Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 Topps Archives Box Break

Decided to stop by my LCS today and see if 2012 Topps Archives was in yet and I was happy to see that boxes were in stock.  I picked one up and decided I would share the results of the break and a mini review with you.

I had heard rumors that we might be in for wax packs in this throwback set.  While they aren't wax packs, the design is a stroll down memory lane.  Here is a front and back scan.

I also figured I would show off the box top, especially for those who don't have hobby shops near by.  I love the Will Clark on the box. While I wasn't lucky enough to pull one from this box, I will be seeking one out for the Giants collection.

It appears the set has 250 cards with the last 50 being short printed.  The first 200 cards are designed after Topps sets from the past and each block of 50 is based on a different design.

The first 50 cards are patterned after 1954 Topps.  There are a mix of modern day players and stars from the past.  The cards have an up close portrait of the player and a smaller action photo.  We also get a facsimile autograph on each card.  The back shows off a nice player themed cartoon and great coloring.  There is a nice blurb about each player and the number in a baseball in the upper left corner.  We get one year of stats plus lifetime numbers for the current players and just lifetime numbers for the retired players.  Matt Kemp got the coveted #1 spot and despite my despising the Dodgers it is hard to argue that he has earned it.  Here are some of my highlights from the first 50.

Cards 51-100 feature a 1971 Topps design, black borders and all. Again a mix of veterans, rookies and retired players.  I really like some of the veteran photos, the Reggie is superb. Hanley is sporting his new Miami uni and Yoenis Cespedes makes an appearance.  The backs are true to 1971 form with a black and white photo on back although the back photo matches the front - I wish they would have used a new picture.  We have a nice green color across the back with a demonstration of the players first year in pro ball and first year in the majors.  Again life stats for the retired players and 2011 and life stats for the current players.  Cespedes stats show his Cuban League Batting record and his first year in pro ball in 2003.

Cards 101-150 are from the 1980 set.  This is the second year I really collected as a kid and one of my favorites.  True to the 80 design, you have the nice banner across the bottom with the team name.  This segment of the set has a combination of action and posted photos.  It is odd and fun seeing players like George Brett and Ozzie Smith who had cards in the 1980 release with different photos and in Ozzie's case a different team.  The backs show a little cartoon of the player along with lifetime stats in the same format and design of the original set.  For the third straight segment of the set, we have facsimile signatures on the front.
The final non-short printed set featured is 1984 Topps.  This is the first group without the facsimile signatures.  This group features quite a few action photos with close up face photos of each player.  I really like the small photo of the Babe and the swinging action photo of Yogi - two classics.  The backs to me are the most boring of the set, with career stats, a team logo and a dateline where there is room.  Again true to the original but not my favorite.

The last 50 cards in the set are short prints (I am assuming there are 50 but the highest card number I got was 233).  These are cards designed from years outside of the 4 featured above and appear to showcase players in one of their top years.  The Mays card is a 1966 design following his year with 52 HRs in 65.  Vida Blue's 1976 card is after his 22-11 year in 1975.  I really enjoy these and was happy to pull a Giant and player I collect in Vida.  You also have to love the return of Bake McBride, a hobby favorite, showcasing his 1974 season of 6 HRs, 56 RBI and a .309 batting average - and a statement that he has an "excellent chance" to break Lou Brock's new record for SB due to his "blazing speed."

Next up are the inserts.  The 1967-like sticker inserts are seeded 1:8 packs, all 3 I received are of current players but I haven't seen a checklist yet to see if veterans are included.  Based on the rest of the set I have to assume there are some.  The 1977-like cloth stickers are seeded 1:6 packs and I received a mix of two retired HOFers and 2 current starts.  The 1969-like deckle edge are seeded 1:12 packs and I received nice black and white cards of Evan Longoria and Harmon Killebrew.

There are also Reprints of iconic Topps cards with a Topps Archive logo imprinted on it. I got a nice mix of HOFers with my 6 (seeded 1:4 packs) and was very happy to pull the Monte Irvin cards. It was actually in my first pack. The final insert is based on 1968 Topps 3D cards that are seeded 1:8 packs.  I received my expected 3 and all are of current stars.
What would a current set be without a parallel insert?  I received the expected two and the pack back refers to them as Archives Base Gold Rainbow Foilboard Parallels - now that is a mouthful.   I was pretty pleased with my two, pulling a Giant for my collection and a Joe D - these don't scan that great but actually look pretty nice.

Finally we have the 2 guaranteed Fan Favorites Autograph hits.  Both cards I pulled are nice on card autos with a gold foil Archives Fan Favorites logo stamped on. The first card is of one of the top catchers of the 1980s Lance Parrish.  Lance had a solid career, while not quite Hall-Worthy, he was really darn good.  The second hit fell just short of a spectacular hit for me, it is if Jack Clark.  Clark was one of my favorite Giants growing up but this card features him after his excellent 1987 season with the Cardinals.   I guess I pulled the wrong Clark.  This might have to stay in my collection since I am a Clark fan but I am on the fence right now.

At this point, I don't think anything is for trade. I am definitely going after this base set, short prints and all so I will probably pick up one more box.  The collation was good - I got 164 of the 200 non-SP base cards with no duplicates in my break. Obviously another box will produce a lot of trade bait. I may go after the insert sets as well depending on how my next break goes and how many are for trade around the blogosphere.  I guess the Parrish is for trade but even that card isn't something I am eager to get rid of.

Overall a super fun break. Every card was fun to look at and the variety of designs kept it interesting.  I guess the autos could have been better but I got two All-Stars from my youth so you won't see me complaining.  Let me know what you pull and if you have some inserts and SPs to deal!


  1. Nice autos. I want that Will Clark auto too!

  2. Looks like a great set, can't wait to pick up a few packs myself.

  3. I think this product is a huge win. Getting guys like Parrish and Clark as the "lesser" autos? Can't beat that! Definitely better than John Niese and Kyle Seager.

  4. Man, I have a feeling those Will Clark autos are going to be the most in-demand from the whole set.

  5. Very nice thanks for sharing the box break. I'd love to see what you get in your next box too if you end up breaking another one. And if you do decided to trade anything I'd be interested in that cloth Yount and any other Brewers in there. I haven't bought any of this and I'll probably only buy a few packs, I'm saving my duckets for Series 2 when it comes out.

  6. Thanks for showing the box. You still wanting to do a trade?

    email cardscrush99@yahoo.com

  7. I have seen enough. I am going to have to scoop up one of these boxes! Thanks for sharing. And inspriring...