November 14, 2006

Topps Makes Me Bitter:
Allen & Ginter Edition

I can’t afford packs of Topps’ new Allen & Ginter, I have no desire to complete the set and I don’t really understand Topps’ new policy of including non-baseball players in its base sets (like the supermodels in the 1952 Style basketball set). But that doesn’t mean I don’t like the cards. The design is fantastic: clean, smooth, no overbearing Topps logo on the front of the card, and best of all, it’s printed without gloss on quality card stock. Just a real nice-looking set.

I was able to pick up a few of the cards at the Holy Cross show on West 43rd on Saturday, including this one of Chester A. Arthur. I’m not a historian, but I do know that Arthur was one of the most corrupt politicians of the late Nineteenth Century, a time known for its corrupt politicians. So why did Topps include Arthur in this set? Why couldn’t they include a card of James Garfield instead? Why did they shy from teaching kids about Charles Guiteau (and the horrors incompetent doctors wrought in the face of a gunshot wound) and instead focus on luminaries like Arthur and Ruthe-fraud B. Hayes? I honestly don’t understand. I mean, there was plenty of room in the set. They could’ve left in the other late century presidents and not include a card of competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi, shown in deep concentration as he chokes down an unnumbered hot dog.

Ah, who am I kidding? Cards of competitive eaters, spelling bee champs and supermodels sell cards. I guess if I wanted cards of important historical stuff I could buy old Flags of the World commons. At least I can afford them.


Anonymous said...

First, let me say, I love your blog. Good reading. Good laughs. Often insightful ruminations on the industry. But I gotta draw a line here. Topps A&G is near and dear to my heart. Allow me to clarify for you the inclusion of these non-baseball folk in this set. It's a harken-back-to-the-original N28, N29 and N43 sets, of which the baseball players accounted for approximately 1/4 of the set. See, all of the original sets were the "Champions of the World" sets. As you obviously know, A&G did other sets as well. Topps is merely staying true to the originals (much like they did with the Turkey Red sets including past presidents). As for your pointing out they could have included better presidents, no arguement here.

Keep up the great work!

LennyP said...

I for one am getting tired of all of the "retro" sets. It is as if Topps is admitting they can't design anything original anymore, so why bother?