To many collectors, the Allen & Ginter brand is a midsummer night’s dream. The set, branded as baseball by Topps, has always been so much more diverse and eclectic, with history, politics, entertainment and pop culture sprinkled into the mix.
Since its inception in 2006, the set has come out during the dog days of summer. The coronavirus pandemic changed things in 2020, as A&G was released in mid-September. For 2021, it’s back to a mid-summer release, with cards expected the week of July 14.
2021 Topps Allen & Ginter Configuration and Base Set
The format for the 15th issue of Allen & Ginter will mirror those of previous issues. A hobby box will contain 24 packs, with seven base cards and a mini card per pack. A short-printed mini card will appear every 13 packs.
Topps is promising three hits per hobby box, with on-card autographs, relics, original buyback cards, book cards, cut signatures and rip cards all possibilities.
The size of the base set will remain the same, at 350 cards. Fifty of those will be short prints, and the set will include the usual mix of veterans, rookies and retired stars. Singers, media members, pop culture icons and other sports notables will be part of the set.
Silver portrait base parallel cards will appear in select hot boxes, while glossy parallels can be found as 1/1 cards in both base and short-printed cards.
The bulk of the parallels will be the tobacco-sized cards, which have regular and A&G backs.
- Base mini – (One per pack, short prints are 1:13 packs)
- Allen & Ginter back – (1:5 packs, short prints are 1:65 packs)
- Black – (1:10 packs, SP 1:130 packs)
- No number – (50 copies each)
- Brooklyn back – (Numbered to 25)
- Glossy – 1/1
- Wood – 1/1 (Hobby exclusive)
- Gold bordered (Retail)
There are also 1/1 printing plates. These cards will be minis but will be packaged in frames to make them seem as large as the regular base cards. In addition, there are special mini parallels for 150 cards.
- Stained Glass – (25 copies each)
- Framed Cloth Mini – (Numbered to 10)
- Mini Metal – (Three copies each)
Autographs are always a big draw in the A&G set, particularly non-baseball players. Last year, for example, autographs included pop culture favorites such as Spike Lee, R.L. Stine, Ludacris, Chi Gaines, Andy Cohen and Nick Thune. Non-baseball athletes included Megan Rapinoe, Joe Burrow and Briana Scurry.
No list has been revealed for the 2021 product yet, but it is usually an interesting mix. The framed mini format returns, and the signatures will be directly on the cards.
Black framed parallels will be numbered to 25, while Red Ink parallels are a hobby exclusive.
Cut Signatures is a subset that features 20 different subjects from historical and pop culture figures, all numbered 1/1. Meanwhile, Framed Originals is a 100-card set of 1/1 buyback cards.
Relics and Autographed Relics
Relics return to play a prominent role among A&G hot cards. Full-Size relics include baseball stars and notable personalities outside of major league baseball. Framed Mini Relics concentrate on MLB standouts.
DNA Relics, a hobby exclusive, are numbered to 25 or less and includes pieces of ancient fossils. Mythical Relics, also numbered to 25 or less, is a hobby exclusive that features “relics” from fictional creatures. “These pieces of history are likely too good to be true,” Topps notes in its sell sheet.
Combining autographs and memorabilia, the A&G Autographed Relic Book Cards feature player autograph and jumbo relic pieces on a dual-paneled book card. A&G Dual Autograph Relic Book cards will contain two autographs and two relics. These cards will be numbered to 10.
A new group of Mini Sized Relics debut in the 2021 set.
Far, Far Away focuses on celestial bodies from many light years away. Mascots IRL feature major league mascots “in real life,” while Good for You emphasizes healthy choices. Hats Off pays tribute to great forms of headwear, and World’s Largest focuses on large items – on a mini card, no less.
Inserts offer up different subjects, baseball and otherwise. Historic Hits commemorates 50 notable hits in baseball history, including walk-offs, milestones and record breakers. Murad Reimagined puts modern players in the old T51 Murad format from 1909. This insert also has Framed Cloth versions that are numbered to 51.
World Leaders is a collection of heads of state from around the world.
Rallying Park portrays endangered species of animals that are enjoying a resurgence. Deep Sea Shiver focuses on a variety of the world’s sharks.
A relic variation has various species numbered to 10 or fewer. Arboreal Appreciation portrays various trees, while Birds of a Feather examines parrots from around the world.
A&G’s Rip Cards offer the collector the thorny problem of whether to discover a card within a card. There are 100 subjects and there will be a mini card inside a regular-sized cards. These cards will fall twice in a hobby case.
A&G Dual Rip Cards are exclusive to hobby boxes and feature 50 subjects. A Boxloader Rip Card will feature an oversized card with three mini cards inside and is limited to 30 copies.
Rip cards offer several options for collectors:
- Artist Originals (1/1)
- Mini Exclusives (Cards are numbered 351 to 400)
- Mini Metal Exclusives (numbered to 3)
- Mini Wood Exclusives (1/1)
- Mini Stained-Glass Exclusives (One per Boxloader Rip Card)
Speaking of boxloaders, they are included in every hobby box. There are “base” boxloaders, A&G N43 Boxloaders and World’s Largest Boxloader, which is limited to 500 copies. There are on-card signature cards, too: Allen & Ginter Boxloader Autographs and A&G N43 Boxloader Autographs are numbered to 15 or less.