Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – It’s the summer of fun! Upper Deck’s Goodwin Champions, Topps Allen & Ginter and the upcoming Leaf Metal Pop Century feature cards of entertainers and pop culture figures, as well as flowers and seeds, airplanes and paintings, dinosaurs and dogs and a whole host of other subjects.

The releases are a nice reprieve from typical products that only focus on a single sport or topic, as well as a callback to card sets of yesteryear.

The hobby release calendar features one product after another, and sometimes it feels as though the releases bleed into each other, overlapping too closely in their set composition and target audience. Products like these ones feel different, and they draw inspiration from cards from as far back as the 1880s, early sets that highlighted leaders in all walks of life.

Here are some of the coolest cards coming out of this summer’s most distinct products — and a glimpse of what to look for with the impending release of Leaf Metal Pop Century.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – Unique relics

Allen & Ginter includes relics of its non-baseball subjects, such as cut pieces from famed journalist Dan Rather’s notepad and Rodney Mullen’s skateboard deck.

President Grover Cleveland’s handkerchief is a honker of a hit (is it event-used? Maybe it’s better not to know the answer).

Other inserts feature embedded arrowheads and fossilized whale bones and trilobites, meaning you could pull a card featuring something that’s more than 250 million years old.

Rare “Incredible Equipment” cards (they fall 1:1,560 packs) feature mythical or inspired items such as David’s slingshot and Rosie the Riveter’s gloves. On the card backs, instead of a guarantee of authenticity, there’s a fun line: “this relic is not from anything at all.” It’s the summer of fun, remember?

The relics in Goodwin Champions, meanwhile, range from jersey cards of athletes to President John F. Kennedy’s briefcase and everything in between.

“Ancient Currency” cards featuring historic coins, some of which were used in Greece and Rome more than two millennia ago. It’s neat, and a little humbling, to consider the journey the currency endured. Maybe 2,000 years from now our pocket change will be a collectible, too, and embedded into futuristic, collectible data chips to remember the way we lived.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – Plants

This is a chance to grow your collection — literally and figuratively.

Ginter “In Bloom” cards feature embedded seeds, a chance to grow Black-eyed Susans or bloom tulips (they’re similar to the 2011 A&G “Flora of the World” cards).

“Plant it or keep it,” the back of the card states. “Plant this card and watch it grow.”

For Goodwin Champions, “Botanical Wonders” showcase four-leaf clovers, blue hydrangeas and forget-me-nots. At 1:1,500 packs, they’re not an easy pull. But before being added to a card, these plants were pulled from the earth.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – Taking flight

With the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing upon us, why not celebrate achievements in flight?

Goodwin Champions features high-flying relics to commemorate space exploration — such as cuts of International Space Station compression pants, pieces of the Space Shuttle Discovery stowage assembly unit, and an Apollo 13 Kapton thermal blanket. It’s about as close as you can get to space without actually going.

Meanwhile, Ginter’s “History of Flight” cards, when placed together, create a panorama showing a century of air travel.

It’s not quite 1994 Fleer Pro-Visions, but then again, nothing is.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – Other sports

It’s not always easy to find cards featuring billiards champions, bowling icons and skateboarders.

But in Goodwin Champions, the checklist features athletes like Allison Fisher, Pete Weber and Mike McGill beside icons like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Wayne Gretzky and LeBron James.

For Allen & Ginter, you’ll find cards of freestyle wrestler Kyle Snyder, Special Olympics athlete Loretta Claiborne, and Australian rules footballer Mason Cox.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – Color

The 3D Lenticular Splash of Color inserts in Goodwin Champions feel like a callback to 1996 Sportflix UC3 or the awesome 1997 Denny’s cardslenticular cards at their visual peak — but instead of a baseball crowd in the background, the subjects appear in front of bold splotches of red, yellow and green.

Seeing lenticular Craig Kilborn will make you consider the deeper meaning in life and thankful that cards like this are being made.

To top it off, some of the rarer 3D Lenticular cards are part of Upper Deck’s Bounty program, bringing another level of collectibility to the cards.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun – Famous faces

Leaf Metal Pop Century shines in its checklist, which features some of the entertainment world’s biggest names: Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, William Shatner and Al Pacino.

Notable first-time signers are included, too, including Matthew Broderick, Jamie Foxx and Geena Davis.

Where Allen & Ginter and Goodwin Champions are sports-focused, Pop Century only includes non-sports subjects.

Each set has its standout non-sports signers — Post Malone for A&G; 311, Brandon Boyd and Jennifer Love Hewitt for Goodwin. Notably, JLH appears in both Goodwin Champions and Leaf Metal Pop Century, her first certified autographs since Breygent’s 2009 and 2010 “Ghost Whisperer” releases.

Hewitt couldn’t have scripted her cardboard return any better — right as Allen & Ginter, Goodwin Champions and Leaf Metal Pop Century are making this the summer of fun.

For more from Dan Good, follow him on Twitter @DGood73.

Diverse Trading Card Sets Are Making This The Summer Of Fun

Dan Good

Dan is a book writer and ghostwriter and a longtime journalist who previously ran the breaking news desk for the New York Daily News. He's also written for Beckett — his work there included a longform feature about Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith. Dan has been collecting cards for nearly 30 years, a hobby he shares with his wife (you know her as Sooz) and someday, his young son. He's also a long-suffering Texas Rangers fan. You can find him on Twitter @DGood73.
Dan Good