It's almost time for the All Star break, and that means it's almost time for Allen & Ginter. Most A&G fans know the set basics before they are even announced, because this is about as consistent of a set makeup as Topps has ever produced. The base set is 350 cards, with the last 50 cards being short prints. Most of the cards feature current baseball players, but like it's 19th century predacessor, there are also cards of former baseball greats, amazing athletes from other sports, historical figures and places, as well as other cards that only Allen & Ginter could get away with. Cases look to be going for about $1,000 each this year which makes it one of Topps mid range priced products.
All of the familiar mini parallel sets will be back in 2012. There are full 350 card parallel sets of regular mini cards, black border mini cards, Allen & Ginter back mini cards, no number mini cards (which are each numbered to 50), silk cloth mini cards (which are numbered out of ten), wood mini cards (which are one of one) and printing plates (four one of one plates for each card, with each of the four being a different ink color).Relic cards in 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter feature current and former baseball stars, as well as great athletes from other sports and famous historical figures. There are one of one DNA relic cards, book cards and Allen & Ginter originals. New for 2012 are the Lepidoptery cards which feature a complete, pressed butterfly in the card. Due to their size, the lepidoptery cards will be redemptions.
Autograph cards in Allen & Ginter are like the relics, they are on mini cards inside of a full size frame card. The subjects span the board, including baseball (past and present), other sports and other great characters. There are also twenty one of one cut signature cards featuring figures of political and historical importance.
Allen & Ginter collectors love the rip cards. If you are new to Ginter, rip cards are full sized, numbered cards that have a perforated tab on them. You can choose to keep the card as is, or rip the tab open to reveal exclusive mini cards that are only found inside of rip cards, including the following:
Mini Exclusives -- A fifty card extension to the base 350 card mini set, these cards are numbered 351-400.
Mini Wood Exclusives -- The same fifty cards as above, but wooden versions that are numbered one of one.
Red Autographs -- These are signed in red ink and numbered out of ten.
A&G Originals -- Thirty original paintings that are one of one.
Rip Card Reserves -- Redemption cards for items such as autographed bats, jerseys and more.
The 2012 Allen & Ginter set will feature several unique insert sets that fans have come to adore. The 2012 lineup consists of:Full Size Insert Cards
What's In A Name -- A 100 card set that features current and former players.
Baseball Highlight Sketches -- An A&G staple, this is a 25 card set featuring highlights from the past year.
Historical Turning Points -- A twenty card set that highlights important moments in history including great speeches, historical battles and more.
You've Gotta Be Kidding Me! -- Yes, that is the name of the set and it features 15 cards of unbelievable stories and events.
World's Tallest Buildings -- Kind of self explanatory.
Colony in a Card -- Open these cards and grow your own colony! Warning--Do not try to take these cards over international borders!
Mini Insert Cards
World's Great Military Leaders -- Twenty of history's great generals, including Eisenhower, Hannibal, Sun Tzu and more.
Man's Best Friend -- Twenty cards featuring popular pooches.
Musical Masters -- Sixteen of the world's most famous composers. This set will be cool, but can't wait for the modern version in a future set (Mark Knopfler anyone?).
People of the Bible -- Not the most catchy name for a set, but fifteen cards of important biblical figures.
Giants of the Deep -- Fifteen different whales, none of them from Hartford.
Culinary Curiosities -- This ten card set displays odd and bizarre foods and meals from around the world. Wonder if anyone has tried all ten. If you have, time to get your own Travel Channel show.
Hobby boxes of 2012 Allen & Ginter contain an additional single card pack that hold a box topper insert. There are several varieties, most of which are long running Ginter sets:
N43 -- Fifteen baseball players on cards modeled in size after the original cards from the 1800's.
N43 Relics -- Ten N43 cards with an authentic piece of a relic and numbered out of 25.
N43 Auto Relics -- Five card set, numbered to five.
N43 Artifacts -- Five cards with relics from the past.
Baseball Highlight Cabinet Box Loaders -- Five oversized cards featuring highlights from the 2011 baseball season.
Rollercoaster Cabinet Box Loaders -- Five of the world's most infamous and terrifying rollercoasters.
Cabinet Relics -- Ten oversized card set featuring relics. One of one cards.
Currency of the World Cabinet Box Loaders -- This thirty card set's cards each contain a coin from around the world and each card is numbered out of 50.
Each year for the past few years, Allen & Ginter has included a type of treasure hunt called The Ginter Code. Collect special cards with clues on how to solve the code. If you are the first to crack the code, and you win a complete set of 2012 Allen & Ginter autographs!