MetaZoo has been wildly popular since it arrived on the map back in early 2021. At one point, it looked like the marketing team at MetaZoo would have their logo on everything from underwear to jugs of milk if they had their way. Then, in late 2021, the news hit. MetaZoo was about to collaborate with Topps on a brand-new collectible card set.
Although that 2021 Topps Series 0 Cryptid Nation set didn’t set the world on fire, it proved to both Topps and MetaZoo that there was a market. Then, in March 2022, the MetaZoo Topps Wilderness set hit shelves. And most recently, in April 2023, we saw the arrival of MetaZoo Topps Chrome Series 0.
Now that Topps and MetaZoo have collaborated on a few sets, this series of sets could continue. That begs the question, is the MetaZoo Topps Chrome set worth buying? We all know Topps Chrome is the best of the best for their product line, but does that mean we should buy the MetaZoo version?
Let me tell you what I think. I’ve had quite a bit of experience in Topps products over the last 40+ years, so I have my opinion based on that history. Let’s get into it.
What is MetaZoo Topps Chrome?
MetaZoo Topps Chrome is a set of cards released in April 2023 depicting beasties and cryptids from MetaZoo’s trading card game, specifically the MetaZoo Cryptid Nation set. After two other successful online-only Topps/MetaZoo releases, this new MetaZoo Topps Chrome Series 0 set is sold through hobby and retail stores and comes in both retail Blaster boxes (4-packs, 4-cards per pack) or Hobby Boxes (20-packs, 4-cards per pack.)
The Topps MetaZoo Series 0 Cryptid Nation set consists of 150 Base Cards, and there are also Topps Chrome Refractor versions of those cards as well as chase cards, some of which are only found in Blaster or Hobby boxes.
Topps is known for their chase cards (rare and sometimes valuable cards that are randomly inserted into packs), and they certainly filled this MetaZoo Chrome set with lots of them. These packs have everything from parallel refractors to sequentially numbered versions of those refractors. There are also unique insert cards outside of the 150-card set that you can find as well.
The more limited the insert or chase card, the harder it will be to find and the more value it will have. In true Topps fashion, inserts and chase cards play a huge role in this MetaZoo Topps Chrome set.
MetaZoo Topps Chrome Print Run: How Much Did Topps Make?
Because Topps hardly ever releases print runs, the only way to determine how many cards they printed is by reverse engineering the numbers based on the insert or chase card odds. If you know there are only 1000 of a specific chase card, and Topps indicates on the packs how often you can find that card, you can do some quick math and get an idea of the total print run of the set.
Rather than go deep into those numbers (I’m good at math, but there are easier ways), I did some deep Internet searching and found the following:
- The consensus amongst the MetaZoo Facebook groups is that Topps printed between 3,125 and 3,750 Hobby Cases.
- Each Hobby Case contains 8 boxes, so approximately 25,000 to 30,000 Hobby Boxes were printed.
- The consensus is also that approximately 105,000 to 110,000 Retail Blaster Boxes were printed.
- Based on the numbers, it’s a 55/45 split between HOBBY and RETAIL. This means that 55% of the print run is dedicated to MetaZoo Topps Chrome Bobby Boxes and 45% to Retail Blaster Boxes (plus/minus a few percent, of course.)
These numbers are approximate, and that’s really all we’re looking for here. Based on math, I want a reasonably accurate ballpark number, and I think we have it here.
Remember that this is an inexact science because you must put in the “TOPPS FACTOR”. The Topps Factor (which I’ve called it over the years) basically says you have NO IDEA what Topps ACTUALLY did and NO IDEA how much they printed. You can guess, but you’ll never know unless they tell us. In this case, they didn’t tell us.
If you’re really into math, I encourage you to watch MetaZooHKO’s video below. He goes into super detail based on the odds printed on the boxes. Kudos to MetaZooHKO for doing this deep dive, as I don’t think many of us out there could have done the math any better than he did.
So what does the print run tell me?
