Topps’ 2012 Allen & Ginter cards look very, very pretty. Would you expect anything less from a retail pack that costs $3.25?
But why would you spend that much on a pack of 6 baseball cards if you were likely to only get 5 baseball cards from the pack?
With each card already costing $3.25/6= $.541, would you want to assume the risk that you would only pull 5 cards, increasing your cost per card to $.65 (20%)?
Falling at 1 for every 8 packs, Topps A&G includes insert series like Historical Turning Points and World’s Tallest Buildings; falling at 1 for every 5 packs is Man’s Best Friend, Giants of the Deep, Musical Masters, People of the Bible, Culinary Curiosities. And then there are the other non-baseball inserts like Guys in Hats and Fashionable Ladies.
There are five inserts falling at 1:5, so you are guaranteed that at least one of your cards will not be baseball-related (hope you enjoy card MBF-7 Yorkshire Terrier!). And chances are you will get more than one card that’s not baseball-related, too, once you account for those 1:8 inserts and the other minis.
Why would Topps insert this Fluff & Stuff to a set – do collectors really care pulling a Holy Trifecta of Joe Mauer, Jemile Weeks, and Jesus Christ? No, I doubt that anybody specifically went a bought box of A&G to find a card depicting the Signing of the Magna Carta.
The Fluff & Stuff was inserted for the love of money. Every ballplayer and other personality in the set had to agree to let Topps use their likeness in the set (this can be done in a litany of different agreements, but Topps needed their permission). So each one of those agreements cost Topps a little cash, and with each additional personality the cost of the set goes up.
Who licensed to Topps the rights to include The Agricultural Revolution or the Gray Whale in the set? Or the Bowler Hat? Or The Bride?
A single Fluff & Stuff cost Topps no more than the artist’s efforts and the cost of materials, which was probably a lot less than $.541.