Friday, July 31, 2015

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 7 - Packs 19 - 24 (Finishing Strong)

Box 7:
Packs 19 - 24:

We end the box on a fairly strong note - two new mini inserts, a framed mini buyback, and a (not scanned) A&G back mini of Joc Pederson.

First, the framed mini.

That's one of the Portraits of Penultimacy inserts from the 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter set.  Not my favorite insert set ever but it did have a few neat cards in it.

Now, to the good stuff.

Another Magnates, Barons, and Tycoons card!

Andrew W. Mellon is probably the guy that Topps had in mind when they decided to create this insert set!

And finally, we end box 7 with a bird of prey.

The Crested Caracara isn't found much in the United States except in a few warm states (Florida, Texas, and Arizona).  Although the bird is a falcon, it actually acts more like a vulture as it often feasts on carrion.

That's it for seven boxes - still five remain in the case...and still no silk card nor a rip card.  Plenty of time though...I have hope (and I can't really complain either way since I got a wood card #1/1 already)!!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 7 - Packs 13 - 18 (A Pair of Hits!)

As the post title says, we found both of remaining hits in the next group of six packs!

Box 7:
Packs 13 - 18:

Before I get to the hits though, let's first take a peek at the best of the buybacks that I've found so far.

That's a Yastrzemski buyback from 2006 - very, very nice!  It's also interesting to note that this year's version of Ginter doesn't have any retired players in it!

My full-sized inserts were all duplicates this time around but I did land another mini that I needed from the Hoist the Black Flag insert set.

Calico Jack Rackham had two women pirates in his crew including Mary Read which I also pulled out of this box of cards!

My first (of two) relics in this group of packs is of Victor Martinez.

There's nothing particularly wrong with this card but it isn't overly exciting (unless, of course, if you are a Tigers and/or Victor fan)!

My other relic was nice only because it wasn't gray cloth (and because the 10th Anniversary relic design is superior to the "regular" relic design).

That's Christian Yelich of the Marlins - you know, a team that no one collects.

Oh well - not the most exciting hits but then again, I don't buy Ginter for the relics (and neither should you)!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 7 - Packs 7 - 12 (The Djinn and Jackie)

The first six packs in Box 7 were strong.  Let's see how the next six stack up!

Box 7:
Packs 7 - 12:

This group of packs wasn't quite as good as the first six, but they were still solid.  At this point in the case, if I can acquire a couple more new inserts out of each set of six packs then I'm a happy guy.

And happy I am since I pulled two more inserts, plus another 10th Anniversary buyback (full sized version from 2008).

My one new full-sized insert is the Djinn from Menagerie of the Mind.

The Djinn are creatures from Islamic and Arabic mythology.  According to the card back, a djinn can be good, evil, or even neutral.

Finally, another new mini for my collection - and yes, it's another First Lady (though that's the first First Lady out of box #7).

Not bad - and certainly a solid first half of a box!  12 more packs remain, what else lurks in the box?

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 7 - Packs 1 - 6 (A Great Box Topper plus a Framed Autograph)

Alright, it is time to begin the second half of the 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter case!  Here's hoping for more greatness though I must say overall the first half of the case was pretty darn good.

Box 7:
Box Topper:

Wooooooooo!  First, I love the Pride of the People set - and I plan to complete it.  Second, of the various locations in the set, the Colosseum is one of my favorite (and one of three that I've actually seen in person - the others being Big Ben and Mount Rushmore).

I hope this is harbinger of greatness for the rest of the box!

Packs 1 - 6:

Lots of good stuff this time around including my first new full-sized insert in two or three boxes!

That's a Shamshir which was popular in Persia in the 1500s.  The shape of the blade made it ideal for use in mounted combat (so says the back of the card).

In addition to the full-sized insert, I also landed a new mini insert!

That is Mary Read - one of the two most famous (and feared) female pirates in history.  I'm glad Topps including Mary in the set - gender equality among pirates!

My next mini of note was another no number mini.

It's too bad that Joaquin Benoit isn't a bigger name, but still, I'll take it!  The no number minis are not serially numbered this year.

And, as if all that wasn't enough, I also pulled a framed autograph!

I don't know much about Jung-Ho Kang but I do like the autograph (it includes his jersey number which is a nice touch).

That was a great start to box #7 - let's hope it continues!  Stay tuned for more Ginter...I'm writing these posts as quickly as I can (my poor, poor scanner)!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 6 - Packs 19 - 24 (A Flag Back Mini #/25 plus the Final Hit of the Box!)

