I’ve just been reading over my last few posts and it looks as if I’ve done a far bit of Topps bashing over the last few days!
It wasn’t my intention for all of this anti-Topps rhetoric to spew out at once, it’s just what was on my mind at the time and I got on a bit of a roll.
As a Baseball card collector we’re pretty much stuck with each other, so in an effort to restore the balance I’m going to examine some of the things (in my honest and humble of opinions) that Topps does really well as a card company, starting with a look at one of THE most popular product releases of the year (and a personal favourite of yours truly) – Allen & Ginter!
First released by Topps in 2006, and based upon the cigarette cards released in the 1800’s, these hand-painted cards are a constant annual highlight for card collectors with many buying boxes by the case load to sample the delights on offer.
For some historical context click on this link for an interesting article from Cardboard Connection detailing the highly regarded and sought after 1888 N28 A&G Baseball card set.
Whenever I think about A&G the first thing that comes to mind is variety. Sure you get all the standard stuff – basecards, minis, relics, autos, etc, but what Topps’ A&G also gives you is that something extra. I’d love to know how much time and energy goes into the design of this product, because the beauty of A&G is that it’s one of the most eclectic card releases of the year.
At it’s heart, A&G is about winners – the World’s best! Not just on the Baseball diamond but from other sports or areas of popular culture where individual achievement and success deserves to be recognised and honoured on a 2.5″ x 3.5″ piece of card. However there are two other features that make this product stand head and shoulders above many other Topps Baseball releases – Non-Sports Cards and The Ginter Code!
I’ll go into The Ginter Code another time because that’s a topic that I feel deserves a post all to itself.
It was the Non-Sports cards that I wanted to draw your attention to, in particular the Non-Sports Mini insert sets!
Although I collect Baseball cards I’m not exclusively a Baseball card collector. I’ll collect absolutely anything that catches my eye – so when I first became aware of these Mini insert sets I was on them like white on rice!
Take a look at some of the following images to get an idea of what’s on offer –
2010 A&G World’s Wordsmiths
2011 A&G Uninvited Guests
2010 A&G Lords of Olympus
2010 A&G Sailors of the Seven Seas
2011 A&G Step Right Up
2010 A&G Monsters of the Mesozoic
So whether it’s maritime explorers or famous writers, legends of Greek mythology or odd dishes from around the world there’s absolutely something for everyone with these sets! And they’re pretty easy to get hold of and put together – well some of them are… Just don’t get me started on the 2012 ‘Guys in Hats’ set.
From dinosaurs to world famous haunted houses, and from well-known circus acts to famous faces from The Bible, A&G Mini inserts make collecting fun for those of us who love those little minis yet don’t always want to collect the customary ball player parallels of the base set! And each year I can’t help but marvel at the designs of some of the cards and sets that Topps produce for this release. A lot of time and thought clearly goes into A&G and it shows!! Great stuff!!
SHAMELESS SALES PITCH
I do have a few of these mini sets up for grabs on eBay at the moment for pretty reasonable prices, so if you’re interested in making a start on some of these sets then click on the link below and feel free to take a look
Andy’s eBay Listings
Please note that if you see a listing for an evening dress, it’s the wife’s, NOT mine!!
END OF SHAMELESS SALES PITCH
And Topps, if you’re listening on this one, any chance of doing a set based on the Universal Monsters?? Not sure if you have the rights for these or not but it would make a great set!! I mean, who wouldn’t want to own The Creature from the Black Lagoon’s Rookie card? (Although I know technically it won’t be a Rookie card as it won’t have the logo on, but let’s not go there… Yeah? 🙂 )
In fact I’m more than happy for you to DM me as I’ve got loads of ideas for mini sets!!
Go on… You know it makes sense!!