Is 2009 Allen & Ginter perfect?

If you’ve visited a card-related message board or surfed through the 100+ card blogs this past week, there was no way to avoid A & G Mania. In the two years since my return to collecting I have not seen anything like it, including with the ’07 & ’08 Allen & Ginter releases.

Universally, it appears that Topps has a serious hit on their hands that could end up sweeping the end of the year awards by multiple entities. It appears even the usual anti-everything collectors have found very little to complain about. I mean, how could you? On-card autographs, short-prints, well-designed relics, contests, you name it, Allen & Ginter has it.

Well, not everyone loves Allen & Ginter. While it appears that Topps has been stuck on retro-themed set cruise control, the truth is that they do it extremely well, with the exception of Topps Magic, which I have yet to get my hands on. Now compared with Upper Deck’s 2009 releases, Allen & Ginter is in a class of its own.

Truly, the only product which has a chance to compete with this year’s A & G release is 2009 Goodwin Champions. That brand features a retro-themed design, wonderful artwork, and best of all… on-card autographs. My biggest fear is that much like the hype for O-Pee-Chee, U.D. might not be able to deliver all that is promised.

Don’t get me wrong, Allen & Ginter has its flaws including ridiculous non-sport autographs that seem to be getting worse with each release and a higher than expected price point. Of course, this will all get covered when I review Allen & Ginter next week.

So 2009 Allen & Ginter is not perfect but it’s as close as anything released so far.

36 thoughts on “Is 2009 Allen & Ginter perfect?

  1. Ive never been in the minority this much in a while, but for some reason it just doesnt appeal to me. I dont know why, the base design (which is the whole thing) doesnt really ever pop out for me. As so many people love this im just going to have to get a box for myself to give it a chance.

  2. Personally, I don’t care for A&G and don’t bother with it. However, I realize that a lot of collectors love it and that’s fine. What I have a problem with is some “collector’s” trashing some products and thinking what they collect is gold and thinking those that collect the “trash” are fools.

  3. For the record, A&G isnt bad, but its the worst its been in all the years its been released. You are right, there really isnt much else out there.

  4. It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good. I have a problem with stupid relics like Bigfoot (not the truck). the Invisible man, and your boy Billy the Marlin. No one wants a fake relic, and if anything, they’re only drawing attention to the absurdity and questionable authenticity behind ALL relics.

    That said, the autos are beautiful, as usual, and the base set is quality. Being someone who’s studied fine art, I can appreciate the look of these cards, even if it is just fancy photoshopping.

    And as Gellman & you have both said, what else is really out there right now. It’s pretty easy for Ginter to appear perfect given the crap that’s on the market.

  5. What would make Allen & Ginter better would be if they keep it PURELY baseball, reduce the short prints and cut the price down.

  6. bought a box for $85 . got a shani davis redemetion. are you kidding? great set no way. I collect sports cards not this junk…..

  7. I love the Steve Wiebe auto, Topps knows how to put the right non sports celebs into these releases.

  8. While A&G is getting a bit played out in the design, it still brings more than necessary to be one of the best releases of the year in a wasteland of bad product. I still like some of the non-sport choices, as I do every year. I will definitely be displaying Wiebe next to Billy Mitchell and loving it. However, I will not be buying boxes and just picking up the hits I want on Ebay. I just can’t stomach the risk that a Ginter box can bring.

    Also, as a rebuttal on Topps Magic, I love that release. Granted, it is for a small audience, but it brings a great design and finish. I have picked up auto’s and mini’s of every rookie on the Lions and a few of my college favorites. As a college fan, I like the college uni’s. I have to say it is personally one of my favorites releases of the year.

  9. Better than most everything else out there (for 2009)? OK, I can agree with you there. But ridiculous relics and autos justifying the price point?? I really don’t know about that one… I’ll likely only go the retail route with this one.

    Goodwin Champions looks sweet, though. If they price it anywhere under A&G I’m all in.

  10. Its what it is an art themed retro set. Its up to you whether to buy it or not. Im starting to get a little tired of complainers with no solutions. I mean what more could you do with a product like this? No auto’s or relics like the original? What a lot of people don’t realize about this set is the art! I mean Brian Kong, and Dick Perez have exclusive cards in this set!


  11. One sentence review:

    Nice looking base set (although not my thing) ruined by irrelevant relics and a price point that is too high.

  12. I mainly collect vintage and retro modern cards so A and G is right up my alley and to tell you the truth I feel that this is the best looking Allen and Ginter has ever been.

  13. I rather have a relic of bigfoot than some 16 year old who will be a manager at the dad’s local car wash in 5 years.

  14. I think it has to do with your taste in art. Some people like a certain painting on the wall and some people don’t.

    But when you look at the thought that goes into this set, the intelligence and fun that goes into this set, how can anything else compete? For me, not even Goodwin Champions will compare to this (I’ve gotten a look at a few samples, it’s not that impressive).

