Here's the inside flap of the box top. Disappointingly, the preview cards are the same, but Old Planter makes up for the lack of originality. Both the inside and outside of the box top has a large warning about choking hazards. There must be an excessive amount of New York Mets cards in the checklist.
The front side of the box has a sheep on it for some inexplicable reason. Maybe the sheep is food for all the mythological monster inserts inside the box. At any rate it's making me want to play a round or two of Worms on the Gameboy. Yes, I still play my Gameboy, mainly because I have the Worms: Armageddon cartridge. As you can see, I got a little rambunctious opening the box up and trashed it a little. I guess I have to buy another box!
The sides of the box have familiar looking guy and the logo. All sides look just about the same excet for the picture on the left.
The back of the box hasplaying cards on it. You never know, this could have to do with the code. Just in case:
9D JC 9S
8C AS 8H
8C AS 8H
If this is a clue and it holps someone solve the code, please send a Dominique Wilkins auto my way.
Ok, the box bottom is one half legalese and I'm not even going to bother with that. The stuff you want is right here: Relic and Auto group listings. There's also the odds for pulling an N43 auto/relic card. Here's yer chances:
N43 Relic - 1:162 boxes
N43 Autograph - 1:270 boxes
N43 AutoRelic - 1:1,621 boxes
It sure ain't easy, but someone has to pull 'em. I scanned this bit at 300 dpi so if you want a good look, just click on the image. Let's look at the autograph groupings first.
There's only two groups: Group A (1:2,730 packs) and Group B (1:51 packs). You're looking at an autograph in about every other box there. Chris Olds wasn't kidding on that Beckett box break, there really are 8 different Michael Phelps autographs listed which is frankly quite ridiculous. There are only 8 other players in the group! Group B is sort of odd, as the usually short printed non-baseball autos are mixed in with the ones that people usually pull like Carlos Gomez and Alexi Casilla. I'm not sure what's going on there, but if there are short printed autographs it's a bit misleading to lump them in with the 1:51 list. The one card on that list that really messed with my mind was the Will Simpson/Archie Bunker one. First, I had no clue how a fictional character could possibly sign an autograph. I also didn't know who the heck Will Simpson was. Then I Googled it and found this.
SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THERE ISN'T A HORSE AUTOGRAPH IN THIS PRODUCT.
ON A MINI CARD NO LESS.
AAAAAAH MIND SNAPPED
Ok, enough of autographs, let's move on to the relics. Four groups here:
Group A: 1:100 Packs
Group B: 1:215 Packs
Group C: 1:39 Packs
Group D: 1:17 Packs
Group A appears to be the toughy one. That group has all the oddball subjects (horses and mascots and Phelps, oh my!) along with some high profile players (Pujols, Manny and Mantle) and finally a few low level names that no one will associate with being short printed at all. Tim Hudson and Casey Kotchman are in Group A, but I doubt they will go for a premium at all.
Group B looks like the Big Boy group with A-Rod Pujols and Ichiro with the stars and high odds (1 in about 9 or 10 boxes) but then you realize there's only eight subjects and one of them is Eric Gagne. Group C and D relics are the ones you'll end up pulling out of your box althought there's a good mix of superstars in there - Howard, Chipper, Lincecum, Vladdy, Prince, Wright, Longoria... There's a better than average chance of pulling a superstar relic out of an average box.
Oh, look. A serial number underneath the packs. I shall scan it and post it, for I am insane.
- the hell??
Dear lord, I got TWO serial numbers!
Here's the wrapper. You'll see plenty of these so let's not dwell on it.
Ah, this is what we want, the odds. The possibility of successfully pulling anything good if you're not a case breaker is approximately 3720 to 1. Never tell me the odds! Oh well, here they are anyway in order of "you'll have piles of 'em" to "fuggehtaboudit".
