As far as surprises go, most longtime collectors would probably agree that Topps Allen & Ginter doesn't really have any. It's the one release where anything goes. Even a Haggis rookie card or a Balloon Boy relic like in 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball.
Sticking with the no-surprises theme are the opening week sales. Autographs, particularly of the Red Ink variety, and Rip Cards have dominated online sales thus far. The honor of the top recorded eBay sale goes to a Ken Griffey Jr. Framed Mini Red Ink redemption. Limited to ten copies, the card sold for a nickel short of $1,300. Two others sold for $875 and $675.
Other big autograph sales included Yu Darvish ($1,000) and Sandy Koufax Red Ink ($999.99, $650 and $625). If there was one surprise, it would have to go to the Mike Trout signatures. While he's the hottest player in the game today, few would have expected his 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Autographs to reach the heights they have so far. One went for $750 while another reached $611.75. This is more than what his 2009 Bowman Chrome Autographs are going for.
Following the top tier of autographs, another Allen & Ginter staple starts to pop up. Falling one per case, Rip Cards offer a card inside the card. There's always the debate of whether to tear and risk a mint condition card for the treasure inside. However, some may want to consider it a little further when they realize the prices some have been fetching. Rip Cards numbered to 10 with the likes of Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax, Ken Griffey Jr, Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez all topped $500.
It is worth noting that a lot of Allen & Ginter sales happen offline each year. As a result, many high sales aren't made public. The list below is intended to be an indication of where prices are going early on.
Top 15 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball Sales
(Data based on completed eBay sales as of July 18, 2012.)