BREAKING: Topps hides 1/1 glossy cards inside hobby box panels of Allen & Ginter

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

It may be time to go dumpster diving.

Topps has hidden cards inside the top panel of some 2013 Allen & Ginter hobby boxes — a single-wrapped 1/1 glossy card can be found within the cardboard of the box much like a Rip Card.

The discovery was made on Saturday by Brent Williams, a heavy case-breaker based in Arkansas, when he found a Marco Scutaro card inside a panel when cutting a box open.


Meanwhile, this writer also confirmed that that the cards do exist, finding a 1/1 Starlin Castro card clear-wrapped inside the panel of a single hobby box purchased on Wednesday.

Later in the afternoon, Williams reported finding two other cards from a total of more than 380 box lids — James Shields and Mariano Rivera were the players.

How hard are they to find? How many of the cards have been unknowingly thrown away? Who knows … at least for now.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Your reaction: A Ginter Surprise

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  1. Matt 10 August, 2013 at 15:31

    Weird. 2 questions.- Have any others been found? And what more did Topps do to that than throw a 1/1 label on it?

  2. Michael 10 August, 2013 at 18:18

    Well Topps, it’s one thing to package unlisted inserts or mystery cards into the packs themselves, but to insert hidden cards into the packaging material itself is another. It’s deceitful. A 1 of 1 pull like this may be a collector’s pull of a lifetime. Or provide an opportunity to get a return on his purchase and buy more product. But no, you hide this fact until everyone has rushed out, opened the product and thrown the remnants into the dumpster. Should I have checked? Maybe, if I known of the possibility. At least with cereal boxes and other products, they let you know of the hidden codes inside packaging. We all take a chance when we buy a box or a pack, but in the past we all naively figured that chance rested inside a pack, but not anymore. In my opinion, Topps, your integrity took a hit on this one.

  3. Jason 10 August, 2013 at 20:19

    This is nothing but brilliant. We all want the big hit, the 1/1. And we all protect and secure our cards as if to think that 50 years from now they will make us rich. But the thing that makes cards valuable is the fact that they may not be around. There are so many of the 1/1 cards that are only worth a few bucks today that there needs to be something else to add to the mystery.
    If the Puig doesn’t surface watch these boxes skyrocket. And could it all be for nothing as that card may already be in the landfill with last night’s lasagna.
    For those angry at Topps, they don’t need to tell us anything. They don’t tell us the print run on anything and no other company does either (think “collector’s edition” of anything you see advertised).
    This is all made to be fun and maybe some of us make a couple bucks here and there. If you are banking on funding your kid’s college tuition on busting a box of or case of 2013 cards then should change the way you think.

  4. Jordan Friedman 10 August, 2013 at 20:27

    Just plain stupid……how about I hide some of the money I use to buy the boxes so that Topps can root around in the garbage can to find it…..

  5. Keith S 10 August, 2013 at 20:47

    Glad I read this before getting into mine. However, if I had ripped a bunch of boxes already, I wouldn’t be happy about it. If there’s only 1 of each card (not variations, mini versions, etc), then I would think the odds are probably in the 1 per 200 boxes or so (like the 1:190 boxes mentioned in the article), so most of us would’ve thrown away just empty box tops anyway.

    This certainly does add to the quirkiness of the Allen and Ginter release!!!

  6. michael runyon 10 August, 2013 at 22:12

    The idea is brilliant, the execution was a failure. If they had annouced that the cards were hid prior to the sale date it would have been cool.

    The fact that some great rare cards may be in the local recycling center is a waste.

  7. David Bonneville 11 August, 2013 at 10:36

    Well I haven’t had the money to buy any yet as I am a disabled veteran, but when I do i will SURELY look inside the panel! Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Merovius 11 August, 2013 at 12:48

    Love it!

    Its ideas like this that have made A&G the best baseball product for the past 5 years!

    All hail A&G!

  9. George Hibbs 11 August, 2013 at 14:46

    With some of the answers n how many people Are mad makes me wondering if collecting hasn’t gone PED ‘ it’s a hobby folks

  10. JonathanI 11 August, 2013 at 15:49

    This is like the bad sitcom when the group can’t get into the building/car/etc. for a whole show and at the end of the episode one character says, “Hey! I have a key, but I just did not tell you guys.” Usually, that character is a disliked jerk. Is there viable comparison here to a card company we all know of? When you have to resort to this to get people to want your product, your company is really in trouble and you just let all of us know it. Thanks. There is a bright spot on the horizon.