A&G Ad Back Mini Parallel - 1:5 packs
Baseball Highlights Sketches - 1:6 packs
Black Bordered Mini Parallel - 1:10 packs
Ginter Code Parallel card - 1:12 packs
National Heroes Mini - 1:12
Hoaxes, Hoodwinks, Bamboozles & Felonies That Destroyed The Lives Of Thousands Of People Mini - 1:12
Short Print Parallel - 1:13 packs
Creatures of Legend, Myth & Terror Mini - 1:48 packs
A&G Ad Back Mini Short Print Parallel - 1:65 packs
No Number Mini Parallel - 1:95 packs
Black Bordered Mini Short Print Parallel - 1:130 packs
Bazooka Ad Back Mini Parallel - 1:191 packs
Rip Card - 1:257 packs
Framed Mini Cloth Cards - 1: 278 packs
Framed Mini Printing Plates - 1:608 packs
Wood Mini Parallel - 1:2,780 packs
Cut Signature - 1:186,000 packs
Framed DNA Relic - 1:186,000 packs
Autos and Relics are detailed about and are overall 1:8 packs.
Or to put it another way:
A&G Ad Back Mini Parallel - about 6 per box
Baseball Highlights Sketches - 4 per box
Black Bordered Mini Parallel - about 3 or 4 per box
Ginter Code Parallel card - 2 per box
National Heroes Mini - 2 per box
Hoaxes, Hoodwinks, Bamboozles & Felonies That Destroyed The Lives Of Thousands Of People Mini - 2 per box
Short Print Parallel - 2 per box
Creatures of Legend, Myth & Terror Mini - 1 in 2 boxes
A&G Ad Back Mini Short Print Parallel -about 1 in 3 boxess
No Number Mini Parallel - about 1 in 4 boxes
Black Bordered Mini Short Print Parallel - about 1 in 4 or 5 boxes
Bazooka Ad Back Mini Parallel - 1 in 8 boxes
Rip Card - about 1 in 11 boxes
Framed Mini Cloth Cards - about 1 12 boxes
Framed Mini Printing Plates - 1 in 25 boxes
Wood Mini Parallel - 1 in 116 boxes
Cut Signature - 1 in 7,750 boxes or 1 in 146 cases
Framed DNA Relic - ditto
Overall, expect about 25 total inserts and parallels per box not counting normal minis, one per pack National Pride cards and short prints. Oddly enough there is no odds for short prints on the pack. I'm hoping they are still 1:2 packs, or the joy of building this set is going to be greatly diminished.
Here's the full checklist that is included as a box loader in every hobby box. If anyone has a spare checklist from 2006, I could use one. The print is tiny, and quite frankly my eyes are too tired to be staring at it tonight. I will be focusing on a couple of interesting things in it in a future post. The one thing that I was most interested to see was the replacement for the Bernie Madoff card. Card #2 is now "Alabama Changes Value of Pi". This made me smile broadly.
Ok, now for the goodies. Gentlemen, I introduce... THE BOX TOPPER:
I got a Cabinet Card. Getting a cabinet card basically means you didn't get an autorelic, but I'd never get one of those anyway. The past three years I've gone back and forth Cabinet, N43, Cabinet. Looks like I'll be getting a 2010 N43 card next year. Let's see who I got:
Now this is a nice cabinet card! The Declaration of Independence featuring the autohor and most recognizable signer. This card would have come in handy for Fourth of July! I'm happy with this, here's the back featuring the Historical checkist:
The set also has the Constitution, NATO, the South surrendering and my favorite, the Space Race.
Ok, I promised it... Here's my very first pack of 2009 Allen & Ginter.
134 Jered Weaver
52 Aaron Hill
173 Francisco Rodriguez
57 Frank Evans +2
85 Jason Jaramillo RC
249 John Higby
15 Alfred Nobel mini
and one more...
NP7 Chipper Jones National Pride +6
Can't do better than Chipper in the first pack. One surprising thing - The National Pride cards are not thick like last year's states cards. They are like a normal card. Maybe they aren't decoys this year but are a one per pack insert? You'd still need over three boxes to complete the set. I'm loving the fact that Negro Leaguers are in the set. Frank Evens is shown in a Birmingham Black Barons uniform and also played with Chattanooga, Detroit, New Orleans and the Kansas City Monarchs. Alfred Nobel is a cool mini and the first 2009 card in my 06-09 A&G mini set, bumping Jeff Francoeur out of the binder and into my Braves team set. And say what you will about oddball characters in A&G sets, that John Higby yo-yo champion card kicks ass.
Damn, I love this set. Twenty three packs to go!