Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FINALLY, a Blaster Full of a 2016 Topps Archives

Sometimes here at Mint Condition, things take longer than they should.

In an ideal world, I would have been posting a blaster of Archives on this merry little blog a week ago. Last week, last Monday even, I stopped by Target with the specific plan of getting Archives...and Target let me down. My local Target, as is the case most of the time, hadn't gotten the shipment of new stuff, including Archives, onto the shelves yet. Leaving me to shake my head and leave the store emptyhanded.

One week later...I returned...and was successful in my endeavors. They had Archives, alright. I snapped up a blaster and went on my merry way.

Unlike the last few years, there was a reason I was so desperate. After a few too many missteps in this product, Topps had finally put some legitimate effort into photo selection, and likeness to the original product. Topps had legitimized Archives. So, naturally, I had to have some.

I'm probably going to be collecting the set this year, unlike last year's, which was so flawed and impossible to manage that I just said 'to hell with it' halfway through. Here, there's enough optimism to make me want to collect all 310.

Let's get on with the packs, and in a blaster, you get 8. One includes a special BULL DURHAM insert, which is pretty nice.

PACK 1- I'm actually pretty happy with the set selection in this one. the '53 set works well for close up static shots. I do prefer the ones that look more painted- the David Robertson could have used a few more filters, but the Pedroia and McHugh are there.

The likeness on the '79 set is pretty incredible, especially in wider action shots, like the Rodon, and medium static shots, like the Ventura. With a bit more fade and grain, looks like something that could have legitimately been in the set. The Grandy's pretty nice though, if you can forgive my bias.

The 91's haven't gotten a ton of blog acclaim, yet I think they're just as good as the '79's. The zooming, and the level of detail is pretty similar to the original. Yes, people like Willie Mays can look kind of foreign in this set, but for what it is, it's pretty great. Of the three, my favorite's the Nomar. Just looks cool.

Pack 1 happened to yield the best insert in the box. This blue-bordered base variation of Flushing Legend (yes...LEGEND, regardless of how he's doing this year) David Wright is numbered to 199, and is a pretty solid 'hit'. I could have done better, but I also could have done a TON worse.

Pack 2- Figured Masahiro should get his own shot. Putting these cards in action scenarios does look weird, but I think it fits the '53 design still.

A quartet of legends. Kiner actually had a card in the '53 set, but this one doesn't come close to the original. Kind of looks like a smaller photo got stretched way past its quality. The Fernandez is a little better, regardless of the fact that Tony Fernandez is a bit odd next to people like Ted Williams and George Kell. The Williams, even if we've seen that photo before, works well in the '91 design, and it's always great getting a card of George Kell.

The 2015 breakouts. Joc's come down a bit since his huge start last year. Kris Bryant wouldn't come down if you gave him a cherry picker. He's still one of the serious standouts for the Cubs.

My insert here was a '85 Draft Picks one of Gerrit Cole. Not bad at all, by the way. Looks exactly like something out of that set.

Two more highlights- I love the perry, as you don't see a ton of cards of him in those '70's Indians uniforms, and I think the Seager's a great card, aside from being a huge-time rookie card of a guy who might be the Rookie of the Year.

Pack 3- Younger base stars. Sheffield does look kind of out-of-place on the '79 set, but at least they got the pose right. I like the Seager and Choo, because they're very close to '02 Heritage poses.

Three colossal stars. The one on the left is the only one of the three that's in no danger of being traded. Braun's come back in a big way, and I really dig that '91 of him. CarGo's is even better, looking like something I might customize.

This one's a late-60's rounded-edges insert of Buster Posey, which is pretty nice. I love that Archives still does inserts like those.

Pack 4- Current stars. Again, the shots in '79 are just wide enough, especially in Richards'.

Hall of Famers. Morgan's looks like a legitimate common from that set. The Brock photo I've seen before. Goose's is a pretty damn great card.
THIS...is another legend I pulled in Pack 4.
Only this one's a short print. One of the elusive, hard-to-find short prints. And it's one of the three Dodgers of the ten. I have no idea how I pulled this Steve Garvey, and I should mention that pulling one has the odds of 1:59, so there's more of a chance of me pulling one in a CASE, let alone a blaster. That's kind of cool. I'm still figuring out whether or not I'm gonna collect the set, but if there's a certain pm-dwelling bird who wants it badly enough, I might be willing to part with this one.

