2012 Allen & Ginter
by, 07-23-2012 at 05:42 PM (612 Views)
Throughout the sports card Blogosphere (is that an actual word??) the past couple of weeks has been non-stop discussion of this year's Allen & Ginter set. This is the first year that I've actually paid attention to this unique set. I was mildly aware of the set in past years but couldn't be bothered when it came out. I thought 'who cares about a baseball set where a significant number of cards are of non-baseball subjects'. I chuckled in amusement as keeners tried to 'crack the code'. I had better things to do in my life than pour over cards trying to figure out some cryptic saying.
All that changed earlier this year. I bought a couple of boxes of 2011 A&G in a WalMart in in March when I was on vacation in Florida. The boxes were marked down and I thought they may make good trade bait. As I opened pack after pack, I was actually intreged by the various subject matter of the inserts. I'm interested in military history so I liked the Floating Fortesses inserts. I loved the colours of the Ascent of Man cards. The Hometown Heroes, though somewhat hokey, are kinda interesting. Mini cards are mini cards, and they are always neat to receive. The only insert set I really didn't like was the Highlight Sketches. They looked like they were done by a high school are class.
The base set is well done. The colours on the portraits are vivid yet not overwhelming. There is a good thickness to the cards. The set has all the current stars of the game. The non-baseball cards add to the interest. Where else can you get a card of Chuck Woolery(!!) and Dirk Hayhurst dressed up as a giraffe. I also got enought of the SP cards in my 2 boxes that I realized that putting the entire 350 card set was achievable.
Though not as challenging as the 2011 Gypsy Queen set, I decided that I could put the base set together and some of the insert sets. Since then I've obtained another 2 boxes when my wife went on a shopping trip to Buffalo, and some base and insert cards from someone who was selling off a bunch of his cards at an excellent price. I'm well on my way... This past weekend on The Bench I bought a bunch of the insert cards and SP's at a very good price.
Let's jump ahead to the 2012 set. Reading through the various blog entries on the internet, there appears to be a very favourable response to this set. The sketch cards are kinda scary. I saw the Ripken card - I didn't realize that he had a mustache. It was almost a running joke - another blog entry about a box break of the 2012 A&G!! Unlike the other sets that Topps has put out this year, there has been no big negatives about the set. It also appears that a number of the hard core collectors were looking forward to the issuance of this set more than the other sets that have come out so far. I'm undecided yet as to whether or not to tackle this set. Knowing me, if I can find a few boxes marked down then I'll go for it.
In my opinion, A&G has surpassed Topps, Topps Chrome and the Topps sets for collectors. It carries enough interest that it draws in collectors of all types. The basic Topps has been on the slide for a number of years. A&G has the appearance that the Topps company actually puts some effort into the base set and the inserts. There is enough changes from year to year to keep up the interest of collectors.