Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 Topps Archives blaster (Yes, there's more)

I seem to be one of the few that enjoys 2012 Topps Archives thus far.

From what I've read, it's more a sense of disappointment than pure dislike. I can see why, but the fault cannot all be put on Topps' head. As I've recently learned, one of the conditions of the "Topps monopoly" is a limit on the number of retired players that can appear in the product.

Which means we won't be seeing another true Archives or Fan Favorites set anytime soon.

From what Topps had to work with, I think they did a fine job with Archives. I'll take it over last year's Lineage any day of the week.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I received three loose packs and a blaster as a special treat from my dad.

While I didn't pull anything as great as a neat autograph and a cool Clemente insert as I did yesterday (from the same pack, no less), I still had a blast ripping open the blaster. (No pun intended.)

We'll start with my favorite blaster pull, the above "Deckle Edge" Bob Gibson insert.

I've always felt that the '69 Deckle Edge set is underrated. I don't know that any of the originals featured action shots, but perhaps they should have after seeing how awesome the above Bob Gibson is.

Of all the pitchers I collect, few have better "in-action" cards than Bob Gibson.

The Rays and Royals weren't even around in 1954.

But that's another reason I've enjoyed Archives thus far. The above cards will be totally unique in their respective binders, as they don't have a whole lot of "throwback" cards.

The '71 set might be in my top five Topps sets of all-time.

1965 and '75 are a couple of my personal favorites, but I can't think of any others off-hand that would top the '71 set.

Because of this, Topps made an excellent choice in using 1971 as one of the designs for the base cards. (Although I would've loved to see '75 used as well.)

Sure, the trademarks get in the way a bit on these. But again, I don't know how much of that is Topps' fault. It's probably another condition of their new MLBPA agreement, as I don't remember seeing such a distracting trademark logo on any pre-2010 cards.

I'm loving the '71 Reggie Jackson. Although it's not nearly as great as the actual 1971 Topps issue of "Mr. October" (which recently became a part of my collection), the shot looks appropriate for the time period.

I've always thought the 1980 set would look better without the facsimile signatures.

They work for some sets, but in this case, they're just in the way. (I do enjoy that fact that Ike Davis decided to include his uniform number in his signature, though.)

Like the '54s I showed earlier, the Marlins weren't around in 1980 either, which personally makes any of their cards in the set a lot more interesting than the others.

On that note, I've decided to start a new mini-collection (just base, inserts, and parallels) of Mike/Giancarlo Stanton. (It's going to be a challenge for Topps to fit his "new" name onto his cards from now on.)

The guy's on my fantasy team this year, and I never realized just how much of a beast he was until recently. If there's a guy deserving of a spot in my binders, it's him.

So please feel free to drop me a line if you've got any extra Stantons lying around.

One of the few downsides of Archives is the fact that Topps used two designs from the 1980's.

Why not include something from the '60s? Probably the most interesting decade in American history (perhaps for baseball cards as well) is pretty much ignored in this set.

I would've loved to see some cards with the 1965 design. (Which means I can't wait for 2014 Topps Heritage, by the way.)

For me, 1984 is in the middle of the pack as far as 1980's Topps sets go. I like it better than '82 and '88, but it doesn't even light a torch to '81 or '83.

I don't know that any single stadium has been featured on more baseball cards than Wrigley Field. Both of the above shots were taken there. (It's among the easiest to spot with the outfield ivy and brick-wall backstop.)

It looks like Topps might've taken a page from the 1970's with the tilted photo on the Castro as well.

The tilted shots are one thing I've never been able to figure out.

I had good luck with the inserts I pulled from the blaster.

The only ones I don't like are the '67 stickers. Topps had some far better insert offerings from their earlier days that could've been used in this set. (The 1970 "Scratch-off" games, perhaps.)

Besides the '67 stickers, I love all the insert sets that Archives offers. Even though I don't have any of the actual ones in my collection, I've always enjoyed the '77 cloth stickers.

I always see a guy at the bi-annual card show that has a '77 cloth copy of the Mark Fidrych rookie card. If I'm remembering right, I think the price tag was seven or eight bucks.

I'm not sure how good of a deal that is, but perhaps I'll pick it up if it's still there this time around.

I already went into how much I love the inserts in yesterday's Archives post.

Killebrew is a guy that Topps really needs to showcase more. I have exactly one card of him from 2011.

As is the case with the '62 Killebrew, reprints are even more special when I have a copy of the actual card as well. I'm not exactly sure where I got it, but it's definitely one of my favorite cards of his.

Then again, all my "Killer" cards are my favorites.

I have had astounding luck pulling cards of "The Mick" this year. The first 2012 card from my first Topps pack of the year was a Mantle. A rack pack and blaster of Gypsy Queen netted me two different Mantle inserts.

Out of the final pack of my Archives blaster fell the 3-D Mantle, which is way better than all the Mantles I've pulled so far put together.

While I haven't put any of the Archives inserts on my needs page, I am interested in them (especially the reprints). If you have any extras that you'd like to unload, please feel free to contact me.

Finally, we have the two short-prints I pulled.

I love these because names like Bill Madlock, Dave Kingman, and Ed Kranepool don't pop up a whole lot in the card collecting universe.

Plus, for every fifty cards of Jackie Robinson or Babe Ruth, there's probably one Bill Buckner.

Thankfully, both of the SPs I pulled were ones I really wanted. (Not to mention the awesome shades that Madlock is wearing in that shot, once again taken at Wrigley Field.)

Busting open these packs was probably the most fun I've had since flagship was released in late-January. As I've mentioned before, I'm weak when it comes to old-time designs. It's one thing I'll never get sick of.

If you've read this far, I'd like to thank you for sticking through these two Archives posts. I know one of the main features on this blog is the "randomness" factor, and featuring the same thing two days in a row isn't part of what I normally do. But that should tell how much I enjoyed 2012 Archives.

Any set that pays homage to the history of baseball cards is okay in my book.

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