  11. Joe Cecil 11 August, 2013 at 17:24

    Ya people are mad that an amazing 1/1 is thrown in the trash because a company failed to mention prior to release date they would have this so now a rare of all rares card is in the trash

  12. Keith S 12 August, 2013 at 05:15

    I don’t quite get why Topps wouldn’t want to advertise the possibility. If they didn’t want to make it news before release, they could’ve perhaps slapped a sticker on the underside of the box lid saying something like “you’ve won” or “look inside the box lid for a special bonus”, that way people who had gotten them would realize they had them and those that weren’t lucky would know that they weren’t.

  13. Bill 12 August, 2013 at 06:55

    I just checked the empty boxes that would have gone out for collection tomorrow and lo and behold, a Shaun Marcum 1/1 was hidden in one of the lids.

  14. Chris Harris 12 August, 2013 at 07:02

    This “card” epitomizes everything wrong with the current monopoly licensee. If the current monopoly licensee had any self-respect, the person responsible for this gimmick would be fired.

  15. Al 12 August, 2013 at 07:15

    Are the Topps folks losing their collective minds!!! No announcing it before shipment. One of two possibilities. 1. Someone in marketing should be fired for forgetting to let folks know. 2. Somebody is an idiot! We report, you decide.

  16. steve d donaldson 12 August, 2013 at 09:31

    To all the haters out there…..if Topps would have released this info before the product hit there would not be this second round off BUZZ created. Its funny how the only people complaining are the ones who already threw out their boxes. You thought the product was good enough to buy without knowing about these 1 of 1s!!!!!

  17. tom waldron 12 August, 2013 at 10:24

    just dont understand why not tell everyone let ir get out not a smart thing to do.
    I like the idea but whay no word about it ? We all know Topps needs major personle tunover and a better customer service but I dont’t see it comming in the near future.
    I’ve been watining since April for my Sandy Kouface Silver Slate auto redemp. Last I called the redemp center in Pa hadn’t entered my card. NO word since That’s what I don’t get. This is by far the best hit and Numbrd to 5. I like the hidden cards but not to tell anyone imagine how much they could’ve made in sales dumb just plain dunmb

  18. Olds 12 August, 2013 at 11:49

    I’m pretty much convinced Topps could put a $100 bill in every box but there would be complaints because it didn’t match someone’s preferred denomination.

  19. Paul Angilly 12 August, 2013 at 12:03

    What a spoiled bunch of over-aged brats the hobby has become! When I was collecting cards growing up, we never knew what would be in the boxes – or even what the cards would look like – until we started opening packs. That was the fun of it – the joy of discovery. Now here it is in August 2013 and we already know what next year’s Topps cards will look like! Checklists are available online for just about every thing, along with odds of pulling whatever. Instead of saving up quarters and hopping on a bike for a ride across town to the local drug store to buy a few packs, people can click away on the Internet and get anything they want without leaving home.

    So now Topps introduces a quirky twist offering the joy of unexpected discovery as a BONUS in its most quirky brand, and people complain? It’s not like you didn’t get everything you expected when you bought the boxes – this was a BONUS! Now there’ll be a lot of happy people out there that got something more than they expected, and that makes Topps the bad guy? But then again, I guess people who bust open multiple cases and throw away whatever they don’t want aren’t really into it for the fun. No wonder they have ill tempers …

  20. steve d donaldson 12 August, 2013 at 12:09

    I rarely agree with Mr. Olds but he’s 100% on the money (no pun intended) with his last comment about the $100 bills.

  21. Mike 12 August, 2013 at 13:50

    Chris Harris you are dead on correct!

    Chris olds, you are dead on wrong.
    No company should ever do anything knowingly which will make their customers angry.
    Topps did this by not letting the hobby know BEFOREHAND.

    I laugh when people say this is a bonus and collectors shouldn’t get mad.
    Are you kidding me?

    By Topps NOT announcing it before it shipped, it’s not a bonus, rather a headache for collectors.

    How many hundreds of collectors, maybe thousands, trashed their boxes? How many more will still toss them because they don’t know? That’s no bonus to me.

    One guy tossed 45 boxes and went to the dump to find then. Seriously, not making it up.

  22. chrisolds 12 August, 2013 at 14:02

    Mike: You might not be right there — because people clearly are not 100 percent agreeing with your stance on the issue. Some people love this inclusion — and what Topps did, whether you agree or not, is not subject to a right or wrong answer. Topps can do whatever it wants, however it wants — and that’s what it chose to do. Whether you agree or not, it’s Topps’ call.