I have had decent luck over the years with Allen & Ginter cases in terms of pulling rare cards (a Pele auto comes to mind immediately).  However, there have been a few card types that I have had terrible luck with:  Rip cards and mini variations.

For rip cards, I have gone two consecutive years of buying a case and coming up empty in terms of rip cards.  Since I can spoil the fact that I didn't get a rip card in the final six packs of this box, I'm now 2.5 cases without a rip card.  That's not cool since I would like to be able to count on selling said rip card to help recoup a substantial chunk of the cost of the case!

I have also had lousy luck with rare mini versions - at least I had up until this case.  You see, I pulled my first ever wood mini earlier in the case, and now I have pulled a rare mini numbered out of 25.  Perhaps my luck is turning?!

Box 6:
Packs 19 - 24:

Before I get to the mini, let's look at a framed mini.

Yeah, another one of the framed buybacks.  I still maintain that these are way better than the full-sized buybacks.

My rare mini is one of the flag back minis though you can't tell that from the front of the card.

As you can see, it is hand numbered out of 25 (my copy is #13/25).  The flag back minis (as they are called by Topps) are seeded 1:157 packs making them pretty rare!

For me, the big prize of the box was the above mini but I did get my third and final hit of the box as well.

I've at least heard of Malcom Gladwell - more than I can say for the majority of the pop culture relics from this year's Ginter set!

That's it for box 6...and with that, the first half of the case.  No rip card yet but I have found a wood mini, a flag mini, and a 10th Anniversary parallel numbered out of 10.  I've also accumulated a bunch of trade bait - perhaps that list will even be posted to the blog by the time you get to read this post!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 6 - Packs 13 - 18 (More Mini Insets and a Braves Relic)

The first half of box #6 has been mostly disappointing.  Way too many full-sized duplicates (every card in fact) and only two mini inserts (both of the First Ladies variety).  I also only found one hit - though it was a nice framed relic of David Wright, so that's something.

Even so, I'm hoping for a much stronger second half of the box.

Box 6:
Packs 13 - 18:

After opening up the six packs, I can assure that my lack of luck in terms of full-sized inserts has continued.  Another bunch of duplicates.  I did, however, land two new mini inserts so I won't be complaining as much this post!

First, another First Ladies card.

I think the First Ladies insert set might be the largest of the mini sets that Topps has produced for the Allen & Ginter line.  It seems like I keep pulling cards from the set but I'm actually nowhere near completing the darn thing yet!

My other mini was another Magnates, Barons, and Tycoons card.

Andrew Carnegie is a pretty big name in the Pennsylvania region - I'm not sure but it seems like there are many, many towns around me that have a library or some other building named after him.

My final card is the second hit of the box - and despite the plain whiteness of the swatch, it's still a pretty nice pull!

That's Freddie Freeman representing the 10th Anniversary relic design.

I should still have one more hit in the final box - perhaps a printing plate or a silk card?  Maybe (even better) a rip card?  I've gone two years where I have bought a case of Allen & Ginter and NOT received a rip card.  I think if I don't get one this year I'll have to stop buying cases since it just isn't meant to be for me!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 6 - Packs 7 - 12 (Moving Right Along)

Before I get to today's regularly scheduled post, let me once again plug my eBay auctions.  A bunch of them end within a couple of hours - and of those, at the moment a bunch have exactly zero bids on them (which means you could win them for cheap)!  As usual, I appreciate any and all bids - this set of sales is going directly to next year's Allen & Ginter case fund...without the sales, I can't have the fun of breaking a case!  Go here to check 'em out!


I'm continuing my journey through my case of 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter.  I certainly hope that by the time you get to read this post that I've actually busted the entire case - and perhaps even updated my want list with what I still am missing!

Box 6:
Packs 7 - 12:

Ooh boy, this was a dull set of packs.  I had all the full-sized inserts already - and really, only the one First Ladies mini of Letitia Tyler was of interest to me.

However, a post with only one scan is super lame - so how about the two 10th Anniversary full-sized buybacks?

Alright, that didn't really help this post much - but it did add a bit more color...that's something right?
Surely the second half of the box has to be better...

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 6 - Packs 1 - 6 (Boxtopper & a Framed Relic)

After the disappointment of box #5 (save for a few minis including a case hit), I'm hoping for something much better out of box #6.  It's hard to believe but after this box is complete, the case will be half done!

Box 6:
Box Topper:

The Freddie Freeman box topper is nice enough I guess (it's definitely better than the stupid oversized reprints) but it's still not all that exciting to me.  I keep hoping for one of the cooler box toppers (or at least more of the Pride of the People cards since I plan to actually collect that full set!

