Lionel Messi For 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter

Below is my pitch for the Argentine FC Barcelona star to get his own card, and autographed card, in 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball.

Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world right now. For those Americans, he is one of the best soccer players in the world right now. He just recently broke the record for most goals in a calendar year, a record held by Gerd Muller. In fact, he ended the calendar year with 91 goals, 6 more than Muller. That is impressive enough.

Football, soccer, whatever you want to call it is on the rise in the United States. It is one of the fastest growing spectator sports with Major League Soccer expanding to new markets and more people watching the EPL on the “tele” more than ever before. Who was the last international soccer star to appear in Ginter? Pele? That was 2009. (Maybe it wasn’t. But he is slated for 2013 Allen & Ginter!) Did we even see David Beckham? We’ve seen plenty American players like Hope Solo and Heather Mitts, Allen & Ginter could use a couple more soccer players instead of B list celebrities that no one ends up caring about.

The secondary market would be huge for Lionel Messi cards, especially autographs. He is a man beloved in Argentina and Spain, as well as around Europe for this talents on the pitch. It would also expose your products overseas with such a huge name. Lionel is 25 years old and just about hitting the prime of his career. He is going to continue to break records, win titles, and more awards. Although he lost the Player of the Year award to Iniesta, he did place a close second.

Topps, please bring international soccer to Allen & Ginter. If not Messi, maybe a big star like Wayne Rooney could make an appearance.

Preview: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball

One of the favorite products amongst baseball card collectors and set collectors alike has returned with 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball. A&G has been a staple of the Topps baseball card lineup since 2006 where it was a huge breakout hit amongst collectors. This marks the 7th year of the retro product with some of the hits as good as ever.

A&G is a mix between baseball and pop culture. It leans on baseball side, but it also has many current and historical cards to pay homage to the original cards way back in the last 1800s.  It is both an educational and fun product where you have no idea what you might get while opening each pack. While Topps has cut down on some of the non-baseball stuff, it should be packed with a little bit of both.

As always, each pack will also feature one mini card and 7 regular cards. You will find mini inserts as well as the mini parallels you have grown accustomed too, except Bazooka backs will not be making a return. Instead, you will find “Baseball backs” in their place. A new addition, direct from Upper Deck’s book, is the inclusion of Entomology style cards where you may find a redemption for dead bugs embedded into cards. Upper Deck decided to end the bugs, and Topps is picking up right where they left off.

As usual, you will have your 3 hits per box in the form of autographs (from baseball and non-baseball figures alike), game used memorabilia cards, and rip cards. Rip cards are making the return where you rip the card to find a SP mini, autograph, wood parallel, or original A&G card inside.

You’ll be able to find 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter on July 11, 2012, for around $85. And don’t forget, crack the Ginter code once again and Topps will spoil you with fantastic rewards.


Bring Back the Box Toppers!

It’s time to bring back the box topper. I understand there are a couple of products out there currently with box toppers…Topps Allen & Ginter and Panini Zenith come to mind, but I think the majority of products could use a box topper.

Why should a company take the time and put together a box topper set?

The answer is one word and simple, value. Not only does a solid box topper encourage people to buy full boxes of product, there are so many things that you could do with a box topper to add value to a box.

Let’s just go over some of the box toppers we have seen over the last 10 years or so. We have seen autographed baseballs, autographed mini helmets, 5×7 autographed cards, jumbo patch cards, autographs, memorabilia cards, rip cards, and even parts to complete a set of mini cards.

Why aren’t these more common in today’s products?

I’m guessing it has to do with money, but if a great box topper added more sales to the product line, what’s the problem with adding it in? Topps does a great job changing up the box toppers for Allen & Ginter every year. Panini also did a great job creating some unreleased product designs in it’s Dare to Tear rip cards in Zenith as well.

I know that I have always loved box toppers and I think it still holds well to the collecting community in general. I’ve had conversations with several veterans of the hobby and the majority would love to see more box toppers, especially something like the past Topps Archives with the autographed balls or mini-helmets.

Let’s bring this hobby favorite back to more products and see what the companies can do with it. It may definitely be worth it to at least try some more new ideas.

Preview: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Glossy Set

Well this is kind of a preview I guess, but Topps has just announced it will be releasing the full base set of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball but with a glossy finish and in a boxed set for $99.

This set will only be available online at and will be the complete 360 card base set but it will also include 10 additional cards not found in the regular 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter boxes. Every card will be numbered to 999 copies, so this will be a limited set.

The 10 additional cards will include rookies of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Dustin Ackley along with Dee Gordon, Anthony Rizzo, Charlie Blackmon, Brandon Crawford, Juan Nicasio, The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, and U.S. Navy Seals.

So if you are an Allen & Ginter fan, this product is perfect for you.

To Rip…Or Not To Rip – 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Edition

Now I am spoiling my Gint-A-Cuffs future points posts, but this is pretty important. You probably saw I pulled a rip card if you saw my 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter review.

But here is where the question gets difficult. Do I rip it, or do I sell it? I actually had an offer of $100 for the rip card, but the guy hasn’t responded to me since I said I’d probably accept it. It’s serial numbered to the player’s jersey number and it’s one of the stars of the league, well kinda. Hunter Pence is considered a star by some people, right? I mean his Houston Astros are terrible, but he’s still a star. He might even be traded to a contender.

But if I rip it, it will obviously lose value. However, I have not seen that many great cards being pulled out of rip cards. This fact is both good and bad. It’s good because there are still some good rip cards out there with great cards inside, but bad because no one is pulling anything real nice.

What would you do? I need the guidance of fellow collectors out there.

Rip Card!!!

Plus if I rip it, I think I get +10 more points for Gint-A-Cuffs….already get +34 points for this card. That should at least be part of my consideration. But I’d probably want to know how close I would be to winning first…