  15. 2009 A&G does look pretty good, and I might even consider buying a box of it after not buying any new boxes or packs in the last 5 months. Still, I think it’s the exception among retro sets, rather than the rule. Most of the retro sets that are being produced are pretty redundant and boring, as Gellman so eloquently explained in his post.

  16. I like the design of A&G…they truly are nice looking cards. Much more so than some of the modern stuff out there now. My box of A&G should arrive Tuesday. I am excited, but at the same time I don’t want to get my hopes up. I think that A&G should do away with the crazy cards…some non-sport is ok with (the historical ones are interesting to me, but not everyone). I don’t think you get enough “bang” for your buck with A&G. For $80+ I would expect more than 3 cheap GUs (in 07 I received Brian Roberts, Scott Rolen and Scott Podsednik…nothing to get excited about there). Granted, I’m not all about the hits in a product…but when paying $80+ I do expect something decent that I can get excited about. I guess my main gripe with it is the price…but I bought a box anyway…

  17. The thing I like about A&G is that it’s not just aabout the hits. There are sp’s, minis, inserts, etc. I think you get your money’s worth when you buy a box.

    I also like reading the non-baseball cards and learning about the subjects.

  18. well mojo hand, heres my solution to making this set better- no pubic hair cards of non-baseball players!!!

    Am I seriously the only one who doesnt love these cards? I mean a hair, really???

  19. I like A & G. I love the beautiful card stock that is used. I’m part set collector so I enjoy filling the holes created by the short prints. I love the minis. Wish I had enough dough to go about accumulating all of the minis for the set. It’s a worthy cause. (I was able to do this in 2007.) That said, my chief complaint with A & G is Topps’ insistence every year of including one card of a parallel set in every pack – this year it’s National Heroes. No one likes these sets. Collectors would be better served by including 2 minis in every pack. I love the parallel minis this year. Best yet. Also like the water-color effect that Topps has added to the background of each base card. Get rid of the “every-pack” parallel card next year. Collectors love the minis. Help us out by including more in next year’s set.

  20. Pubic hairs? Really this is new to me. I heard about the Phelps speedo, but the pubes are a little strange. I will take you word on it Jessie. However, Allen and Ginter is not a baseball card themed set. You are going to get an assortment of strange, and interesting characters thats what makes A&G what it is. Like I said before its your choice whether to buy it or not.

  21. You would be surprised what some people collect smeister. Im sure there is a collector out there right now who has a post dedicated to the National Heroes set in this years A&G. Although we may agree on a lot of subjects no two collections are the same. Thats what’s so great about this hobby.


  22. I was just referring to the hair-cut cards, theres no pubes(that I know of at least) πŸ˜‰
    say if I ever get a hair card of value its yours for free πŸ™‚

    I will agree with you guys on one thing, A+G has to be the BEST base card set to go thru-the-mail autos. And the silk is sweet.

  23. I have to agree with Mr. Mojo that A&G is a themed set but thats what makes it so cool. I love the fact that it has all these Assortment sets. And the National Heros set is really well done. I can’t wait til my box gets here! Best card set this year by far….. we’ll see if the Goodwin set can keep up!

  24. I look forward to the A&G set every year. I am a baseball collector but I don’t mind the various characters and subsets A&G includes in their release.

    The only cards I’m not really thrilled by are the mascot autos.

  25. Got my box for $74, and Blowout bumped another $3-4 off with a special over the weekend. All ya gotta do is look. Blowout is apparently a pretty big online dealer of cards.

    I don’t want to say that the collector that doesn’t like Allen & Ginter hates fun, but that’s the only thing I can think of. If you don’t like it, don’t get it, but it seems to be lost on y’all that the crazy s*** they put in it is FULLY IN LINE WITH THE ORIGINAL A&G. So, while you may think it dumb and annoying, Topps is actually being true to the original A&G. If you can’t have fun with it, then it’s not for you.

    Some things call for negativity and complaining and deserve every bit of it, but this is not one of those things. It is what it is, and what it is is a quirky fun set that doesn’t take itself too seriously, deal with it. Maybe even take the stick out and have a little fun when the price inevitably drops $20-$30 if you are capable of such a thing, and let the rest of us enjoy it.

  26. Never bought A&G until this year. The base cards (and black bordered parallel minis) are a much better design. It would be a perfect set without any short prints (so tired of those), and if the mini inserts weren’t quite so rare. Not going for the mini parallels, and I don’t really care about the relic hits, though in one box I got Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and a nice Earvin Santana auto.
    Got my first two boxes for $73 and a third at a show for $82.

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