2023 Topps Chrome MLS is finally here only a few weeks after the 2023 season ended. I don’t normally do MLS reviews but there is a lot of excitement around this product thanks to a certain Inter Miami player…..Benja Cremaschi. Wait that is the Miami player everyone is waiting to collect? OK maybe it’s the Messi guy. After Topps completely botched the 2023 Topps MLS paper release, we have Chrome to get excited about. There is still a bit of uncertainty around this product as well, but I will do my best to provide a review. Hopefully the odds that Topps put out are right this time so we can confidently buy Lionel Messi cards without having the rug pulled out form under us.

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2023 Topps Chrome MLS Details


Box Makeup – ~7 parallels per hobby box, 1 auto, 1 speckle refractor
~2 base parallels per blaster with 1 being /125 Aqua x-Fractor, 6 Pink X-Fractor, Only Base Autos 1:10 blasters
Print Run – ~1700 hobby cases (Search On Ebay), ~18,000 blasters (Search On Topps)
Rookies To Look For – Benja Cremaschi (Search On Ebay), Diego Luna (Search On Ebay), Kristian Fletcher (Search On Ebay), Caden Glover (Search On Ebay) and a special shoutout to Preston Judd who’s a part of the hobby.

SCHQ Review – The good thing about 2023 Topps Chrome MLS is you get a lot of color per box as you can see in the breakdown above. That is in large part because the print run isn’t nearly as high as we see in Topps Chrome UEFA. That is also because there are almost 1000 (987) base color parallels of each card. The total number of parallels is actually down 40% from last year which is good and a step in the right direction. 987 parallels is still probably too many for any player not named Lionel Messi in this set but I want to be positive when I see positive things happening.

I don’t see many rookies in this product that could break out into general hobby lore anytime soon. Benja Cremaschi is going to be the one most people are chasing. I think he’s a good player, but I am not sure if he was on any other team but Miami his prices would be as high as they are. Kristian Fletcher is interesting from an age/position, but he is probably a few seasons away. Diego Luna could get a move which would cause some excitement, but I personally don’t love his age/position profile. There are other rookies that may get like Jacen Russell-Rowe that may get some Canadian love, but I am just looking at it more from general hobby penetration. If you think MLS collecting will keep growing now with Messi than there are some other players who are more MLS relevant. Topps really should’ve got Preston Judd involved in this release somehow since he is in the product and an active hobby participant.

Topps did a good job of getting Cremaschi and Fletcher autos in the product. They added 8 retired legends including Wayne Rooney, Kaka, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to name a few. Pearlers is a case hit and the print run on each is ~120 which is relevant since Messi and the big rookies get one. There are over 2000 each of Big City Striker base cards so you probably want to stick to the color there. There are ~50 Let’s Go base cards (Search On Ebay) for each so those Lionel Messi will be a bit interesting. There are ~190 base image variations (Search On Ebay) for each card of which Lionel Messi is included. That image is not nearly as cool as the Goat Variation in 2023 Topps MLS paper. There is also a Messi “Holiday Variation” which are numbered to 5. Four of them are in hobby and a lucky blaster opener will get one. You can compare those print runs to other Lionel Messi 2022-23 Soccer Card Case Hits. Since they are a color match that look cool for Messi and people seem to like there are ~540 Pink X Fractor or each player.

Lionel Messi has 1371 numbered base cards (Search On Ebay), including inserts, in 2023 Topps Chrome MLS. You will get about 1 Messi numbered card in roughly every 2 hobby cases. You will get a Messi card numbered /50 or lower about 1 in every 13 hobby cases. Needless to say, when he is by far where you are expecting most of your value back from those are tough numbers. There have been 2 numbered Messi base cards sold in eBay auction so far. A Neon Green /99 for $242 and a Gold Diamonds /50 for $560. Now I expect Messi Miami cards to sell for more than Messi PSG cards but just to give you an idea his 2023 Topps Chrome UEFA Green /99 sell for around $30 and Gold /50 for around $150. I don’t think Messi Miami cards will sell for 4-8x PSG when the dust settles. All this to say don’t get caught up in the early release hype.

Now the question of his autos. He is not on the auto checklist outside of a 1/1 Goat Variation Auto that is in hobby. The thing that makes this review a little tricky is the “Mystery Redemption Auto” (Search On Ebay) that Topps has included. That Mystery Redemption was also included in 2023 Topps MLS paper. Those Mystery Redemptions seem to have a full parallel color run. Of course, everyone is speculating that those are Messi autos. I have no information either way. It would be weird to me if Topps used 100’s (375 if full color run in Chrome and Paper) of their Messi sticker auto inventory on MLS products when they barely include many in UEFA products, but after seeing what they did with Erling Haaland autos in 2022-23 products nothing will surprise me (Shoutout BTL). I am not going to try and add it up but I would think Messi has less than 375 Topps PSG sticker autos total from every product he is in. He likely has less than 375 Topps Barcelona sticker autos from his time there as well. He would pass or get close to that in just 2 MLS products. Maybe now that he is in the US they will have access, and these could even be Messi on-card autos. That is what makes this product hard to give a definitive review on. Those Mystery Redemptions will sway the value of this product one way or the other. It’s just another way Topps has added even more of a gamble to opening cards. I can’t say I’m surprised. The thing I can’t figure out is if it’s not Messi than who could it be and is Topps willing to take the PR hit that would come if it’s not Messi.

Topps released 2023 Topps Chrome MLS hobby boxes at $100 and blasters at $25. They are clearly relying on the Messi hype since 2022 Topps Chrome MLS hobby boxes sell in the $40 range. The only way Lionel Messi makes a $60 per box difference is if those Mystery Redemption autos are in fact his and his numbered cards stay as high as they are currently. I would say these prices should settle down a little bit but the unknown, plus the print run and the fact that nothing else is releasing for another month I doubt they will. The good news is that it’s not too expensive either way so if you have the itch to rip there are worse things out there. I’ll update this once more is known on the Mystery Redemptions.

UPDATE – We now know that the Mystery Redemptions are Lionel Messi on-card autos. Box prices have been going up as it seemed like it was at the very least likely to be Messi. I have done a YouTube vid with BreakingTheLaw cards discussing what we think about the Messi autos and the effect on 2023 Topps Chrome MLS as well as the market in general. Check it out.

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