Packs 1 - 6:

We begin the packs from box 6 much in the same way we ended with box 5...lots of duplicate full-sized inserts.  In fact, all of the non-Starting Point full-sized inserts were duplicates.  This makes me sad - but luckily there were a couple of cards that made me happy.

First, a nice black bordered Jose Bautista.

Next, my only other mini of note - and my first mini insert of box 6!

That's Michelle Obama.  According to her card back, Michelle has been "arguably the most accessible first lady in history."

And finally, how about another gorgeous framed relic?

Yeah, that's pretty sweet - even I can admit that!  I always liked David Wright...and who knew getting a bit of a bat piece (presumably) would feel exciting after only getting bits of cloth in the first five boxes!

Not a terrible start to box #6 - the mini plus the framed relic really saved the first quarter of the box.  I'm anxious to see what else awaits!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 5 - Packs 19 - 24 (Hope You Like Bugs)

Before I get to tonight's scheduled post, I'd like to make another plug for my current eBay auctions.  At the moment, I've sold off my wood mini - and a couple of my other autographs have some bids...but otherwise there is a lot of good stuff from my Ginter case still available!  Also, who knew the interest a Jung-Ho Kang autograph would have?!  I severely underestimated the draw of that card!

I now return you to the previously scheduled post!


Box 5:
Packs 19 - 24:

There is very little to say about the final six packs other than I did get my third hit and I did pick up two more mini inserts (giving me six mini inserts for the box).  In fact, if it weren't for the six minis, this box would have been atrocious as all the full-sized inserts were duplicates from the first four boxes.  I'm hopeful that this was an aberration and not a sign of things to come with the rest of the case.

Anyhow, the two minis from this set of packs were both from the A World Beneath Our Feet set.  This makes three such cards from the box which is good since I didn't have many as of yet!

The European Honeybee is a great little critter (as any farmer will tell you).  I like to see these guys around my little garden - and I was bummed when I heard that many honeybees were dying out due to (presumably) all the chemicals being used by big farms!

The other mini was the Tsetse Fly.

I don't have nearly the amount of love for this critter.  In fact, I would say this fly sucks since it is the transmitter of the fatal African Sleeping Sickness.  This thing looks like the common housefly but carries diseases that attack the central nervous system - a cruel little thing indeed.

And finally, our third hit.

Not much to say about it really - a decent player but the swatch color leaves a lot to be desired.

That's it for box five - on to box six soon!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 5 - Packs 13 - 18 (Another Hit - plus a Framed Mini)

I must say, I'm glad I decided to do six packs per post for box 5.  So far, the vast majority of this box has been nothing but duplicates (though I did pull a case hit mini in the last post).  For the next group of packs, I must say that there were only two cards of note!

Box 5:
Packs 13 - 18

As I said in the preamble, there are only two cards of note.  The first being one of the framed buyback cards - but this time it is a black bordered mini!

I would think getting a framed black bordered mini is rarer than a framed regular or A&G back mini but I have no idea if Topps reseeded the minis at basically the same rate as the minis were seeded originally.  Either way, it's a nice looking card - and the framed buyback minis I can live with!

The other card of note from the group of packs was the second hit of the box.

Another 10th Anniversary relic (they seem to be one per box).  I will admit that I'm no fan of Brauns...but it does beat getting a relic of some pop culture "icon" that I've never heard of!

That's it for this batch, one more post and we can move away from box 5 (thankfully)!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 5 - Packs 7 - 12 (A Rare 1:288 Mini Case Hit!))

Box #5 hasn't been very good to me in terms of full-sized inserts.  In fact, through half the box all the full-sized inserts have been duplicates.  Luckily though, the minis have been good - in fact, we pulled a case hit out of this group of six packs!

Box 5:
Packs 7 - 12:

Before I get to the "biggest" mini, let's start off with another First Lady.

Pat Nixon was most known for her work promoting volunteerism and giving back to the community.  I did notice the back of her card did not say that she was a beloved first lady (it seems like a bunch of the First Lady cards remark on how liked a particular woman was).

My next mini was also new to me, it's another A World Beneath Our Feet card.

The Devil's Flower Mantis can grow up to five inches long and it is camouflaged which allows the mantis to avoid predators and capture its unsuspecting prey.  I think the name of this critter is a bit scarier than the actual bug!

And finally, we get to the case hit (seeded 1 in 288 packs or exactly one per case).

