Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Allen & Ginter Checklist and Preview

It's only a few weeks until my second favorite Topps product is released. Hobby boxes and cases of 2010 Allen & Ginter are scheduled for a June 25th release. Hopefully retail blaster boxes won't be far behind. I put together a quick preview of the set. There are a lot of simlarities to previous Ginter sets, but of course there are several new insert sets. You can find the full checklist here:

2010 Allen & Ginter Checklist

The base set will be 350 cards, as it has been since Allen & Ginter was first produced by Topps. This includes 260 baseball veterans and 30 rookies, as well as 35 champions from sports other than baseball and 25 historical figures/places. There is also the usual comlete 350 card mini parallel set plus several more harder to pull parallel sets including Wood (numbered one of one), Silk (numbered out of 10), Bazooka back (numbered out of 25), No Number back (numbered out of 50), Black Border Minis and Allen & Ginter back minis.

Ginter Code cards will be back in 2010. Each card forms a piece of a puzzle to be solved, and the first to solve it gets some nice prizes from Topps. These codes are tough to crack, but a team of two figured it out in a span of about a week last year. I imagine Topps will try to make it even more difficult this year.

If you are a fan of Allen & Ginter, you know that some of the most sought after cards are the Rip cards. Each rip card is a full sized card that is serial numbered out of 99 (or less) and contains another mini card inside of it. You can choose to leave the card in tact, or rip it open to retrieve the mini card. These mini cards can only be found inside of Rip cards, and include the extended mini set consisting of card numbers 351-400, wood parallels of the extended set (one of one), red autographs (numbered out of 10) and Allen & Ginter Originals which are not original 19th century cards as it may sound, but original mini portraits of current baseball stars painted, signed and numbered by artist Jeff Zachowski.

Video Preview of 2010 Allen & Ginter

As with any modern Topps set, there will be a vast array of relic and auto insert cards. Allen & Ginter is no exception. There are regular relic cards and regular autograph cards, a complete 350 card parallel set of mini printing plates (one of one), a 50 card parallel set of mini printing plates for the extended series cards, a ten card set of Monsters of the Mesozoic relics (numbered out of 10) and a ten card set of DNA relics (one of one). There will be cut signature cards which are usually one of one, but Topps is keeping the details of these secret for now.

One of the great features of Allen & Ginter sets are the interesting and unique insert sets. This year you can look forward to a Lords of Olympus set featuring Greek gods, Monsters of the Mesozoic (dinosaurs), World's Greatest Wordsmiths (authors, playwrights, philosophers), National Animals, Sailors of the Seven Seas (great seafarers), This Day in History (history of baseball that is) and Baseball Highlight Sketch cards.

Last (and also least) is the MLB Logo Man Continuity Program cards. There are five of these in the Allen & Ginter set and they continue the set from other 2010 Topps products. If you get one of these, you will know it immediately as they do not look anything like the other Allen & Ginter cards.

I look forward to A&G every year because of it's uniqueness. I love the insert sets even though some of them can be very difficult to complete and I enjoy reading the backs of the non-baseball athlete and historical figure/place cards. Even retail should be here in time for the All-Star game.

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