Over the past few years I have made predictions on which designs the following year’s Topps Archives set would use; you can see the posts here. I’ve had mixed results over the past year or two, but nothing would have prepared me for what Topps is doing with this year’s set.
Last August I predicted that Topps would use three designs which would be celebrating round-number anniversaries: 1961, 1991 and 2001 Topps.
As it turns out, I was right about 1991 and 2001… but wasn’t prepared for the idea that Topps would use seven designs for this year’s Archives set, one for each decade from the 1950s to the 2010s. Maybe we should be happy that they didn’t decide to honor the current decade and include the 2020 Topps design.
So here are the designs they’re using with some notes and thoughts on each one…
This design was used in 2015 Archives and 2006 Heritage
I’m fine with this as the 1950s design. 1952 is an insert in this year’s flagship, 1953 is being used for Topps Living Set, and I don’t trust Topps to do justice to 1956, at least while putting in an Archives amount of effort. I’m personally fine with any of the remaining designs.
Most of the designs of the 1960s have not been used in Archives to this point, so why go with 1962 rather than the 1961 design which is celebrating its 60th anniversary? Beats the crap out of me. For what it’s worth, the 1962 design was used in 2011 Heritage.
I’ll admit that I find 1962 to be a ‘blah’ design, and I’d much prefer 1961… which, as I mentioned, has it’s 60th anniversary this year.
Last used in 2014, this is a VERY INTERESTING choice for one reason: One would think it’s also being used in 2022 Topps Heritage. I’ll get into this more later in the post.
My own choice would be the design that Topps seems to be purposefully avoiding: 1978.
This design was used in 2015 Archives as well as being used as an insert in 2018 Topps flagship.
I love 1983 Topps, but it does seem like a case of “Meat Loaf again?” (Kids, ask your parents about Midnight showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” )
Like with 1978, Topps seems to be avoiding 1988. That would be my choice from the 1980s.
This design was used in 2016 Archives, was the one I predicted and is probably my favorite 1990s Topps design.
Never used in Topps Archives before, and I don’t get excited enough about 2000s designs to have a huge favorite from this decade… They’re all fine, few get me fired up in either direction.
Also never used in Topps Archives. I like this design well enough and it’s 10 years old which seems like the minimum amount of time that should be used for an Archives design.
So… getting back to that choice of the 1973 design…
2021 Topps Archives currently has a release date of October 29, 2021. If Topps continues the direction that they’ve been going with the Heritage brand, then the same 1973 design will be used in that Heritage set released about five months after.
I’d like to dismiss this as “Topps being Topps”, but it still falls into the category of Things That Make You Go ‘Hmmmmm’…. (Robi Rob, break it down!)
If it isn’t some form of corporate screw-up, could this signal a different direction for Heritage starting in 2022? Maybe going back to 1952 and starting over with that design? Jumping around from year to year like Archives does? Maybe even – Gasp! – pulling the plug on Heritage?
If I were a betting man I’d put my money on “Topps F-ed up”, but I just wanted to throw some thoughts out there.
With Fuji taking a break from blogging, I’ll pick up the slack in the reader participation area…
What designs from each decade would you have liked to have seen in 2021 Archives?
Does Topps’ right hand not know what the left hand is doing, or does this signal a major change for 2022 Heritage?