I dont really consider myself a card collector these days, and if I did, baseball cards would not be my main focus. There is one baseball set that I do pay attention to every year, as Allen and Ginter continues to be one of my favorite sets of the year. I was extremely impressed with the set last year, especially in the continued dedication to the reason it is perennially successful. This year, I think its much better, with a clean design and cool checklist all around.
Here are some of the first cards posted:
Believe it or not, there are years that I really didnt like the base design, even though many people seem to like some of the different approaches. The designs can be ugly and unbalanced, taking away from the normally clean design we usually see. This year, the clean design is back and better than it has ever been, as I think Topps did a really nice job going back to the roots of the set.
This year is going to be about one thing and one thing only, and that's Yasiel Puig. At the national show, I was told his autographs would be live in the product, but we will have to wait and see if that happens. These autographs will be the first live Puig autos there are, and being that they are from a popular set like this, its going to be a bat shit crazy on the prices. The base are already selling very high.
I am a big fan of the cream borders on the relic and auto cards, as I think it serves to highlight an already strong look to the cards. If you remember back a few years, they actually used neon orange at one point, but this is so much better. The checklist has some cool names on it, and I am interested to see how they perform on the secondary market.
Lastly, at some point, Allen and Ginter is going to need to be revamped. It just has to be done eventually. This set has been around for close to a decade, and the checklist continues to be the only thing that TRULY changes. Although I think its a fun set with a huge following, eventually something will need to be changed to keep it going. We have already figured out that even a whiff of it going away will piss people off, but no one likes stale bread. I think that although Ginter is fun and a change of pace, it cant be the same thing year after year. If you go back to 2006, not much is different, even to the point where the sets blur together a bit. For some, continuity is nice, but continuity only sells if fresh ideas are added.
Ginter continues to be a collector favorite for good reason, however I am curious what surprises Topps could have in store for years to come.