2016 Topps Allen & Ginter Box Break & Review

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When John Allen and Lewis Ginter started their tobacco company in 1865, they didn’t have a clue that one day their premiums would have such a demand.  Specifically the tobacco cards found in packs.  That’s the funny thing about this industry.  Items that were once thought to be trash are now collectible.  Mom always kept the report cards, but somehow the baseball cards found their way to the dumpster.

I think John Allen and Lewis Ginter would be surprised to see that their company name is now more familiar with baseball cards than tobacco.  They probably wouldn’t have seen that coming.  Allen & Ginter is one of the most anticipated products each year.  The impact this product has had on the hobby is tremendous.  While attending the 2016 National in Atlantic City, NJ, I saw original boxes of Allen & Ginter from 2006 priced at $230 each.  When that first wave of Allen & Ginter was released, boxes did not start that high.  Having a modern day product increase in price like that almost never happens.

Topps can release as many previews and checklist updates as they want, but you’ll never truly get a sense of what Allen & Ginter has in store until it comes out.  The team at Topps that works on this set has been able to keep it’s core the same since 2006, while at the same time creating new content that keeps collectors coming back year after year.  It can be a difficult balance, but Topps has got it down when it comes to this brand.

Retro design, on-card autographs, and all sorts of wacky things to look for have always contributed to the success of Allen & Ginter.  Leaving a little mystery to a product and letting the collector discover some things increases the fun too.  Allen & Ginter is a perfect example of a product that is great for set collectors, and ones focused on high-end “hits”.  The craziest things end up being major pulls, like the Greenland Explorer mini.  Despite it not being serial numbered, the odds of finding one are extremely rare.  Julio Urias has a rare no number rookie that can be hard to pull too.

My favorite pulls remain the rip cards.  They’ve been a staple since the beginning.  If you’re lucky enough to find one, you can leave it sealed or rip it open.  The choice is completely up to you.  It was also pretty cool that Topps gave out specially made Allen & Ginter one-of-one parallels to those people who attended the Q&A meeting during the ’16 National.

Here is what I pulled:


  • Matt Reynolds Framed Mini Auto

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  • Jason Sklar Relic
  • Mike Trout Jersey

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Short Prints

  • Yan Gomes #332
  • Yasiel Puig #319
  • Steve Cishek #337
  • Nick Castellanos #321
  • Scott Kazmir #334
  • Ryan LaMarre RC #322
  • Tyson Ross #321
  • Trevor Plouffe #348
  • Roberto Clemente #320
  • Santiago Casilla #315
  • Wil Myers #345
  • Tyler Duffey #305

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Notable Mini Parallels

  • David Wright Black Border #83
  • Orlando Cepeda Black Border #284
  • Brandon Moss A&G Back #239
  • Zack Godley A&G Back RC #330
  • Todd Frazier A&G Back #94
  • Ryan Weber RC Mini SP #316
  • Wei-Yin Chen Mini SP #303

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  • David Wright Cabinet Box Topper
  • Marty Walsh U.S. Mayors Mini #11
  • Ed Murray U.S. Mayors Mini #21
  • Baron Philip Noel-Baker Laureates of Peace Mini #3
  • Manx Cat Ferocious Felines Mini #11
  • Duquesne Incline Subways & Streetcars Mini #4
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball Legends #19
  • Duke Snider Baseball Legends #6
  • Rod Carew Baseball Legends #22
  • Willie Mays Baseball Legends #18
  • Al Kaline Baseball Legends #1
  • Amazon Rainforest Natural Wonders #5
  • Aurora Borealis Natural Wonders #8
  • Dead Sea Natural Wonders #12
  • Devils Tower Natural Wonders #15
  • Ngorongoro Crater Natural Wonders #19
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. The Numbers Game #39
  • Dallas Keuchel The Numbers Game #64
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. The Numbers Game #29
  • Mark McGwire The Numbers Game #2
  • Max Scherzer The Numbers Game #13
  • Carl Yastrzemski The Numbers Game #5
  • Stephen Piscotty The Numbers Game #11
  • Matt Kemp The Numbers Game #83
  • Chipper Jones The Numbers Game #30
  • Miguel Cabrera The Numbers Game #56
  • Mark Teixeira The Numbers Game #8
  • Roberto Alomar The Numbers Game #42

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