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2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years Of Wonder Helps Fill The Void Of Disney Releases

disney 100 years of wonder 2023 topps chrome release

The world’s top children’s media brand and trading cards seem like a natural combination.

True, trading cards are more of a college bro and middle-aged nerd pastime than a kid’s thing nowadays. But they love Disney, too, which is a great way to get kids into cards.

Therefore, it is almost incredible that Topps has taken this long to issue Disney trading cards. Of course, making marketing deals with Disney is challenging because their brands are so iconic, and they are incredibly aware of that.

And these are not the first Disney trading cards ever made. But we will get to that. But does this new release work and do justice to this world-famous conglomerate’s centuries of incredible work?

Read the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder Review to find out.

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History Of 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder

There have been multiple collectible card releases featuring Disney characters over the years. Most of them come from before the company was quite as powerful as it has become in recent years.

The vintage sets are usually tobacco company cards. The earliest Disney cards I could track down were the 1932 J.L. Tiedemanns Walt Disney Card Series, released only in Norway.

So our fjord-bound friends are responsible for the first known Mickey Mouse cards. Who knew? These are absolute works of art, arguably featuring better animation than the Walt Disney cartoons of the era.

The first domestic release was the 1935 Gum, Inc. Mickey Mouse (R89 and R90) releases. There were also later American releases, such as the 1957 Barratt & Co. Ltd Walt Disney Characters set.

Until the late 1990s, licensing was not prohibitively expensive. Disney characters appeared in movies from other production companies, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, made by Touchstone Pictures (and absolutely rocks). Therefore, you had things like the 1991 and 1992 Impel Wax Pack Cartoon Box Trading Card Set.

Recently, Disney has tried to capitalize on its brand by launching a Trading Card Game. The Disney Lorcana: Trading Card Game, made by German toy company Ravensburger AG, was launched on August 18, 2023.

In it, you can be a magician wielding magical Disney characters. We hate being mean, but it is a Magic: The Gathering rip-off. However, the art and concept are cool.

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Fighting over Disney rights

But as we go through the many releases of Disney cards over the years (and we have only scratched the surface), the significance of the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder release becomes clear.

In the 1990s and onward, Upper Deck released some Disney products. For example, the 1992 Beauty and the Beast set. More recently, they have released some e-packs like Disney’s Mickey Mouse.

But this is the first significant card company release featuring a broad cross-section of Disney characters. Considering how long that company and trading cards have been around, that is a huge deal.

Topps has released these cards only in the UK and Europe because of a dispute over Disney character trading card rights. Upper Deck still seems to own the rights in the United States.

If we know Fanatics, they are likely already making moves to replace the California-based company as the home for Disney trading cards. This release is likely the first move towards that.

Adding to the drama, Upper Deck sued Ravensburger AG. This company is producing the Disney Lorcana: Trading Card Game for infringing on their rights and stealing the mechanism for their game from Rush of Ikorr, an Upper Deck game still in development.

And with pretty good grounds, too. Ryan Miller, the guy who developed Rush of Ikorr, terminated his contract with Upper Deck to work for Ravensburger in October 2020, and the mechanism is very similar.

But of course, as I said, this is all Magic: The Gathering wannabe stuff to begin with. Upper Deck’s attempt to hold up a Disney game is not winning brownie points for them at Disney HQ in Burbank.

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2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder Review release date

The 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder aired on December 13, 2023. Unfortunately, it was only released in Europe and the UK so far. No news of an American release has reached us yet.

In this review section, I am used to whining and moaning about late releases. But, of course, there is no season for Disney characters.

Nonetheless, considering that the Walt Disney Company was founded on October 16, 1923, you could make an argument that this release is incredibly late.

But the century landmark does make the release of 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder very fitting.

2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder release formats

So far, the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder is available in only one format: a hobby box. That goes along with the generally limited scope of this release so far.

It is also only available in the UK and EU. We will watch for more release formats if they are announced. However, there is a good chance that there won’t be any.

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Hobby box

  • 18 four-card packs per box
  • 4 guaranteed serial-numbered parallel cards
  • Boxes typically include three Iconic Moments, two Stitch In Costume cards, and one Off The Page card, along with 30 base cards
  • Boxes opened at £150 ($187.72) via Topps UK
  • Available on eBay for $400

2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder pros

The release is the first-ever major American card company release of Disney Trading Cards.

The ability of Topps to get such an exclusive and selective brand to agree to release through their auspices is a show of force. However, the licensing in Europe and the UK only does raise some questions.

