The Ultimate Ginter Mini Set Bracket: Seeding Vote #2 (2008)

Welcome to the second of my Ultimate Ginter Mini Set Bracket posts!

For the first part of the bracket creation, we need to seed the various mini insert sets.  I thought it'd be fun to first have a vote for the best mini set within each year and use each vote winner as a top seed.  From there, I'll fill in the rest of the bracket with some of the non-winning mini sets and then the entire bracket will be set and we can have our giant vote-off!

I also hope that each of these Seeding Vote posts give you a bit of information about each of the mini sets for a specific year.  That should help with your voting as we move forward into the heart of the Ultimate Ginter Mini Set Bracket.  I laid out the rest of the ground rules in my introductory post so feel free to check that post out as well.  Now, we move on to the good stuff (and remember to vote at the bottom of the post)!

Voting results from Seeding Vote #1:

Before we get to the 2008 set, we should look at the voting results from the 2007 set.  For awhile there it looked like any of the three sets might walk away with the win but in the end it was the flags set than flew away from the rest of the pack.

Finally vote tally:
Flags:  6
Emperors:  3
Snakes:  3

So the Flags set earns one of the top seeds in the final bracket!  As a reminder, the winner of each year will get one of the top seeds and then I'll fill out the rest of the bracket with the other mini sets.  I'm hoping that as this goes on we will get more and more votes...and with that, perhaps the Emperors or the Snakes still have a shot at final glory once the "real" bracket is formed!

Now, on to 2008!

The Ultimate Ginter Mini Set Bracket:  Seeding Vote #2 (2008)

The 2008 Allen & Ginter set doubled down (literally) on the total number of mini sets included.  The 2007 edition had only three mini sets to collect while the 2008 set introduced six different mini sets.

Ancient Icons:

The Ancient Icons set contains 20 cards.  The set was seeded 1:48 (hobby or retail) packs or one in every other hobby box.  Each Ancient Icons card has an image of the subject on the front and then a complete checklist of the set on the reverse side (much like the original Allen & Ginter minis of the 1800s).  The subjects for the Ancient Icons set seem to span all of history and across many different cultures.

As for my own collection, I've actually done really well with the 2008 A&G set (as you'll see in this post).  My Ancient Icons set is complete!

The full checklist for the set:
A1 Gilgamesh
A2 Marduk
A3 Beowulf
A4 Poseidon
A5 The Sphinx
A6 Tutankhamen
A7 Alexander the Great
A8 Cleopatra
A9 Sun Tzu
A10 Quetzalcoatl
A11 Isis
A12 Hercules
A13 King Arthur
A14 Miyamoto Musashi
A15 Genghis Khan
A16 Zeus
A17 Achilles
A18 Confucius
A19 Attila the Hun
A20 Romulus & Remus

Baseball Icons

The Baseball Icons set contains a rather strange 17 total cards.  I have no idea why Topps did that, perhaps as a decoy to the Ginter Code competition that it ran for a number of years beginning with 2008.  Like the Ancient Icons counterpart, the Baseball Icons cards were also seeded 1:48 (hobby or retail) packs or one in every other hobby box.

Unlike the Ancient Icons set, the Baseball Icons cards have actual (non-checklist) information on the back of each card.  In this case, you get the career statistics for the featured baseball legend (written out in text form as Allen & Ginter does for the regular base cards).  For those that are wondering, my Baseball Icons set is also complete.  I spent a lot of time trading for A&G minis back when 2008 A&G was released!

The full checklist for the set:
BI1 Cy Young
BI2 Walter Johnson
BI3 Jackie Robinson
BI4 Thurman Munson
BI5 Mel Ott
BI6 Honus Wagner
BI7 Pee Wee Reese
BI8 Tris Speaker
BI9 Christy Mathewson
BI10 Ty Cobb
BI11 Johnny Mize
BI12 Jimmie Foxx
BI13 Lou Gehrig
BI14 Roy Campanella
BI15 George Sisler
BI16 Rogers Hornsby
BI17 Babe Ruth

Pioneers of Aviation

The Pioneers of Aviation was a stealth insert that is rumored to have been seeded 1:96 packs (or three per case).  Despite being so difficult to find, I do have all five cards in my possession.  Each card has a picture of the flying vessel on the front and then a checklist on the backside (which is nice in that once you pull one of these stealth inserts you know how many others there are yet to find)!  In another nice touch, Topps added a tiny bit of historical information to the card backs by including who invented each contraption.

Full checklist:
PA1 Ornithopter
PA2 Linen Balloon
PA3 Piloted Glider
PA4 Aerial Steam Carriage
PA5 Aerodrome

Team Orange

The Team Orange set was a ten card set made up of fictional baseball players for use with the Ginter Code contest.  Each "player" featured was actually a Topps employee in disguise.  The Team Orange cards were very tough finds as they were seeded 1:144 packs.  From what I can tell, they may have been hobby exclusive as well.  I have completed this set but if I recall correctly it was kind of a pain to track down a couple of the cards due to their rarity.

The fronts of each card have a man dressed in "old timey" garb while the back of each card has a write-up of the "player."  If one didn't know it by looking at the front of each card, a quick glance at the blurbs on the back should be enough for anyone to figure out that this set is full of fake players!

