Sunday, August 2, 2015

Case Review Part 2: Full Sized Inserts

This year Allen & Ginter issued stamped parallels alongside their normal base cards.  From what I experienced, they could've been from any/all years (the only year I didn't get a buyback from was 2006... go figure).  I wasn't a huge fan of these cards in general mostly because I have no idea how they decided to do this stamping.  Were there set numbers of individual cards stamped?  Or did Topps just take a ginormous pile of base cards sitting on their shelf and stamp them randomly with no regard for the given card.  The fact that I got no 2006 buybacks seems to suggest the later...

Either way, I got the cards.  They came 2 in every box without fail and I figured I'd scan them all for you so you can see what I got.  In my opinion, the only design the stamp doesn't completely ruin is the 2009 design (and this year's, but we're about to get there), so I'd probably say the Santana or Cabrera is my favorite of these.

Topps also stamped base cards from this year's set as well.  However, finding one of these was much more rare (not even 1 per case), and they were numbered out of 10.  Though the strange parallel still isn't anything I particularly enjoy, I will at least accept these for what they are... low numbered value.  I happened to pull a Ryan Braun numbered 2/10 which somewhat made me cringe.

The REAL full sized inserts that Allen & Ginter offers every year normally feature small sets (typically 20 or fewer cards) that usually fail to relate to sports in any way at all.  To me, this is awesome.  In fact, I like it so much that I have a whole post series dedicated to reviewing these insert sets!

This year, Allen & Ginter offered 5 new full sized insert sets (including a 6th found only in retail).  I was able to complete all 5 of these within my one case.  Here's how many cards I pulled of each set (along with my favorite card from each):

Great Scott: 22

Ancient Armory: 37

What Once Was Believed: 19

Menagerie of the Mind: 40

What Once Would Be: 22

I'm not going to say much about these sets individually as I'll cover them more when I get around to reviewing them, but there's two things I want to say now.
  1. These full sized inserts are a far cry from those of the last 3 years.  I find them, as a whole, to be extremely bland.  While I will say that every single card I posted I enjoy immensely, it just seemed like every good card had 3 or 4 terrible ones right after it.  The Great Scott! set in particular was beyond boring to me... and I love physics... FEAR NOT!  The minis this year more than make up for this nonsense.
  2. This last set I posted, the "What Once Would Be" annoyed me to no end.  I don't mind when pictures and/or player cards are oriented in different fashions.  These two card fronts are properly oriented given the picture they used.  What bugs me is the following:

Please... don't orient the card backs differently as well.  This feels terribly unorganized and completely inconsistent.  In fact, there are other insert sets that have varying fronts, yet still have consistent backs within this product.  I don't get it... and this one can't be blamed on the Ginter Code.

OH!  Bonus card!  This didn't come from my case though.  I cheated and got a bit of retail.

Keys to the City: 0 :(

Of the 4 of these I've obtained so far, they've all been stunning cards and I like them quite a bit.  These 6 missing cards are the only 6 full sized cards I'm missing from my entire want list (which is up now btw... check it out!).

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