Archive for Allen & Ginter

Blaster Break: 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on July 20, 2017 by Cardboard Icons

There was a time when the brand name “Allen & Ginter” set off all sorts emotions for me as a card collector. I would get caught up in the craze that seemingly came with the set.


What major non-sport stars would have signatures in the set? What weird relics would Topps include this year? Would there be a Ginter Code, or any other secrets such as the time Topps embedded unannounced 1/1 parallels within the panels of some hobby boxes?

I’d buy one or two hobby boxes, and then do damage at buy ripping blaster after blaster.

But those are emotions and actions of yesteryear. For me, the appeal of Ginter has waned. I no longer feel the need to hit the Local Card Shop on release day, or do an online break, or even hit retail stores with a fervor. Instead it’s become a product that I open every year in lesser quantities, partially because I feel the quality and bang for the buck has diminished, but also because my interests as a collector have changed.

I know some have argued that the product has jumped the shark and call for its dismissal. I’m not one of them. I’m just saying that I personally consume less Ginter each year.

That said, here I am with a blaster and “fat pack” of this year’s version in my hands and I am going to break it here, show a few, and share some opinions. It’s a bit of an old school ‘Icons act for a pseudo retro product.

I’m not going to do a product break down, link you to checklists and try to act like I am the greatest source of your information. I’ll spare you the bullshit. I bought a random blaster and a fat pack that had my favorite player (Roger Clemens) clearly visible through the front of the wrapper. These are my results; your’s will vary.

The Fat Pack:

Yes, I looked at the front of the packs to see what players were visible. No there was no Aaron Judge otherwise I would be showing that here.  Instead I saw one with my boy Clemens on top and decided to rip it. I don’t care if you consider that unethical. Really. I don’t.


From the moment I opened the pack I could see the middle was a bit different. I had two minis in this pack (which I think is typical for the Fat Packs) and I could see a wood grain border, which turned out to be a 1987 Topps Tom Brookens (silver stamp) buy back. At least this card was mint. I did pull an ’87 buy pack from a Topps Series One pack that was creased across the middle. Go figure.

Anyway, I’m glad I locked down the Clemens base card for my collection; an SP of Seung-Hwan Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a Mini SP of Willie Stargell, and a Required Reading mini that are seeded 1:30 Fat Packs.

The Blaster:

There are eight packs as usual in the blaster and when I opened the first one, there was clearly a framed hit inside. This has been one of the joys of this product over the years.  It’s also been fun to see the shiny frame of a mini hit in the middle of a desert of white base cards. 


As my luck had it, the first single pack of the year held a Framed Mini Relic of Rockies star Nolan Arenado, which to my surprise is a tough pull considering the framed mini relics are seeded 1:733 packs, almost four times HARDER than a framed mini autograph. It’s an interesting ploy by Topps to make these mini relics appealing to some collectors by making them more scarce.  But let’s face it … unless you’re a master set collector, or in dire need of a framed mini relic of Arenado, it’s not paying the bills, not even for this one blaster.


In the third pack I hit an Aaron Judge rookie card, which could be one of the most boring looking rookie cards of the game’s hottest player. But, it is what it is — read: in demand and not something at which to scoff.


In Pack Five I got a rookie card of Mitch Haniger the Mariners’ prospect who hails from my home town.


In Pack Six I got a base card of Clayton Kershaw — the only active player I actually collect — and another one of those Required Reading minis, which are seeded 1:50 regular packs.


And Pack Eight held perhaps one of the coolest Ginter cards to date, that of my friend — and that of like 8 million others — Tom Anderson, co-founder of MySpace. I literally laughed out loud when I saw the photo chose for this card. So so good. It deserves a thumbs up, honestly.


Final Thoughts:

Even though I’d heard some people say this year’s design wasn’t good, I actually disagree. It feels like the base cards are spin on Transcendent, which if was by design, is smart because it plays on the subconcious of those seeking high-end stuff. The brand itself needed something new, and I think this portrait frame design look does it.


I actually dig the fish and fishing lure set — because I like fishing and this is somewhat of a proper homage to the early Ginter sets. And while I applaud Topps for including a slew of other random inserts celebrating animals and events of the world, it all just gets lost in the shuffle for me. Like I said, my personal tastes have changed.

Oh, and I still dig the minis. The design actually looks really good in the minis.


Would I buy more? Probably. But as has been the case in recent years, it’ll be less. I’ll likely steer entirely clear of hobby boxes — if for no other reason it’s already crazy expensive.

 

2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Blaster (x4) and Hobby Box results. RIP CARD video

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

Happy Allen & Ginter Day.  Enjoy the condensed version of the results.

 

Thrift Treasures 55: 120+ year-old card at antique store

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Earlier this week, my wife and I made a trip to a local town to hit the antique and thrift stores.  We spent six hours bouncing in and out of stores.  She did a lot of spending; I did a lot of looking and lamenting at what could have been if I looked around just one more corner, or on one more shelf.

In the end, I wound up with just three cards on the day.  I had more lucrative trips than this one, but what I found was pretty cool.

tt55mitch

tt55ripken

We’ll get these two afterthoughts out of the way real quick.  In the second store I found a box of cards where everything was priced for a quarter each.  Lots of commons. LOTS of commons.  But I found a 1987 Fleer Mitch Williams rookie and n ball 2000 Pacific Backyard Baseball Cal Ripken Jr.  Price for these treasures: 50 cents.

And just two stores down the street I came across this 1889 Allen & Ginter Types of All Nations Syria card priced at $5.

tt55syriafronttt55syriabackIt’s not really a baseball card, but it is a trading card from a cigarette card set that has seen some increased interest in the last five years due to Topps’ stroll down memory lane with its version of Allen & Ginters World Champions.  Kinda bummed it’s Syria and not Portugal, which is the country from which my wife’s family hails.  Of course I see that Mr. Brony showcased a Portugal card just like this six years ago.

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Blasters #4 and #5

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , on July 15, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Blaster Break #3 + Rack Fat Pack

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , on July 14, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Two 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Blaster Break (Video)

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , on July 9, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Enjoy:

Blaster #1

Blaster #2

Pacquiao’s Topps Allen & Ginter cards packing a hell of a punch

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

It’s funny what joy an itsy bitsy piece of cardboard can bring to a grown man.

For more than a year I’ve been asking that someone, anyone create a Manny Pacquiao baseball card.  And finally, my wishes have been answered.

In March of 2010 I wrote this piece, practically begging Topps to include the Fighting Pride of the Phillippines in one of their sets.  AND FINALLY they’ve listened.  I hate to say I told you so but … oh who am I kidding?  We ALL knew that Pacquiao’s cards would pack a hell of a punch.

I am just glad that Topps wised up to the idea and got a deal done with Pacquiao to get his likeness into this annual set of sports champions.

The basic cards have been selling for $2-$5 on eBay, basic Minis have been grabbing $3-$8 and parallels of the minis usually fetch a few dollars more. And that’s on eBay.

I’m sure the cards will fetch a premium in the Phillippines, and other areas of the United States where Filipinos tend to congregate … like here in the Bay Area.

Daily City.  Milpitas. South San Francisco. Union City.  You know what the hell I am talking about.

But you wanna know where the gold is?  It’s in Pacquiao’s  signature.  His autographed card is selling for $750 to $1,000.  That’s about three times as much as I thought the cards would average.  For some reason, I do not think those prices will come down much, if at all.