Many of us in the BCB have been waiting for this set to show up at the local Target or WalMart. Others have already purchased hobby boxes (for big bucks, I'm sure). I was content to wait. Finally, they showed up at WalMart last Friday. This is the 3rd year for A&G. I really like them but I've got a problem. The cards are virtually the same as the 2006 and 2007 issues. The only significant difference is in the logo at the bottom of the card. The set does have new types of inserts. A&G was originally a tobacco card in 1897. These cards featured lots more than just baseball players. Topps has attempted to recreate the look and feel of those original cards. I bought two blaster boxes for $19.95 each which netted me 16 packs (118 cards). I only got two Phillies but at least one was Chase.Something new this year is state cards. Apparently there is a card for each state featuring a ball player from the state. Does every state have a baseball player born there? Probably. I got a few of these and happily got Pennsylvania (my home state), which has Ken Griffey, Jr., who was born in Donora PA.
I also got a relic card. The relic cards are grouped into Group A, Group B, and Group C, each with different odds of being pulled. The McCann card is in Group C, the most common, at one per 36 packs. Since I only bought 16 packs, I guess I beat the odds. The relic cards look just like last year's relic cards. There is a mini-card with the relic, encased in a frame which is sealed in plastic. There is a hole in the plastic over the piece of cloth so you can touch it (ohh!). The mini-card is loose in the frame.
Something new this year is World Icon cards. These are mini-cards. It's hard to tell from the scan but this card is the same size as the McCann mini-card above. This is a samurai named Miymoto Musashi, from 1584. Pretty cool but I think I'd rather have gotten King Arthur.
Also new this year are mini-cards featuring world leaders. I got two of these including this one. He is the prime minister of Slovakia. After reading the entry about him in Wikipedia, I've decided I don't want to know anything about Slovakian politics. This card makes him look like a thug, but apparently he is not.
The set is subtitled "World's Champions" and like in the past two years, Topps has featured non-baseball "champions". So what is this guy? Why he's a champion air guitarist! Are they serious? I could have easily gone to my grave not seeing this picture.