by Mike Fruitman
When you name a product Finest, you should try to put a little time and effort into it. It is safe to say that Topps did both with 2013 Finest NFL. In one week since its release we have sold three and a half of the five cases we started with and with an in store case cracker this Saturday, we should be well into our restocks come Monday.
For years Topps Finest has emerged from the pack as a mid-level product that more than delivers. Between some of the coolest autographed relic cards on the market and the once in a lifetime 1/1 Superfractor pulls, Finest seems more than aptly named.
Like most products, the rookies make up most of the potential autograph pool and Finest delivers loads of possible RC signature styles. All the big rookies get the signature treatment in this set with appearances from E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley, Eddie Lacy, Denard Robinson, Montee Ball, Geno Smith, Laron Landry, Le'veon Bell and so many more. There’s the basic autographed relic we would all be happy pulling with blue parallels /25, reds /15, prisms /5 and those superfractors we all like to dream about pulling. Seriously, this Bell patch is Five Star worthy.
Where it really gets interesting are with the Autographed Jumbo Refractor Relic cards. Yes they come with the rookies you are getting to know and love, but Topps also included many of the guys we already know. Who wouldn’t want to pull autographed relic cards of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Demaryius Thomas (well specifically at my store near Denver) and Jimmy Graham? I would hope that Topps and Panini each do the same by including some more familiar names throughout the season to bolster this year’s rookie crop.
See, I was telling the truth.
The rookies continue looking strong with the multi-player signed cards. Topps is kind enough to offer double, triple and even quad autographed relic booklet singles. The booklets happened to be 1/1 singles and the Colorado part of me is hoping to see the Montee Ball/Le'Veon Bell/Eddie Lacy/Giovani Bernard card come out of one of our boxes.
Have an extra 3k lying around? Have I got the perfect card for you.
Now if I could get into a Topps design meeting (what do you say guys?) I would hope that they would work on their packaging. While collectors seem to enjoy the full and half box option, it seems to be time to scrap the 6 pack box design. For the life of me, I am not sure why a product is packaged with packs that really cannot be sold individually.
Let’s face it, Stevie Wonder wearing mittens could figure out which of the six packs in a mini box contain the autographed relic card making it moronic for an individual to consider buying it by the pack. Seriously, can anyone name another product that is packaged in this same way? Can you imagine if National Treasures had 2 packs, one with all the hits and the other with all the base cards? Oh crap, now that I mentioned that, please do not blame me if it actually happens. Why not just make Finest a single pack product with 29 base cards and an autographed relic or at least consider deflectors in the other five packs? If nothing else at least we did not see a repeat of the triangular box design that plagued hobby shop shelves in 2008.
Fortunately 2013 Finest NFL seems well on its way of continuing the beyond our wildest hopes for store owners and this year's NFL products. Now to hope that today’s new arrival, 2013 Panini Rookies & Stars does not break the current streak.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]