See this card?
This was a pack filler in 2012 Allen & Ginter. An advertisement for the "Ginter code." There are thousands and thousands of these in garbage cans, dumpsters, and landfills around the nation. Even I, a man who is known to have pack rat tendencies, threw most of them out. (Although, true to form, I did keep one.)
The code has been solved for three years now (at least I'm assuming someone solved it) and these filler cards are really useless these days. It's a shame no one told Topps, because they're re-inserting these ads as hallowed 10th Anniversary Buybacks in 2015 A&G. It's the truth, unfortunately.
I don't think I need to explain how dumb it is that Topps is trying to pass off a filler promo card as a sacred, holy buyback insert. You can see that for yourself.
But the sheer stupidity of the thing kind of put me over the edge.
I'll try to keep this short and sweet.
The 10th Anniversary Buybacks in this year's A&G are some of the dumbest insert ideas I've seen in a long time. I don't usually like to be the one to point the finger and call BS...but this is BS. Big time BS.
For those who haven't seen, this year's buybacks are basically past A&G singles, repackaged into current packs and passed off as "inserts." Singles, mind you, that you could easily find for pennies on the dollar if you so wished.
Topps is trying to get us to see it as a way to "honor" A&G's history, but I think most collectors can read between the lines.
Buybacks = a bunch of leftovers that Topps had stashed in its attic, leftovers that didn't sell in the first place.
I'm not a fan of buybacks in general, but I can kind of see the allure of the vintage ones.
Collectors my age (what few there are) never got a chance to pull cards of J.R. Richard or Kent Tekulve out of wax packs, and, depending on how you see it, buybacks give me a chance to do that, if I so wished.
Even if I did want the original cards, however (which I owned long before I acquired the buybacks), I'd chase those, not the buybacks. If I can pick them up for a song, vintage buybacks can be a nice little trinket, but I'll never go out of my way to chase them. In fact, the five cards you see above are the only buybacks I own.
The Tekulve was a 20-cent find at the National a couple weeks ago, and the Richard was a throw-in to a purchase I made at a show back in February. The Herbert and Clevenger (holy unibrow, Tex!) were box-toppers I pulled from Heritage boxes, and I'm actually not sure where I found the Constable. Probably a discount box of some sort. That's it.
And my inner, card purist self is crying that Topps would voluntarily stamp (or deface, depending on your view) fifty-year-old pieces of cardboard.
Maybe I'm a bit of a hypocrite, then, in that I'm a big fan of reprints.
The main difference to me is that reprints are a legitimate way to honor old pieces of history, pieces of history I'll never own, in a lot of cases. (Granted, seeing the same card reprinted eight different times does get tiresome.)
Most buybacks are basically just glorified card dumps. No, I don't need another 2007 A&G Chad Tracy, thank you very much, and stop trying to convince me that I do.
A&G toyed with the reprint game in 2006, the brand's very first year of existence, and I absolutely loved them. I don't own any authentic A&Gs (yet), and owning a reprint of an 1887-style King Kelly is a pleasure. But that was the last we saw of reprints in this set, sadly.
Now it's buyback-o-rama.
By and large, I'm a big supporter of A&G.
Even if the design wasn't the greatest in any given year, I still had respect for the brand. A&G has never been terrible, and I've bought at least a pack or two with each passing release. (And this Torii Hunter is one of the best cards ever, period.)
Unfortunately, I've lost a little respect for A&G with this whole buyback sham. When it comes to a simple hobby like collecting baseball cards, I'm of the belief that if you don't like something, ignore it. But this is beyond ignorance. This is Topps thinking collectors have the IQs of shoe sizes.
Maybe a few have fallen for the trap. Maybe some people actually enjoy these buybacks. Good for them, I guess. But, from my own blog reading and other social media posts, I have yet to see a single collector who has praised these 10th Anniversary buybacks. They're chase cards that no one is chasing.
A&G, I love you, and I'm standing and applauding for your big ten-year milestone, but this is just a shameless, self-aggrandizing ploy.
Call me naive, but I thought you were better than that.