Madness is right around the corner!

In case anyone forgot, this entire weekend, Wax Heaven will be full of contests. As of now I do not know if they will begin at midnight or early Saturday morning. Either way, you have all day Saturday & Sunday to participate so do not worry about missing out.

I would like to thank Mike of Offy’s Sports Site for sending me my very first 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter. As you can see, it’s a mini but one of the better ones as it has the Ginter back. I am putting up a ransom for anyone who can procure this printing plate, along with two other Miller cards from 2009 A & G.

Whoever can do so will get 9 basketball certified autographs or 3 certified football autographs and a memorabilia card of comedian Will Ferrell. All that I ask is that you not spend too much money, as the Topps set hunters are out in full force on eBay.

As for my collection, I have created a spreadsheet to keep better count of my cards. It is in the very early stages and still needs a lot of work but shows every card I own.  You can view my Andrew Miller collection HERE.

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.

Dick Perez: The original sketch king

It’s hard not to get jaded over the amount of lousy sketch cards found in Topps products over the past two years. For every masterful Brian Kong piece, odds are you will find one of these monstrosities. Not to mention that these “1 of 1” sketch cards have completely flooded the market.

Well, never fear because legendary sketch artists Dick Perez has rare artwork inserted into 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably have seen Perez’ work in the classic Donruss Diamond King brand, not to mention 2008 Topps products.

The very first Dick Perez ’09 Allen & Ginter piece hit eBay recently and with 3 days left has already cracked $200 dollars. Did I forget to mention it’s of none other than Super Prospect bust, Alex Gordon? Can you imagine what a player like Pujols or Ichiro might fetch?

You can check out Wax Heaven’s 2008 interview with Mr. Perez HERE.

Topps has saved my collection!

It’s been a quiet few months for my Andrew Miller collection. With Andrew being in his third season and continuing to struggle, it’s been frustrating as a true fan. What made matters worse is that for every five products released since late 2008, I was lucky if he was included in one.

It’s been months since I turned on my scanner and even longer since I went through my collection. With no new cards in sight, my only option was buying expensive parallels and low-numbered autographs and sadly, that is not an option right now.

There is a behind the scenes trade of a lifetime being worked on but it’s a long process. Seeing this insignificant (to many) base card of Andrew in 2009 Allen & Ginter has renewed my interest in my collection. It’s nothing special and features no game-used relic or autograph but once again Topps has done an amazing job.

You can see my 2008 Allen & Ginter Andrew Miller collection HERE. It features the base card, silk card, mini, black bordered mini, and even an in-person autograph. Thanks very much to Topps for creating the perfect Andrew Miller card (again) and Wax Heaven reader, Kris, for providing an awesome scan.

2009 Allen & Ginter now live!

The good ol’ boys of Beckett Media already busted their boxes of Allen & Ginter but for us regular collectors, we finally have a chance to own some of the most-wanted cards of 2009 thanks to eBay.

Ironically enough, the first autograph from A & G to hit eBay is that of former Marlins, current Nationals pitcher, Scott Olsen. Although I love the idea of Marlins-related “hits”, I have to say these look an awful lot like last year’s effort.

It’s good to see Allen & Ginter start hitting eBay before its release, on July 4th no less. It, along with Topps Company is as American as apple pie and easily one of the most popular products of the last few years.

Click here to see more 2009 Allen & Ginter!