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2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball

Product Review

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball Product Review

Reviewed By Mike Smeth

Good: It's Allen & Ginter, Unparalleled autograph checklist of sports and pop culture icons, First rate base set.

Bad: Worst Allen & Ginter set design to date, Some very obscure subjects, Only 3 hits per box, Framed Relics are boring and play too big a role in the hit content of each box.

The Bottom Line: 2011 Allen & Ginter is a very good product that is worth buying at least a box or two of. With that said, a lackluster design and some questionable additions to the autograph checklist prevent it from being the great product that each of its predecessors have been.

Staff Rating:
3.5 / 5.0

Card Design: 2.5/5.0

I was flat out disappointed with Allen and Ginter's base set design this year. I love the look of the original Allen and Ginter sets, which up until now Topps did a fantastic job of staying true to. But the 2011 reinvention of the design is far too colorful and tacky looking, which is the antithesis of the sleek, simple, designs of old.

Checklist: 4.0/5.0

For the most part the checklist is strong throughout the base, autograph, and insert sets. This is extremely important because it's largely what distinguishes Allen & Ginter from the rest of the pack year in and year out. Obviously the core group of baseball superstars and stars are represented, but here is a quick run down of the key (and not so key) non-baseball additions to the set:

Noteworthy Subjects: Stan Lee, Hope Solo, Manny Pacquiao, Lou Holtz, John McEnroe, Annika Sorenstam, Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull), Dick Vitale, George W. Bush, Rudy Ruettiger, Chrissie Wellington, Aimee Mullins.

Don't Belong on a Card: Wee Man, Jo Frost, Royal Wedding, Ana Julaton, Cheryl Burke, WNBA players.

Value: 4.0/5.0

Overall, 2011 Allen & Ginter Baseball provides a lot of value. Most products depend too much on their hits for providing a good payoff. Allen & Ginter is kind of like the mutual fund of baseball cards in that it provides a more dependable return which is spread throughout its hits, inserts, base cards, and short prints. If you prefer more of a high risk / high return experience then Ginter may not be for you. For everyone else who is on the fence about whether to purchase this product, its an experience not to be missed.

The Fun Factor: 4.5/5.0

I pulled a deranged midget's autograph. Ok, there I said it. The way I see it, a deranged midget is weird, but a person that collects autographs of deranged midgets is another thing entirely. Count me out. My Wee Man autograph hit eBay as soon as it was pulled.

Other then the above pull I had a great time with the break and look forward to breaking more Ginter wax in the near future.

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Product Details

User Rating:

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter marks the wildly popular brand's sixth season under Topps. The latest incarnation of the cardboard version of the World's Fair features a revamped card design and autographs from big names like Manny Pacquiao, Peter Gammons and Stan Lee.

Release Date: Mid-July, 2011
Box Configuration: 24-Packs Per Box/6-Cards Per Pack
Pack Price: $3-$4
Product Type: Mid-End Vintage Baseball
Geared Toward: Allen & Ginter junkies, Code crackers, Rip card fans, Collectors who like odd things, Collectors who enjoy products that feature more than just baseball players, Autograph collectors, Relic collectors, DNA Relic seekers, Set builders

What's In The Box:

  • 3 Hits Per Box

Product Highlights/Details:

  • Topps promises that the latest version of Allen & Ginter will provide the “most-exciting and wide-ranging autograph list in its history."
  • Base Set Structure: 300 regular cards/50 short prints (270 veterans, 30 rookies, 15 historical figures, 35 World Champions).
  • Rip Card madness returns (1 per case)- original Allen & Ginter tobacco cards, mini paintings from artist Jeff Zachowski, red-ink autographs, mini SPs and 1/1 mini wood cards.
  • New Die-Cut Cabinets Cards that form a map of the U.S.A.
  • New Season, New Ginter Code!
  • Names on the Auto Checklist: Lou Holtz, Manny Pacquiao, Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull), John McEnroe, Annika Sorenstam, Kyle Petty, Peter Gammons, Picabo Street, Stan Lee, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Jim Nantz, Dick Vitale, Chuck Woolery (Love Connection), Rudy Ruettiger (that Rudy), Geno Auriemma, Micky Ward (The Fighter), Cheryl Burke (Dancing With the Stars), Daniel Boulud (Chef), Guy Fieri (Food Network), Marc Fargione (Iron Chef).
  • MLB Stars on the Auto Checklist: Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Jason Heyward, Aroldis Chapman, Joe Mauer.
  • "Uninvited Guests" insert set - tales of the paranormal and unexplained.
  • "Floating Fortresses" insert set - famed battleships that held their own in the seas and oceans of the world.
  • "Minds that Made the Future" insert set - Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton and other brilliant minds that shaped the world of the now.
  • "Step Right Up" insert set - all the stars, freaks and attractions of carnival sideshow.
  • Other insert sets - "The Ascent of Man", "Hometown Heroes", “Flora of the World", "Animals in Peril", "Highlight Sketch Cards"
  • Early names on the relic auto checklist: Buster Posey, Felix Hernandez, Jason Heyward, Chase Utley and Evan Longoria.
  • 1 mini card per pack - wood, cloth, Bazooka, -no-number, black border, Allen & Ginter back and standard.
  • Types of standard relics:  printing plates, framed Relics, DNA Relics and book cards
  • DNA Relic checklist: Geronimo, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, King George III, Jefferson Davis, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Preview Card Gallery:

