25 February 2016

Pack of the Day 127: 2015 Topps UFC Chronicles

I bought a pack of the new UFC card product, 2015 Topps UFC Chronicles. It's a comprehensive set that explores the history of the UFC. Chronicles is packed out in a Jumbo-box format, with each box containing 10 packs of 40 cards each. A box contains 5 hits and various inserts, parallels, and stamped buyback cards. With 5 hits per box there is a 50/50 chance that a pack will contain an autograph or relic card. The checklist is 275 cards strong, so it's pretty big for a UFC product.

Here are the pack odds for those who are into that kind of thing. I don't see all of the parallels listed on the pack here. Sepia are # 1 / 1, Red are # / 8, Gold are # / 88, Black & White are # / 188, Green (unlisted) are # / 288, and Silver (unlisted) are unnumbered. Maybe it's assumed that you are going to get Silver and Green in each pack? I don't really know.

I didn't scan all the base cards in the pack, but I scanned a good number of them. One thing I noticed right away was that there are a huge number of repeat photos. One glaring example of this is that Shogun Rua card in the bottom row, as it was the first photo in the 2015 Champions product and sat on top of the stack on my desk while I was building that set.

The card backs are pretty typical of these products, with some demographic data at the top, the fighter's Twitter handle, and a biographical paragraph. I should have scanned some of them, but throughout the checklist there are cards highlighting landmark events in the UFC's history like their 1,000th fight, adding the Women's divisions, and the crowning of different champions.

There are a lot of horizontal shots in the checklist, which probably works better anyway for this sport. My one real complaint about the cards outside of the rampant reuse of photos is that it is sometimes unclear which fighter in the photo is the one named on the card. I guess a true fan would be able to see it right off, but someone learning about the UFC would have to look it up. I guess I did scan one of the 'event' cards, as that Hughes vs. Trigg II card features their fight from UFC 57. I pulled some pretty decent names among my base cards, like Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo, and Holly Holm.

I think I scanned that Ronda Rousey card thinking it was a Silver parallel. It's not, but it can sometimes be tricky to tell with these. The Rory MacDonald and John Dodson cards are Silver parallels, and the differences are minute. The borders on the Silver cards are just a little more silver and a little less transparent than the white borders on the base cards. The Black & White parallels are probably the best-looking cards in the product. It would be cool to build a whole set of them, but I can't be taking on projects like that.

I got two Black & White parallels in this pack, so I guess one of them bumped the Green parallel I might have gotten? I didn't pull a hit in the pack, but I did get three inserts. Victorious Debut is a set that celebrates fighters who won their initial fights. Most Topps UFC products have a fight poster insert set, and this one is no different. Finally there is a set that celebrates rising stars in the sport (by reusing photos from old inserts), Climbing the Ranks.

Here are the backs of the Victorious Debut and Climbing the Ranks inserts. The Victorious Debut set lists the date and circumstances of the fight and the Climbing the Ranks cards describe the fighter's career trajectory so far.

The Black & White parallels (and other numbered parallels) carry their serial numbers in foil on the back border and the Fight Posters discuss the results of the event pictured on the front.

There isn't a lot of new ground covered in this product. I guess the retrospective cards are a nice look at the history of the UFC, but this would have been so much better without all of the repeat photos. It might also be nice to have a little more differentiation between the base and the Silver parallels. 2015 Topps UFC Champions had a similar issue, with the difference between base and Silver parallels being a slightly darker patch in the border design. I guess I prefer flashy parallels over parallels I have to strain to see.


  1. Nice looking product! Cool Robbie Lawler.

    1. Yeah, I like it when they get the belts in the pictures.

  2. I love this set and if I was still a set builder I would be working on it. I get a kick out of the look on Bader's face.

    1. I bought the base spot in a break. At some point I am going to do a post on how close a box gets you to a full set. That is a pretty good Bader card.

  3. I cannot seem to find this product where I live. Would it be possible for you to post the NPN Information from the back of the wrapper? Thanks.

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