Monday, August 23, 2021

Allen & Ginter is Alright

A #CrackinWaxMailDay look at the 2021 Allen & Ginter set from a @CrackinWax case break. 
I was feeling a bit underwhelmed when it came to last year's Allen & Ginter set. For whatever reason, I wasn't a big fan of the design, and it came out during a time last year when I was just beginning to accept that buying cards on the retail market wasn't going to be a viable option for me anymore. One year later, things have only gotten worse in terms of retail availability, but the latest Ginter offering at least brings something familiar to the table. It's comforting, I suppose. I do feel like the design is a bit of an improvement over last year's as well.

I bought into a case break over at Crackin' Wax, one of a number of Ginter-related happenings at the long time break-focused website. The big dance, of course, is CW's annual charity event where a lucky donor can win a prize pack that includes a bunch of cards, supplies and unopened wax. They're still taking donations through Monday (8/30) and it's for a good cause, so I highly encourage you to check it out.

As I said, the design is... not bad. This is the 16th edition of the set that originally paid tribute to an old line of tobacco cards. This means a lot of gold lettering this time around, but again... I feel like it works.

This Bob Gibson mini probably ended up being my best "pull" of the case as it's an unnumbered mini with a print run of just 50. How does everyone else feel about unnumbered low print run cards (versus serial number stamped cards or hand numbered cards?)

I think I ended up scanning more of the mini cards than the full sized base for this post, because they just end up filling out the card design a bit better. Both of the Cardinals Hall of Famers that passed on last year are represented on the Cardinals team checklist, along with Mark McGwire and some active players.

This one scanned a little darker as it's one of the silver foil "hot box" parallels. I believe there's usually one "hot box" allotted per case, but I believe this case actually had two. Because of this, I'm only two silver parallels short of the team set, which means an eBay visit isn't out of the question.

I love that they're still making David Freese cards in 2021. This is one of the more common inserts from the set. We've seen very similar insert concepts in the Topps flagship set before, so this doesn't seem like anything novel. Still, it's a 2021 Freese card!

The black border mini design looks as bougie as ever.

Full-sized relic cards in Allen & Ginter are kind of a bore, but at least this KK jersey swatch is powder blue to spice things up a bit.

Big Mac shows up on the insert checklist as well, with a card commemorating that fateful HR chase. One of the interesting things about that chase for me was seeing an out-of-playoff-contention Cardinals team show up on national TV almost every night for awhile. FOX even put some of the games on its main network in prime time. Joe Buck was there! You guys like Joe Buck, don't you?!

Since I'm never going to end up owning even 50% of all of the Ozzie Smith cards ever made, I can always give a thumbs up to more cards of the Wizard. This was from the time where folks were implored to "go crazy" by Joe Buck's dad.

Might this be some sort of alternate Allen & Ginter design? This is one of the box toppers, which uses the same portrait photo as the base cards. These are pretty nice looking even if they likely have nothing to do with the original tobacco card concept.

This is what the same photo looks like in color, of course.

I will be collecting this set... well, more like slowly accumulating it. I managed to buy a couple of blasters from Target's website and, assuming availability, I could see me picking up a couple more at some point.


  1. I kind of liked the 2020 design, the gray borders kind of reminded me of the 1970 Topps set which of course of 2019 Heritage.

  2. The inserts seem a bit duller than past years, but I agree, the base cards are noticeably better. Beats 2020 by a landslide.

  3. I definitely prefer very short-printed cards to have a serial number. It's already hard enough to know what you're looking at and what you do and don't have. At least with an SN card I know exactly how rare it is.

  4. Just bought a blaster of A&G as well as a GQ blaster on their site. Can't wait to bust into them.

  5. Yeah, I like the serial number. It's not like I'm going to have to convince anyone it's a rare card but you never know.

    The design always looks better on the minis, and yes, glad to be rid of that 2020 design. I should get a blaster or two but I just ordered the team set and that always puts a dent in my blaster buys.

  6. Rats, you already got the Yadier topper. I got the Arenado N43 too.

  7. Yep, if it's a low print run, I'd like to know about it.


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.