Monday, March 5, 2012

Preview: 2012 Topps UFC Finest

Schedule Release Date: July 18, 2012
Box Configuration 5 cards per pack/6 packs per mini-box/2 mini-boxes per Master box (50 cards total)
SRP: $95/box

Master Box Break:
2 Autograph cards
2 Jumbo Relic cards
2 Mat Relic cards

My Thoughts:
The 2012 Finest UFC release will be Topps’ second venture in to the UFC Finest line and if the 2011 Finest UFC set is any indication of what to expect you know that this follow up will do well. The 100-card base checklist is a solid collection of fighters ranging from up and comers to champions. The set also includes fighters from the former-WEC, Strikeforce and UFC and includes newly crowned Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson and interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit.

As expected there are 6 parallels to each base card- White Refractor, Blue X-Fractor (#/188), Gold Refractor (#/88), Black Octa-Fractor (#/8), Red Refractor (1/1) and Printing Plates (1/1).
There are 2 non-hit inserts- There are 5 parallels for each insert plus an autographed version.

Topps Finest Moments, a 25-card insert that highlights special moments for the fighters.
Bloodlines, a 25-card insert that covers the fighter’s heritage/historical background.

The hits include:
Shared Bloodlines Autographs: A dual autographed card displaying 2 fighters who share a heritage and #/25

Shared Bloodlines Auto-Relic Booklet: A dual autographed booklet card that includes relics and autographs from two fighters who share a heritage and #/10
Finest Threads Autograph: A large fight-worn relic and autograph
Jumbo Finest Threads: An even larger fight-worn relic
Jumbo Fight Mat: A large mat relic
Thoughts From The Boss: A dual autograph of Dana White and a fighter #/25
Finest Fighters Autographs: Fighters autographs

The hits are pretty standard, similar to what was included in the 2011 version. A nice variation of hits and autographs plus a decent selection of jumbo relics make for a nice box break. What adds to the chase are a couple of “super” hits that are extremely limited.

Fight Sponsor Autographs: A card which features a patch with a Sponsor logo along with a fighter’s autograph affiliated with that clothing line. There are 10 cards in the checklist and they will be limited. So far sponsors TapouT and Silver Star have been announced but I am sure we will see others, I wouldn't be surprised to see Xtreme Couture, Bad Boy MMA, Metal Mulisha and Jaco. The cards will be numbered and printed using Topps Finest Refractor technology.

Grill Gear Relics: A card with a fight used mouthpiece relic and #1/1

Finest VIP Pass: An autograph card containing Dana White’s autograph and is good for entry in to the VIP UFC exclusive sweepstakes. There are 50 VIP Pass cards total and one winner will be selected and will win an all-inclusive trip to a UFC event, 2 tickets to the fight and access to a fight meet-and-greet before the event.

Autograph Glove Redemption: A redemption card for an autographed fight worn glove.

Small base set makes it easy for set collectors
Nice selection of hits
Large jumbo relics
Grill Gear relics

Sticker autographs
To many parallels

I give this set 4 out of 5, it is a decent set, not to large with some variety. The only downside is sticker autographs and parallels. I picked up a box of 2011 Topps UFC Finest not long ago and loved it, I definitely look forward to breaking a box of the 2012 version.

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