I believe the numbers are pretty high for a product such as MetaZoo, especially because they have nowhere near the following that Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon does. I would have liked to see a Topps print run that was half of these numbers to create some buzz and scarcity, but when have I seen Topps do that? Hardly ever.
Suppose MetaZoo continues its upward trajectory in the market, and players and collectors like the cards, the sets, the company, etc. In that case, I think this amount of MetaZoo Topps Chrome product will get absorbed. People are going after those insert/chase cards, which will help. We’ll get into that more below.
Topps Chrome MetaZoo Card Values: Are They Worth Anything?
Yes, MetaZoo Topps Chrome cards are worth some decent money, depending on which cards you find. As you would expect, values are lower for base cards but can get quite expensive for the harder to find chase cards.
Most base Chrome cards are worth very little, fetching only a few dollars each. The value is typically in the numbered refractors and the more limited insert cards. So, expect the base Chrome cards not to be worth a lot.
However, a few very rare numbered refractor cards have been found, and they have sold for some big bucks. Here are some of those sales:
- 8/27/23 Mothman #45 – Base Refractor (SuperFractor #1/1) $11,100
- 8/24/23 Babe The Blue Ox – Cryptid Camera (#3F) (Superfractor #1/1) $2,001
- 6/30/23 Lake Worth Monster #35 – Base Refractor (SuperFractor #1/1) $650
- 6/26/23 Wapaloosie #72 – Base Refractor (SuperFractor #1/1) $500
- 6/19/23 Mothman Cryptid Camera (#45F) (Black Refractor #4/5) $1,025
Can MetaZoo Topps Chrome Boxes or Packs Be Weighed to Find Valuable Inserts?
Yes, MetaZoo Topps Chrome packs can be weighed to find the more valuable cards. Although many people say you cannot weigh the boxes or packs to determine if they contain special inserts or extra cards, that’s not entirely true and I proved that wrong myself.
I opened a Blaster Box that I purchased from Target a while back and weighed each pack. Out of the four packs in the box, three of them weighed 16-grams and one of them weighed 13-grams. After opening the packs, the three that were heavier each had 5-cards (instead of the advertised 4-cards) and the extra card was the “Xfractor” only found in retail blaster packs.
So that proved the theory that MetaZoo Topps Chrome packs can be weighed and searched to find heavier packs containing the 5th card.
Because packs can be weighed, I would be careful about buying loose packs as there is a possibility they could have been weighed and compromised to a degree.
Is MetaZoo Topps Chrome Worth Buying?
Although Topps is a great brand, and the Topps Chrome products typically do very well in sports cards, I’m not sold on the idea that MetaZoo Topps Chrome will have the same success.
When it comes to Trading Card Games, the value comes from the print run, the card’s rarity, and the card’s usefulness in gameplay. Since there is no gameplay usefulness in the MetaZoo Topps Chrome cards, I’m skeptical about whether it’s worth buying.
Knowing I’ll have to spend $30-40 currently for a Retail Blaster Box and $80-100 for a Hobby Box, I would much rather spend that money on actual MetaZoo cards. For around $100 (or even less) I can get a brand new 36-pack Booster Box of just about any of the sets (Cryptid Nation 2nd Edition, Wilderness, UFO, Seance, and Native) instead. That, to me, is a better deal.
Since MetaZoo is still small potatoes in the Trading Card universe, time will tell if it becomes one of the big boys on the block, like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon. There’s an excellent chance MetaZoo will continue to grow in popularity; if that happens, the MetaZoo Topps Chrome boxes and cards could increase in value.
But for now, if you’re just into collecting the cards and you like them for what they are (simple collectible cards), go for it. I would not expect any huge returns any time soon, but the set is unique, reasonably limited, and worth buying if you enjoy the cards and the fun of collecting them.
That’s all for now. Keep checking back for more MetaZoo content and we’ll see you soon!
Brian CooperBrian Cooper is the founder of Magic Card Investor and has been in the trading card industry since the 1980's and Magic The Gathering since 1994. Since then, his mission is to bring the nostalgia and joy of collecting trading cards to everyone and to help people learn about (and maybe even profit from) this fun and rewarding pastime.
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