So this week, I decided to go ahead and open one pack of cards that I bought last weekend at Target. Today, it's my first ever pack of Topps Archives.
When Topps announced that they were bringing back the Archives name to their 17-product roster (replacing Lineage), I was excited. I loved the Archives sets from 2001 and 2002 because the Company was honoring their roots. Back then, they had 50 years worth of designs and players to choose from, and for a guy who never owned a 1952 Mays, or a 1954 Banks, it was nice to see how they looked up close, albeit with the gold Archives foil on the cards.
Because MLB Properties and the MLB Players Association restricted Topps from doing an all-retired player set, the new Archives would feature current players to go with retired legends, using four iconic Topps designs: 1954, 1971, 1980, and 1984.
Doesn't Topps already have a product that combines a card design from the past with current players? Oh yeah...HERITAGE!!! A handful of the players whose cards are part of the '54 subset were actually was around for the 2003 Topps Heritage set (Konerko, Berkman, Pujols). I'm pretty sure we'll see a handful of players featuring the 1971 Topps design in the 2020 Topps Heritage set someday.
The inserts, from what I read in the sell-sheet, paid homage to past Topps insert concepts and designs, from 3D, to stickers, to Deckle Edge. There was even an auto subset that hearkened back to Topps 2003-2005 effort...All-Time Fan Favorites (which I liked back then, and based on the checklist, would have loved to take a shot at if I had the funds). It was clear to me at this point, that short of the base cards that used older players in past designs, that the heart of the product wasn't going to be the base set that used the four Topps designs, but the inserts.
Rant done, here is what I got in my pack of 2012 Topps Archives:
- #106 Alex Gordon, Royals, 1980
- #157 Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, 1984
- #39 Jackie Robinson, Dodgers, 1954 (believe it or not, he actually had a 1954 Topps card...#10...would this count as a Fan Favorite?)
- #89 Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 1971
- Justin Upton 3D card (no number)
- #149 Dustin Ackley, Mariners, 1980
- #196 Andrew Bailey, Red Sox, 1984
- #7 Cole Hamels, Phillies, 1954