Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Theme Week: Completed Set Week - 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter - First Ladies Insert Set

It's time for another entry in my Completed Set Theme Week.  Once again, I can thank Dennis from Too Many Verlanders for helping me complete yet another set!

Alpha:

Eleanor Roosevelt gets the honor of being the first card in the set.  This is odd for a few reasons, but mostly because the rest of the set is ordered chronologically (i.e. beginning with Martha Washington and ending with Michelle Obama).  I'm not sure why Topps decided to start the set with Eleanor rather than Martha.

Omega:

The final card in the set is the final first lady (as of the time of the set's release)...that being Michelle Obama.  

Card design:

The cards certainly have a patriotic vibe to them with the abundance of red and blue (and plenty of stars) around the border.  The front images are perfectly fine but the real star of the card is the backside.  Each card provides a nice (short) bio for each first lady - something that is appreciated because most people probably know very little about the majority of the first ladies of America!

Other:

The First Ladies set is a rather obnoxious 41 cards in size.  That's obnoxious for multiple reasons, but mostly because the set doesn't fit nicely in a combination of 15 mini card pages.  Now, in this particular case I can forgive Topps since they basically had to have a card for every first lady in American history, but still I keep beating the drum for set collectors everywhere for Topps to make their insert sets line up with plastic storage pages (multiples of 9 for regular sized cards, multiples of 15 for mini cards).  

Overall:

It's worth noting that depending on what happens in the upcoming US elections, it's possible that Hillary Clinton (a First Lady in this set) could make a future Presidents of the US set.  As for the set itself, I think it does an excellent job of highlighting a bit of historical information about each of the various first ladies.  Unfortunately, this set suffers from over exposure when you are busting packs of Allen & Ginter...with 41 cards, it simply feels like you are constantly pulling First Lady cards...and given the small stature of the cards (and images on the card), combined with the same border for every First Lady card...and it's a bit like deja vu over and over again (even if you are pulling different First Lady cards).  This goes down as a solid, but certainly not spectacular mini insert set from the Allen & Ginter line.  My overall score is a 6.5/10.


And for your information, here is the full set checklist:  
FIRST-1 Eleanor Roosevelt
FIRST-2 Martha Washington
FIRST-3 Abigail Adams
FIRST-4 Dolley Madison
FIRST-5 Elizabeth Monroe
FIRST-6 Louisa Adams
FIRST-7 Anna Harrison
FIRST-8 Letitia Tyler
FIRST-9 Julia Tyler
FIRST-10 Sarah Polk
FIRST-11 Margaret Taylor
FIRST-12 Abigail Fillmore
FIRST-13 Jane Pierce
FIRST-14 Harriet Lane
FIRST-15 Mary Lincoln
FIRST-16 Eliza Johnson
FIRST-17 Julia Grant
FIRST-18 Lucy Hayes
FIRST-19 Lucretia Garfield
FIRST-20 Frances Cleveland
FIRST-21 Caroline Harrison
FIRST-22 Ida McKinley
FIRST-23 Edith Roosevelt
FIRST-24 Helen Taft
FIRST-25 Ellen Wilson
FIRST-26 Edith Wilson
FIRST-27 Florence Harding
FIRST-28 Grace Coolidge
FIRST-29 Lou Hoover
FIRST-30 Bess Truman
FIRST-31 Mamie Eisenhower
FIRST-32 Jacqueline Kennedy
FIRST-33 Lady Bird Johnson
FIRST-34 Pat Nixon
FIRST-35 Betty Ford
FIRST-36 Rosalynn Carter
FIRST-37 Nancy Reagan
FIRST-38 Barbara Bush
FIRST-39 Hillary Clinton
FIRST-40 Laura Bush
FIRST-41 Michelle Obama

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