When Topps Finest was released this past Wednesday, its pretty obvious to many of the collectors who opened boxes that its very tough to pull the big names from your boxes. In what seems to be a mistake, Topps has also indicated how many copies of the lower tier guys exist, which in some cases is above 1250. The issue has become, with the big names being so hard to pull, is that a horrible detriment to opening these boxes, or is it a blessing in disguise? Im not really sure myself, so I think its best to discuss both sides.
Although it sucks that the big names are very hard to pull, it should be that way in the long run. In order for cards to be valuable, there are a number of things that have to be true, including rarity. Without rarity, value goes down. I have to side with the people that believe a big name pull should pay for its share of boxes, and if every card is readily available, that cant happen as frequently. With over production, value goes down even more. For lower tier rookies, that may be the situation as to why they are rarely worth more, but I think to preserve value, its not a bad thing that the top tier guys are harder to pull. Additionally, there was an SP list in place for many of the initial products last year too, with Inception, Platinum, Finest and a few others, severely limiting pulls for a lot of the top guys, including Locker, Ponder, Ingram, Jones, Green, and Dalton among others. This is nothing new, and shouldn’t be surprising considering how much more these guys cost per card than the others. Lastly, Finest has redeeming value outside of the rookies, autographs and box hits, which is evident in the refractor parallels that it has become known for. When that happens, there is still return on the non-hit and non-rookie portion of the box, something that very few other products can claim.
Here are some of the results for the big names, which are significantly higher than normal:
A few of the collectors have discussed that its actually one in about 9 cases to pull an autograph of Luck, Richardson, Griffin, Blackmon, and a few of the other top tier rookies. Even though they show their work on the math, I think that’s a bit high considering some of the non-numbered cards. Regardless, its still more than it SHOULD be. Its something like 1 in 30+ cases to pull Luck or Griffin, which poses almost insurmountable odds for collectors that are breaking the wax. In all seriousness, the odds of pulling guys that can save your box should be higher than they are. To think that the only people that will really have a legitimate shot at pulling these names are the mass case breakers, which doesn’t say much for those of us breaking boxes onesie twosie. Because singles buyers like me cant buy cards unless people buy the boxes to break, its bad if there is a significant disadvantage to doing so. Even more of a reason not to break, is that so much of the time, you will pull cards you have already pulled according to the odds, especially when each of the lower tier guys is numbered so high. Even if they weren’t numbered, its obvious that Topps produced a lot of Finest this year, and that doesn’t fair well for long term value of the boxes.
Finest is a GREAT looking product with a tremendous design. I love the way the cards look, and will have busted 4 boxes when all is said and done. I break because I think that the end result of the cards that end up in the packs is above where it was last year, and because I am such a huge fan of the chrome style technology. When you have a situation like this, it only goes to show how much design means in the overall grand scheme of things. I understand that design only goes so far, and that some collectors don’t even care about it. However, if you do, Finest is worth a box or two – just for fun. Odds or no odds, the cards you do get will look great, and it very well could be a completely different story.