Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Blaster of 2018 Topps Archives (FINALLY!)

...I don't know about you, but I liked it better when this product arrived in June. Not in August, which is A&G territory (and everyone knows it). I mean, it's become clear that Topps is keeping this product alive on routine alone, and is putting less and less effort into replication (just look at 1959 Topps), still exists, and as someone who claims to have inspired the set (not really), I find it a necessity to open some of it.

I bought two blasters from Target. One I open today, the other I open tomorrow. It's looking like I might try and chase the set if I yield enough of it on these.

 Each blaster comes with a pack of these little things. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with them, but they sure are cool:

I yielded these two. As far as this checklist goes, not bad at all: both are five-tool, excellent players. Sadly Posey just landed on the DL today.

 Pack 1-
59s! Yes, the font isn't perfect, but the style is pretty much there. Lots of posed Spring Training shots, which is essentially the point of this set. Cain's is nice, for the contrasting colors.

 77s! I agree that the font is a bit too thin on some names (like the tigers), and the white position-age on some colors does not work at all, but as one of my dad's favorite sets, this one's still enough of a hit, I guess. Two legends here, including Hal Newhouser, who we really don't see enough of in modern Topps cards.

81s! This is one of my favorite Topps designs, so they mostly got it right. My only qualm is some font issues with the cap, as the team name seems to be in an odd place compared to the position. Some photoshop work that wouldn't have taken more than just 2 minutes in the template design, but...if Topps doesn't want to try, then fine. Good enough cards here. Once again, the vintage photo stands out.

 Pack 2- The blue-sky background does fit a bit better in this set. Also, always nice to pull an Aaron Nola card.

 Two more legends. The Sutton photo was taken a little before 1977, but it's fine. Clemens looks hungover.

Our first insert is an 81 Future Stars; neither of the three Orioles depicted here has really made an impact this year. Ironically, a catcher named Austin nullified two of these guys.
And NL East 81s. The modern M Brewers cap contrasts a bit with the colorful blue and yellow of the cap insignia on the car.

 Pack 3-
Do Cubs fans call Russell 'Ad-Rock'? It'd be so cool if they did. I know the Beasties are a NY export, but there's got to be one or two Beasties fans in Chicago.
Jones has changed position, and Banda has gotten...some playing time? He's not one of the more heralded rookie arms in Tampa, let's just say.
 Yay for people still talking about Enos Slaughter in 2018!
Also, more notes from the photoshopper here: I would have filtered Mahle's photo a little more so there's less shadow. We want to see him.

We Like Maik. Carpenter's been on a tear, and that's a cool card.
In terms of Hechavarria's card...not exactly the color scheme I would have gone with for Tampa. I'd have gone navy- orange, instead of baby blue-yellow. But...whatever.

 Pack 4-
More legends. Fisk in Chicago rather than Boston. Bobby Doerr, another nice find for this set. And a combo card of Trout and Ohtani. Nice stuff.

 The 77s might be the more likable ones this set, even if the photography still isn't at 77 levels exactly. Nice enough stuff here.

I still love the 81s though. Plus, a rare action shot in this set, from current Brewer Jonathan Schoop.

 Pack 5-
L TO R: Hall of Fame Class of 2027; Hall of Fame Class of 2007
 The Slamtana and Ozuna are DEFINITELY picks '77T would have used, and thusly I really like those cards. Murph's is good too, even if he's now in Chicago.

 Fowler has been inefficient in Oakland. The Catfish is a nice 'What If' card, that sees a future where Cat winds up pitching for us past his injury in '79. Oh, what could have been...

And, of course, I gotta mention a Sandlot insert. Not my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE baseball movie (still waiting on an insert set for Field of Dreams, or even Little Big League), but I definitely see why people love it.

 Pack 6-
A guy who spent the year on the DL, and a guy who spent the year batting under the Mendoza line.

 Again, I like the 77s, despite minor stuff.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE JETER FOR A MOMENT. I originally thought that was a flashy, non-static photo choice for Jeets. And then I did some research. TURNS OUT...THAT JETER CARD IS A PHOTO VARIATION.
The odds of pulling one? ONE IN TWO-HUNDRED-THIRTY-NINE. So...that's a nice pull. And it's of one of my favorite players. So that's awesome.

I LOVE THESE. The Smoltz and Ryan are static shots we haven't really seen in other products. The Kinsler is a nice posed shot, even if it was nullified by a trade to Boston.

 Pack 7-
I feel like the Polanco had the field edited in afterwards. Fitting, given his real-life HGH suspension.

 Mejia's now in SD, but I like this card. The Sutter is pretty cool, despite Sutter playing for Chicago in '77.
 Three cool 81s. Just good work all around.

And my insert, a Rookie History one of '08UH's Clayton Kershaw rookie. It's weird having already owned this one, yet feeling how different the stock is to the original. Oh well.

I'll post the second box tomorrow.


  1. "I gotta mention a Sandlot insert. Not my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE baseball movie"