Pack 5- Base highlights. With the exception of Kiermaier, all of these guys are on teams that are on the upswing. The Heyward is pretty great, by the way.

Another '85 inspired insert, Father-and-Son, with the Franconas. i used to not be too much of a fan of that guy on the right, but now that he's managed the Indians to a first-place run, I think I kind of like him.

Pack 6- Some legends, in order of picture-age. Both the Palmer and Chipper are from photos Topps has used before. No sweat, though. At least they look pretty damn cool.

Current stars. I love the Phillips, and I love both the '79's. Again, Topps really stepped up their game with this product. These cards look pretty damn good.

The highlight. Because Topps reminded us how scarce Ichiro cards could be, every Ichiro I pull nowadays has some significance. Especially since this one is really cool.

My round-edge insert is of Tyson Ross. who's holding up under the circumstances in San Diego.

Pack 7- This pack was all base, so here are the highlights- top to bottom- awesome shortstops, awesomely consistent pitchers, hard-hitting outfielders. The Ellsbury's got some great depth in it.

Pack 8- Final bunch of current guys. Springer's wide-eyed stare is confusing the hell out of Carlos Carrasco.
Every one of these cards looks pretty damn good. The Bench is probably the most impressive, but I adore the Roberts, and think the Seaver would have been great if he'd been with the Mets in '79.

Obviously my base highlight. Not only is this a great Clemente card, but it's a photo that's new to me, and it's lit well enough to look really, really cool on the '91 design. Well done, Topps.

Oh yeah. I was supposed to pull a Bull Durham card in this box, right? Well, my last card in the pack was actually a pretty nice one...

It's the director of the movie, Ron Shelton. Yeah, I was expecting Crash Davis or Nuke LaLoosh, but I don't think I complain about a card of the guy who brought the movie to life. The guy's the authority on fun sports movies- not only did he direct Bull Durham, but he also directed White Men Can't Jump and Tin Cup. The guy clearly knows his sports.

Pretty nice, if unusual, insert from a great baseball movie. I kinda wanted Crash or Nuke, but I'm certainly not complaining.

That's my box of Archives...and I want more. Not because I want to collect the set, and I do by the way...because the set's so good that it deserves my money, for once. Expect more of this set on the blog very soon- just one blaster of it won be over.


  1. These look like a ton of fun!That Clemente Is a beautiful card :)

  2. Name your price on the Garv, sir.

    Love those '79s.

  3. Nice write up. Felt like I was opening the packs myself which is a pretty rare thing to feel on the internet. My favorite card from your box is the father/son insert. My family is big into genealogy so that whole insert resonates with me.

  4. Crash 💥 Davis is available exclusively as an autograph, ditto for Susan Sarandon.
    Despite my appreciation for Bull Durham, Eight Men Out would have made for a far superior 1988 baseball ⚾ 🎥 movie-based insert.
    I am a mere seven cards from completing the base set and would be willing to trade for the Bench if it's available? I am also seven Short Prints away from absolute completion if you come across 301,302,304,305,306,309,or 310 I'd be willing to trade legitimate cardboard in exchange.
    "You can put a cat in the oven, that don't make it a biscuit."
    . -Sidney Greene, White Men Can't Jump

    1. Pacific did an Eight Men Out card set in 1988, it combined color pictures of players and scenes from the movie with B&W images of the actual players in the scandal. Even if Topps wanted to tread ground previously trod, I'm not sure what their current contract with MLB would allow. I know they can't do any cards of Pete Rose. I'd think Shoeless Joe would be the same. I don't think anyone's done a League of Their Own set. Or the Natural, for that matter.

    2. I'm perfectly fine with the Eight Men Out set we already have. Secretly holding out for Bad News Bears cards in next year's set, though we're probably gonna get something more Topps-accessible like The Sandlot.
      Also, I literally found out about Crash Davis being auto-exclusive an hour after I wrote this post. Oh well. I guess I'll hold out for Nuke.

    3. A League of Their Own annihilates both 8 Men Out and Bull Durham as works cinema, however to properly honor A League of Their Own would require utilizing the 1992 design as opposed to the '88 design that represents the year both Bull Durham and 8 Men Out premiered. I understand the conflict the Black Sox presents for such a square, mainstream product of Topps ilk, although simply listing the Actors given name in place of the banned players name might be a possible solution. Anyhow, I enjoy the Bull Durham set however abbreviated the checklist.

  5. Love the Ichiro and the Bench. Great looking cards.

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