We recently received our review box of the highly anticipated 2010 Topps Allen and Ginter product and went to work on opening the packs to see what a new season of this popular issue might bring. The fact the Allen and Ginter is primarily a baseball product is quite a difference from the original releases in the 1887-88 era. In those products, although the baseball players are important; they make up a very small portion of the complete set.
Topps, to their credit, understands that although the baseball players of today are the primary element in the set, they need to spice things up to honor the history of the Allen & Ginter issue. Thus, the base set again offers a group of non-athletic personalities and mini cards.
The minis, which come one per pack; have a wide range of subjects from parallel cards of the players in the set to Greek Mythology figures. The eclectic grouping of subject matter works on both a baseball and non-baseball level. To me, a great focus group on how interesting a baseball product is my beloved wife. With most products, she opens a few packs and then says, 'honey you finish opening the box'. Allen & Ginter kept her interest so much that she was the one who opened most of the packs. To me, this little anecdote shows the appeal of Allen & Ginter to a general audience..
There are 12 boxes per case and each box contains 24 packs with 8 cards per pack and the promise of three “hits” per box. As we go to post this story; these boxes, depending on how the aspect of buying them at a LCS or purchasing them on line, are trading at between $95-110.
A key to this product, is the inclusion of super hot phenom Stephen Strasburg in the mini parallels. There is no base Strasburg card, thus the only way you can pull a Strasburg is through the mini card program.
Once all of the wrappers hit the floor, how'd we do?
Base Cards: 136 out of 350
Mini Parallels: (Minis come one per pack, between all the different types): Carlos Beltran, Tyler Colvin, Brad Lidge, Nelson Liriano, Jake Peavy, Max Scherzer
Mini Parallel Allen and Ginter Back: Ken Blackburn, Robinson Cano, Johannes Guttenberg, Daniel Hudson, Meb Keflezighi
Mini Lords of Olympus: Atlas, Dionysys
Mini National Animals: Brown Bear, Water Buffalo
Mini Sailors of the Seven Seas: Hernando de Cortes
Mini World’s Wordsmiths: Homer
This Day in History (one per pack): Lance Berkman, Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce, Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, Kosuke Fukudome, Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Zack Greinke, Ken Griffey Jr., Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Torii Hunter, Chipper Jones, Ian Kinsler, Hideki Matsui, Brian McCann, Magglio Ordonez, Jose Reyes, Pablo Sandoval, Grady Sizemore, Jim Thome, Justin Upton, Justin Verlander
Baseball Sketches: Carl Crawford, Jimmy Rollins
Relics: Yunel Escobar, Carlos Marmol and Aramis Ramirez
N43 (Boxtopper): Prince Fielder
Thus, we did receive our three “hits” from the box, but we also had a lot of other fun in opening the packs and getting plenty of subjects outside of the standard baseball card. Any product that is fun to open like this one and appeal to a “wider” audience, is a solid hit in our book. Allen & Ginter's ongoing popularity would seem to indicate we're not alone.
Here's a list of Allen & Ginter currently trading on eBay.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]