The Ultimate Ginter Mini Set Bracket: Seeding Vote #4 (2010)

Before I get to today's seeding vote, I wanted to take a quick moment to congratulate the 2008 Baseball Icons as the most popular mini set from the '08 edition of Allen & Ginter.  The Baseball Icons set barely squeaked by the Ancient Icons which is another set that might be poised to do some damage in the real bracket once it's all set!  By the way, I didn't mention my tie breaker but in case it becomes necessary if two (or more) sets are tied at the end of a vote, the winner will be whichever set got a vote cast for it first in the comments.  In this way, commenting early does give your favorite set a potential edge in the case of a close vote!  Now, let's return to the regularly scheduled post for today.


Welcome to the fourth 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)!

The Ultimate Ginter Mini Set Bracket:  Seeding Vote #4 (2010)

The 2010 Allen & Ginter set has a whopping nine mini sets included in it.  Here's the updated counts for mini sets in the brand's run to date:
  • 2006:  0 sets, 0 total cards
  • 2007:  3 sets, 65 total cards
  • 2008:  6 sets, 107 total cards
  • 2009:  5 sets, 90 total cards
  • 2010:  9 sets, 181 total cards
As you can see from the above count, the 2010 set went completely overboard in terms of number of mini inserts, more than double the number of cards in 2009 and almost 80 more than the next closest year in terms of total number of minis to collect.  The sheer number of minis to try and track down (and many are really, really rare as you'll see in a bit) led me to actually not try and collect all of the mini sets for the first time ever.  Unfortunately, 2010 isn't the only year where I had to say "enough is enough" and skip out on trying to complete certain sets.

Speaking of the sets, let's go through all nine of them now!

Celestial Stars

The Celestial Stars mini set contains 12 cards, one for each of the signs of the zodiac.  These were fairly tough minis to find (exact odds unknown) and I've actually had a lot of difficulty tracking them down for my own collection (I'm still missing:  #3, 4, 5, 6, 10, and 11 from the set).  As with earlier posts, I'll continue to use bold and an asterisks(*) to denote the cards that I'm still looking for on the checklist.

The full checklist:
CS1 Mark Teixeira
CS2 Prince Fielder
CS3 Tim Lincecum*
CS4 Derek Jeter*
CS5 Dustin Pedroia*
CS6 Cliff Lee*
CS7 Evan Longoria
CS8 Ryan Howard
CS9 David Wright
CS10 Albert Pujols*
CS11 Vladimir Guerrero*
CS12 Johan Santana

All things considered, I wouldn't say that this list is packed with huge superstars but of course I'd be missing the biggest name in the bunch (Jeter).

Creatures of Legend, Myth, and Joy

The Creatures of Legend, Myth, and Joy have a similar name to one of the mini sets from the previous year (Creatures of Legend, Myth, and Terror) but the difference here is that the Creatures of LMJ were actually super rare minis seeded 1:128 packs or basically two per case.  This is one of the sets from 2010 that I've decided not to try and collect.  At the moment, the only card I own is the Tooth Fairy and I doubt I'll have many opportunities to acquire any other cards from this particular set.

The full checklist:
CLMJ1 Santa Claus
CLMJ2 The Easter Bunny
CLMJ3 The Tooth Fairy
CLMJ4 Goldilocks
CLMJ5 Little Red Riding Hood
CLMJ6 Paul Bunyan
CLMJ7 Jack and the Beanstalk
CLMJ8 Peter Pan
CLMJ9 Three Little Pigs

Lords of Olympus

Finally, we get to one of the "common" mini insert sets and it's the Greek-themed Lords of Olympus.  This 25 card set was seeded 1:12 packs and it's one of the sets from 2010 that I can say I've actually finished off.

As you can see from the checklist below, the Lords of Olympus set pretty much features most of the major gods and goddesses from Greek mythology.  I'm actually reading a book on Greek mythology right now so there are a number of names on this list that mean more to me now than they did back when this set was released!

LO1 Zeus
LO2 Poseidon
LO3 Hades
LO4 Hera
LO5 Athena
LO6 Apollo
LO7 Aphrodite
LO8 Hermes
LO9 Artemis
LO10 Gaea
LO11 Uranus
LO12 Cronos
LO13 Prometheus
LO14 Phoebe
LO15 Demeter
LO16 Persephone
LO17 Dionysus
LO18 Eros
LO19 Helios
LO20 Thanatos
LO21 Pan
LO22 Nemesis
LO23 The Fates
LO24 The Muses
LO25 Atlas

Monsters of the Mesozoic

Like the Lords of Olympus, the Monsters of the Mesozoic was another one of the "common" mini sets (also seeded 1:12 packs).  Unfortunately for set collectors, 1:12 packs still only means 2 cards per box and since the dinosaur set also had 25 cards in it it was another beast of a set to actually build in its entirety.  That said, I'm a huge dinosaur fan so I put forth a lot of effort to finish this set as quickly as possible.