  23. Kevin 12 August, 2013 at 14:38

    I still can’t believe people are angry about this? You may not agree with the way Topps rolled it out but why be angry about it?

    It’s a free bonus for goodness sake (please excuse my harsh langauge), stop acting like you are owed something.

  24. Jason K 12 August, 2013 at 14:39

    More quirky stuff in A&G. This is just another reason why I love this release every year. And for me to say that I love a release that includes sports other than baseball is HUGE.

  25. Paul Angilly 12 August, 2013 at 14:49

    Chris Harris …

    Yeah, it was done. And people complained because the $100 bills weren’t serial-numbered (then again, actually I suppose they are …).

    Mike … We get it. People are pissed because they threw away boxes that now they realize may have contained valuable cards. Tough cookies. How much less would a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle be worth today if the company hadn’t dumped cases of the product into the ocean? You know how many packs of 1980-81 Topps basketball I bought and then ripped the perforated cards into three pieces, as they were designed to do? I suppose I should blame Topps for not warning me BEFOREHAND that they would be worth more intact.

  26. Keith S 12 August, 2013 at 14:58

    Look, kudos to Topps for doing something extra for their customers-not a strength at all for them.

    I don’t think anyone is complaining about that (don’t get me started about their Million Dollar Chase Online Game-sheesh).

    I think the complaints are coming from the fact that most people did not know that this was even a possibility. A BONUS is not a BONUS if you didn’t know about it and trashed your boxes.

    Like I said before, if they attached a “look inside” sticker to the underside of the box top, then people would’ve known to look.

    Great idea, poor execution in my opinion.

  27. Al 12 August, 2013 at 14:59

    Memo to Paul; Harkening to yesteryear doesn’t help here. Who, with a life, holds onto card boxes. When’s the last time anybody hid something on you for a surprise, oh yea, & then didn’t tell you they hid it. Oh, wait a minute, there’s the surprise. You just got screwed again by good ole’ Topps because you did what every normal human being does. You threw out the garbage you self centered, spoiled little collector you!!!

  28. Mike 12 August, 2013 at 15:55

    It doesn’t bother me that Topps hid them.
    What does is that no word was said BEFORE boxes were shipped. That’s where it’s wrong.

    The idea is “different/ interesting”, the execution is typical Topps, really poor.

  29. Paul Angilly 12 August, 2013 at 16:33

    Al …

    Actually, the point is that an “unexpected surprise” is not an unexpected surprise if someone tells you about it beforehand.

    I don’t think any dealers trying to sell unopened boxes are disappointed at all right now, nor are any collectors who don’t go out and buy everything on the first day possible and rip it open immediately so they can be first to sell it on eBay. For many true collectors, this is a wonderful bonus.

    The frustrating thing is that anytime a card company tries to do something fun any more, all people do is complain because they’re not making money off it.

  30. steve d donaldson 12 August, 2013 at 16:51

    Execution on this is/was perfect. Its getting all of the haters to keep talking about this product. Free publicity for Topps.

  31. Mark Fiscus 12 August, 2013 at 19:00

    I, for one, love the fact that it wan’t disclosed beforehand. Imagine what box prices would’ve been if dealers had known about the bonus. Imagine the headlines on E-bay-possible one of one. Now that it’s known and out in the open, pack searching will expand to box searching. Kudos to Topps for keeping the secret as long as they could. At least some true collector’s got a shot at it before the greed takes over!

  32. Cory Furlong 12 August, 2013 at 19:09

    My one hobby box went out in the recycling the day after I ripped it. Unreal Topps did not give some type of hit of this upon release.

  33. Larry 12 August, 2013 at 23:39

    If Topps would put this type of effort & ingenuity to their redemption process, maybe they could stop the downward spiral of a once great hobby giant. Perhaps they could even use this type of imagination on a base brand design that has basically remained the same for about a decade!

  34. Al 13 August, 2013 at 05:26


    Nobody, again nobody, searches the lining of a card box after they look through the cards. So if Granpa left me his mantle rookie in the wall of my house but put it in his will not to tell me until after I sold the house, great surprise. No, the surprise is that Gramps was either vicious or senile. Also, so now we’re not supposed to go out and buy the product right away?? We wait and see if there are any surprises they failed to inform us about?? Better tell Chris to hold off on the promo rips which are intended to stimulate our impulse buying. You might want refrain from assuming all early buyers are terrible greedy commercialists that run to sell the overpriced product. I collect and sell what I don’t like. Kinda like saying all the supporters of this foolishness out there must work for Topps. Note to the writer surprised that only those who threw away the boxes complain. Duh, only the victim of the robbery calls the police.