You can’t argue with the deep roster of characters in the Disney catalog, and they are well-selected for this release. I immediately scanned the checklist to make sure my favorite character (Dumbo, of course) was present and accounted for. Whoever you have a soft spot for, they are likely included.

The parallels are great. They use the well-known parameters of the Topps sports releases to the best effect possible. There are a lot of scarce cards that could be worth a good deal of value.

In addition, while there aren’t too many inserts or autos, the ones included are very well-selected and will satisfy Disney fanatics. Finally, as we will discuss, the fact that this release is geographically limited will probably do wonders for its long-term value.

2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder cons

The biggest con is the availability of the boxes. According to the Topps listing, you can only purchase these in the United Kingdom and European Union.

So, you cannot order them directly from Topps UK, where they are available. That sucks and is probably the result of whatever tortured deal Topps reached with the notoriously tricky lawyers working for The Walt Disney Company.

However, that is not necessarily a massive problem. You will certainly be able to get boxes and singles from collectors in Europe through eBay and other e-commerce platforms.

The more limited release may also help boost the value of the cards. After all, the biggest depressant of value is over-printing.

If the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder boxes are only available in markets wherein trading cards are less popular, that will likely limit production. This may make the release more prestigious, lower populated, and valuable.

The design for these cards is surprisingly lackluster. Perhaps because it’s a non-US design, Topps did not put its best people on it. But there is no actual unifying theme for the different cards.

Many do not have the visual appeal that these iconic characters deserve. Nonetheless, among the cards are some beautiful specimens. There isn’t a high standard across the board.

2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder checklist

The checklist is excellent. The base set has only 100 characters in it. There definitely could be many more, considering how many classic characters Disney has created over the years.

But if you were going to choose just 100 (and it makes sense since this is a 100-year release), you could do much worse than what Topps has done here. They appeased me by including Dumbo, but they have a solid overall list.

It consists of the obvious choices like Mickey Mouse and Ariel. But also some wildcards like Stitch, the Mad Hater from Alice and Wonderland, Scrooge McDuck, and Merlin from The Sword and the Stone. It is a fitting tribute to a spectacular body of work. No notes on the base list.

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Parallels

The base set comes with the following parallels:

  • Refractor (1:3)
  • Pink  /399 (1:11)
  • Purple  /299 (1:15)
  • 100-Year Diamond  /100 (1:45)
  • Green  /99 (1:46)
  • Dark Blue & Light Blue  /75 (1:61)
  • Gold Wave  /50 (1:91)
  • Red & Black Wave  /28 (1:163)
  • Orange Wave  /25 (1:182)
  • Blue Wave  /23 (1:198)
  • Black Kaleidoscope  /10 (1:456)
  • Red Kaleidoscope  /5 (1:912)
  • SuperFractor 1/1 (1:4,581)

Inserts

Disney offered so many unforgettable moments and storylines. It offers Topps a great menu of ideas to go through and create inserts. But I have to say, they do not make the most of it.

The Iconic Moments Set is great and just what Disney enthusiasts will want. But after that, it is pretty slim pickings.

Iconic Moments (1:6)

  • Gold Wave #/50 (1:365)
  • Red & Black Wave #/28 (1:651)
  • Orange Wave #/25 (1:728)
  • Blue Wave #/23 (1:793)
  • Black Kaleidoscope #/10 (1:1,821)
  • Red Kaleidoscope #/5 (1:3,657)
  • SuperFractor 1/1 (1:18,135)

In this insert, Topps commemorates some of the most unforgettable moments in Disney films. Am I sad it doesn’t include Dumbo flying for the first time? You bet I am.

But there are so many great selections here that I am almost willing to forgive them. For example, there is the “Circle of Life” scene from The Lion King, the “I’m a Real Boy” moment from Pinocchio, and the “Turn Left, To Turn Right” scene from Cars.

These are great, and I have a feeling the parallels will have value.

Off The Page (1:18)

  • Gold Wave #/50 (1:912)
  • Red & Black Wave #/28 (1:1,624)
  • Orange Wave #/25 (1:1,821)
  • Blue Wave #/23 (1:1,978)
  • Black Kaleidoscope #/10 (1:4,581)
  • Red Kaleidoscope #/5 (1:9,068)
  • SuperFractor 1/1 (1:43,524)

The Off the Page insert features some of the best-known characters in their earliest drawn incarnations. It is an excellent testament to the visual roots of some of the most prominent figures in the company’s history.

