Monday, December 19, 2016

Opening a pack of 1992-93 Topps Chrome

Ahh, who doesn't love the Topps Chrome brand? Well, since I began scanning my collection, I don't like it as much as I once did, but there is nothing quite like the looks of the Topps Chrome cards. It doesn't hurt that the Refractor concept is my all-time favorite parallel in trading card history, although I was not lucky enough to pull one here.
I did, however, get four hall-of-famers who combined for more than 10 NBA Championships and are all widely respected legends of the game.

I even pulled a subset, something that disappeared from Topps Chrome in short order.

Wait, hold up.

1992-93 Topps Chrome? You might be thinking I lost my sometimes fragile grip on sanity, but no...these are quite real. That corner has not been turned, lol.

As we all know, the Topps Chrome brand debuted in 1996-97...these are all reprints, which should be obvious from the Magic Johnson card, which has that large Commemorative Series logo on it.

You see, the first three cards are all from the 1996-97 Topps Stars Rookie Reprints set, which was available in base, Chrome and Refractor versions. Since Topps did not produce cards between 1982-83 and 1992-93, they didn't issue actual rookie cards of any players who entered the NBA in that time frame...which is a lot of very important players. (Karl Malone- 1985-86, Scottie Pippen, 1987-88, David Robinson, 1989-90). For the Star years Topps got the license to reprint those cards, but Star ended after 1985-86 and 4 of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players did not get a Star card- the fourth is Shaquille O'Neal, who I wanted to be in this post but found his card too expensive so I got Scottie Pippen instead. (As a long time Jazz fan I don't have a lot of fondness for the 90s Bulls) But I want to complete the set someday anyway so might as well get it now.

The Magic Johnson card is from 2000-01 Topps Chrome, which had an insert set which reprinted each of Magic's Topps cards, in both Chrome and Refractor versions. (A seven card set). I had a couple options because Magic got three cards in 1992-93 Topps but I chose this one, since it not only had my favorite photo of the three, it was also the cheapest.

I always hoped that Topps would have gone back an issued a Chrome version of each of their sets from pre-1996-97. Alas, they never did, so I am limited to chasing the 50 Greatest Players rookie reprints, and the Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reprints of 2001-02. There was, as far as I know, never a single Chrome issue of any cards from the 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96 sets.

I also wished Topps would have gone back and issued actual sets- on the old school brown card stock- for the missing years of 1982-83 through 1991-92. Also for the missing years before 1969-70. The Topps Archives name originally debuted on a set of just some rookies from each year before taking on a major lifespan in baseball.

Maybe with the new CBA the NBA and NBPA just signed Topps will get the license back and do just that. I'll always hope.


  1. I miss seeing Stockton and Malone working together on the court. And I was disappointed that David Robinson didn't speak at the ceremony for Tim Duncan but that is a cool card.

  2. Replies
    1. Not yet but hopefully they will. I would like to see them, Panini and Upper Deck all have the licence again.

  3. Good one- you had me fooled. I was like how did I miss that release, forgetting that Chrome came much later.

    1. I'm glad I was able to keep it going for a while there, I thought it would be fun to run with this joke for a bit.

  4. I was really confused for a minute there. I really like the 92 Topps design so I'm sure the Chrome versions look great in person.

    1. They do. Someday I'll get the Shaq and have them all. Thanks!

  5. These are awesome! Missing Topps with a NBA license.