2006 Topps Allen & Ginter

What I pulled--

Inserts and Parallels:
Base Minis - 15
A&G Back Minis - Chester A. Arthur, Tadahito Iguchi, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, Jimmy Rollins
Black Framed Minis - Chris Duffy, Casey Kotchman, Albert Pujols
Bazooka Red Back Mini - Harmon Killebrew (hand #ed 12/25)
Dick Perez Collection - 14
Postcard Boxtopper - Mickey Mantle

Relic Cards and Autographs:
Framed Relics - Vladimir Guerrero bat, Pedro Martinez white jersey with blue stripe

Beautiful. That is the only word to describe this set.

A few years ago, Topps began making retro sets based off of some of the classic designs
from the early days of baseball cards. It started with the T-206 set and after a few more
iterations (including a forthcoming second edition of Turkey Red), Allen and Ginter, originally
released in the late 1800s, is here.

From the oversized box the packs come in to the oversized postcard boxtopper to the minis,
framed relics and autographs, this set just jumps out at you. But it is the base cards that
deserve the most attention. Not only are the regular cast of players here, but the set is also
loaded with both historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Herman Melville and stars
of other sports and pop culture like Danica Patrick, Mike Tyson and Hulk Hogan. The paintings of the
subject are just gorgeous and pop against the light tan background. This is a set that Topps should
rightfully take credit for as one of the most visually attractive ever made.

There is more, though. Topps introduces a new concept in this set. Inserted at a rate of one per hobby
case are Rip Cards, which are a card within a card and offer the collector the choice of either keeping the
card intact or opening it to find out what is inside. These cards, numbered to no more than 99, either
contain a short printed mini parallel, a buyback or another treasure. I wasn't lucky enough to pull one,
although a part of me isn't upset, since I am not sure which way I would have decided - keep it or rip it?

Earlier this year, I touted
Triple Threads as a candidate for Product of the Year. Time to change my vote.
Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner.......................