So Mayo is live. If this had come out last year I would have gone certifiably insane over it, but my apathy toward the NFL this year has kept my retro cravings at bay for the time being. I'm still interested in it though, so I've been trying to figure out the set makeup now that I have a pack of them in my hands. My pack rip is over here if you want to take a look at the cards.
Basically Mayo follows the Allen & Ginter formula, except it uses the design of the first trading card set to feature football players. The design is not as attractive as Allen & Ginter, but it is pretty good in its own right. Some of the photos I've seen are dicey however, the set kind of reminds me of Cracker Jack in that regard. The set really follows A&G to a T, down to framed relics, mini cards, mini parallels, and 1890's style mini insert sets. If you've collected Allen & Ginter you should know what to expect from this set.
The set is broken down into 205 veterans, 50 rookies, 10 coaches, 10 legends, 15 'public figures' which I guess is what they are calling the non-football subjects and 40 short prints to make up a 330 card set. No word on what the short prints actually are yet. My cynical guess is that they are the 40 best rookies in the set, but they could conceivably be a mix of vets, rookies, public figures, etc. The sell sheet can be seen here, which also has links to the checklist in Excel format and the sell sheet in a .pdf.
The checklist doesn't tell me much about the possible short prints. Hopefully Topps put them all at the end of the set at cards 291-330 like in the A&G set to make things easier on us. That would make Favre, Warner and Tommy Tuberville short prints, which I could live with. Matt Ryan is at card 276, right after Eli. PLEASE Lord, don't make Matt a short print. The coaches are all college coaches as expected since Paterno is the big sell for this set. I'm not sure what the heck is going on with the 'public figures' as Napoleon Dynamite and McLovin' are in the checklist. Figures I pull Cornflake dude instead of McLovin'. Also Lord, if you ignore my pleas on the Matt Ryan thing, PRETTY PLEASE let that guy sign his card as McLovin'. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease. Legends are your boring usual suspects like Elway and Montana. Holy shit, David Cross is in there! Dammit, now I have to pick through the checklist and figure out the 15 'public figures' in the set. I wish I had paid attention to the NFL Draft now, I don't recognize half the rookies' names.
PUBLIC FIGURES IN TOPPS MAYO ACCORDING TO THE PRESELL CHECKLIST SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE:
10 Rich Eisen - NFL Network dude. I've always liked his broadcasting stuff.
24 Sig Hansen - Woohoo, a crab fisherman.
38 John Hillstrand - ANOTHER crab fisherman.
52 Phil Harris - NOBODY LIKES CRAB THIS MUCH
66 Mike Rowe - He freakin' NARRATES for Deadliest catch!!! Enough with the damn crabs!
80 Christopher Mintz-Plasse - the aforementioned McLovin'. My favorite card in the set if only for breaking the streak of crab celebrities.
93 Jesse James - He was in the 2006 A&G set so why not here as well?
106 David Cross - Ok, this card is epic.
119 Charlie Murphy - The comedians are balancing out the fishermen nicely.
132 Artie Lange - Misspelled on the checklist, this is a comedian on the Howard Stern show.
145 Gary Dell'Abate - Baba Booey? Are you fscking kidding me? First crabs, now Stern?
158 Seth Rogen - Superbad actor #2 in the set.
171 Jonah Hill - Aaaaaaaand #3.
184 Jon Heder - Also misspelled in the checklist. Vote for Perdo!
197 "The King" - THIS BETTER NOT BE A STINKIN CRAB
Ok, this is fifteen sort of public figures I guess. I pulled Cornflake guy though, so someone got bumped. Mr. Kellogg's number in the checklist is occupied by Bob Stoops so I'm not sure what's going on. Also Mr. Hansen's card #24 is actually Matt Cassell. I'm not seeing many Legends in that checklist either so I'm starting to think the thing is a bunch of bunk. Assuming it is correct though, here are the tough inserts I'd most like to pull:
Mayo Americana Autographs - William Shatner!
Cut Signatures - Jack Benny
Mayo Americana Relics - Willie Nelson
Mayo Century Series - Norman Rockwell paintbrush
There are also stamp cards and a liberty dime card in the Century Series checklist. The dime would be sweet.
Here are the inserts along with the odds as listed on the back of the pack:
Short prints 1:2 packs
There are only 40 short prints for the 330 card set according to the sell sheet. This is pretty close to Allen & Ginter's 50 SPs in a 350 card set, so it looks like it will be challenging, but not impossible to complete the set. There is no list of SPs out so far, but I'll link to it once Topps gets around to announcing it.
Mini parallel short print 1:12
Same deal as A&G. Mini short prints are a little tougher to find.
Yale Mini parallel 1:13
Princeton mini parallel 1:24
Harvard mini parallel 1:50
1984 mini parallel 1:250
These are parallel versions of the mini cards with different backs. I found an auction that showed three of the four backs. Pretty straightforward, they show the team color and letter. Yale is easiest with a blue back, Princeton is one per box with an orange back, Harvard Crimson is tough as they are numbered to 25 and fall at about one in every other box, and I don't even know what 1894 looks like as they are numbered to 5.
Famous Ships mini insert 1:12
Horses mini insert 1:48
These two insert sets hearken back to the 1894 as ships and race horses were frequent subjects of tobacco cards back in the late 19th century. I've got a horse of my own right here and I've also got a couple of ships somewhere. The ships look quite good and similar to the cards of the time. I'm not so sure about the unicorn, however.
Mayo Framed Autographs:
Group A 1:1950
Group B 1:3000
Group C 1:4300
Group D 1:920
Group E 1:1000
Group F 1:193
Group G 1:1350
Group H 1:188
Group I 1:120
Red Autograph 1:1420
Group A 1:1000
Group B 1:1600
Red Autograph 1:12500
Cut Signature 1:35328
Signatures are on a mini card and put inside a frame. You know the drill. I suck at math, but somehow all those percentages add up to at least one per box. There don't appear to be any rip cards in this product, so the red autos are probably going to be in the same frames as the regular cards.
Mayo Framed Football Relics:
Group A 1:38
Group B 1:32
Mayo Framed Americana Relics:
Group A 1:400
Group B 1:600
Mayo Framed Century Series Relics:
Group A 1:1200
Group B 1:1650
It seems like these cards should be the ones two per box, but who knows. Same deal as A&G (how many times have I typed that so far?), mini card, inside frame, little swatch inside the card. If there's a Matt Ryan with a little red swatch I'll probably try to jump on one, but otherwise, meh.
Not listed on the back are the Super Bowl inserts. It looks like these are similar to the Dick Perez and state flag inserts. A thick filler card to deter searchers and provide a little something other than a blank hunk 'o cardboard. The sell sheet says Super Bowl ring card, but I don't see a ring on this card. the card I have is numbered SB39-B so maybe there is an A variation with a ring? I've seen one auction online for them so far and that one showed a card with a Broncos helmet so maybe there's one 'winner' card and one 'logo' card for each Superbowl. An 84 card filler set would be a real pain in the butt though. We'll see.
There are also supposed to be buyback cards in the set, but I don't see any odds for them.
I like the cards, but I'm not sure I like them enough to pay over a hundred for a hobby box. I'll probably buys ome retail packs to tide me over until Heritage comes out. Assuming I don't buy American Heritage instead. That stuff is pretty cool too, I'll haveto show off the pack of that I got soon.