Obviously, a post such as this is entirely subjective and based on nothing more than my opinion. The Hobby witnessed lots of drama in 2009 and sometimes its easy to lose focus of what The Hobby is all about. It's not about licensing, and book value, or this, that, and the other thing. It's about the cards. Tiny little pieces of cardboard carrying images, memorablia, and autographs of our sports heroes and favorite teams.
With that in mind, I want to look back on the products of 2009 and tell you what I liked, didn't like and why. I've created some categories to make products easier to judge against each other.
Pricing Tiers- Less than $55, $56-$85, and $86-$100, and $101+
Best Base Card Design
Best Value (As defined by total cards delivered and total number of "hits")
Best Inserts (Non relic or autograph)
Should Never Be Produced Again
Less than $55
Best Base Card Design- OPC
Best Value- UDx and Topps Chrome
Best Inserts (Non relic or autograph)- Topps
Should Never Be Produced Again- Spectrum, Bowman, American Heritage, Piece of History
*Honorable Mention- Icons
Best Base Card Design- Goodwin Champions
Best Value- SP Legendary Cuts and Goodwin Champions
Best Inserts (Non relic or autograph)- Goodwin Champions
Should Never Be Produced Again- Topps Ticket to Stardom
*Honorable Mention- Topps Finest
Best Base Card Design- Sweet Spot
Best Value- Allen & Ginter and Sweet Spot
Best Inserts (Non relic or autograph)- Allen & Ginter
Should Never Be Produced Again- N/A
*Honroable Mention- SP Authentic
Best Base Card Design- Bowman Sterling
Best Value- SPx
Best Inserts (Non relic or autograph)- N/A
Should Never Be Produced Again- Topps Unique
*Honorable Mention- I'm betting on Topps Tribute to "bring it" and deliver a bit more value than Ultimate Collection. (Both of which release later this month.)
Best of the Best
In my humble opinion, for the money, value, fun factor, design and overall experience the product(s) of the year are Sweet Spot and Goodwin Champions.
But that's the nice thing about opinions, they're like A**holes, everybody's got one.
So what's your favorite product from 2009?