Compared to last year’s article on GPK Chrome 5 production, this year’s article on GPK Chrome 6 will be a walk in the park. Thankfully, Topps has fixed the numerous problems with the odds from last year’s set. C6 is the third GPK Chrome set in the last 53 weeks released by Topps. C5 left a sour taste in collector’s mouths due to not only the famously incorrectly odds, but also the over inflated print run the company decided to produce. While C6 is by no means small, collectors should be happy to know Topps got the memo, and decreased production significantly. Let’s take a look and see just how much 2023 Garbage Pail Kids Chrome OS 6 is out there!
First my disclaimer! Production numbers are never an exact science, and Topps makes it tough on us. In order to attempt to solve this riddle we need to look very closely at the clues in both the odds and the sell sheets. Some things to keep in mind for this post. 1) Topps doesn’t want the public to know exactly how much of each card was made. Why? No idea really, I think it’s dumb, but historically Topps only provides enough information to get close. 2) We need to make some assumptions. Those assumptions will be based on the clues we have, but still some guessing has to happen. 3) The odds never quite seem to come out completely equal. However, we can round and get pretty close to how much was produced. 4) Topps changes what is printed from what the sell sheet says all the time. This will throw off all our numbers. 5) Keep in mind Topps historically holds back up to 5% of the print run to cover missing hits, damaged cards, and their No Purchase Necessary program. These numbers would include that 5%. With all that in mind let’s get started…(Warning lots of math coming up. If you don’t want to read about the process, skip to the bottom for the answer sheet!)
Chrome 6 makes me happy. Why? Because I don’t have the do the mathematic gymnastics I had to do to figure out the C5 print run. Actually, Topps made it easier than ever by making many of the parallels having the same odds in each product. C6 only has two box types available, and each box has exclusive parallels, so we are easily able to figure out the pack count for each individual box. Let’s take a look at Hobby boxes first.
There are three exclusive numbered parallels inserted into Hobby boxes. Let’s start by taking a look at those.
- Orange borders – 100 cards in set * 75 made per card = 7,500 total Orange borders * 103 odds = 772,500 total Hobby packs
- Black Wave – 100 cards in set * 99 made per card = 9900 total BW borders * 79 odds = 782,100 total Hobby packs
- Red borders – 100 cards in set * 5 made per card = 500 total Red borders * 1,539 odds = 769,500 total Hobby packs
All three of those numbers are very close to each other. I’m going to use the Red Refractor number for the rest of the article, 769,500 Hobby packs! Well look at that, not only is that less than C5, but it’s also less than C4. It’s not dramatically lower, but here’s the first evidence we see that the print run for C6 is less. Now let’s look at the Retail Blaster Production. There are two parallels that are exclusive to Blasters.
- Black borders – 100 cards in set * 99 made per card = 9900 total Black borders * 70 odds = 693,000 total Blaster packs
- Gold borders – 100 cards in set * 50 made per card = 5,000 total Gold borders * 139 odds = 695,000 total Blaster packs
Those numbers are darn close to each other! I’m going to go with the 695,000 number for total C6 Blaster packs. One note on Black and Gold odds. Collectors have found both Black and Gold in Hobby boxes, while it’s been very few so far, it would mean the odds aren’t accurate for those two parallel types. However, I am comfortable using the odds for production numbers because it’s what Topps intended until the pack out process incorrectly seeded some into Hobby packs. Wow! Retail production is down dramatically from C5. Not only is there a huge amount less of Blaster packs from C5, but there are less Blaster packs than C4, and C3!
For the first time ever we can check our work because Topps used the same odds across both box types for Green, Yellow, Purple, and Prism Refractors. We can use those numbers to figure out total pack production.
