I have seen a lot in the 16 years since the debut of Topps Finest.
From the introduction of seemingly dozens of new parallels to the over production of “game-used” relics and pack-inserted certified autographs; somehow Finest has always been above all those gimmicks.
Sure, it may have lost its “King of Chrome” title to Bowman and it’s likely now in third place behind Topps Chrome but to many collectors including yours truly, nothing beats bustin’ a box of Topps Finest.
This year, Topps almost hit a grand slam with Finest. If it weren’t for the inclusion of the overused manufactured patch, it could have been the perfect release of 2009. It also hurts that Topps went back to sticker autographs after the 2008 release featured mostly all on-card autographs.
Design-wise, Topps truly hit card board gold. If you don’t get a thrill from opening packs of 2009 Finest and seeing just how beautiful Refractors look all these years since their debut, you are probably close to the end of your collecting days.
Topps ruined Stadium Club in 2008, Upper Deck did the same with SPx in 2009. Look around, old man… Fleer and Pinnacle are long gone, while many favorite brands from Yesteryear have been discontinued. Topps Finest is the last of a dying breed among 90’s collectors who refuse to accept the latest “gimmick” of the times.
I for one know that as long as Finest is around, so is my love for collecting.