Allen & Ginter has become one of the most popular sets with both modern and vintage collectors. The variety of the cards and the beauty of the artwork continues to keep the cards in demand.
Allen & Ginter cards were originally produced in the late 1880's and featured beautiful artwork. The cards were included in packs of cigarettes and pictured baseball players and champions from other sports.
In 2006, Topps resurrected the Allen & Ginter brand and produced a set of cards based on the designs of the original set. The cards were an instant hit with collectors because of the artwork, as well as the unique features of the set. Not only were modern baseball players and champions from other sports showcased, but also historical figures and places, retired sports greats and more. Examples of some of the cards include Bruce Lee, The Golden Gate Bridge, Albert Einstein, Bruce Jenner, Mike Tyson, The Empire State Building and many more.
Allen & Ginter collectors also love the vast variety of parallel sets and insert sets each year. Some of the unique sets include Roman Emperors, World Deadliest Snakes, Worlds Deadliest Sharks, Monsters of the Mesozoic, Lords of Olympus, Historical Flying Machines, World Leaders and many more.
Here are some of the main types of Allen & Ginter cards:
Base cards: These are the size of standard baseball cards. They feature baseball players of present and past as well as historical figures, places and events.
Mini cards: Mini cards are the size of the original tobacco sets and there are quite a few mini sets each year. There is a regular mini parallel set, an extended 50 card mini set of cards only found inside of rip cards, an A&G back Bazooka back variation set, a no number back variation set, a black border set and several small but unique subsets each year. The 2010 subsets include Lords of Olympus, Monsters of the Mesozoic, World's Greatest Wordsmiths, National Animals and Sailors of the Seven Seas.
Printing Plate Cards: The actual metal plates used to create the cards. These are one of one.
Wood Cards: Wooden parallel mini cards. These are one of one and parallel both the regular 350 card mini set and the 50 card extended set. Just like the regular extended set, the wooden extended set cards are found only inside of rip cards.
Cloth Cards: These mini cards are printed on silk cloth and placed inside of a frame (just like the relic frames). Cloth cards are usually numbered out of ten.
Relic Cards: These are mini cards featuring a relic and are placed inside of a frame. There are regular baseball relics, DNA relics of famous historical figures and even animals (such as the woolly mammoth), and even mock relics of mythological figures.
Autograph Cards: Allen & Ginter autos are similar to relics in that the autographed card is a mini card that is placed inside of a larger frame. In addition to baseball autographs, you may run into an autograph from the Invisible Man (in invisible ink)!
Rip Cards: Rip cards are some of the most sought after cards in Allen & Ginter. They are full size cards that are serial numbered to 250 or less, and contain a rip card exclusive mini card inside of the full size card. You can choose to either leave the card as is, or rip it open to reveal the card inside.