Just four weeks before the scheduled release of 2016 Topps Finest Baseball, Topps altered its distribution plan.
The product was offered directly to its “MVP Direct” hobby shops and via Topps.com.
MVP stores received their existing pre-orders on the release date of May 18. However, distributors, other hobby stores (non-direct and direct), breakers and consumers were offered access during a pre-order widow of April 27-May 9. The price of a case was listed at $799.89 plus shipping. Those orders were delivered on the release date.
Individual boxes were then offered for $99.99 plus shipping on the Topps website.
The move caught some non-MVP stores by surprise, coming so close to release day. Several say they had already taken pre-orders from customers but will now be forced to refund that money after basing retail prices on the original cost they’d been quoted through normal distribution channels. When 2015 Finest was announced late last fall, dealer pricing was a little over $600 per case with boxes at about $25 less than the online price.