Yesterday, Nick over at Dime Boxes wrote about a “Clerks” base set he got, and the line I quote most from the movie turned out to be very much applicable to today’s post.
Not long ago I decided I wouldn’t even bother with 2017 Topps Archives, yet here I am, about to tell you about the blaster I bought. Generally positive blog posts made me mentally upgrade from “nothing” to “a couple of packs” and finding out that there were honest-to-goodness coins in the blasters pushed me into impulse-buy mode and I ended up with a blaster.
Part of the reason for my initial disinterest was the card designs used for the base set. 1982 has already been done too much (as pretty much everybody is saying), 1992 is a little too similar to last year’s 1991, and I frankly never cared for the 1960 design. However, Topps made some noticeable improvements to the base set and the inserts, so I ended up spending more than I should have.
I opened about half of the blaster, and I’m just going to run through the base cards and the inserts I’ve pulled… No major review here, just some thoughts I have.
Potential legal trouble
Since I bought a blaster, I don’t have a visual aid to go with something I noticed about the Hanger packs.
The hanger says on the front “One 1960 Topps Rookie Star Inside!” I will point out that it doesn’t put anything in quotation marks or say “One Topps Rookie Star in the 1960 design…”, it says “1960 Topps Rookie Star”. To my thinking, that’s a Rookie Star card which had been issued in 1960. I SMELL LEGAL ACTION!!!!
As others have mentioned, the 1960 and 1982 cards are done on a thicker card stock than prior Archives releases. This is good, but is more about righting a wrong… Cards at this price point *should* be on heavier stock than an index card.
1987 Coins insert
These were a surprise to me… I figured they’d be cardboard disks in the style of the coins, but they’re honest-to-goodness coins… and pretty cool.
I’ve seen these referred to as being in the style of the 1964 coins, but they’re actually in the style of the 1987 coins. The differences are subtle but definitive.
Here’s the back of the Bregman:
Base cards: 1960
These cards are largely well done, but there’s one issue I have that I’ve not seen mentioned in other people’s reviews, but for me it was like nails on a chalkboard.
Here’s Edwin Diaz from my blaster.
And here’s an original 1960 Bob Mabe from my binders.
The player’s name should be fully-justified, not left-aligned. On the Bob Mabe card, “BOB” is aligned on the left with “BALTIMORE” and “MABE” is aligned on the right with “PITCHER”, and the letters should have extra spacing between them to make it happen on shorter names. The Archives cards look OK for players with longer names, but for the short names, it’s like a bad ventriloquist who moves his lips – it just serves to distract, and all you can see are those moving lips.
I won’t even get into the concept of using a wider font from the same family for the shorter names.
Oh, almost forgot the back.
Base cards: 1982
I’ve nothing to say about these beyond the usual refrain…. “1982 AGAIN????” (That’s a rather… tender subject. Another slice?”)
Base cards: 1992
My only complaint – and it is a minor quibble – is that some teams (Pirates, Giants) should use colored text for the player’s names.
Kudos for using updated ballpark images on the back, where applicable.
1959 Bazooka insert
Of all the sets issued for which I own absolutely no examples of, 1959 Bazooka is easily one of my favorites. Oversized and beautiful… and unfortunately rare and expensive. I’ll just have to settle for the “1959 Bazooka Minis” in these Archives packs.
I don’t know why they ran the photo through a filter. 1959 isn’t *THAT* old-timey, the photos were photos… not as crisp as today’s photos due to the printing technology of today, but nothing that should be run through a filter.
I like these but what would’ve *REALLY* been cool is if they printed these in a larger-than-standard size on the *outside* of the actual blaster box. This is an idea I’ve pitched before, but Topps must’ve missed that particular post.
1960 Rookie Stars Inserts
I don’t have anything to say about these. They’re fine. This also falls under in the category of “I don’t care for 1960 Topps except for the managers subset”
Oddly enough, the card stock for these is slightly darker and thinner than is used on the 1960 base cards.
Jeter Retrospective Insert set
I didn’t bother scanning one of these because nobody really needs to see a reprint of a 2008 Topps Jeter. The only think keeping these cards from being used with bicycle spokes is that I don’t currently own a bicycle or a clothespin.
On the whole…
I like 2017 Archives, but after I finish off this blaster I don’t see myself getting anything other than individual cards to fill out my team/player collections.