The full checklist:
TO1 Cornelius Franks
TO2 Mittens McCluskey
TO3 Capt. WP Mantooth
TO4 Wheelbarrow Walker
TO5 Archibald Clinker
TO6 Minty Beans
TO7 Francisco Fiasco
TO8 Thurgood Cartwright IV
TO9 Enzo DiStubbs
TO10 Sir Wagonwheel Stevens

World's Deadliest Sharks

Like it's counterpart set "World's Deadliest Snakes" in 2007, the World's Deadliest Sharks set was another five card stealth set.  Rumor has it these were seeded two per case or 1:144 packs.  I'm still missing three of the five Snakes cards but I was able to finish off the Sharks set.  Like I said earlier, I went all-in on 2008 Ginter!

The card design for the Sharks is similar to Snakes in that you get a photo of the creature on the front and then a simple checklist on the back.  You do get a tiny bit of information about where each shark calls home on the checklist if you happen to be curious about where you might locate one of those ferocious critters.

The full checklist:
WDS1 Great White Shark
WDS2 Tiger Shark
WDS3 Bull Shark
WDS4 Oceanic Whitetip Shark
WDS5 Mako Shark

World's Leaders

Topps has done a number of politically themed insert sets over the years but the World's Leaders was the first such set to be done in mini form for Allen & Ginter.  Featuring 50 world leaders from 2008, this is the largest of the mini sets (and also the easiest to find as they were seeded 1:12 packs in both hobby and retail editions).  Of course, 1:12 packs basically means you could expect two cards per box and at 50 cards in the set that'd be 25 boxes without a single duplicate!  Ask any Allen & Ginter collector and they'll tell you that there's nothing easy about collecting most A&G sets though at least for the 2008 set I can honestly say that I have them all.

WL1 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
WL2 Kevin Rudd
WL3 Guy Verhofstadt
WL4 Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
WL5 Stephen Harper
WL6 Michelle Bachelet Jeria
WL7 Oscar Arias Sanchez
WL8 Mirek Topolanek
WL9 Anders Fogh Rasmussen
WL10 Leonel Fernandez Reyna
WL11 Mohamed Hosni Mubarak
WL12 Tarja Halonen
WL13 Nicolas Sarkozy
WL14 Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh
WL15 Angela Merkel
WL16 Konstandinos Karamanlis
WL17 Benedict XVI
WL18 Geir H. Haarde
WL19 Manmohan Singh
WL20 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
WL21 Bertie Ahern
WL22 Ehud Olmert
WL23 Bruce Golding
WL24 Yasuo Fukuda
WL25 Mwai Kibaki
WL26 Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa
WL27 Sanjaa Bayar
WL28 Armando Guebuza
WL29 Girija Prasad Koirala
WL30 Jan Peter Balkenede
WL31 Helen Clark
WL32 Jens Stoltenberg
WL33 Qaboos bin Said al-Said
WL34 Alan Garcia Perez
WL35 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
WL36 Donald Tusk
WL37 Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
WL38 Robert Fico
WL39 Thabo Mbeki
WL40 Lee Myung-bak
WL41 Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
WL42 Fredrik Reinfeldt
WL43 Pascal Couchepin
WL44 Jakaya Kikwete
WL45 Samak Sundavavej
WL46 Tenzin Gyatso
WL47 Patrick Manning
WL48 Gordon Brown
WL49 George W. Bush
WL50 Nguyen Tan Dung

And that does it for the 2008 mini sets.  Now it's your turn:  Cast your vote below in the comments section for your favorite mini set from the 2008 edition of Allen & Ginter!


  1. Gotta be the Sharks. I'm currently building these, but only the sharks and the leaders. Haven't seen the others in the wild yet.

  2. Sharks was my initial thought, but the more I thought about it, there's something really oddball and whimsical about Team Orange!

  3. No single set stands out like the flag set of 2007. If I had to build one set of these, I'd go with the Baseball Icons, so I guess they get my vote.

  4. Gotta go with Aviation. Not something seen in newer sets.

  5. Going with Ancient Icons this time around.

  6. I'll go with Ancient Icons.

  7. Baseball Icons. A couple of these I didn't even know existed. I remember the Team Orange being annoying when we realized what it was.

  8. It almost seems unfair to include Baseball Icons, because it's actually a baseball set. But I always prefer baseball cards, and that looks pretty cool. (Thurman Munson? I guess they wanted someone more recent but for whatever reason wouldn't or couldn't include any living players. Why no Satchel Paige?) So Baseball Icons gets my vote.

    Team Orange is pretty cool, and kind of a baseball set too. And again I have to vote against World Leaders just because they snubbed Singapore! PM Lee Hsien Loong is still in power today, which not too many on that list are. (Let's see...Angela Merkle, and Tenzin Gyatso although that's a different kind of situation--he's the Dalai Lama, and that's for life. Any others?)

  9. Love the "player names" of Team Orange but Baseball Icons gets my vote. Great looking Jackie! I somehow overlooked this set but now...I NEED IT!

  10. World Leaders to keep with what I feel Ginter "should" be doing. I do like the Aviation set as well but it's just too small. If Baseball Icons does win then I hope you put all the baseball-themed sets into their own region.

  11. Ancient Icons for me. Thanks!

  12. BB Icons over Team Orange in a squeaker!

  13. Voting is over for this particular match-up. The 2009 vote is now live!


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