The eighth edition of Topps’ popular retro-themed product Allen & Ginter’s World’s Champions is set for release in the middle of July. As usual, the set will feature a mix of baseball players, athletes from other sports, and celebrities all in a 19th Century-inspired design. The base set of 2013 Topps Allen and Ginter will consist of 350 cards, with the last 50 short-printed but nonetheless attainable. Each pack will contain one mini-sized parallel or insert with all the tiers of mini-parallels returning. Every fifth pack will have the one-per-pack mini parallel replaced with a mini-sized insert; among those include cards of Native American, philosophers, and monarchs.
Every pack will yield a full-sized insert. Highlights include a 100-card “Across The Years” set that pairs MLB players with other celebrities who share same birthday and an acetate set of the planets and moons of the solar system.
The weirdness (and appeal) of Allen & Ginter’s are the multitude of autographs and Relics of non-baseball players. Yes, there are autographs and Relics of actual baseball players, and they make up the bulk of the checklist. But collectors can also expect the first autographed card in a mainstream trading card product of, arguably, the greatest living athlete in the world today: Pele. Although he did sign a limited number of cards for In The Game’s Sportkings set in 2008, 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter’s will have Pele’s first certified autographs in a licensed mainstream product.
Other celebrities signing for this year’s Ginter include college coaches Bobby Bowden, Brian Kelly, and John Calipari; Olympic gymnast turned internet meme subject McKayla Moroney; Boxer Roy Jones, Jr.; and punk rock legend Henry Rollins.
In addition to all those goodies, collectors should also keep an eye for a couple of new additions to A&G. Not counting the standard framed Relics (which for the first time come in two different frame patterns), 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter’s will also include standard-sized Relics for the first time. Each 24-pack Hobby box will yield three “Hits” with no more than one type of Relic coming in each box. It’s unclear if all players will be available in all three Relic types or if some players will be exclusive to a specific type or pattern.
The other addition – which, truth be told, most collectors probably shouldn’t expect to find – are the “Double Rip” Rip Cards. Unlike the standard Rip Cards – which will still be seeded at the case hit level – the Double Rips, all of which will be serial-numbered to ten copies, will have two mini cards embedded inside, one of which will be a Double Rip-exclusive one-of-one “One Of A Kind” insert.
2013 Topps Allen & Ginter’s World Champions will be released the week of July 15. Each Hobby box will include 24 packs of eight cards and retail for $5/pack. Hobby boxes should go for around $90. See a full image gallery below.