Today is August 7th and Topps will officially release one of their strongest sellers of the year: 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter. This is my second favorite brand as those who follow my blog know that Topps Heritage is number one in my book. I always look forward to Ginter as you never really quite know what to expect. In year's past I have pulled the following: a piece of a boxing glove, a piece of a tire, as well as my greatest baseball pull ever back in 2010 that I'll never forget! A Stephen Strasburg autographed redemption card numbered to 10. I sold it before the announcement of his surgery for a nice amount.
The formula has not changed when it comes to Allen & Ginter’s base set. There are 350 cards consisting of veterans, rookies, retired stars, public figures, and non-baseball champions. The last 50 cards are short-printed and are seeded one per two packs. It has been confirmed by Topps that rookie sensation Yasiel Puig will be part of this base set as card #44.
MINI PARALLELS (350):
The same eight different types of mini cards we are all used to seeing in Allen & Ginter are back for another go around. Inside packs of Allen & Ginter you can find the following:
Allen & Ginter Regular Mini Parallel (350) – 350 mini-sized versions of the base card.
Allen & Ginter Back Parallel (350) – 350 mini-sized versions of the base card featuring a new Allen & Ginter logo on the back.
Allen & Ginter Black Bordered Mini Parallel (350) – 350 mini-sized versions of the base card with a black border around the card which really makes the card stand out.
Allen & Ginter No Number Mini Parallel (350) – 350 mini-sized versions of the base card with the card number missing on the back of the card.
Allen & Ginter Baseball Back Mini Parallel (350) – 350 mini sized versions of the base card with a specially created baseball back. These cards are similar to the Bazooka cards of past Allen & Ginter releases and are hand numbered to 25 copies each.
Allen & Ginter Wood Mini Parallel (350) – 350 mini sized versions of the base card made out of a wood stock and are hand numbered one of one. These special cards can only be found exclusively in hobby packs.
Allen & Ginter Printing Plates (1,600) – Features all four plates to create one mini card. Each plate is encased in a frame and is numbered one of one. These special cards can only be found exclusively in hobby packs. The printing plates also feature all four plates to make the 50 mini exclusive cards that can only be found in rip cards.
Allen & Ginter Mini Cloth Cards (150) – A partial parallel featuring 150 base cards printed on a mini piece of cloth and framed. Each cloth card is serially numbered to 10 copies each. These special cards can only be found exclusively in hobby packs.
FULL SIZED INSERTS:
Allen & Ginter showcases five different types of full-sized inserts for collectors to chase after. These inserts are usually included when building a master set:
- Across The Years (100): This insert set consists of 100 cards and connects a current MLB star with a person that shares their birthday. These inserts can be found in one of every two packs.
If you do not get an Across The Years card in your pack, then you odds are you will get one of the following four types of full sized insert cards as these have a combined insert ratio of one per two packs:
One Little Corner (20): These are clear cards that feature planets, moons, and other celestial bodies in our solar system.
Palaces and Strongholds (20): These twenty cards show some of the most impressive castles and forts of the world.
Martial Mastery (10): Ten cards that depict the most fearsome warriors in the history of the world.
Civilizations of Ages Past (20): These twenty cards feature civilizations that have come and gone over the years.
Mini inserts have been a popular staple for Allen & Ginter since the product debuted in 2006. These inserts are highly collectible and are generally considered a part of a master mini set. For this year, there are six different mini inserts for collectors to scramble after and overall seeding is one per five packs:
- The First Americans (15): These fifteen cards celebrate various Native American tribes.
Inquiring Minds (21): These cards feature some of the greatest philosophers of all time.
Heavy Hangs The Head (30): Thirty different cards depicting some of the greatest monarchs throughout the history of the world.
Codes, Ciphers, and Cryptographs (10): These ten cards expose some of the most famous codes ever known.
Curious Cases:There is also another mini insert set listed on the preliminary checklist called Curious Cases. This set is not listed in the sell sheet. I have recently found out that this set can only be found in retail packs.
The folks at Topps decided to tinker with the existing formula for their basic relic offering in hopes to make it even better. This year there are three different types of basic relic cards to chase. The mini relics, which we are all accustomed to, feature two different designs and no box will contain two of the same relic design so collector’s will have one of each. New for 2013 are full sized relics. The checklist for full sized relics consists of 50 different relics and is of different subjects than those found in the mini relic versions.
- Allen & Ginter Mini Relics (138): 2013 Allen & Ginter features two different relic designs for the mini relics in an extensive checklist covering 100 baseball stars along with 38 non-baseball selections. At this point, I'm not sure if having two different designs serves any kind of purpose.
Allen & Ginter Full Sized Relics (50): These cards really stand out to those who have collected Allen & Ginter over the years as this is the first time Allen & Ginter has produced full sized versions of their popular mini relic cards. I like the idea of full sized relics. I think this set would make a great wall display.
