Tuesday, September 8, 2015
All right, you've read at least two posts from me documenting how 2015 Allen and Ginter hasn't impressed me, how I've slowly grown disinterested in it the last couple of years, and, oh, won't I just stop whining and collect what I want to collect.
OK, this is me whining one last time. With one last statement.
After 2015, I'm not collecting Allen & Ginter anymore.
I can't do it. I've realized that with my budget, if I want to complete a set from a particular year, I have to pick one set and that's it. That's all the money I have. If I also want to continue to pursue cards from past sets and vintage interests then I have to cut it off at one set per year.
This year, A&G is running a distant third in terms of sets that I like behind flagship and Stadium Club. There's no way I can collect all three, and even attempting to complete two is causing me to collect both flagship and Stadium Club very inefficiently. I need to come up with a plan, and one set per year is it.
Next year, I'm going to have the same problem. The look of flagship next year doesn't interest me, but Heritage will be the 1967 design and I haven't loved a set design as much in the Heritage brand since the '59 style from 2008. Also, I am assuming that Stadium Club will return around June again next year, so it will be a battle between Heritage and Stadium Club for THE set to collect.
Again, Allen & Ginter will be a distant third, if it's not fourth.
I don't dislike A&G or anything. I still consider it collectible. And there are still things of interest in it.
Shane from Shoebox Legends sent me the last Rocky card that I needed, so now I have the full subset.
That's a fun little part of this year's A&G set.
So is the "What Once Would Be" subset. It is almost interesting enough for me to collect.
The last few years of A&G have been lacking in the quirky and interesting of earlier years. The main set involves too many random restaurateurs, comedians I've never heard of, and website operators that strike me as prearranged deals to appear in A&G. The insert sets, meanwhile, are too repetitive. Two years ago, there were two different insert sets with Romans and Vikings in it. That makes it look like somebody's running out of ideas.
Do you remember the World's Greatest Victories insert set from 2008 A&G? Sure, it could have been designed a little better, what with it being mixed up in the "Crack the Code" game. But the subject matter was why I came to A&G in the first place.
It covered a wide range of victories, from the sporting world to inventors to famous battles and even some fictitious stuff, too. It was 20 cards strong and up my alley. Informative, wide-ranging, quirky. Everything I like.
I don't get the sense that this happens anymore. The same ideas get trotted out. Famous buildings. Past civilizations. Animals. I shouldn't complain about the owls in this year's set, but A&G has featured an owl before.
There are still decent insert sets (some hidden in super-short-printed unannounced sets, unfortunately), such as last year's Fields of Yore and Deadliest Predators. And the 2015 insert sets are pretty good, but they just don't peak my interest like they once did.
These also came from Shoebox Legends, and I'll still try to complete 2015 A&G, just like I'm still working on 2014 A&G (and way behind on that).
But after that, A&G will have to do something very impressive for me to be interested in 2016. If 2016 features "forgotten Dodgers of the '70s," "sitcom stars of the '70s and '80s," and "supermodels from the '80s and '90s," then, yes, I'll return to collect 2016 A&G.
But otherwise I don't see it happening.
These days are gone.