2008-09 Topps Treasury Basketball

What I pulled--
Bronze Refractors (#ed to 999) – Manu Ginobili, Andrew Bynum, Jamario Moon, Luis Scola
Silver Refractor (#ed to 199) – Caron Butler
Bronze Rookie Refractors (#ed to 2008) – DeAndre Jordan, Danilo Gallinari
Rookie Autograph Refractor – Darrell Arthur
Rip Card – Carlos Boozer (#252/299); Inside – Kevin Durant mini (#238/278)

The theme is money. The name says it all.

2008-09 Topps Treasury has hit the shelves, and one glance at it tells you all you need to know. The font,
the layout, the design, it all resembles U.S currency. It is simply up to the collector whether that is enough
to buy a box.

As far as makeup of the product, this is pretty run of the mill stuff. Five cards per pack, 18 packs per box.
Each pack has either a rookie card, a Refractor parallel or one of the two box hits – an autograph or a rip
card. And the only wrinkle in the product is those rip cards. More on those later.

All of the 2008-09 rookies are here: Rose, Beasley, Mayo, et al. make what will start to become routine
appearances through this year’s line of cards. And that is part of the problem here. There is nothing about the
rookie cards that stand out, and they are fairly plentiful. The autographed rookie cards are what you will find
elsewhere. Yes, there are some other autographs in the product, mostly centered around Larry Bird or Magic
Johnson, but those fall in rare quantities. So, that really makes this a product that really doesn’t stand out
from any other.

Until you get to the rip cards, that is. Falling one per box, Topps brings a concept that made its basketball
debut on a small scale last year, but is more well known for being in the top baseball product on the market
annually, Topps Allen & Ginter. It is a card within a card, with a mini-card, autograph or parallel being housed
inside a thick, regular sized card. You don’t have to open it, of course. The choice is all yours. But if you don’t,
you’ll never know what treasure may await inside. And this time around, Topps has upped the ante, but
including actual U.S. currency inside some of the cards (gotta love the continuity, right?).

Here is my issue, though, with the rip cards. They are too plentiful. As the hobby has progressed, few things have become rare
enough to feel special. Pulling a rip card in Allen & Ginter, where they fall one per case, feels special. In three years, I have
gotten just one, and I debated long and hard before actually opening it. Treasury brings these cards to the masses, and I fear
that part of their allure will dissipate in the process. Maybe I’m overreacting, but in a hobby that needs some new, unique ideas
now that relics and autographs are as common as they are, here is a concept that could have remained one of those ideas.
Time will tell if I am right or not.

As for a final grade for Treasury, I’m left feeling a little empty after breaking a box. Nothing stood out aside from the rip card.
And if you buy a box, you know you are getting one, so there is no real thrill there. I can’t give this a real ringing endorsement at
the end of the day. It is just another Topps product. Nothing wrong with it, but it nothing jumps out either..........