Allen & Ginter DNA Relics (10): You can own a piece of history if you are lucky enough to pull one of these scarcities. Each card is numbered one of one and consists of a strand of hair from a historical figure. Checklist consists of the following subjects: Alexander Hamilton, John F. Kennedy, John Brown, and Edward VIII.
Allen & Ginter Select Picks Relics: These unique relic cards feature a guitar pick used by the famous guitarist pictured on the card. Each guitarist has just one card making this an extremely tough pull. All of these cards are numbered one of one. Although this set was described in the official sell sheet, it did not make the preliminary checklist that was recently released. I am not certain if this will be included or not.
Allen & Ginter Oddity Relics (4): Allen & Ginter is known for the odd and unique so the folks at Topps decided to create an insert set dedicated to just that. Look for odd relic pieces which include The Grassy Knoll, President Obama, and Wrigley Field.
Arachnology Cards: Don’t let these cards creep you out too much. These hand crafted cards feature a fully preserved spider in an exquisite window-box-style card. These cards are numbered one of one and are inserted into packs as redemptions.
BOOK CARDS (25):
These cards are truly rare and unique. There are 25 cards and feature two players and two autographs, two bat knobs, or an autograph and a bat knob in a book-style card. Each card is numbered one of one and can only be found in hobby packs.
Autographs are a big draw for Allen & Ginter fans as the product features not only superstar athletes from today and yesterday, but celebrities as well. This year is no exception. For 2013, there is a huge autograph list and features baseball stars and other celebrities such as Cal Ripken, Jr., Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Pele, Tommy Lee, and even Ziggy Marley. The initial checklist boasts over 100 different names and is subject to change.
RIP CARDS (100):
To rip or not to rip? That is the question that has been on the mind of Allen & Ginter fans for the past seven years. This insert set is one of the most exciting elements of Allen & Ginter. These rip cards can be found one per case and allows a collector to do one of two things – keep the card intact as a collectible or rip the back of the card to see what mini card is inside. This year’s set of Allen & Ginter rip cards consists of 100 cards and is sequentially numbered.
If the collector decides to rip the back open, inside you will find one of the following:
- Artist’s Originals (30): There are 30 different original mini pieces of art drawn on a mini card. Each painting is hand numbered one of one.
Allen & Ginter Red Autographs: These mini cards feature autographs signed in red ink from some of the autograph subjects. Each card is hand numbered to 10.
Allen & Ginter Mini Exclusives (50): These are mini-card variations of a player’s base card and numbered 351-400. These 50 cards can only be found in rip cards and are in high demand by set collectors.
Allen & Ginter Mini Wood Exclusives (50): These mini cards are made with a wood stock and are a parallel of the mini exclusives. Numbered 1 of 1.
Rip Card Reserve (50): This was very popular when introduced in the past and now it is back again for this year. The Rip Card Reserve card is a redemption card that can be redeemed for a prize such as a full autographed jersey or bat.
DOUBLE RIP CARDS (100):
This is a first for Ginter – double rip cards. Each card is serially numbered to 10 copies each and it is my understanding that a collector can rip both sides of the card. If a collector chooses to do that, the collector will receive two of the inserts found in rip cards or could find one of the following which are exclusive to double rip cards:
- One of a Kind (50): 50 unique one of a kind cards. No parallels or other versions of these cards. Each card is numbered one of one.
ALLEN & GINTER FRAMED ORIGINALS (100):
Topps ventured out into the marketplace to repurchase 100 original Allen & Ginter cards from the late 1800’s, framed them, and inserted them into packs for collectors to collect. Each frame is numbered one of one and can only be found in hobby packs.
CUT SIGNATURES (20):
Getting a cut signature in a pack is indeed a rarity as there are only 20 out there to be found. Each card is a one of one and features a cut signature of a famous political or historical figure.
Box loaders are something that Ginter fans are accustomed to. People consider box loaders as an added bonus when they open a box. It seems that each year gets better and better. This year should be no exception as Allen & Ginter has loaded the boxes with the following eight different kinds of box loaders:
- Box Loader Inserts (15): These inserts feature an all new style for 2013.
Box Loader Autographed Relics (8): You get the best of both worlds with this box loader. Each box loader autographed relic is hand numbered to 5 copies each – an extremely difficult pull but a lucky one if you are fortunate enough.
Box Loader Cut Signatures (1): Hand numbered one of one cut autograph of Ted Williams!
Cabinet Relics (10): This is something that will definitely get one’s attention. Full sized pieces of jerseys or jersey numbers embedded onto a cabinet sized card. Each cabinet card is numbered one of one.
Cabinet Book Relics (10): As if cabinet relics weren’t enough, cabinet book relics take it one step further. Found in the form of a book, cabinet book relics feature two full sized pieces of jerseys or jersey numbers and each cabinet card is numbered one of one.
Now that you have read this preview you might be able to now understand why Allen & Ginter is one of my favorites. It is primarily baseball related but tries to throw a curve at you with the unexpected. Look for Allen & Ginter at your local card store. If you want to watch me open a box or two, you can meet me Triple Cards in Plano, TX tonight around 5:00 or so. Hope to see you there!
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