Friday, September 7, 2018

First Impressions: 2018 Topps Archives

My local store finally got some of Topps Archives in! Yay, now I can join in the fun of sharing my thoughts (you're not already tired of reading about this set yet, right?) Like I did with Topps Big League, I took some notes as I perused my first pack. Here are my initial thoughts on the set:

#46 Warren Spahn

I have a soft spot for Spahn.  Growing up in Western NY, he was a player that was before my time, but as an all-time great, even us kids knew who he was. When I learned he was from Buffalo, that was one of the coolest baseball facts ever.

#33 Justin Upton
#53 Edwin Encarnacion
#86 Christian Yelich

Do you know what the biggest problem I have with reprinting cards in old vintage styles? It's not that the signatures are illegible, or the fact that Topps can't recreate the font just right. It too nice. Sturdy card stock, bright colors, sharp corners - these cards look nothing like vintage! They need that well-loved, worn look to them. I'm seriously tempted to put a rubber band around a stack of these, maybe let a few rattle around in a shoe-box for awhile. Perhaps a special card may even find it's way into my daughters' bicycle spokes...

#54 Odubel Herrera
#192 Barry Larkin
#153 Roger Clemens

Yay! I got a Red Sox card! Squinty-eyed Clemens actually fits in this design. It even looks like there is a 70's car in the background!

#126 Don Sutton
#147 Enos Slaughter
#193 Tyler Mahle
#314 Mark McGwire (TBTC)

Thank you Topps! I loved Turn Back The Clock cards, and I'm elated they make their return in this set. Lessons in baseball history is never a bad thing!

#CA-19 Jack Flaherty (1993 Coming Attraction insert)

Not a bad choice for an insert set here.1993 was a good baseball set, and this subset had a memorable design.

#298 Jose Abreu

Ah, now this is why I was excited for this year's release! The 1981 set is the earliest set I can remember collecting, and I've always liked it. (Note to self: complete 1981 Topps set...) They did a good job recreating it, probably the best job of the three designs used.

#205 Buster Posey
#243 Matt Duffy
#270 Reggie Jackson
#254 Rod Carew
#297 Willie Stargell

Here is were you really dropped the ball, Topps. The Pirates should have their old pill-box style hats! Those are iconic! If you can make some teams with the old style two color hats, then there is no reason not to go retro here. I am genuinely disappointed.

Overall, I've always been a fan of Archives, and I do like this set. I like reliving my childhood with designs from way back when. It's not a perfect set, but it is something worth collecting.

Random Thought: Do you know what would have been a cool idea? Coca-Cola variations for the '81 cards and/or Burger King variations for the '77 cards. I doubt Topps would ever spurge for merchandising fees, but that would have been an amazing call-back to those sets...


  1. Love the Coca-Cola/Burger King idea! Those are some of my favorite regional oddball issues of all-time.