Finally, I got my paws on some Topps Archives '13.
After throwing a mini hissy fit yesterday when I struck out at three separate retail giants, Mrs. K and I took a drive to nearby Elkton, Md. earlier this evening and hit up the Super Wal-Mart. Relief washed over me when I went down the card aisle, as there were plenty of blaster boxes and rack packs. An eight-pack blaster came home with me.
The above Ian Kinsler was the very first card that hit my eyes, done in the attractive 1985 Topps design. I will note that the card stock is pretty much identical to that which was used for last year's release. In other words, kinda flimsy, like 1990 Donruss drank a glass of Muscle Milk. I really wish Topps would opt to use the gray cardstock or at least use a sturdier white stock for these cards. I mean, they're supposed to be throwbacks, yes? Plus, for the price tag you're asked to pay, they could at least give you a more robust card. But, I digress.
I guess I'll give a sampling of each of the four base card designs, beginning with the oldest model.
The 1972 design would be an outstanding choice for Archives...if it wasn't already tabbed as a mini insert set in the Topps flagship product of this year. A pretty poor decision by the baseball card overlords if you ask me. Anyhow, what's done is done, and the cards in the '72 style are pretty cool.
Next up, 1982.
Very sexy! The year of the hockey stick design. Two Mets on the '82 checklist, and I got 'em both. I was happy with that, naturally. And getting the Harper crossed off my list early on is a big plus also. Great photo choices for Wright and Harper.
Not much to dislike about 1985's composition Colorful with a nice big team logo. One thing I'm not necessarily pleased with is how Topps took a Heritage-esque approach with the photos for the '85 faction of the set. The '85 set had a fair share of action shots, yet most of these are portraits. Or am I being too picky?
Finally, the part of the base product I was most anxious for...
Gorgeous, gorgeous 1990! I've had a roller coaster type of relationship with '90 Topps. I was nine years old when that set came out and I thought it was the neatest-looking baseball design yet. Years later I found it dreadfully tacky; boring at best. But in recent years I've come around again to appreciating it. I think it has something to do with my psychological yearning to be nine or 10 again. Anyhow, I think Topps did a spot-on job with these guys. How cool is that Gwynn card??
Okay, so you've got your base cards. Now onto the insert goodies...
Technically, these two are from the short-printed portion of the base checklist, but that just means they're inserts, right? One per every four packs. I didn't bother to finish the SPs from last year's Archives, and I'm not sure about this year. Heck, chasing 75 SPs from the Heritage set is exhausting enough!
I love these '83 All-Star cards. Great call by Topps! I think that Strawberry is a top-five Darryl Strawberry card of all-time, at least in my book. Okay, maybe that's a bit hasty, especially since Darryl has oodles of amazing cards. But, my initial impression of this one was love at first sight.
I absolutely went gaga for these tallboy cards in the 2012 Topps football product, but I can do without them here. If you don't collect football I guess it wouldn't bug you that much. But, I do, and it's just another example of gross repetition by Topps. Now, that being said, these are actually two pretty good cards. The Williams especially, since he's a guy I collect.
Oh good, stickers! I can slap these on my Trapper Keeper! If you're collecting this year's Heritage you recognize these photos, as they're the exact ones used in that set. At least this sticker card features R.A. Dickey, as I can add it to my player collection.
And finally, a little surprise bonus...
|Found 1:42 packs
It's funny, I got a relic card in the very first blaster of Archives I bought last year, too. More curious than that, though, is the fact that I keep pulling relic cards of Diamondback players. This is the third Snake relic I've yanked from various Topps products over the past 10 months. For someone who doesn't pull too many relic cards, that's pretty significant. But, in this instance, I am not complaining, as I really dig the 1960 flavor here. Via Twitter the other day I saw that Matt Harvey has one of these relic cards, also. I'd probably cut off a toe to get that one!
This first taste of 2013 Archives was most definitely worth the wait. My blaster had some important base cards, a nice sampling of inserts, and even a relic hit. Can't ask for much more than that.
I had a good time collecting the 2012 version of Archives and I'm on my way to enjoying this year's just as much, if not more.