The full checklist for this set:
MM1 Tyrannosaurus Rex
MM2 Triceratops
MM3 Stegosaurus
MM4 Velociraptor
MM5 Allosaurus
MM6 Megalosaurus
MM7 Spinosaurus
MM8 Ankylosaurus
MM9 Apatosaurus
MM10 Brachiosaurus
MM11 Diplodocus
MM12 Iguanodon
MM13 Pachycephalosaurus
MM14 Pentaceratops
MM15 Protoceratops
MM16 Ultrasaurus
MM17 Dilophosaurus
MM18 Supersaurus
MM19 Nomingia
MM20 Oviraptor
MM21 Bambiraptor
MM22 Protarchaeopteryx
MM23 Carcharodontosaurus
MM24 Carnotaurus
MM25 Giganotosaurus

Plenty of famous dinosaurs listed but there's also a few that might leave you scratching your head (Bambiraptor?  Nomingia?).

National Animals

The National Animals mini set is the largest (in terms of number of cards) of any in the 2010 set.  This set contains a whopping 50 minis to track down and yet they were only seeded 1:8 packs (or three per box).  The theme of 2010 seemed to be Topps giving the proverbial middle finger to set collectors...almost every set was nearly impossible to finish off without resorting to trading and buying singles from the online marketplaces.  That being said, I did manage to finish this set eventually!

Each card in this set has the country's National Animal front and center laid over top the corresponding nation's flag.

This set is huge as evidenced by the complete checklist:
NA1 Cougar Argentina
NA2 Cuban Crocodile Cuba
NA3 Falcon Iceland
NA4 Cheetah Kenya
NA5 Cow Nepal
NA6 Kangaroo Australia
NA7 Ostrich Grenada
NA8 Chihuahua Mexico
NA9 Jaguar Brazil
NA10 Bull Spain
NA11 Harpy Eagle Panama
NA12 Markhor Pakistan
NA13 African Elephant South Africa
NA14 Barbary Macaque Gibraltar
NA15 Giant Panda People's Republic of China
NA16 Leopard Somalia
NA17 Camel Kuwait
NA18 Beaver Canada
NA19 Alpaca Peru
NA20 Lion Belgium
NA21 Lynx Romania
NA22 Stag Ireland
NA23 Elk Sweden
NA24 Condor Colombia
NA25 Wisent Poland
NA26 Gray Wolf Turkey
NA27 Gallic Rooster France
NA28 Sable Antelope Zimbabwe
NA29 Flamingo Bahamas
NA30 Koi Japan
NA31 Ashy-faced Owl Dominican Republic
NA32 Bulldog United Kingdom
NA33 Brown Bear Finland
NA34 White-tailed Deer Honduras
NA35 Russian Bear Russia
NA36 Dolphin Greece
NA37 Komodo Dragon Indonesia
NA38 Llama Bolivia
NA39 Sheep New Zealand
NA40 King Cobra Republic of India
NA41 Green-and-black Streamertail Jamaica
NA42 Carabao Philippines
NA43 Water Buffalo Vietnam
NA44 Israeli Gazelle Israel
NA45 Italian Wolf Italy
NA46 Ring Tailed Lemur Madagascar
NA47 Tiger South Korea
NA48 Dalmatian Croatia
NA49 Zebra Botswana
NA50 Bald Eagle United States

Sailors of the Seven Seas

The Sailors of the Seven Seas set features 10 cards in it and was basically a box hit (seeded 1 per box).  Despite the rarity of the set, I also managed to build this set back in the day and to be honest, I'm not quite sure how I pulled that off!  Each card in this set has the same drawing of a ship and Kraken on the right along with a single image of the particular sailor on the left side of the card.

I don't know how Topps went about picking subjects for this set but here's what they ended up with:
SSS1 Christopher Columbus
SSS2 Sir Francis Drake
SSS3 Sir Walter Raleigh
SSS4 Vasco Nunez de Balboa
SSS5 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
SSS6 Hernando de Cortes
SSS7 Hernando de Soto
SSS8 Henry Hudson
SSS9 Francisco Pizarro
SSS10 Juan Ponce de Leon

World's Biggest

The World's Biggest was definitely the most confusing of the mini sets issued in 2010.  The set has 25 total cards in it but you could only find the first five in retail packs of any sort and the final 20 cards could only be found in loose retail packs.  This is yet another set from 2010 that I've been trying to build but so far have been unsuccessful in completing (I'm still missing seven cards from the set including:  #6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 19, and 25).  Like the Celestial Stars, this is another set that I'm not sure if I'll ever finish...and I'm almost 100% certain that my chance to finish it via trades has passed by a long time ago!

