Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Box Break: Chrome Perspectives Jedi vs. Sith

A few days ago the box we had preordered of Topps Chrome Perspectives : Jedi vs. Sith arrived in the mail. I had been eagerly awaiting the box, and I am very glad I was able to get it...but the cards didn't quite live up to what I expected, which I will detail below.

This is only the third box of Star Wars cards I've ever opened, joining both series of Galactic Files.

It is also the first time I've opened a box of the Chrome brand since 2005, when I did a box of the NBA set from the 2004-05 season.

The concept is not really new. The cards are basically all stuff we've seen before, but in Chrome form, and that is the draw for this set. A large proportion of the set is based on the cartoons, which I have not seen, so at least they were new to me. Still, some of the stills used have already appeared on cards, and some of the text left me with a sense of deja vu after reading the backs of Galactic Files. The text on the back is also somewhat on the simplistic side. They are written as if to not give any "spoilers"...even for the movies that came out in the 1970s and 1980s. I was afraid Disney would "dumb down" Star Wars and reading these cards does little to nothing to assuage those fears.

Many of the cards feature extreme closeup head shots, which is just about the worst possible photos to use for a Chrome set, especially as the Chrome technology is not applied to the subject of the card in any way. The #9-S card of Saesee Tiin is a good example of how this doesn't work for a Chrome set. In the Refractor image it's barely even discernible that it is a refractor. Many of the photos chosen are also very dark- Chrome/Finest technology works best with bright, vibrant colors.

I ended up getting 73 of the 100 base cards, but, somewhat disappointingly, I also got 15 duplicates. Even if all the cards were new, there are not enough cards in the box to complete the set, but to get that many duplicates- including one pack where every card except the one-per-pack Refractor, including the insert, was a duplicate. This is an expensive box at north of $90 so that left me, as I said, disappointed. Luckily I didn't pay that much, sacrificing speed of acquisition for a discount.

I want to make it clear that although there are some things I was not happy with, I still love the set, and am thrilled that I was able to add them to my collection. I hope to be able to complete the set someday- perhaps by trading some of the duplicates I got for cards I didn't. (Hint, hint to any future readers!). If you are a Star Wars fan I would say buying a box is worth it. Like I said, there's really nothing truly new here...but the Chrome aspect is what makes it worth buying. This is only the 4th time ever Star Wars has gotten the Chrome/Finest treatment, and only the second time ever the Original Trilogy gets Chrome, after 2014's first Chrome Perspectives set- a set I missed totally as both were hobby store exclusive and I was not able to acquire. If a friend did not give me a duplicate from his collection the set would be totally missing from mine.

Enough talking, time for pictures! While I have scanned every card, scans do not do Chrome/Finest cards any justice, so you get photographs today.

Here are the Refractors. They fall one per pack for standard Refractors, and I got a Gold Refractor (Numbered to 50) and an X-Fractor (numbered to 99) in my box. The Saesee Tiin card I referenced above is the third card from the left in the top column. Yes, that IS a Refractor, but it's so dark you can't really tell.

Here are the base cards. There were too many to lay out and photograph, and they aren't sorted at all- just in whatever order I finished scanning them in.
I actually completed an insert set! That is pretty rare for me. Even when I could afford two boxes of every NBA and NASCAR set in the early 2000s I didn't really complete insert sets. They are the most common, falling at one in every other packs, but I don't care, I am happy to have complete it. I even got a duplicate from the set.
Here are the other inserts I got in the box. The Force Awakens card is a bit of a mystery. It's not listed as an insert to chase on the packaging, or on any of the official sources. It's card #76 so completing the set of those will be pretty hard, I imagine.
Here are the "hits" from the box. This is only my second Star Wars autograph. I did fairly well on insert odds; the Autographs fall one in every 81 packs, the X-Fractor one in 44, the Gold Refractor one in every 86 packs, and the medallions fall one per box. They are labeled as one in every 40 packs in a 24 pack box, but they still fall one per box. Not sure how the math works on that one, unless it's an average of the bronze (which I got) and the silver and gold medallion parallels. The only thing gold about the Gold Refractor is the honeycomb pattern at the top and bottom, it doesn't have the overall gold sheen as the previous (NBA) Gold Refractors I have does. The autograph is on-card, I know a lot of people care about that for some reason.
One other thing about the inserts- they do not have Refractor parallels, except the Autographs. They do have printing plates, but Refractors would have been nice. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog before, but I LOVE Refractors, my favorite parallel concept in trading card history.

And that's the break! It may seem like I wasn't all that happy with it, but that isn't the case- I loved it.

Just so you know what I mean by the scans not doing them justice, here's an example.


  1. That is a nice, clear sport for an auto, and Barbara has a hell of a clear signature. I have debated about this set, but I think I am going to pass. I may get a pack or two just for fun.

  2. Yeah, enjoyed the post, but these cards don't impress me at all, to be honest.