by Rich Klein
Last year, I was one of the few collectors who loved the Topps Lineage product. To me, it was a great mix of honoring the old school cards those in my generation grew up collecting, with the current era. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly a universal hit because of the price point and lukewarm autograph harvest, so Topps wisely changed the product name back to something it has used before: Archives. It’s a brand name that has gone through several iterations but 2012 Topps Archives is similar to what has been done with both the previous Archives products as well as All-Time Fan Favorites.
Released about two weeks ago, Archives features a mix of active players and retired greats in a mix of designs based on previous Topps base sets of the past. Hobby boxes have 24 packs with eight cards per pack. Each box is also said to contain two Fan Favorites autographs. This product is off to a decent start within the hobby as my local store (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) has sold through five-six cases at a $96.95 price point. He did mention how really difficult the Bryce Harper cards have been to pull. In addition, while most of the autographs were decent players he only remembered two good autographs being pulled out of his boxes, one of which was local favorite Yu Darvish.
Other leading online retailers are selling these boxes in the $80-85 prince range. Now let’s see how we did from our box. As a note, my local store also stated that all his collectors who purchased two boxes were able to complete a base set.
Base Set: 164 of 200 with no duplicates. That is more than 80 percent of the base set.
SPs: I did not realize what Topps was doing when I was opening this product. Thus, my first through of seeing a Sid Bream card in the 1992 Topps design was something to the effect of “Nice touch, really nice to see Topps using the right year to use a Sid Bream card. After all, the slide in the NLCS that year is one of the most memorable moments of that decade. My six SP’s were : Bream, Jack Clark, Shawon Dunston, Don Mattingly, Mike Scott and Ken Singleton.
Gold Foil Parallels: Alex Avila, R.A. Dickey, Grady Sizemore
Reprints: Reggie Jackson, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, Carl Ripken, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski
3D: Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, CC Sabathia
Deckle Edge: Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson
Cloth: Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton, Derek Jeter, Justin Verlander
Autographs: Dave Kingman, Andy Van Slyke (the Kingman cards have been selling for $10-20 with Van Slyke a little less)
No huge hits, but Topps does throwback well and these didn’t disappoint in that regard. The past and present collide and Topps gets to use their history and their photo archive to add to what they now have with 21st century players. It was fun opening this product just as I still think Lineage was a blast to open in 2011.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]