by Rich Klein
A couple of weeks ago in reviewing the 2011 Finest Football product we discussed the nearly two decades history of the Finest brand. In recent years, as we have discussed, Topps has evolved the Finest brand into one which can be sold on several levels. The hobby product can be sold on the pack level in stores (as long as the store ensures no searching), the mini-box level and the full or “master” box level. It ensures that collectors of all economic strata can afford to add 2011 Finest to their collection. Our 2011 Topps Finest Baseball review afforded us a look at a master box. This product hit store shelves a couple of weeks ago.
In a master box, you’ll get two mini-boxes which each contain six packs of five cards. In each mini-box a collector should receive an on-card autograph as well as other hits. When I checked with my local store owner, he said that each master box has contained two autographs and one autographed relic card. Our experience turned out to be very similar.
It’s typical Finest in that you’ll see lots of glossiness, plenty of colored refractor parallels and the glitzy xfractors. Rookie autographs are on card and new this year are dual relic autograph cards. The design is clean and pretty sharp with background “highlight” lines giving off sort of an interesting look.
The current on-line retail pricing for this product is in the $80-90 range while my local store (Triple Cards in Plano, TX( has blown through approximately eight cases at $104.50 per box. For almost twenty years now, Finest bas been a bellwether product.
With that background, let’s see how we did out of our master box.
Refractors: (#d to 549): Zach Britton, Miguel Cabrera, Jeremy Hellickson,
X-Fractor (#d to 299): Chase Utley
Green Refractor (#d to 199): Ryan Zimmerman
Gold Refractor (#d to 50): Jayson Werth (lower # parallel, but only selling for a buck or two online)
Foundations: Hanley Ramirez
Rookie Autograph: Mike Moustakas (Redemption, so we are assuming a base autograph)
Rookie Autograph x-Fractor (#d to 299): Jerry Sands
Our box did provide us with the three autograph cards which were coming out on the average with one of them as a relic card. The Mauer is a nice score and Jerry Sands is a very good Dodger prospect. The overall “hit” percentage including parallels was 17 percent. As a collector, if this is what I received out of an average box, this would be perfectly acceptable, especially at the price point.
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Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]