Archives ’15 Revisited

2015 was a year that didn’t suck.

While there wasn’t anything in particular which knocked me off my feet and made me lose every item of clothing, like Charlie Brown on the receiving end of a comeback line drive, it was a year full of many pleasures and a couple of mild surprises.  This post is about one of those surprises.

…and it even comes with its own custom, Bob Dylan-inspired artwork:
Archives '15 Revisited

In previous years, Topps Archives was an exercise in disappointment, too many cards like this:
2013 Topps Archives Brandon Belt
Too many card where I said “You can’t even put fake clouds in your wrong-shade-of-blue sky? C’mon, dudes, I do this stuff for fun and I can do way better than that.”

But when this year’s Archives set came out in June, I actually enjoyed it. Not “Complete the set” enjoyed it, but “Fun distraction” enjoyed it… “Buy a blaster” enjoyed it… “Raid a dimebox in December” enjoyed it.

I know the set got savaged over the summer, and there are good reasons for savaging it. Thin card stock, relatively high price point, mega-hyper-short prints. Not insignificant issues, but I wasn’t looking for a set to collect, I was just looking for wax to bust, for some vintage designs in my “Current Rosters” binders. An Archives set into which Topps put a moderate amount of effort. And I did get that.

I also wanted at least some of the insert cards based on the 1968 Topps Game insert (a set I’m just a couple of expensive cards away from completing)
2015 Topps Archives Game Jose Abreu
They did a nice job on these inserts… not that they’re all that hard to replicate.

2015 Topps Archives Ozzie Smith
This is a durn nice photo of The Wizard.  And it’s not impossible to read the yellow and white text over a powder blue uniform.  Moderate effort, I’m telling you!

Another reasonably nice 1957 replica featuring a legend.
2015 Topps Archives x_0001
You can tell it’s an old photo of Cal because he’s got hair.

This Don Sutton isn’t the greatest, but I appreciate the late 1960’s?  Early 1970’s?   photo.
2015 Topps Archives x_0002

Trevor Bauer gets it… or at least worked with a photographer who gets it.  There’s nothing like a fake follow-through that shows you still holding the baseball.
2015 Topps Archives x_0003

I’m not a fan of Will Ferrell, but these inserts were an inspired addition.
2015 Topps Archives x_0006
…although they may have contributed to the high price point of the packs…

Robinson Cano didn’t have a smile on his face for much of 2015. Robinson Cano may have spent a good part of the season wondering if he made a mistake in going for the big paycheck and listening to the Mariners’ promise of contending teams.
2015 Topps Archives Robinson Cano
But there’s been a major shakeup in the Seattle front office, so maybe, maybe there’ll be more smiles in Safeco this season.

So that’s a quick revisiting of 2015 Archives.

Is it the set of the year?  Not even a nominee.

…But was it one of the more pleasant surprises of 2015? You betcha.


7 thoughts on “Archives ’15 Revisited

  1. I too was pleasantly surprised with Archives – in fact, it was the only product I bought any blasters of. Though, I must confess, at least part of the reason for that was the enticement of pullin a Will Ferrell Cubs card. Still, I was content.

  2. I’m still content with the three years of ATFF and the occasional pack of Heritage. Archives isn’t for me but I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was a latecomer to “Elf” but I’m hooked now so I kinda like Will Ferrell. And though I’d just as soon see Ryan Dempster do his Harry Caray Will Ferrell’s was also funny.

  3. I don’t collect the Archives cards at all. I got ruined by all the Topps, Bowman, Fleer, Upper Deck, ad nauseum overproduction and multiple premium and ultra premium card sets in the 90’s. No thanks. However, Joe wondered out loud about the Don Sutton card and photo — whether from the 60’s or 70’s. I think Don’s BLUE baseball glove screams that it must have been a mid-70’s photo. I do NOT think MLB sensibilities would have permitted blue ball gloves, even in 1969.

  4. Not the biggest fan of Archives, but I just have to say that that custom Dylan artwork that led off the post is fantastic!

  5. Every Topps issue has their pros and cons. My favorite thing about Topps Archives are the on-card Fan Favorites autographs… but those 68 Topps Game inserts are sweet too.

    I hope you and your family have a safe and positive 2016!

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