This whole reviewing every 2010 football release is proving harder than I anticipated. Apparently I drastically over estimated my ability to instantly turn cards into cash to buy more cards and so on and so forth. This box is a good example of this concept. It was released nearly two months ago and I only recently was able to purchase it and review it. Esta es la vida. But alas, here is the official 1&G Product Review of 2010 Topps Finest
The Box – Click for Detail
Hobby boxes come with 2 mini boxes each holding 6 5-card packs for a total of 60 cards. I purchased this box from Dave and Adam’s Card World for $109.25, which translates into a $1.82/card ratio. That firmly establishes Finest as a mid-shelf product and consequently we should expect fewer base cards and higher-end hits, although not quite Exquisite-esque.
Tim Tebow graces us yet again
Base Cards: 35 (1 duplicate)
Rookie Cards: 10 (included in base card total above)
Refractor Parallels: 8
XFractors (#/399): 3
Gold Refractor (#/50): 1
Finest Moments: 2
Finest Atomic Rookies: 2
Finest Moment Auto: 1
Rookie Auto Patch: 1
Auto Dual Jersey: 1
Click images for full-sized scans
FIRST AND GOAL’S FOUR DOWNS:
1st Down, Design: If the NFLPA had stuck to its guns and not allowed Topps to produce football sets this year, this is exactly the type of set we would have missed. The 2010 Topps Finest design is right on the mark. It is balanced, it’s attractive, and it is simple enough to not thwart your attempts to focus on the player. I like the fact that the players are cropped by the frame on the bottom yet allowed to flow over the border on the top. It adds a nice depth to the design and gives the illusion that the players are popping of the card surface. I also love how Topps incorporated team colors into the design. The card back is also well designed and although I like seeing several stat lines, the “2009 Finest Moment” is a nice thematical inclusion. Lastly, the Chromium technology always looks great, especially when you are pulling base cards that would have been highly prized inserts not long ago. Overall, this is a great set.
2nd Down, Inserts: I’m not sure if the main focus was supposed to be the hits or the refractors, so fortunately they are both well done. The refractor technology will always please me. It takes a good looking card and makes it great. The X-Fractor cards seem a bit over the top at times, but it does not take away from that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you pull one from a pack. The gold refractor was also a nice rendition and it reminded me of the old school parallels where silver and gold were as crazy as it got. The hits are also solid in this set. Sure, a lot of the high-end cards are playing the lottery with rookies, but they are nice cards. Some people don’t like the borders, and I admit that I’m not sure why Topps insists on drawing attention to their sticker autos and glaring lack of on-card autos, but it is obvious each card is designed almost independently. The auto, the jersey auto, and the base cards all look great without leaving you wondering “what is missing in this big blank space?” or “why on earth would they cover that part with a jersey swatch window?” For the other “basic” inserts, I wasn’t wild about the Finest Moments set, but I can see the point in including it. Again, thematics. I will say however that I LOVED the Finest Atomic Rookies. The die-cut design and the overly shiney stained-glass window effect threw me right back to my earlier days of collecting and it was marvelous. I think I was actually more excited to pull these two cards than the three hits I’m supposed to care about.
3rd Down, Collation: Normally, it’s very hard for me to gauge this on a box with so few cards. I believe I mentioned in a previous post that if I don’t notice the collation, then the collation must be good. I noticed the collation with this box. It wasn’t terrible, but I did pull the exact same Colt McCoy base rookie card from two consecutive packs. No refractor parallel. No auto sticker. The exact same card. The only reason I didn’t run to my computer and shoot an email to Topps Customer Service was that it was Colt McCoy. I certainly could have done worse with a duplicate. But seriously. One duplicate in 60 cards? Not good. It also didn’t help that I pulled the limited edition autograph rookie patch card in my first pack (the only one I allowed myself to open the day the box arrived). Granted, that is more dumb luck than a collation problem, but it certainly did give me unreasonable expectations for the entire box.
4th Down, Overall Value: I admit I haven’t been following the resale value of singles on the ‘Bay, but I imagine it is pretty decent. At nearly $2 per card, you’re certainly not guaranteed to flip a profit if you’re into that sort of thing. But, if you’ve got some dime to spare and you’re just looking to add some great looking cards to your overall collection, Topps Finest is a solid way to do so. Personally, I would probably wait a bit more and hope to score a lower price or even an upcoming holiday sale if I were just adding these to my hits box, but they are great cards and you’re not paying $10+ per card like you will on some higher end sets.
RED ZONE RESULTS: FIELD GOAL Overall, this was a fun product to open. The hits are certainly better than you’d expect to find in an entry-level product and the base cards are fantastic. Add to that some very nice inserts, and you’ve got yourself a solid product. The price point is still a bit high, so given a few months on the market, I can see this being an even better buy in the future. The biggest draw back for me was the duplicate base card. It may not bother some people, and I will admit it was eased by the fact it was of a high profile rookie, but duplicates are one of my few card pet peeves. But although 2010 Topps Finest wasn’t able to punch it through the gridiron and find paydirt, it was able to get on the board with an easy chip shot from the near hash mark. It may not have been what the coach wanted, but it will give the defense a chance to prove what really wins championships.
NEXT UP: 2010 Panini Crown Royale?