Yes, it is completely unfair to judge a set on the based on a single card. Ya know what? Life's unfair. Here's 2010 Topps Finest boiled down to one card. But first, a quiz:
Andruw Jones, 51 homers. That would be answer C. Duh. Oh, you wanted to try to guess? Sorry. That one was just too easy. Here's the card:
Brian McCann. BMac was the first Finest card I got my grubby mitts on for the past three years. He ends up in the 50 cent boxes for some reason. I'm going to come right out and say it. I love Finest. I've loved it since it first came out in 1993. I like the high-end stock, I like the whiggetywhack designs, I like the bright gaudy colors. Finest it the set where the Topps designers are free to imbibe in all sorts of mind-altering chemicals watch some cult movies and just go nuts. It's so utterly tacky it works. So, look at that card. What do you see? I see Grey. Gunmetal Gray as far as the eye can see.
The whole reason I like this set is for its oddball creative designs. It sure ain't for the price. It sure ain't for the chromium stock, Topps and Bowman Chrome sort of annoy me but it works on Finest for some reason. I like that unexplainable condition of being shiny, not just in its reflectivity of light property but all those other things that go along with it to make a baseball card shiny.. This card is not shiny at all.
The only color on the entire front of this card other than the player's uniform and the team logo is a tiny orange finest logo. Everything else is black, white and grey. And ooooh the grey. So much grey. When I first saw this design on a sell sheet I liked it. I'm a fan of big gaudy team logos floating in space for no reason and this had that in spades. Little did I know that it was jut the etched outline of the logo with no color. What the hell? I suppose I should be thankful for the etching, Topps has gotten really tight with that too lately. Etching must be really expensive because in a set that used to have etched patterns all over the place, we have the logo and an oval and a semicircle. And that's it. At least it hasn't been banished from the design completely like in Bowman. I just have to come out and say it, this card is boring.
Finest should not be boring. Finest should be bright and tacky and insane and redonkulous and utterly absurd. Finest is the big flaming drag queen of trading card sets, the set that brought us all into The Age of High End dancing and singing with a shiny colorful lightshow that rivals Disney's Electrical Parade. This is the equivalent of that drag queen wearing a sensible little black dress. Drag queens should not be wearing little black dresses, they should be wearing gigantic flowing sequined gowns in clashing neon colors with a big hat with peacock feathers all over it and a fur coat made of LIVE chinchillas so as not to be cruel to the little beasties. All the time singing showtunes to a techno beat while dancing like a Rockette. As you can see, I have very particular tastes in drag queens and I am the same way with Finest. Finest should be SHINY, dammit, and this card is boring. Topps made Finest boring. Maybe the refractors look good. I don't know. I haven't seen one.
Here's the back. It looks like the back of a Donruss/Panini football release. A whole lot of design, very little information. There's not even a season line for stats. Oh well, let's check the answer of the quiz.
Answer D. Eddie Mathews, 51 homers.
Goddamit Topps. If you're not going to put anything into making the design interesting, at least pay someone to fact check.