It then sort of dawned on me just how much I love the goofiness of the Allen & Ginter sets, and that maybe I need to collect one of them in its entirety. The offbeat celebrities; the gems & minerals; the "buildings of the world"; the dogs and the artistic renderings of both current and past baseball players - I mean, I know they're doing just what the Allen & Ginter Tobacco Company did back in the 1880s, and I guess that's what makes it such a delightfully weird set to collect every year in the 21st century.
They're not expensive to pull together, either - although there are short prints in the high number slots that seem to cost in the $2-3 range most of the time, rather than 20 cents or so for everything else. I decided to collect that 2014 set, all 350 cards, and see if I could do it. I'm now 303 cards in, with 47 to go as of August 21st, 2021.
I like that the celebs that they throw in here aren't exactly household names, and likely appeal to dorks like you and me. Felicia Day, sure, whoever she is, but how about Matt Besser, improv comedian legend with the Upright Citizens Brigade? I've seen that guy perform at least 4 times as part of the yearly San Francisco Sketchfest comedy festival, and he's a hoot. He'd be about the last person I'd expect to find on a Topps-sponsored set of mostly baseball cards. Vince Gilligan, who created Breaking Bad, is in this set as well. AND - there are baseball folks present as well. Here are 9 examples from the 2014 set for your viewing pleasure.