by Chris Harris
Just how excited is Topps for the 2012 NFL season? Just how excited is Topps for Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III? It’s not even April, and already they’ve issued sell-sheets for 2012 Finest Football, their fourth football card product to be released before the start of the upcoming season. Of course, with two potential franchise quarterbacks expected to go one-two in the NFL Draft, you can hardly blame them for cranking out football card products to meet the expected insatiable demand.
The 2012 edition of Finest Football will consist of 150 cards – 100 veterans and 50 yet-to-be-determined draft picks, will all the usual Refractor parallels also included. Each Hobby-exclusive “Master Box” will contain two six-pack mini-boxes with each Master Box yielding:
- Four Refractors and two Prism Refactors,
- Two “Finest Moments” inserts,
- Two die-cut “Finest Atomic Refractor Rookie” inserts,
- A serial-numbered Autographed Rookie Patch card, or
- A numbered Autographed Jumbo Relic card.
The 40 Autographed Rookie Patch cards will be serial-numbered to an as yet undetermined figure, but will also be available in one of seven different Refractor parallels ranging from Blue Refractors (serial-numbered to 99 copies) to the one-of-one SuperFractor. A new addition for 2012 will be something called the “Black Refractor Pigskin NFL Shield Parallel.” On each of these one-of-one cards, the photo shot-worn patch material will be replaced with the NFL logo from a football used during the NFL Players Rookie Premiere. No, not quite “game” used, but give Topps credit for trying something different. A Jumbo Patch parallel, serial-numbered to only five copies, will also be offered for up to 20 players in this set. The other one-per-box “Hit,” the Autographed Jumbo Relics, will also have a similar number of Refractor parallels.
Although most of the autographs will be of the sticker variety, Topps is promising at least one on-card rookie autograph in every eight-box case of 2012 Finest Football. The “Rookie Refractor Autograph Variations” will be a de facto autographed parallel of each player’s base card, serial-numbered (production to be determined), with low-numbered Red, Pulsar, and SuperFractors also to be had.
The usual number of low-numbered multi-player autographs can also be found, with each Dual and Triple
Autograph serial-numbered to ten copies. And as if it isn’t obvious with all the pre-season football releases that Topps isn’t jumping on the Andrew Luck bandwagon hard enough, there’s a special die-cut “Lucky Cut” insert to chase after – with Relic (serial-numbered to 25 copies) and Autographed (numbered to ten) versions of the future number one overall draft pick to chase after as well.
2012 Finest Football is scheduled for release the week of August 20. Each Master Box will contain two, six-pack mini-boxes with each pack containing five cards. Mini-boxes are expected to sell for $50. See the sample gallery below.
Chris Harris writes the popular hobby blog Stale Gum