Sunday, August 25, 2019

Two Rack Packs & A Blaster of 2019 Topps Archives

As the blogosphere's resident putter-of-modern-players-in-older-designs, this was inevitable.

I kinda think it's wild that Archives has been going on for 8 years, 9 if you count Lineage, which was a more homogenous trial run at this sort of set. And the fact that they've gotten to the point where they've done versions of 1981, 1977 and now 1975 Topps, some of my favorites, proves that the set's longevity was good for a few things.

Also interesting- the insanely 90s-centric theme the set is going for, down to the wrappers, the inserts, and the Expos-centric theme going through the set. I am all for this, and it's the kind of tonal risk I wish flagship would take.

I nabbed 2 rack packs and a blaster, so for dramatic effect the rackers go first:

Pack 1- These are what the 1958 Topps ones look like. As someone who collected a few packs of 2007 Heritage back in the day, I'm only slightly impressed. I feel like 07 Heritage washed out the photos more, to give more of an old-timey feel to it. These look...very produced, like they would be for a Turn Back the Clock thing on Topps dot com. I find it even weirder that Yadi actually had a card in 2007 Heritage. I thought they'd try to avoid that.

Other signs of the times- a needed-RC of the mighty Vlad Jr., who's DAD was in 07 Heritage, and a final sendoff for the great Ichiro in the 75 design.

Let's talk about the 75s for a second. First of all, that awful habit of saying 'outfieldER' or '3rd BaseMAN' is done.The position balls look the same as they did in 75. Now, the team font is definitely a bit more processed, and generally blockier, than in 75. I'm also a bit too broad of a collector to notice color combinations that weren't there in 75, but...some, like Rosario's, look slightly off.

Onto the pack inserts. a base card variation, seeded 1 in 92 packs. It's a photo variation, because his usual photo is shown on the box copy. So...I got a photo variation of one of the single best players TO GET in modern products...on my first try. And if you like that luck, wait til we hit the blaster.
The Altuve is one of the Topps Magazine inserts. I really like these. They're the glossiest cards in the set, and they're pretty cool.

 And here are the 93s. Of the designs, I have the least to say about them, but I like the card-stock being awful similar to the early eras of Topps in the 90s. Also, the legends cards in this set are better than ever. A 60s-era Sutton photo? A really cool Steve Carlton photo? Plus, a lot of these are new for Topps, unlike the first few years of Archives, where photo selection felt like an afterthought

Pack 2-
Pretty simple 58s here. I love the Brooklyn Dodgers love, even if that Jackie photo is pretty prevalent. And the Carew is pretty nice, too.

 75s. What you'll notice is the Padres posed shots are very flagrant, as they're all just against a boring background in a studio. Kinda thought we were trying to get away from those. At least Blackmon's is cool.

 Inserts. This ScottyJetpax insert is cooler now that I know he's doing better, though that background block effect can be easily replicated in Photoshop. And that Griffey is awesome.

 And our 93s. Sorry if this rack-pack wasn't as interesting as the other one. The blaster will make up for that...

 Each blaster comes with 2 exclusive coins. They're usually pretty cool...

And while these are cool, I would have appreciated them to come from teams I enjoy slightly more.

 Pack 1- Some obvious highlights. I'm glad this set isn't like other Topps set, where the stars and legends are very attainable, and the only SPs are pullable-inserts.
 75s. Two second-year heroes, and one guy who cursed out a beloved member of my family, for which I will never forgive him.
...Say, isn't it funny that the Red Sock is the one I don't hate the most here? Hell, Devers is pretty cool. So's Ohtani.

...and now for the OMG moment:

This...made my jaw drop.

I don't have good hit luck in retail. Usually I pull either a Cardinal, or some second-year flameout, or someone I've never heard of. I almost NEVER pull autos out of Archives, because they're seeded so rarely in Archives. This year, they're 1:87, and since I already pulled a 1:92 photo variation that doesn't seem so bad, but...I'd only pulled one auto out of Archives before, and it was a very cool John Mayberry.

So this, an auto of someone who played for my team...that I've heard of, and was also very good for said team...out of Archives? I beat so many odds of pulling, like Jose Oquendo or Deion or someone I despite in order to get Mr. Pepitone here, a hero for the Yankees in multiple All-Star Games, and eventually a hero for the Cubs. This was unbelievable, and one of my personal favorite autographs I've ever pulled.

 And we finish off with two more cool 93s- a McNeil rookie and a genuinely awesome Yaz photo. Kinda surprised his grandkid's not here with him.

 Pack 2- This juxtaposition makes me laugh. Two of the GREATEST CATCHERS OF ALL TIME...and Alex Avila. I like Avila, but this is too funny.

75s. Two TIGER LEGENDS in the same pack, next to each other. I kinda love that. I also love that guys like George Kell can end up in this set. Just classy enough, Topps.
 3 93s close out. I love Fergie, and how commonplace that one feels among other 93s. Urias' is a shorter-printed card, making up one of the subsets that give us the last 30 cards of the set. Again, at least I have a chance to pull these.

 Pack 3- Rookies.
Again, loving the 75s here. Bryant's is a short-printed subset, the Highlights one, which...I'm glad they brought that one back. And I'm glad they kept the ASG star, but...the BaseMAN thing is in that one. Perhaps the designer forgot.

I kinda love all 3 93s in this pack. Story and Anderson remind me of the infancy of both teams in that set, even with Anderson's teal. And Davis' just fits with that set, even if he's forgotten how to hit.

Pack 4- Three legends...actually, make that four. Trout belongs with these three. Trout's is a 58 All Star insert, the third of the three subsets. This one's cool too.

Rest of the pack. Martinez' is pretty cool, and I like how low-key Senzel's rookie season ended up being.

Pack 5- Pujols is the only hitter here, and he looks great. Iglesias deserves to be in a set like this, however fringe-y he's become. I also love Catfish's Yankee-ness here, as it was an element his original 75T issue lacked.

This pack also came with a silver parallel, which I usually have nice luck with in Archives. This one, of all-star and home run hero Jose Abreu, is numbered to 99 copies. Not bad.

93s. Kinda standard, but I love that Monte Irvin wound up in this set. Even NY Giants-era Irvin. That's even cooler.

Pack 6- Standard base/common stuff here.

 Solid legends. A lot of people are of the opinion that Andy Pettitte shouldn't be in modern sets, and I don't...disagree, but it's nice to see him every once in a while.
Gwynn, however, BELONGS in legends-friendly releases.

Kyle Wright is our SP. And he's between two of the best defenders in the game's history. Kinda cool that Smith actually has a 93T card, and the picture here is a little cooler than the other one.

Pack 7- Better player selection, and that Tatis is a nice card, too. Also nice to pull a deGrom, as he'll probably Bill-James himself into another Cy Young this year.

 This is part of the Ichiro retrospective insert set. I remember finding this card in my old friend's factory set. Remind me to write about my exposure to 2005 Topps one of these days.

And we end on some highlights- a Nomar, a rookie card of La Tortuga looking awesome, and a rookie card of Polar Bear Pete smacking one out.

So...not only was that a great rip, but this is a solid product. Not seeing that many problems with this year's set, and though I wished I'd pulled an Expospective (ha) card, I loved everything I got here. Might try to build the set, like I have pretty much every year.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the Pepitone hit. What a card. That Ichiro insert is sick too.