This year Allen & Ginter again featured 3 different relic styles. The first is extremely boring and straightforward, pretty much no different than last year's full-sized relics. I pulled a bunch of non-sport guys that I've never heard of (plus a dupe of one Malcolm Gladwell).
Each box seemed to have exactly one of this type, and one of the other type of full-sized relic. The third hit was your "big" hit (either an auto, framed relic, rip card, ect.). The "type B" design of the full-sized relic pulled from the 10th anniversary theme of the product this year and featured a cut-out 10. Not that a cut-out 10 is any different than a cut-out square, but the second version of these relics look so much better than the first. I think a lot of that has to do with the landscape oriented format of these.
Perhaps it just the cards I pulled, because I didn't bother looking at the checklist for these, but the relic subjects for type B also seemed to be heads and shoulders above the others. If you remove the single Puig relic, I'm pretty sure I like every single one of the 10th anniversary relics better than any of the normal square ones.
By far my two favorite of this group are the two with the most interesting materials. The Lakey Peterson relic is almost certainly a wet-suit as its super thin and is even a bit stretchy to the touch. The other interesting one is the Craig Kimbrel piece. I simply can't tell what the heck that material is supposed to be. It isn't really the color of anything Braves or Padres. I can only assume it's a sock or undershirt... very strange.
The third type of relic is your expected framed mini relic. Normally, I'm pretty much just as "meh" about these as I am with the full-sized relics. I don't really buy this product for its hits so I tend to just ignore them, and either sell them or slowly trade them away for stuff I actually want. Even when I pull an autograph, I tend to look at it, note the subject, and quickly put it off to the side. This year, however, when I pulled my first framed relic (that of Yasiel Puig), I actually stopped and stared at the card for quite some time admiring it.
Until very recently I thought the purple frame was what was doing so much for me with these relics. I've always enjoyed the color purple and I thought these frames in general were very simple and extremely well done. However, I think there's even a better reason and it's something that Night Owl very recently alluded to in his Ginter post regarding the base cards. I'm ashamed to say that I've mostly just glanced over the base cards this year and haven't really taken the opportunity to really look at them and see what Topps was up to this year.
Instead of babbling about what I should be doing, let me show you what I'm talking about.
Next to each other the difference between the two styles is immediately apparent. I can barely tickle Ryan Howard, and David Ortiz (aside from him batting righty because I flipped the picture around...oops!) is about ready to smack me in the face! Night Owl mentioned that he didn't like the new closely cropped look all that much for the base cards. I have no idea what I think about it yet... again, I haven't really gotten around to looking at them. However, I know I love it for these framed mini relics. In fact, I love this new look so much on these cards that I'm going to attempt to collect the entire set of them. Off to the races!
I pulled autographs too! Here! Have a couple!
Talk about looking at the auto subject and then tossing it aside...
I suppose I could have done worse as far as non-baseball autos go. Olney is a guy whose opinion I at least used to respect. I don't really want his autograph though... This Val Kilmer guy. Well, I recognize him. Does that count for something??? I know he's in a bunch of movies I've never seen before. I'm pretty sure he was a late 90's guy which would've put me at the age of 8 or so. Probably just a bit before my time...
...and yes, our promised RIP card. I was definitely happy when I saw this guy was featured. Numbered out of 25 is also usually quite good for these (though I'm not sure about this year yet). It seems that since production is up this year, we won't see many (if any...) cases with two RIP cards like we did last year. Oh well.
Anywho. That be it for my case this year. We got some cool stuff that I'm happy with and some okay cards that anyone is more than welcome to try and pick up from me. Gint-A-Cuffs has just started so I'll have to get on scoring that box (I've already opened it and updated my wants/haves with what I got).
Also, I realize that I have 6 contests that need winners!!! Don't worry! I haven't forgotten! In fact, I've already written up and completed the post in which I'm announcing the winners, so hold on tight. Maybe I'll e-mail the winners later today to get the ball rolling as far as prizes go, but no promises!