by Rich Klein
When we recently reviewed 2012 Finest Baseball, we discussed how important the 1993 Finest product was in terms of generating interest for really short printed cards. I do realize in today’s collecting world 241 is not a small number but back in 1993, a print run of 241 was extra limited. If you think about that, we considered Donruss Elite insert cards scarce with a print run of 10,000 cards.
However, how many of us actually realize that Topps had utilized the Finest name in 1992? That year, Topps issued a Finest Factory football set. That set was nothing more than a standard boxed set in those days but was the first time Topps ever used the Finest name for their products. So, for football this is a true 20-year anniversary of Finest Football. And yes, just like the hobby itself, Finest Football has sure changed quite a bit since then.
Topps 2012 Finest Football hit store shelves late last month and continues the current Topps tradition of having two “mini-boxes” in one “master-box”. Each mini-box contains six packs with five cards per pack. Each single pack should have either an autographed rookie patch card or an autographed jumbo relic card as that is what a master box contains.
The cards showcase a player photo set against a silver background. The colors really pop on these. The backs have biographical information, a 2011 highlight as well as season and career stats.
My local card store in Plano, TX has gone through approximately nine cases and has raised his price to $120 for a master box since the product’s release. He might continue to sell Finest actively as leading online retailers are also in the $120-125 range for a box. It’s showing some legs as of now. Of course, when RGIII leads his team to 40 points in his debut and Andrew Luck still shows strong promise, interest is bound to remain strong for quality football products. The Griffin Superfractor was pulled early and sold for over $3,000.
You really want to know what we pulled, though, and here goes:
Refractors: Tom Brady, Isaiah Pead, Ben Roethlisberger, Kendall Wright
Prism Refractors: Miles Austin. Jordy Nelson
Gold Refractor (#d to 50) Matt Schaub
Finest Moments: Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd
Autograph Jumbo Relic Red Refractor (#d to 25): Darren McFadden
Autograph Rookie Jersey Patch Card Gold Refractor (#d to 75): T. J. Graham
Granted we got a bit lucky with both of our hits being refractors with a more limited print run but there is little doubt that there are a lot of good cards coming out of this product and it’s easy to see why it has stayed strong in the secondary market. No huge hits for us but we did OK. Only one McFadden card has sold on eBay so it’s probably a $25-30 card. The Luck die-cuts are bringing around $15 each and seem a little underrated.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]