As usual, Allen & Ginter has two different types of box loaders to collect. And as usual, Topps is stingy as hell and only gives you one per box. Here's what is on the pre-sell checklist:
Cabinet Box Loaders:
Topps has been including these cards that are a hybrid of original Allen & Ginter album pages and 19th century cabinet cards as boxtoppers since 2007. Like last year, half the ten card set is of baseball players and the other half is os political figures. Mini card sized pics of four subjects are included on each cabinet card. The baseball subjects focus on the World Baseball Classic, including cards for The Netherlands, Cuba, The United States, Japan and the WBC winners. Who won the bloody thing, anyway?
The Politics ones are more complicated. One consists of the leaders of the United States, Italy, Portugal and Canada in 1948. There are two featuring statesmen from the Revolutionary war, and both have Benjamin Frankin. The final two feature adversaries. The Civil War themed card had Abe Lincoln and U.S. Grant matched up against Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee. Finally there's a Cold War card with JFK and LBJ staring down Krushchev and Brezhnev.
N43 is the American Card Catalog number for the original Allen & Ginter set that featured Sporting Champions in a larger format. This insert has been in every single A&G release since it started in 2006. It has also had Ryan Zimmerman in every set, and no Chipper Jones. So when I downloaded the checklist the first thing I did was check the N43 list.
I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!!!
(now if we can just fixt the All-Star selection travesty)
That's all you need to know about the checklist anyway, I'll post it later once it's confirmed.
Along with the normal N43s there are autographed and relic versions. There are ten relics listed in the checklist including 5 MLB players (A-Rod, Manny, Hamilton, Utley, Vladdy) and 5 WBC participants with the highlight being Yu Darvish.
The ones that people really want are the autographs though. The BIG one is the Michael Phelps autograph. This appears to have replaced the gimmicky dog autograph and Bigfoot tire track cards from last year. I still wouldn't be surprised to see some stealth ridiculousness in there like an Obama dog pawprint or a card stained with the tears of a Madoff victim. The rest of the autographed N43's are more straightforward mix of established stars (Longoria, Wright) and hot prospects (Joba, Bruce).
Then of course you have the autogamers, five cards with both an auto and relic attached. This is a solid list (it better be with the odds of pulling one): Howard, Papi, Wright, Longoria, Braun. The autos and relics are extremely hard to get so if you plunk down your money for a hobby box, just relax enjoy your cabinet card of Harry Truman.