  35. Al 13 August, 2013 at 05:39

    Sorry. One more thought, then I promise no more on the subject. Can we please stop calling people who have the audacity to disagree with us “haters”. Really childish! A hater detests someone and wishes them harm. C’mon, where talking baseball cards here! Having a different opinion about any subject if articulated respectfully and intelligently ( or not) is simply a diversity of opinion, a good thing. By the way when you call someone a “hater” doesn’t that make YOU a “hater” hater???

  36. Paul Angilly 13 August, 2013 at 11:16

    Al …

    How is giving people something extra, in addition to what was expected, called “robbery”? Early rippers got what they wanted and expected. The typical trend in the hobby these days is for something to be hot when first released, then gradually cool off. Thanks to Topps, A&G boxes have a chance to be even hotter now than when first released. No one got “robbed” of anything. If you walk into a grocery store, but what you need and leave, and then 5 minutes later the cashiers start handing out $100 bills to customers as a special promotion to anyone still in the store, does that mean you got “robbed” because the store didn’t tell you about it in advance and you left early?

    GET OVER YOUR SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT, PEOPLE! Topps didn’t owe you anything other than what was promised on the box. You got what you expected; some got something a little extra & Topps gets an extra push for a great brand. I see no downside to any of this, except for people crying about not getting something they weren’t expecting to get in the first place.

  37. Al 14 August, 2013 at 05:41

    You will have the last word, trust me.
    1. You’re not giving me something extra if you hide it and fail to mention it. You’re just screwing with me.
    2. This was a ploy by Topps to generate a second wave of business. It worked. Good economics. Mess with the loyal folks who buy from you to sucker in some others. Nice.
    3. The word entitlement is overused today usually by folks who have and are afraid others might get. IT IS NOT ENTITLEMENT to expect to receive what you paid for. And yes, we paid for everything that was packed in that box, advertised or not. It’s called honest business practice. And yes, we are ENTITLED to the truth when we buy something. It’s called integrity, or simple loyalty to those who are loyal to you.
    If the cards were placed as a box topper or in the packs without announcement that’s a nice surprise. Putting them where NO ONE EVER LOOKS is a commercial ploy. Please don’t credit Topps for altruism when it clearly is not what took place here. Criticizing the screwee instead screwer is just wrong thinking.

  38. Mike 14 August, 2013 at 14:27

    I don’t know how anyone can think otherwise, Al.

    I read many forums and am amazed how many people just don’t understand how this is bad public relations.

    Part of me wants to think that Topps somehow forgot to announce it because it makes absolutely ZERO business sense not to.

    But going by their past blunders, I just think they saw it as a great move to not say something in advance.

  39. zotster 14 August, 2013 at 16:42

    Upon further reflection, I retract my earlier comments. Clearly, I underestimated how badly missing out on a remote chance to get a card you weren’t expecting has traumatized the hard-core collecting populace. You have all suffered a tragedy the likes of which mankind has not before witnessed. All those people who do find this nice, unexpected surprise in their boxes should immediately rip it into pieces to show their support with your plight. Maybe we can organize a telethon or benefit concert for you. Topps is clearly an evil empire that must be stopped at all costs. I’m sure all of you that have suffered will no longer buy any Topps products in the future, am I right? Because continuing to buy products from a company you clearly don’t like would just be stupid, wouldn’t it? Stop buying now and spare yourselves the agony of any future unexpected bonuses!

  40. Joe G 17 April, 2015 at 08:39

    How can so many people be PO’d at something they never had? Topps has done nothing but throw people a bone and for that they get crucified by a bunch of whiners who immediately feel they were lucky enough to be so unlucky that they were scammed out of a 1-of-1 giveaway? Nobody has out-right paid for these hidden cards. Therefore nobody has a single reason to gripe for their own actions. Be mad at yourself for not having the box laying around somewhere. Don’t be mad at the people who have taken a useless box and gave it some value. Its typical these days to blame someone else for your own misery. Its never been more obvious now that I see people ripping the people responsible for bringing even more fun to a HOBBY.

  41. Brian 6 February, 2016 at 00:04

    I own the Strasburg 1 of 1. Paid a lot for it, but happy I did, these cards are scarce! Not only 1 of 1, but probably half town away. Thanks Topps!

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