Allen and Ginter has popularity each year because of the base set collectability and how that particular content plays into the general tendencies of Baseball collectors. Because so many of the collectors who collect baseball cards focus more on putting sets together than buying huge high end hits, Allen and Ginter plays into that like no other product on the market. Although Topps has tried to replicate it in other sports, it has only a fraction of the popularity that it does in baseball, mainly because of the make up of the general collecting populace tends to be more focused on things that products like Ginter cannot offer.
This year, Topps made it a point to satisfy both types of collectors, inserting everything from jersey lettersand bat knobs, to skateboard name plates and other big hits. Most likely this was to supplement their year long Stras-mas campaign, in the understanding that a lot more people than just the normal crowd have started buying because of what Strasburg brings to the table.
Some of the more interesting ones are the Cabinet cards that are featuring things like I mentioned above, but the value of those cards is implied just from what they are created as. Oddly enough, one particular set of card chases in this set has value more than I ever expected. For each of a selected number of subjects, Topps has included what they call Ginter originals, similar to the Dick Perez 1/1 cards from a few years ago. Unlike the Perez cards which were just included as a subset, these are supposed to be related to the actual cards themselves used in the set. As with many of the gimmicks from A&G, these cards are commanding an astounding premium. Personally, I have not heard of the artist responsible for them, and the works do not necessarily reflect the cards of the subjects actually in this year’s product.
Here are some of the cards so far, be sure to note the prices they are selling for:
Although these cards are cool looking and definitely carry the spirit of the Perez cards from 2008, Im guessing its more the popularity of the set itself that drives the value of these cards. Sketch cards have become increasingly popular over the last few years, but I don’t consider them on the same level that I see many other cards designed to fill similar holes in products. Personally, I would much rather pay as much as these people did and end up with some sort of autograph rather than just some relatively unknown artist’s rendition of their ginter cards.
Like I said, the cards are unique and cool, but im not sure I would go above and beyond that.