These days, relics seem that they have reached a point of oversaturation on just about every level. Consistent issues with checklist variation and lack of creativity has had horribly negative effects on value and have made relics almost irrelevant. For the last two years, one specific group of relic cards seem to have taken this situation and turned it on its ear with ULTRA premium swatches.
The Allen and Ginter nameplate relic cabinet cards have my attention, if not only because the swatch they offer is the biggest piece of a jersey available outside of owning the whole thing. They are back for a second year in 2012 Ginter, and I think this is the one card that every player and team collector should own.
So often we get the one inch swatch or the jumbo relic that might be 3×3 at best. Most of the time, the larger the swatch has to be, the more horrendous the card looks. These oversized cards have a look that is almost worth framing, as the larger size provides the proper space to make these types of relics work.
Even more, when you get an entire name plate encapsulated in one specific space, the relic alone becomes as visually appealing as the jersey itself. Because MLB jerseys are some of the most iconic uniforms in sports, these become similarly iconic. In terms of cards, these might be some of the most unique offerings there are, and I am sure that it is a big reason as to why they are so valuable.
Additionally for this year’s ginter, there are cabinet autograph cards, as there have been for almost every year of ginter. I think the cabinet cards are interesting additions to a product like this, mainly because the oversized presentation, combined with the on card autos, make for a great looking display piece. Im still more of a fan of the framed autographs in the product, but I think that a use of this format makes the rarity of the insert secondary in the overall scheme of the set.
I have said frequently that a product like Ginter is, with 100% on card autographs, and this level of content is missing from Football, especially because there are so few attempts at non-rookie hard signed content by either company. Topps would contend that the history of Ginter and the set collecting focus in baseball wont transfer to Football, but I disagree. I think with on card autographs and a great checklist, a sister product with a different name than Mayo may actually do quite well. Im guessing we might never find out though.