A few months ago, I previewed the sell sheet for Topps Finest with many reasons for football collectors to get excited. Even more than that, a continued dedication by Topps to make the finest brand relevant, even though Chrome now includes on card autographs.
Since its inception in 1993 for Baseball, Finest has stood for the highest end of the set collector spectrum in any sport, and recently in football, it has become one of my favorite sets of the year.
This year’s design is really top notch, and I believe that 2012 might be a front runner for set of the year based on what Topps has previewed on Twitter. On top of that, some of the weak parts of 2011 Finest have been improved to the point where they might now be strengths.
Last year, I spend a considerable amount of money purchasing the jumbo swatch autos for my favorite rookies, and I was excited to see how much the design had improved for 2012. For these cards, Topps has moved the swatch off center on the card to make more room for the design borders and player photos, which is different than last year when the placement sometimes covered up part of the player. Even with this issue, I absolutely LOVED 2011′s design as much as MANY of the later releases.
As for the Patch autograph box hit cards, which were extemely popular for the rookies during last season, 2012′s set looks incredible. The clean design and swatch placement looks SO much better now that it is more in line with the theme of the product. Although 2011′s offering had the same thematic elements as the base design, but for some reason, it clashed with the rest of the cards in the product, instead of meshing. This year, it is lock step with the way the base cards look, and the sticker almost looks invisible against the chrome stock.
Even the Finest moment cards look drastically improved over last year’s cards, which were some of the weakest in the whole product. Inserts rarely do well for a box configuration like Finest has, but that is made worse when they were as terrible as they were for 2011.
I will be buying at least a few boxes of Finest this year, much like last year, as I feel as though the Chrome technology used for it is some of my favorite of the whole season. For the box price paid, Finest delivers some extremely nice base cards, well designed and conceived box hits, and most importantly a contingent of on card autographs EARLY in the card season. THAT, my friends will always draw me in.