Review: 2020 Topps Allen & Ginter

  1. Card Design:

Allen and Ginter (or Ginter as some call it) is a retro release that has a true antique look. It features player artwork instead of photos with the patina along with gold lettering and even uses only the player’s last name on the card front. The back gives the feel of the tobacco era with smaller print and stat descriptions vs. the traditional statsheet on almost all cards.

Score 4.0/5.0

  1. Checklist Review

The base set checklist features a combination that some in the hobby are not in favor of because it is primarily baseball but also adds some from the entertainment world. Traditional collectors don’t favor that, but the younger generation tends to resonate more with the non-baseball entries. The base set is 300 cards plus 50 SP cards. There are also 18 rookies with the RC Rookie Card designation including Robert, Luzardo, Alvarez, Bichette and Aquino.

Score 4.1/5.0

  1. Collectability

Allen and Ginter has some love/hate within it if you believe the collectors/hobbyists that are out there. Those that truly collect it are the set builders that like constructing the set or those that are player/team collectors. The remainder are in it like they are in every other waking product: give me the hits so I can flip/grade them and cast away the base cards that don’t have the value. 

Score 3.5/5.0

  1. Favorite Parallel/Insert Set

There are Parallels but not near as many as a traditional product in the base set. In fact, the base set only has two Parallels: Silver Portrait and Glossy (numbered 1 of 1). The majority of Parallels to chase are in the Mini version and include: Base Mini, Allen & Ginter Back Mini, Black Border Mini, Gold Border Mini, No Number Mini, Brooklyn Back Mini, Stained Glass, Framed Mini Cloth (numbered to 10), Metal Mini (numbered to 3), Framed Mini Printing Plates (numbered 1 of 1), Glossy Mini (numbered 1 of 1) and Wood Mini (numbered 1 of 1).

Inserts are very prevalent in Allen and Ginter although this is where the majority of the criticism resides because most of the sets are non-baseball. Look for the following 16 Insert sets: Longball Lore (50-card set), A Debut to Remember (30-card set), Buggin’ Out (20-card set), Field Generals (20-card set), Digging Deep (20-card set), Citadels & Safeholds (20-card set), Behemoths Beneath (20-card set), N43 Boxloaders (20-card set), Down on the Farm (15-card set), Booming Cities (15-card set), Boxloaders (15-card set), Reach for the Sky (15-card set), Safari Sights (15-card set), Safari Sights Boxloaders (15-card set), Where Monsters Live (10-card set) and 9 Ways to First Base (9-card set). One other mention that makes Allen and Ginter unique is Rip Cards. These are cards with another card inside and the challenge is to decide whether to rip it or not in the hopes of bettering what you have. These come in a 100-card set along with Boxloaders Rips and Double Rips as well.

Score 4.3/5.0

  1. Autos/Relics

Autos can be found in Allen and Ginter because we are in times now that if a product has no Autos, it would be blackballed forever. Look for Framed Mini Autos (112-card set with Parallels), Cut Signatures (20-card set), Boxloader Autos (13-card set), N43 Boxloader Autos (10-card set), Topps Employee Framed Mini Autos (7-card set) and Dual Autos (2-card set). Relics can be found as well but Allen and Ginter always has to fina way to be unique such as DNA Relics (9-card set), Presidential Pin Relics (11-card set), Token Relics (50-card set), Framed Mini Relics (70-card set), Full Sized Relics A (54-card set) & B (58-card set) and Digging Deep Relics (10-card set). If you must have a signature and a piece of anything, then look for Auto Relic Books (45-card set) and Dual Auto Relic Books (20-card set).

Score 4.0/5.0

  1. Overall

Allen and Ginter is unique, no doubt. Unique in its look. Unique in what it contains. Unique in its reaction. There may not be any other product that has been around a while that gets the reaction as Allen and Ginter. And yet, it sold out everywhere this year. Plus it joined the Chrome club this year too. So it must be doing something right. I think we are all closet lovers of Allen and Ginter, just admit it, you will feel better when you do.

Overall Score 4.0/5.0

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