Sunday, February 14, 2016

Allen & Ginter Insert Overview Series #83

Set: 2015 Allen & Ginter Menagerie of the Mind
            Total Cards: 20
            Stated Odds: 1:2 (along with other full-sized inserts)

Bubba’s Derived Odds: 1:7
           # of Hobby Boxes Needed to Obtain Set: 5.83

We're down to our last 2015 Allen & Ginter full-sized insert, and I just now realized that I haven't mentioned pack odds for these sets yet.  Shame on me.  This is one of the main reasons I started this series!  But I'm not out of time yet!

Topps did something in 2015 Allen & Ginter that kinda makes sense and that I discovered when I opened my case this year.  After sorting out all the cards I had opened, I looked at my full-sized inserts piles and found that some piles were VERY much taller than others.  When I dove deeper in, I found that I had acquired two complete sets of almost every full-sized insert.  This was not something I was used to.  I remember in 2013 when I broke a case and came away with 6 identical Martial Masteries cards, but failed to complete even a single set of Civilizations of Ages Past.

This year (or should I say last year because its 2016 now and I'm slow at posting), Topps made it so that insert set size adjusted the odds of pulling that particular insert.  Pulling one of these Menagerie of the Mind cards twice as common as pulling a What Once Was Believed card.  Topps didn't explicitly state this anywhere (as all full-sized inserts were still listed at 1:2 odds), but trust me, my odds are right.  We've got 2 sets with 20 cards at 1:7 odds and 3 with 10 cards at 1:14 odds.  If we add those odds together we get 7:14 which perfectly aligns with Topps' claim.

Aside from the numbers giving me something interesting to think about, I don't really know how much I like this new approach.  I enjoy a sense of rarity and the difficulties associated with chasing after sets.  Although, I suppose the mini sets in Allen & Ginter are difficult enough to complete, so I'm going to say that I think I appreciate this change.

On with the countdown!

Favorite (Owned) Card:

There is only one reason that this is my favorite card in this set:

Throughout my college experience, I have been called many things.  My nicknames vary from puns based on my last name, different ways to say Matt, and names I've received while playing sports (namely Bubba).  I've also acquired another "name"... though it's not so much a name as it is a testimate to my personality, height, and hair-color.  Many people relate me to these wonderful Irish creatures (though I have almost zero Irish blood in my body).  I choose to view the name as a compliment for my ability to always see the bright side of life.

In any case, whenever I see a leprechaun, I am always reminded of college and the great experiences associated with it.  This card also features one of the best pieces of art in the set and pretty accurately depicts what I would think a leprechaun would look like... and no, it is not a photo of me.

Notes and Comments:
This giant set of 30 cards all feature imaginary creatures of mythology, or else of someone's crazy imagination (zombies... where the heck are they originated from???  The only thing I could come up with would be some kind of offshoot of the Egyptian mummy... but then, why isn't that in this set).
As good as the leprechaun picture is, many of the rest don't hold a candle to it.  I would venture to guess that only about a third of the art from this set is worthy of a collectible card.  I suppose that's better than most of the other 2015 full-sized inserts though.

The card backs from this set happen to be one of the better card backs of the year.  I think they are masterfully designed with a nice big emphasis on the title that happens to have some clever alliteration.  Speaking of the title, I could've sworn menagerie meant something along the lines of a large group of animals.  Similar to a zoo... but more like a giant pet store.  You know, those pet stores you walk into and it stinks like wet dog and hamster feces... and the walls are lined with animal cages containing specimens begging to be released.  Menagerie.  I don't want any of those Menageries of the Mind thank you very much.

Similar to the Ancient Armories set that I reviewed back in January (ugg... I really need to start getting in gear here), I think I'm probably significantly under-rating this set.  Perhaps not to the extent of the Ancient Armories set, but I still think it's probably going to end up being one of the sets I look back at and say... "eh, that wasn't all that bad."

Arbitrary Rating (out of 100): 52
Click link above for complete up-to-date ratings

% of Set Completed: 100%

Missing Cards: NONE!!!

Extra Cards: All!  Anyone need/want a set?

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