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What We Know So Far About The Return Of Topps Chrome Basketball

The return of Topps Chrome Basketball for the 2023-24 season has sparked a buzz among collectors and basketball fans alike after it was recently announced at the Topps Showcase.

Topps is finally bringing back its beloved Topps Chrome Basketball line after a long hiatus, scheduled for release in the summer of 2024. This re-emergence is especially noteworthy, as it combines the nostalgia of one of the most iconic sports card lines with the latest card technology.

Here’s everything you need to know about this big news. 

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A history of Topps Chrome

Topps Chrome made its debut in the sports card market in the late 1990s, quickly distinguishing itself with its high-gloss finish, superior quality, and innovative chrome technology. This line was an extension of the standard Topps sets but offered a more premium and durable collectible using a chromium printing process that became its signature.

While Topps Finest is probably the “grandfather of optichrome cards,” Topps Chrome was certainly the brand to make it mainstream and exciting. 

The early Topps Chrome releases were a hit, with basketball editions becoming particularly popular. These cards captured memorable moments and featured the biggest NBA stars of the era, rendered in sharp, vivid detail that was unmatched at the time. The 1996-97 Topps Chrome series, for example, is highly revered, not least because it included one of Kobe Bryant’s most sought-after rookie cards.

Over the years, Topps Chrome expanded its offerings, introducing various parallels and special editions, which included refractors and limited-edition prints that added to their collectability and appeal. The basketball line continued to innovate until 2009, after which Topps lost its license to produce NBA cards, leading to a pause in their basketball card production.

The 2008-09 Topps Chrome set, the last standalone set before the hiatus, was celebrated for its straightforward yet high-quality production, featuring only six parallels, a stark contrast to the extensive parallel lineups seen in today’s card sets. (Note that the 2009-10 Topps product included chrome inserts in the standard Topps release).

What we know about 2023-24 Topps Chrome 

So, what do we know about this big release? As far as what’s actually been confirmed… the answer is “very little.”

The 2023-24 Topps Chrome Basketball set marks Topps’s grand re-entry into basketball card production. This upcoming set will be unlicensed, meaning it won’t feature NBA team logos due to licensing rights currently held by Panini America.

Nonetheless, it promises to be a hit with collectors given its rookie cards, including those of Victor Wembanyama, and autographs from current basketball luminaries like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry.

Our best guess as to what unfolds

Details about the box configuration and price are yet to be released; however, if we take cues from Topps’s last basketball product and the evolution of the sports card industry, several educated guesses can be made. 

It’s likely that the 2023-24 Topps Chrome will feature a more extensive range of parallels and possibly new chrome technology enhancements to appeal to the modern collector.

Here’s a look at the 2009-2010 parallel lineup, if nothing else because it’s amazingly nostalgic and I miss having a smaller rainbow that made everything more valuable. 

  • Refractor
  • Orange Refractor – #/499
  • X-Fractor #/288
  • Gold Refractor – #/50
  • Red Refractor – #/5
  • SuperFractor – 1/1 (Hobby)
  • Printing Plates – 1/1

The structure might remain similar, with 24 packs per box and four cards per pack, including one rookie autograph per box. However, there might be an expansion in the variety of inserts and autographed cards, considering the current trends in sports card collecting.

Don’t be surprised to see 2 guaranteed autos, or at least the “rookie” dropped off the auto guarantee. 

How much will 2023-24 Topps Chrome Basketball cost?

The price of the 2023-24 Topps Chrome Basketball boxes could range significantly. Topps has done a pretty good job keeping the boxes affordable in the basketball space, with Bowman U usually not going north of $300.

It’s safe to guess the cost will be a bit more than that, but less than the $1,000+ Panini is known to ask for Prizm.

Cnsidering the Wemby appeal and excitement of pulling his auto, the boxes are positioned as a premium product. Prices should start in the mid to high hundreds — depending on the box setup. For example, if the box includes multiple guaranteed autographs, prices could skew higher.

Investment advice for 2023-24 Topps Chrome basketball

The resurgence of Topps Chrome Basketball offers a unique opportunity for collectors and investors. The inclusion of top NBA stars and the excitement of Wemby rookies, combined with the nostalgic value of Topps Chrome, gives us a product that could take off in the future.

That said, without a license, the ceiling is lower than it will be in normal years, and without a release price yet, every investment feels more speculative than you’d like. As we learn more, we’ll update you on how we are proceeding, personally. 


Topps Chrome Basketball’s 2023-24 release is poised to rekindle the excitement of Topps basketball card collecting. Whether you’re a longtime enthusiast or new to the hobby, this product offers something for everyone.

From its rich history to its modern execution, Topps Chrome remains a cornerstone of sports cards.

Keep an eye on Cardlines.com and follow us on social media for continuous updates and expert insights on how to maximize your experience with this iconic line.

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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