2013 Topps Archives Baseball came along at the end of May with big shoes to fill!! I’m talking BIG shoes!
Last year’s Archives set was one of my favourites of 2012! It was just pure fun – plain and simple! Modern players? On vintage designs? On a set that wasn’t Heritage or A&G? Count me in!!
Note: Important to point out that I’ve got nothing against Heritage and A&G, I just feel they’ve become a bit stale in recent years
A relatively small base set (200 cards) with 40 short prints, that were challenging but not impossible to find, rounded out a highly collectable set of cards! Throw in two guaranteed Fan-Favourite Autographs per box (of popular players from the 70’s and 80’s who didn’t regularly feature in Topps Baseball products) and one of the most eclectic mixes of retro themed inserts I’ve seen in ages and Topps Archives was a guaranteed winner!
Strangely enough the Archives concept didn’t catch on with a lot of collectors. I guess it was either one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ releases!
But I loved it, which is why I got 10 shades of excited earlier this year when Topps released the first shots of the new 2013 Archives!!
I have to confess that I was initially disappointed with what the pre-release images showed us. The years chosen for the base designs (1972, 1982, 1985 and 1990) didn’t seem as inspiring as last years, and some of the inserts seemed a little bit bland in comparison to what we were offered in 2012!
But then comes the release date, and I end up joining in a couple of box breaks! The cards arrive and then POW!!! Immediately won over!! Damn the cards look great!!
A couple of nights ago I opened up a retail blaster containing eight packs with eight cards per pack! I made it a bit interactive by posting the break live in Twitter! Here’s what I got, starting with Pack 1 all the way through to Pack 8!
Now c’mon!!! If you love modern Baseball cards with a retro slant how can you not love these?? Eh??
The blaster yielded a nice scattering of base cards (plenty of Cardinals players) and either an insert or a SP in every pack! Standouts were the Tall Boy inserts (Packs 2 and 6) and the 4-in-1 Sticker insert (Pack 8)! There are better inserts to be had, such as the acetate ‘Gallery of Heroes’ with it’s stained glass effect, and this year’s base parallels are all gold and are #’d/199 each!
If I had one complaint it’s that the cardstock is a little bit too thin, a bit too flimsy! However, it’s not a real deal breaker and it doesn’t affect how much I love the set one little bit.
I’m going to be doing something collecting-related with this set! More than likely I’ll be trying for a team ‘master’ set. Maybe the Cardinals, maybe the Orioles – maybe both! I’ve never put a master set together before and I’m aware that it doesn’t come without its challenges!
Whatever I decide I’ll put a ‘Wants List’ at the top of the blog page so maybe some of you folks out there can help me out. Maybe I’ll get round to starting my ‘Trade Bait’ list as well!
So what are you all waiting for? Run out and get some Archives!! Now!!!
In summary –
Best Card – Ozzie Smith base card (not necessarily the ‘best’ but definitely my favourite)
Worst Card – Don’t really have one as I love all the base!
Best Insert – Feller/Seaver/Ryan/Verlander 4-in-1 sticker
Worst Insert – Eric Davis/Brandon Phillips Dual Fan Favourites (just a bit ‘meh’)
Overall Rating – This blaster 7/10 but 9/10 for the the product as a whole