It’s hard to believe but this is my first baseball card review. I love baseball cards and I love baseball. The first cards I ever collected were baseball cards. The first boxes of cards that got me back into the hobby in 2005 were baseball cards. I own more baseball cards then anything else. But I’m happy that 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter is my first baseball review because I have always loved Allen & Ginter since Topps brought it back from the dead in 2006.
2011 Topps Allen & Ginter has brought back the success of previous years in one of the most interesting and beloved sets of the year. From baseball players to famous beards and ships, Allen & Ginter is your source of both America’s past time and oddball cards that you can’t find anywhere else. With tons of minis and different types of short prints, it is a set collectors dream. With a large checklist of both sports and non-sports it is just a sports fan’s dream as well.
Sometimes practically the same design year after year is a good thing. When you’re going for the nostalgic, old school type set and basing your cards off that set, you still have to pay homage to the past. The sketches of the player with the splash of color in the background is what it has always been and that is classic. No frills or anything fancy here, just solid art work on these cards all around. I’ve always loved what they do with the relics as well and that is to put them in a larger frame that usually has like palm trees or something on it in nice colors. Every autographed card is hard signed and rip cards are fun and easy to rip. Nothing new, but sometimes new isn’t always better. Oh, and the Ascent of Man inserts are absolutely GORGEOUS.
I find this product extremely hard to review as far as the checklist goes. You have all the baseball players you need in this product. There are a number of SPs which is great and Ginter backs and Bazooka backs and black parallels. It’s fun to pull the parallels. The famous beards cards was pretty funny and I love the old school famous ships. Some of the people they chose from the world of entertainment, especially in the autographs area is the hard part though. There are some huge name on there, but also names which make you scratch your head. I might as well sign some cards for Topps if they are letting people like Chuck Woolery or the King of Cornhole. Which begs me to ask Topps to let me have some autographs in Ginter next year. I bet my cards would sell better on the secondary market then Jo Frost because I know what collectors like. My inscriptions would be epic. Just saying. Think Olbermann and Hayhurst combined.
The autograph ratio compared to relics this year is crazy and collation was terrible. If you are going to decrease the number of autographs then drop the price of the box as that is where things get expensive. The relics while nice, are just the same thing as every other product in baseball and Allen & Ginter in the past. Small relics that won’t fetch much on secondary market unless it’s a top celebrity like Shawn Michaels or Manny Pacquiao. The insert ratio of the major hits inside rip cards has been terrible as well. The product has been out a week and no one has seen a mini autograph or really any wood parallels or sketches yet. I know they are 1/1s and the reds are numbered very low but where are they? Maybe people just aren’t ripping the rip cards?
Again, it’s hard to review something so beloved and at the same time such a wide range of different types of cards you can pull. The design is nothing new, but keeping it old is what the product is and you can’t change that for anything. The checklist is both jaw dropping and head scratching at the same time. Again, I’m going to make my play into the market next year as an Allen & Ginter signer because I think mine would be more interesting then half of the people chosen to sign this year. Not many people would know who I am, but I would make it collectible. Seriously, who wants Jo Frost or even knew who Jo Frost was and collected sports cards? Not really the target market. The collation problems and the lack of autographs while maintaining a higher price is kind of a disappointment as well. But there is nothing we can do about that. This product is often sold by the case because of how much people love it.
So here’s a pretty video of me opening my box of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter and you can see my reactions as I pull cards. This box will also be used for my 2011 Gint-A-Cuffs submission and hopefully I beat a couple other bloggers out there. But I will post more about my score when the scoring rubric is released.
Videos coming up shortly, uploading to the YouTube. You get to see me try and pronounce Penultimacy with my slight stutter. Not a pretty sight.