Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2003 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractor (AKA Retrofractor)

 Set size: 100 cards

Front Design: Cards are identical to the 2003 Topps Heritage design, which itself is based on the 1954 Topps design. Two player photos - one close-up portrait and a full-body action image - are cropped over a monochromatic background. The player's name, position, and team are at the top, as is the team logo. A facsimile autograph is placed over the photographs at the bottom. The fronts have a refractorized chrome finish.

Back Design: The backs replicate the 2003 Heritage design. The player's name, vitals, and career highlights biography appears in the white upper portion of the horizontal card. Prior year and career statistics appear in the middle, and a cartoon fills the bottom third. The card number is in a baseball in the upper-left corner, and the word "RETROFACTOR" appears beneath the THC-prefixed card number. Cards are serial numbered in the lower right corner over the cartoon.

Parallels and Similars: This is the rarer of the two parallels inserted into 2003 Topps Heritage. Other than the refractor finish, serial numbering, and retrofactor notation, cards are identical to the Topps Heritage Chrome set, which is a partial parallel of the regular 2003 Topps Heritage set.

Distribution: Cards were randomly inserted into packs of 2003 Topps Heritage. Regular Chrome cards, of which there are four times as many, were inserted 1:8 packs, so we can assume these were inserted approximately 1:36 packs.

Thoughts: The 1954 Topps design isn't my favorite, but it is one of the best. Seeing it in refractor version is okay. I have one real problem with the card: the serial number on the back could have been positioned better. I won't be completing this set, since I don't really care for Heritage.

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