That's one of the A Healthy Mind cards (there are also A Healthy Body cards that are case hits).  I like the little kite flying above the name of the insert set - a nice touch by Topps!

All told, it is disappointing to not add any new full-sized inserts to my set but getting a case hit is cause for celebrating!  I also found the two full-sized buybacks in this group (one from 2009, the other from 2012).  I still can't get over the idea of buybacks of cards less than a decade old.

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 5 - Packs 1 - 6 (Orange Jersey Hit!)

At my previous rate of 4 packs per post, I figured that I would be drawing out the Ginter case on my blog for a bit too long.  I'm going to up each post to contain 6 packs - hopefully that both speeds up the process and yet doesn't force me to run two scans per post.  We shall see I guess!

Box 5:
Box topper:

My box topper is an oversized reprint of Robinson Cano - the most boring of all the box toppers in the set in my opinion.  These seem more like something that could be a "bonus card" in a retail blaster of Ginter - sort of like what Upper Deck used to do in the late 90s.

Packs 1 - 6:

The good news is that with 6 packs per post, I probably won't need to scan any more base cards.  I say good news because at this point I think I've seen every base card at least once...and remember which cards I have and haven't scanned is all but impossible.

As for box 5, the first six packs were an ominous start - my three full-sized inserts were all duplicates (not sure about the Starting Points cards since those aren't sorted yet).  I did manage to pull a single mini insert at least (the Laura Bush First Ladies card).

The only other highlight from the first quarter of the box was another framed relic - this time with a bright orange bit of cloth!

That's Wei-Yin Chen of the Orioles...and it's probably my favorite of the relics so far!  I love getting bright colored bits of cloth, they somehow seem way more exciting than the usual whites, grays, and blacks that we are used to.

A solid ending to an otherwise dreary first bunch of packs.  Let's hope this box improves rapidly!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 4 - Packs 21 - 24 (Finishing the Box with One Last Framed Card)

This is it for Box #4.  Enjoy (with abbreviated comments) for each card.

Box 4:
Packs 21 - 24:

Everyone needs some crazy eyes, right?

Big plane!

Metal snake hands?

Mini black Giant.

Framed buyback.

That concludes box 4.  Probably the worst of the four so far - and let's hope it is the worst of the case.  Here's hoping for more greatness in future boxes!

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter: Box 4 - Packs 17 - 20 (The Third Hit of the Box) - and I WANT YOUR FRAMED RELICS from Allen & Ginter!

We have eight packs remaining in box #4.  Let's get half of them opened right now, shall we?

Box 4:
Packs 17 - 20:

I went with a scan of one of the Starting Points cards only because I didn't pull any base cards that caught my eye (that I haven't already shown off at least).  The Starting Points set is 100 strong - and with 12 per box I should end up with 144 of them when the case is all said and done.  Here's hoping they are distributed in such a way that I get the entire set from one case...if not, I'll be trading a lot!

Sticking with the full-sized cards, I ended up with another What Once Was Believed - that's the third one of those this box!  This card actually came out of the pack with a bit of crease through the back...definitely disappointing but you can't see it from the front of the card at least.

My other full-sized insert was this Lion King-esque looking card of the Chimera.

The Chimera is a pretty tough baddie with a body of a lion, head of goat, and a tail of snake...and the thing breathes fire!  People in ancient times sure had big imaginations!

The mini selection was excellent this time around - two regular minis (one of which was a short print) but more importantly, two mini inserts!

First, my second Magnates, Barons, and Tycoons card!

I went three boxes without a single card from this set - and now box 4 has provided me two of 'em.  I guess you never know with Ginter!  James Hill was born into poverty, lost an eye in a boyhood archery accident, and still eventually became a transportation magnate by founding the Great Northern Railway Company.

My other mini was from the Birds of Prey insert set.

The Barn Owl doesn't hoot (according to the card) but rather lets out an eerie rasp.  They are most common in tropical climates.

Finally, the third hit of the box - a dull relic.

I have very little interest in the full-sized relics.  I wish Topps would go back to the all framed relics...they are so much nicer!  I'm assuming it is some sort of cost thing but I don't know for sure.  Does anyone actually like this relic style better than the framed relics?  If so, I don't think we can be friends anymore.

Speaking of framed relics, I think I am going to give collecting the full set a shot - if you have any for trade, let me know!  All of my full-sized relics are available for trade!  And finally, here's another plug for my eBay auctions.  I've got a lot of great stuff from Allen & Ginter up on there - any bids are appreciated (especially early bids - that helps to drive sales)!