2009 Topps Finest review

(For a full listing of all Wax Heaven reviews, click HERE)

At some point in 2007, after ten years away from collecting, I made a return to The Hobby. After bustin’ five or six releases I had reached the point where I realized that I had made a mistake and the love that died in 1997, just would not return. Then I busted 2007 Finest and within a few weeks began working on Wax Heaven.

Having tragically missed out on 2008 Finest, I was thrilled to get a hold of the 2009 release. While the design is absolutely perfect for the Finest brand, overall there are a few flaws collectors should know about before jumping into the product.

Below is my review of 2009 Topps Finest.

Design: A+

If you are a true fan of Finest then you should be very pleased with what Topps pulled off this year. The base cards look excellent, Refractors look amazing, and even the controversial manufactured patches look better than ever.

One has to wonder why they did on-card autographs in 2008 but not this year.

Price: C

For just under $100 dollars you can go home with a beautifully designed product but when it comes to the “hits”, 2 signed, manufactured patches you really take a nosedive. The two that I pulled (Gamel & Antonelli) can both be found on eBay selling for well under $10 dollars, with the Antonelli refractor versions selling for barely one dollar.

These kind of autographs provide no real value to the “high-end” crowd and while the Refractors add something to the overall product, adding one or two more guaranteed autographs or even printing plates, could have saved Finest’s grade.

Pulls: B-

You can never go wrong with pulling a handful of Refractors, including Derek Jeter, plus a Gold David Ortiz but there is just not enough product to justify a close to $100 dollar price tag.

The Autographed Manufactured patches look amazing but unless you pull one in a low serial number parallel form, you’re not looking at much of anything in value, unless you still use a Beckett price guide.

Overall: B+

If I could grade Finest on design alone it would have been the perfect product. Unfortunately, when you factor in the low value on the autographs and the amount of cards compared to the price, ultimately you are left with a product that’s all flash, not enough content.

If Topps can make the necessary adjustments and apply them to Topps Chrome, which will be here in a couple of months, you might finally see the day Topps Chrome puts an end to Finest’ reign among non-prospect Chrome collectors.

Topps, are you up for the challenge?

(thumbnails lead to full-size scans)

4 thoughts on “2009 Topps Finest review

  1. I still scratch my head at the price point. Last year, it was 3 minis in a box for $100-$110. This year, you get 2 minis for $90-$100. The on ething that could save the product is the rookie redemption. If they are autos, as some were last year, then it is 3 hits per box, as was last year. It may justify the price, but that is a big MAY.

  2. I think I lucked out when I pulled Price and a Fowler refractor as the patches in my box. I have yet to see a nice Price autograph on these patch cards though. They all look like scribbles.

    I wouldn’t have minded the lack of other inserts if there were more cards per pack. Even though the set is small, it would take three boxes to get close to enough cards for a set. You should get more than a third of a set from a box like this.

  3. I got the Longoria for my PC the other day and loved it enough to have it the new top card in the stack, or the one I will look at 50 times a day. I was all set to drop some money on a couple of boxes but after that review I think I’ll wait out the price drop. Thanks for the heads up, Mario!

  4. Mario, I think you nailed it. I like the economics point of view. The baseball card industry is not immune from the economic collapse. Instead of reducing prices, Topps reduced the amount of product per serving. No longer 3 miniboxes at $50.00 a pop but 2 mini-boxes at the same price point. What collectors need are $50.00 to $75.00 boxes. Maybe that will spell the end of high end autographs but the chances of pulling a Pujols is slim anyway. I bought a red refractor Jim Thome Finest Moments autographed card for $35.00 on eBay. You could assemble a killer “box” by buying pieces off of eBay. $30.00 for 100 base cards. $35.00 for 2 Letterman patch cards, which would include Davjd Price. And $35.00 for a David Wright or David Ortiz autographed card. Total price: $100.00. Topps and UD need to figure out a better way to keep box busters buying. We’re waking up to the fact that baseball cards are a consumption not an investment industry. I wish I knew what the answer was.

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