bryan! I'm really happy I got Daniel Bryan.
GREG: I got The Rock.
QUINN: He's Nikko's favourite wrestler. [One of the kids at his school.]
QUINN: I got Roman Reigns of The Shield. Sheamus, too. That's pretty good.

QUINN: El Torito! And it's a Rookie Card. [This was the first card we stopped to read what was written on the back by Jim Ross -- he did all the card backs.]

QUINN: I got a Cena shirt relic! [A neat card, for sure. That one meant there were only three cards in the pack.]

GREG: I got a Randy Orton WWE championship plate card!
QUINN: That is so cool.


After the orgy of opening, I was left with the task of trying to figure out how the cards fit together into a set. It was not immediately obvious, as cards were marked "Superstars", "Divas" and "Legends." Turns out they are all part of the 110-card set, and all mixed in together. The NXT subset was numbered on its own to 20.

Our box breakdown:

49 Superstars (4 doubles)
12 Divas
11 Legends (2 doubles)
8 NXT
1 Authority (Stephanie McMahon, naturally)
2 Gold Refractors (limited to 50)
2 Jerry Lawler Legends art cards
4 WWE Champions Tributes cards
1 Belt Relics
1 wrestler gear Relics

The packs retail for $2.99.

In writing this up, I learned that the Topps Chrome heavier stock cards hadn't been done with WWE since 2008. I'm not especially a big fan of the Chrome line, only because I'm old-school and love the feel of cardboard. For Quinn, I don't think it registered at all -- cards are cards. (I also noticed that the early versions of the actual box had CM Punk on them, replaced on ours by Brock Lensar.)

But if I'm a parent going to the store with my kid, and they want some of the WWE Chrome cards, I don't think they'll be disappointed -- but they might get a little frustrated quickly and priced out of market if they try to work on the set.


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Greg Oliver is the Producer of SLAM! Wrestling. He can be emailed at goliver845@gmail.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @gregmep.