A few months ago I remember someone Beckett Media’s Chris Olds a question through Twitter, relating to which was the most viewed Baseball product on the Beckett website. The answer, somewhat surprisingly, was Allen & Ginter’s!
This little fact-let stuck with me at the time and, as the months have passed, I’ve also noticed that the 2013 A&G Baseball Preview that I posted back in January has also been one of the most viewed on this very blog! Here it is again if you’re interested!
Well, this got me pondering the question – Why the HELL is Allen & Ginter’s so popular?
What makes it stand out as one of the most viewed, most popular and most anticipated products of the Baseball release calendar??
To be honest I’m not even going to try and answer that question! I wouldn’t even know where to start!! There’s so much packed into each iteration of Allen & Ginter’s, with each year upping the ante more and more, that there’s something in each release for ALL collectors!
From the standard Baseball card set through to the awesome mini parallels; from framed mini relics to autographed box toppers; from non-Baseball mini sets to all kinds of crazy type stuff, the list goes on, and on, and on, and on!
A&G is THE most eclectic Baseball release of the year!!
Personally I love it, but I could never collect it. There’s far too much crammed in each year that really appeals to the collector in me that the completest in me could never find any solace. So each year I hold back and get my fun out of watching what other people pull!
And as I mentioned above, there’s all kinds of crazy stuff!! We’re not just talking unusual oddities, we’re talking bat-shit crazy, off-the-wall type inserts that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
All credit goes to the design team at Topps for pushing the creative boat out each year, for coming up with more and more unique ideas to tickle our collecting fancies! So, rather than dwelling on what makes A&G so popular in the first place, I thought I’d take a look at some of the items that make it so interesting! Starting with –
From the very first release back in 2006 A&G has included DNA relics of famous historical figures. These relics are incredibly rare, usually #’d/10 or less, but often look suspiciously like small pubic hairs embedded in a framed card
Now we start entering the ‘world of weird’ with these particular relics/autographs from 2009, based around creatures from myth and legend, with a DNA relic of Big Foot and an auto of The Invisible Man (who saw that one coming?)
and from 2010, some Magic Beans!!
Told you!!! Bat-shit crazy!!
A big, big favourite of mine (partly due to my love of the old Universal Monster movies from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s), Terrorabelia features relics from these old films and were incredibly hard to find in the 2009 release. Here we’ve got a piece of bandage from ‘The Mummy’ and fur from ‘The Werewolf’
But the best from this set (and in the running for the best A&G insert of all time) is the following one. Imagine pulling a redemption card for ‘Dracula’ only to get the card below it just over a year later
Yep!! Topps made it look as if someone had bit into the card while leaving behind bloody teeth marks. I shit you not!!
And these sold for over $400 on eBay!! Some people will buy absolutely bloody anything!!
Flora of the World
Effectively a mini card-sized packet of seeds from 2011 A&G
Colony in a Card
From 2012, grow your own colony of seat pets – just add water (seriously, where the hell do they get these ideas from?)
Lepidoptery and Arachnology
Last years A&G gave collectors the chance to obtain (via redemption) a boxed butterfly or moth. These seem to be so rare that I’ve not even managed to find a picture. Either that or they aren’t available yet!
This year, it’s a boxed spider!!
Personally I’m waiting for mummified body parts 🙂
So there you go folks. A crazy look into the weird and wonderful world of Allen & Ginter’s inserts! And do bear in mind that these are the ones we know about!! Who knows what treasures are waiting for us come July when the 2013 product hits the cards stores??
I, for one, can’t wait! And if viewing figures are to be believed – I’m not the only one!!