Friday, July 27, 2018

2018 Ginter: 10 Ideas to Fix 2019 Allen & Ginter.

My love for Ginter hasn't dissipated at all with the 2018 edition of the brand.  In fact, if anything I would say that this year's offering is better than some of the previous years' attempts.  That said, it's not here are my ideas to improve Ginter and keep it true to what I see as it's "hallmark" which is to say the oddball and interesting.

To improve Ginter:
  1. More non-baseball relics.  Bring back the bits of rope, playing cards, dominoes, and paper airplanes from years past.  Make the relics correspond once again to "world champions" no matter the sport or event.  I don't want my A&G relics to feel like they could just have easily been pulled in Topps' flagship.
  2. Fewer box loaders.  Allen & Ginter is a set collector's dream, but the box loader sets are simply too large...and there are too many of them for even someone who buys a case of Ginter to think about trying to complete.  I'd love to see a return to only the N43 box loaders for baseball players and then maybe one full-sized set like the coin cards from a few years back for a non-baseball box topper set.  Box loaders are a key component to the draw of Ginter but it'd still be nice if they were actually collectible.
  3. More inanimate objects in the base set.  To make room, ditch all of the retired baseball stars.  There are plenty of sets where collectors can pull cards of Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, or Hank Aaron.  Ginter doesn't need to be yet another set like that.
  4. Bring back the frames for all relics.  The non-framed relics are fine enough, but they simply pale in comparison to the framed versions that became ubiquitous with Ginter over the years.
  5. Keep the framed autographs.  Those are easily the best looking in any set that I buy.
  6. Either don't make 10 card full-sized insert sets OR make them tougher to pull.  There isn't much that's more boring than pulling my fourth copy of the same exact moon card (though don't get me wrong, I do like the concept of the moon set)!
  7. I'd like to see mini insert insertion rates lowered to 1:3 packs OR reduce the number of mini insert sets.  As a set completionist, I will have 4 hobby boxes and 2 retail blasters at my disposal and I'll probably be well over 50% short of every single mini insert set. 
  8. How about a baseball card blogger insert set next year?  I volunteer to be in the set.
  9. If retired stars are necessary to the product, put them in only as relics and autographs (or maybe as the N43 box loaders).  Make the stars of yesterday actually feel special.  I shouldn't yawn when I pull a Tom Seaver or Willie Mays card.
  10. Keep trying new things. The fun of Ginter is the surprise - whether that be stealth mini inserts, glow-in-the-dark goodies, cards hidden in the boxes themselves, or whatever else Topps dreams up.  Let Ginter be the set where you try the craziness...treat Ginter like late 90s Pacific treated almost all o their baseball sets!

In my mind, those 10 idea would help to keep Ginter feeling special moving forward from this year.  I have read a number of blogs where people are sort of ragging on Ginter (which I get) but for collectors like me, if Ginter goes then all of the sudden there isn't that one big yearly release that truly excites me!

I'd love to hear your ideas for Ginter - even if they go directly against some of my suggestions.  While you think about that, let's rip a few more packs.

Box #3:
Pack 5:
246.  Travis Shaw
232.  Chance Sisco
207.  Ronald Acuna Jr.
63.  Luiz Gohara
24.  Trey Mancini
5.  Kris Bryant

Regular mini:
264.  Reggie Jackson

Fantasy Goldmine:
FG-28.  Ozzie Smith

Pack 6:
140.  Alex Bregman
252.  Gio Gonzalez
3.  Babe Ruth
196.  Tyler Mahle

Regular mini:
84.  Marine National Monument

Fantasy Goldmine:
FG-37.  Tom Seaver

FSRB-DO.  David Ortiz

There's the curse of the boring gray cloth bit again.  I know a lot of you probably would love to pull this you might be in luck as I'd love to trade it for something I'd like more!

Pack 7:
16.  Austin Hays
345.  Tyler Glasgow
224.  Starling Marte
201.  Miguel Andujar
163.  Byron Buxton
294.  Steven Matz

Magnificent Moons:
1.  Moon

Flags of Lost Nations:
FLN-3.  Tibet

The Moon card of the moon is great but the highlight has to be the Tibet mini.  I love the flags set a lot - so the more of these I can get now, the happier I am!

Pack 8:
82.  Justin Upton
139.  Michael Rapaport
269.  Phil Coyne
47.  Dansby Swanson
115.  Ian Happ

A&G back mini:
261.  Brooks Robinson

World Talent:
WT-1.  Gleyber Torres

Home Run Challenge:
HRC-MR.  Mark Reynolds

At least that Home Run Challenge isn't my third Giancarlo Stanton...that's all I have to say about that.

Eight packs down...and ten ideas to improve the 2019 edition of Ginter.  As always, I'd love to hear what you think - so feel free to chime in on the comments!


night owl said...

I especially agree with 1, 2, 3 and 4 (ESPECIALLY 3, rant has been running through my mind for 2 weeks). I think A&G still does a good job with 10.

Fuji said...

I'm 100% for making inserts tougher to pull. Not just in A&G. I'm talking about all products... with the exception of maybe Big League (assuming kids love cheap inserts).

cynicalbuddha said...

All great ideas for Ginter. For me I really miss the oddball stuff. The 2011 Flora of the World plantable cards with seed imbedded in them the best oddball card ever released in Ginter with the sea monkeys card a close second. Seems like every year there are is at least one insert that interests me and this year is not different. I was excited about the Hottest Peppers set, mainly because it was such a great oddball idea, only to be disappointed when I saw the card. All the peppers were red and all the card look almost identical. I'm a huge Ginter fan, but it seems like the last couple years the brand has really lost its way. But I'm a sucker for tobacco sized mini's so I hope it finds its way again. I will say this should be the set that has a shock and awe factor. I think this is the one set Topps could still really experiment with and just come up with the bizarre and crazy inserts parallels and card types. Plantable cards!!! Blew my mind! And maybe bring back the code contest.

GCA said...

Keep the retired players (and pull them out of flagship as short prints). Ditch all the useless rookies for once! They saturate every dang product! There will be half a base set available then!

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