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Set Checklist

2011 Allen and Ginter Set Checklists

Base Set Checklist

Framed Cloth Set Checklist

Framed Autograph Set Checklist

Framed Relic Set Checklist

Book Card Set Checklist

Rip Cards Set Checklist

Originals Set Checklist

Mini Exclusives Set Checklist

Hometown Heroes Set Checklist

Highlight Sketches Set Checklist

N43 Cards Set Checklist

N43 Relic Cards Set Checklist

N43 Autographs Set Checklist

Cabinet Set Checklist

Cabinet Relics Set Checklist

Framed DNA Relic Set Checklist

Animals in Peril Set Checklist

Portraits in Penultimacy Set Checklist

World's Most Mysterious Figures Set Checklist

Uninvited Guests Set Checklist

Step Right Up Set Checklist

Floating Fortresses Set Checklist

Minds that Made the Future Set Checklist

Accent of Man Set Checklist

User Reviews


Topps isnt currupt. They give you the odds. Its simple really, basically the odds will tell you that in order to get a “Grand Slam Hit” you have to get really lucky or buy AT LEAST a couple cases. . I got a Goerge Bush auto in my one hobby box. . Also got a Sandy Koufax auto in one box of 2013 gypsy queen. . so it can happen. But think about it. . the only reason those “grand slam hits” exist is because they are rare. If they were in every other box they wouldnt be grand slam hits. there would be 100s of them on ebay for ten bucks.


I opened 8 boxes of this stuff and got 3 autos and the rest were relics. The autos were of guy fieri, angel pagan, and of some other no name player. I did however get an almost near complete master set of the product


I pulled two hits out of this box, and both were cheap $5 jerseys, but I’ve never had so much fun wasting my money like this before.


pulled a 1/1 Howard/ Fielder book card any idea on the value?

Ryan Cracknell
Ryan Cracknell

Nice card!

It’s tough to say for certain as Ginter has such a dedicated following. My guess would be $300-500.


I have the 1/1 Geronimo hair card…..wanting to sell it to help pay for college …email if interested please. …


Granted I have only opened one Hobby box, but just like Trad said, all relics. You guys are always looking for a story, why don’t you do one on how this industry is one of the most curpt ones out there. It’s just seems funny when you see all the people who sell what one Ebay. The same (now granted I fully understand that most who bust cases will have more.) The reason I say this stuff is I trully have NEVER not once gotten a GRAND SLAM HIT….Makes me want to go back to flippin burgers….At least I know I am getting screwed in that industry…..


The “hits” were uninspiring; a Chuck Woolery coat, a swatch of swimsuit the approximate size of a Postage Stamp from a 3rd world nation and another nondescript relic.
The minis are fun but for the price point? 2 relics and 1 auto sounds about right to me.
It was a fun, novel break That said, the value is suspect and, ultimately, I’d rather have the money back to throw into a single or another box.

‘Nuff Said.

Trad Leavitt
Trad Leavitt

Jose Bautista was the only auto in the case and it was a very damaged card. They never sent the rid card but they sent me three insignificant autos to include Gio Gonzalez, DeJesus, and Figgins. That was it! Like I said it was a huge slap in the face!

Trad Leavitt
Trad Leavitt

I splurged and got a whole case of this product after watching a few boxes opened, I got excited. I am normally a box here or there kind of guy and this was way out of my comfort zone price wise, but hard to stop the train once it is going. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE DISAPPOINTED! I got all relic hits but one auto of Jose Bautista, which mind you was so badly damaged I will have to return the card to Topps. I also got no rip card(which is a case hit)!

I contacted Topps to ask what if anything they can do and got told to go pound bricks. Called back and talked to management and got a few insignificant autos in return for my troubles. I will never buy this product again! SORRY FOR THE POOR REVIEW TOPPS! Never been so disappointed!

Trad Leavitt (ID 24583) Wow, sorry to hear that Trad. Did they agree to give you the rip card they owed you? How many autos did the case yield in all? I feel your pain my friend, and hate that it happened as I know how that can be.

Alan Bisson
Alan Bisson

The first couple releases were a lot of fun. The last few, not so much. I like the odd inserts and it is an educational set. However, I opened 2 boxes and got six below average jersey cards! Years past you usually got at least one autograph, but now, because Topps is going the way of Upper Deck in not giving people their money’s worth, the odds of getting an auto is 1 in 60 packs… Most every product in this price range gives you 2 autos a box. I hope Topps is listening. Just my opinion.


Great Review! I wish I could buy some but I am still out of work from a back surgery and I have another surgery coming up on the 22nd. Man I would love to get some of these! It would be awesome also to win this box of Bowman as I can’t finish my set until I get some money coming in :-( Great Review though! I LOVE the Geranimo Hair Cut! As I am an Iroquis Indian I would LOVE to have this piece! Thanks for all you do and the GREAT Reviews!
Dave in Mass.

Ben Barron
Ben Barron

Prepare for another year of madness lol. I’d love to get my hands on that Heyward auto. Brett that peter gammons would be an awesome card. I’d really like one myself. I would also like to pull one of Dicky V. I’m also intrigued by the “Floating Fortresses” insert set because my family has a naval background.

David Tenneson
David Tenneson

Edgar Allen Poe AND “uninvited guests” in the same set? I was going to avoid this product this year but now….I guess never say nevermore!


too weird for me…

I already want that Peter Gammons auto real bad!

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Overall Rating

1 Star - Avoid this product like the plague
2 Stars - Below Average Product
3 Stars - Average Product
4 Stars - Excellent Product
5 Stars - Incredible Product