by Chris Harris
The concept of the “Relic” card has taken many different forms since they were first introduced over a decade and a half ago. We’ve seen jerseys, bats, sticks, helmets, tires, ring cages, face masks, even pieces of basketball courts all get cut-up and mounted on a trading card for our collecting enjoyment. But with 2012 Finest UFC, Topps may have outdone themselves.
“Grill Gear Relics:
Unique relic cards containing a piece of a fight-used mouthpiece. Numbered 1/1.”
Yes folks, it’s come to this; 2012 Finest UFC will contain the first ever trading card to feature an item worn INSIDE an athlete’s body.
Depending on your opinion, this may very well be the creepiest/awesomeist idea for a Relic card ever.
But saliva and blood-coated dental devices aren’t the only hits you’ll find in ’12 Finest. Each five card pack will yield three chromium-stock cards from a 100-card base set, along with one White Refractor parallel and an insert. Finest will be packaged the same way as its sister-products from the other sports, with six packs of five cards per mini-box and two mini-boxes per Hobby box. Each mini-box is expected to yield one autograph, one fighter-worn Relic, a fight-used Mat Relic, and two inserts.
The entire base set will be paralleled in five different colors of Refractors (the aforementioned un-numbered White, along with the serial-numbered Blue X-fractor, Gold, Black Octa-fractor, and Red) and printing plates. The popular Bloodlines insert will be back (all “base” inserts and hits are printed as Refractors) and collectors should expect to find one of the 25 cards in this set, along with one of 25 Finest Moments inserts, in every mini-box. Bloodlines will also be available in autographed, dual autographed, and dual autographed dual relic book card editions. The usual number of fighter-worn Relics and fight-used Mat Relics will also be available, and also offered in a wide variety of serial-numbered colored Refractors.
The other two big hits of the product (other than the aforementioned Grill Gears) will be 50 “VIP Pass” cards, all signed by UFC impresario Dana White. Lucky collectors who find a VIP Pass card will also be entered into a contest where they could win an all-expenses paid trip to a future UFC event. Also seeded into 2012 Finest UFC packs: 25 redemption cards good for an autographed glove. Not a glove “Relic” card, mind you, but the whole glove.
2012 Finest UFC is expected to arrive at Hobby shops, but sadly, not dentists, the week of July 16, with six-pack mini-boxes selling in the $60-$70 range. See the slide show below. See Topps UFC cards on eBay here.
Chris Harris writes the popular hobby blog Stale Gum