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Topps Addresses 2022 Chrome Short Print Backlash

Topps Chrome Trouble

2022 Topps Chrome dropped on September 16, 2022. It was a highly anticipated release, but it may be the understatement of the year to say that it hasn’t gone well.

Collectors were a little miffed when the top rookies were only included as short prints, but things really blew up when it came out that the short prints weren’t even IN packs.

You can read all about the 2022 Topps Chrome Short Print Controversy here at Cardlines, but we wanted to provide another update as the plot thickens further.

September 20th: Topps responds on Twitter

Topps responded to what has been near universal condemnation of the 2022 Topps Chrome release on Twitter with a series of tweets on September 20th. The timing (close to 11 PM ET) was questionable.

The full content of the message:

Topps’ highest priority is our customers, and we want to provide you all with an update. As soon as we became aware of the questions regarding the 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball product, we immediately reached out to the manufacturer to uncover any issues. We now understand that the planned bonus short print parallels of five rookie subjects were incorrectly not included in the collation of the hobby boxes.

As the short print parallels were originally not part of the set and later added for an additional chase element, there was unfortunately a technical miscommunication about the product mix in the production process.For all future shipments of Chrome & for customers that have already purchased product thru http://Topps.com & hobby shops or breakers that purchased directly from us, we will provide 1 additional 2-card silver pack for each 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball hobby box purchased.

The short print parallels will be randomly inserted in these packs. We are working directly with every distribution channel of the product to ensure these packs are properly distributed through the original sellers. Our customers are and continue to be the main focus in everything that we do. Human errors unfortunately happen and when they do, we want to make it right. We are working to implement additional safeguards to minimize these types of mistakes in the future and will continue to strengthen our processes with partners. Stay tuned for more – we are quickly working on this and will provide further updates ASAP.

Collector response

Collector response has been swift. It also has been almost entirely negative. And full of some rather amusing memes (you should check it out).

Generally speaking, blaming “the manufacturer” when the collecting world considers YOU the manufacturer is poor form. The quality control here was lacking, both in the card production/distribution and the messaging.

The Topps announcement answered some questions, but raised many more.

Open questions after Topps statement

What about 2022 Topps Chrome Jumbo boxes?

Topps does not specifically mention Jumbo boxes in their announcement. Will they be included? One has to assume they will be, but will they get one silver pack? Two?

What about Retail Blasters?

Were short prints even intended to appear in retail boxes? Will they? If not, will there be any compensation offered?

With Topps distributing the silver packs to dealers and breakers who bought direct, what happens to collectors who bought from these or other third parties?

If you wanted to test the honesty of your LCS, online retailer, or breaker, this is your chance. If the cards don’t make their way into their rightful hands, we’ll hear about it. On the other hand, this is a great chance for those businesses to show they value honesty and customer service.

Doesn’t this make a lot of extra work for these businesses, since they now have to track and distribute the silver packs?

Yes, yes it does. And it’s unlikely they will be compensated for this by Topps.

Isn’t it a bit odd that Topps published this close to 11 PM ET?

Again, yes. This feels a lot more like an “11 AM” thing than an “11 PM” thing, don’t you think? Clearly an attempt to fly under the radar.

More questions (and hopefully a few answers) are sure to come up, so check back for the latest updates.

2022 Topps Chrome Hobby Boxes

What else could Topps do?

Some of the few non-negative (or at least not brutally negative) responses to Topps Twitter point out that at least Topps owned up to the problem as a positive. These collectors felt that the basic level of honesty is not something Panini would have exhibited, for example.

So, what should Topps have done? Or what more can they do? A two card pack with a chance of a hit doesn’t seem to be thrilling many collectors, which isn’t a surprise.

In some ways, these collectors might be overrating the chance they’d have pulled an SP even if they WERE included in boxes. But on the other hand, “you bought a box for $300 and the best cards weren’t even possible pulls, here’s two cards” seems a bit light.

There’s some talk of class action lawsuits, although I’m sure the ratio of “mentions of class action lawsuits on Twitter to actual class action lawsuits filed” is higher than the toughest sports card pull rates.

Topps probably should offer some kind of partial refund to go along with the silver packs, and do their best to make sure silver packs make their way to the rightful collectors. If or when they’ll do that is anyone’s guess.

What will also be interesting is how the product sells going forward, even connected to the silver packs. Will it sell at its current prices? Will Topps end up offering discounts to move it? Only time will tell.

Tough situation all around

This is a tough situation all around. Nobody likes to screw up, and hopefully Topps learns some lessons from the public bashing they are getting, and the added expense of making things at least partially right again.

We at Cardlines feel for those collectors who bought into the Topps Chrome product, especially at the high pre-sale prices, and ended up disappointed. That’s not what collecting is about, and hopefully these collectors have far better luck with their next purchase!

More 2022 Topps Chrome coverage

Mike D.

Mike D

Mike D. has collected cards for over 35 years, since he bought his first pack of Topps at the corner store in 1987. His fandom,  collecting interests, and contributions to Cardlines center around baseball in general and the Baseball Hall of Fame specifically.

Mike's collecting focus is centered on graded cards, mostly rookie cards, of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Lately, he's been enjoying dabbling in graded minor league cards. A collector/investor with a "buy and hold" approach, Mike takes the long-term view with his collection.

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