- Green borders – 100 cards in set * 299 made per card = 29,900 total Green borders * 49 odds = 1,465,100 total C6 packs
- Yellow borders – 100 cards in set * 275 made per card = 27,500 total yellow borders * 54 odds = 1,485,000 total C6 packs
- Purple borders – 100 cards in set * 250 made per card = 25,000 total Purple borders * 59 odds = 1,475,000 total C6 packs
- Prism – 100 cards in set * 199 made per card = 19,900 total Prisms * 74 odds = 1,472,600 total C6 packs
When you add my numbers above for Hobby and Blaster packs you get 1,464,500, which is very close to all the numbers we just reviewed. As an aside, after reviewing early case breaks the odds appear to be very close to what was released by Topps. I’m very confident we are close on production numbers for C6.
Topps made it too easy this time around. Let’s take a look at how the C6 numbers stack up against previous Chrome sets.
- Total Production
- Chrome OS 1 – 1,096,370
- Chrome OS 2 – 513,260
- Chrome OS 3 – 1,310,000
- Chrome OS 4 – 1,812,500
- Chrome OS 5 – 3,225,400
- Chrome OS 6 – 1,464,500
- Hobby Pack Production
- Chrome OS 1 – 407,000
- Chrome OS 2 – 71,500
- Chrome OS 3 – 560,000
- Chrome OS 4 – 982,500
- Chrome OS 5 – 1,050,000
- Chrome OS 6 – 769,500 or 32,062 boxes or 2,671 cases.
- Retail Pack Production
- Chrome OS 1 – 689,370
- Chrome OS 2 – 441,760
- Chrome OS 3 – 750,000
- Chrome OS 4 – 830,000
- Chrome OS 5 – 2,175,400 (1,841,400 Blaster/334,000 Hanger)
- Chrome OS 6 – 695,000 or 115,833 Blasters or 2,895 Cases
Right away the thing that stands out is how much less, especially Retail Blasters, there are in C6. Total production is down 56%! Hobby production is down 26%! Total Retail production down 68%! Total production and Hobby production is also lower than C4. Retail production comes in lower than C4, and even C3! It’s clear Topps realized how big of a mistake they made with the C5 print run.
Next let’s look at the production for the unnumbered card types in the set. Refractors, Atomic Refractors, C Name, and Color Errors are all unnumbered. Because the odds are the same, or just 1 number off, we can easily figure out how many of each type of these were printed.
- C Name Variation – 1,464,500 total packs / 100 odds = 14,645 total C cards / 50 cards in set = 292 each C Name Variation
- Color Error – 1,464,500 total packs / 147 odds = 9,963 total CE cards / 50 cards in set = 199 each CE card
- Refractors – 1,463,500 total packs / 3 odds = 488,166 Total Refractors / 100 cards in set = 4,881 each regular Refractor
- Atomic Refractors – 695,000 total Blaster packs / 2 odds = 347,500 total Atomics / 100 cards in set = 3,475 each Atomic Refractor.
As expected the print run for the unnumbered cards are much lower than C5 due to the print run decreased.
Despite all this talk about production being down, there is still a whole lot of this product. C6 is the 7th highest produced modern GPK set behind the last 3 Chrome and last 3 regular Retail releases. Is the lower print run a reflection of less demand for GPK or Topps coming to the realization they can’t get too crazy with print runs? It’s probably a combination of both. Demand seems to have slightly decreased the past 12–18 months from the highs during the pandemic. However, I think this correction has more to do with Topps realizing they over reached with C5. With both Hobby and Retail C5 cases now available for well below factory cost from card dealers, it’s clear Topps was unable to sell what they produced. Topps no longer prints retail sets on demand based on preorders. So it’s a tough job to predict exactly what the demand will be for a set. Let’s hope Topps has learned their lesson from C5, and collectors will continue to see reasonable production runs in the future.
Finally, can we figure out how many base cards were produced? Not really, but we can use what we know and give it our best guess! I feel safe using 3.5 base cards per pack as a good number. About half the hobby packs per box have 3 cards. Many blaster packs seem to have 5 cards. So we are going to use 3.5 base cards per pack.
Base Cards – 1,463,500 total packs * 3.5 base cards per pack = 5,125,750 Total Base Cards produced / 100 cards per set = 51,257 Total of each base card.
Over 50k base sets is a lot, but that’s a far cry from the over 100k C5 sets!!!