Some examples include the Big Bad Wolf and Clarabelle the Cow.

Once Upon A Time Set (1:216)

  • Gold Wave #/50 (1:1,821)
  • Red & Black Wave #/28 (1:3,248)
  • Orange Wave #/25 (1:3,657)
  • Blue Wave #/23 (1:3,957)
  • Black Kaleidoscope #/10 (1:9,068)
  • Red Kaleidoscope #/5 (1:18,135)
  • SuperFractor 1/1 (1:87,048)

These inserts are pretty rare, even in their base version. They are homages to the best-known Disney interpretations of fairy tales.

The checklist is short but filled with quality. It includes Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Alice In Wonderland, and Beauty and The Beast.

Disney Topps Chrome Autos

What does an auto of a Disney character mean? Honestly, I am not sure. The best I can tell is it’s a facsimile of what the character’s autograph would look like. For example, Goofy’s autograph includes a paw in it.

Very cute. But you know, it’s also a bit lame. Anyway, I am not here to spoil the party. So, let’s see what kinds of autos we can expect in 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder.

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Dual Autographs (/99 or less)

  • Green  /99 (1:573)
  • Dark Blue & Light Blue  /75 (1:754)
  • Gold Wave  /50 (1:1,135)
  • Red & Black Wave  /28 (1:2,015)
  • Orange Wave  /25 (1:2,262)
  • Blue Wave  /23 (1:2,449)
  • Black Kaleidoscope  /10 (1:5,607)
  • Red Kaleidoscope  /5 (1:11,379)
  • SuperFractor 1/1 (1:55,269).

These feature pairings of two related Disney characters, with their autographs in on-card blue ink. There are only seven of these, but they are VERY well selected.

They include Buzz Lightyear & Woody, Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck & Daisy Duck, and Joy & Sadness from Inside Out.

Quad Autographs (/10 or less)

  • Black Kaleidoscope  /10 (1:13,341)
  • Red Kaleidoscope  /5 (1:25,792)
  • SuperFractor 1/1 (1:128,960).

These cards are scarce. And the parallels are genuinely almost impossible to pull.

There are only four of these on the checklist: Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pluto & Donald Duck; Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora & Rapunzel; and finally, Belle, Ariel, Moana & Mulan. Wait, no Princess Jasmine?

2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder value

We don’t know how much value these boxes will have in the long term. There aren’t enough previous releases similar enough to be compared, either. Nonetheless, there is reason to believe these cards and boxes will have some value.

A similar Asian release, the Disney 100 Years of Wonder Phantom Hobby Box by Kakawow, is now selling for $500 a box.

The 2023 Topps Chrome Disney, 100 Years of Wonder release has the advantage of having the most prominent name behind the hobby. But it will also avoid the trap of mass production by selling only in Europe and the UK.

Indeed, the boxes are now selling for $400 from the UK. So, if you can get them for the $187.72 they sell on the Topps UK website, you will likely make a nice profit.

And Topps has done an excellent job of including many lower-numbered parallels and refractors. Some of the inserts are pretty rare to begin with.

Therefore, the best cards here will have substantial value. Or at least that looks pretty likely. I will be trying my luck with a Dumbo Refractor if I can get my hands on one. Hoping to pay off the mortgage with that one.

Final word of the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder release

At first glance, the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder is a cool one-off release designed to commemorate an important milestone. And indeed, a century of wholesome Disney entertainment is worth celebrating.

But this is the beginning of a lasting partnership between Topps and Disney. Upper Deck would not be suing to stop Disney from producing a headlining card game if they had a healthy partnership going.

As for the release itself, it has its flaws. The design could be better. There isn’t a significant amount of depth in the inserts or autos. It’s also not clear what these autos are precisely.

Nonetheless, the advantages of the 2023 Topps Chrome Disney 100 Years of Wonder set outweigh the disadvantages. The setlist is well chosen. The parallels are rare and use terminology familiar to sports card collectors.

Everyone wants a superfractor of their favorite character. And finally, because it’s a limited European release, the market will not be saturated with these cards.

So, even if there is an equivalent American release, the cards in the UK and EU versions will likely be more valuable.

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is the emeritus editor of Cardlines. He continues to write for several hobby outlets, including this one and Cardbase. He collects primarily vintage baseball and soccer and has a weird obsession with 1971 Topps.

In his spare time, Shaiel is sobbing into his bourbon when the Mets lose and playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a past life, Dr. Ben-Ephraim was a political science professor, journalist, and diplomat. But cards are more fun.

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