The full checklist for this set:
WB1 Blue Whale
WB2 Burj Khalifa
WB3 Prague Castle
WB4 General Sherman Sequoia
WB5 Mount Everest
WB6 Antarctica*
WB7 Sahara*
WB8 Angel Falls
WB9 The Amazon*
WB10 Steamboat Geyser
WB11 Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
WB12 The Nile
WB13 Russia
WB14 Three Gorges Dam*
WB15 Golden Jubilee*
WB16 Polar Bear
WB17 African Elephant
WB18 Eastern Lowland Gorilla
WB19 Goliath Birdeater*
WB20 World's Largest Collection of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest
WB21 Large Hadron Collider
WB22 1966 Leonid Meteor Shower
WB23 Sedan Crater
WB24 Kuthodaw Pagoda
WB25 Spring Temple Buddha*

World's Greatest Wordsmiths

Our final officially announced mini set is the World's Greatest Wordsmiths.  This is a 15 card set that was also a box hit (seeded 1:24 packs just like the Sailors of the Seven Seas set).  Despite the horrible odds, I was able to build this set in its entirety and for that I feel lucky!

As a math professor, I'm probably one of the last people that can offer good criticism in terms of who is (or isn't) including in the list of Greatest Wordsmiths.  I'll let you be the judge of the set's checklist:
WGWS1 Homer
WGWS2 William Shakespeare
WGWS3 Washington Irving
WGWS4 Miguel de Cervantes
WGWS5 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
WGWS6 Victor Hugo
WGWS7 Shen Kuo
WGWS8 John Milton
WGWS9 Dante Alighieri
WGWS10 Edgar Allan Poe
WGWS11 Marcus Aurelius
WGWS12 Virgil
WGWS13 John Bunyan
WGWS14 Plato
WGWS15 Confucius

I can at least proudly say that I've heard of all of the authors except Cervantes, Bunyan, and Kuo.  I've actually read something by about five or six of them I think.  Not too bad for a math guy, right?!

World's Saltiest Sailors
(Note:  No image here since I don't own any of these cards!)

Finally, we get to the World's Saltiest Sailors.  Another stealth mini set but unlike previous years this set had 10 cards to track down.  Combine that with the other stealth mini sets (Celestial Stars and the latter portion of the World's Biggest) and you have a total of 42 different stealth minis to try and find.  Good luck with that.  In fact, I don't own a single card from the World's Saltiest Sailors and frankly, I doubt I ever will.

The World's Saltiest Sailors seems to be full of pirates while the similarly named Sailors of the Seven Seas is mostly what we would call explorers (although many of those explorers were probably just as evil and did just as atrocious things as the so-called pirates did).

The full checklist of World's Saltiest Sailors:
WSS1 Blackbeard
WSS2 Ned Low
WSS3 Jack Rackham
WSS4 Stede Bonnet
WSS5 Black Bart
WSS6 Captain Kidd
WSS7 Henry Morgan
WSS8 Edward England
WSS9 Thomas Tew
WSS10 Charles Vane

Now it's your turn!  Time to vote for your favorite mini set of 2010 in the comments below (and you have a lot of choices so this should be interesting)!


  1. Lords of Olympus, although you can't go wrong with dinosaurs!

  2. Monsters of the Mesozoic, even though their names are so hard to pronounce.

  3. I should go with the wordsmiths but I'm going with creatures again! That brief period when I owned the Easter Bunny card was a hoot!

  4. As a former Navy guy, I gotta go with the Sailors...and I'm gonna need to collect those. Very cool!

  5. Lots of good stuff here, and I do appreciate the Greek Gods set--I like that they went with the Greek rather than Roman versions. However, as a Mets fan I have to vote for the set with David Wright AND Johan Santana, especially since you used those as the demonstration photos!

    BTW, you may not know the name Miguel Cervantes, but I'm betting you'd be familiar with his most famous character: Don Quixote. Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim's Progress, once voted the most boring classic ever. Shen Kuo I was not familiar with--and if I'm going to keep living in Singapore as part of a Chinese family, I really should get more literate in Chinese history and culture--but apparently he was a poet AND wrote scientific treatises as well, and was also an astronomer, cartographer, engineer, government official, and all sorts of other things! Kind of the Eastern Leonardo, maybe?

    1. Just to be clear, the vote is for Celestial Stars.

  6. Tough decision. I like dinosaurs... but I like cards based on countries even more. National Animals gets my vote.

  7. You can't deny Zeus. Lords of Olympus!

  8. Wordsmiths or National Animals...argh... the indecision. Writers win!

  9. National Animals.

  10. Tough choices here. I'll go with Wordsmiths (just edging out National Animals and Olympus)

  11. Voting is closed for the 2010 set!


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