The Chrome version of Topps' NPB set was released last week. Personally I'm not a big fan of the Chome sets from Topps - I think they're kind of ugly. But I was intrigued by the set for one reason - I had read some posts on the Shlabotnik Report that explained that the Chrome cards weren't always ugly expensive parallel of the non-Chrome Topps cards - sometimes Topps either used a different photo for a player or added a player to the Chrome set who wasn't in the non-Chrome set. So I was curious if either of those things happened with the Chrome NPB set. It wouldn't be enough to make we want to buy the set but I might be interested in picking up the variations.
The Chrome NPB set contains 216 cards in its base set, the same as the non-Chrome version. After a pretty thorough investigation, I've concluded that there aren't any players who appear in one set but not the other - both sets contain the same 216 players. What's odd though is that the checklists aren't the same - 163 of the cards have a different number in one set than the other. For example, Seiya Suzuki is card #80 in the non-Chrome version but #139 in the Chrome set. This means 53 of the cards have the same number in both sets - for some reason all 18 of the Giants cards are included in those 53. I have no explanation for any of this - I just point it out because it seems so odd to me.
So I'm completely confident that there are no players in Chrome who aren't in the non-Chrome set. I'm almost completely confident that there aren't any photos in the Chrome set that weren't in the non-Chrome set. I didn't actually compare all 216 photos but I looked at a lot of them and didn't see any differences. So it doesn't look like there are any variations for me to pick up somewhere.
I should mention here that the insert sets for the Chrome set are a little different than those of the regular set. The regular set had two insert sets - the 24 card "1986" set and the 12 card "Team Programs" set. Chrome has three insert sets - a Chrome version of the "1986" set plus a 12 card "Prismic Power" set and a 24 card "Stadium Sluggers" set. I assume that the players and photos are the same in both "1986" insert sets but I didn't actually verify that.
If you want to examine the Chrome cards yourself, you can see them in all their glory over at Jambalaya.