Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Topps Archives - First Look (Part 1)

I saw these in the local Target today. There were loose packs and 8-pack blasters available. I bought two blasters.

The base set has 200 cards featuring Topps designs from 4 different years, 1954, 1971, 1980 and 1984. I pulled about 27 cards from each year between the two boxes with only a few duplicates. So I've got about half the base cards and a pretty good selection. The base set features mainly modern players, with about 20% of the cards featuring former players. Here's a card from each year.

2012 Topps Archives #50 Albert Pujols
The cards are printed on thin white card stock with a hard but not glossy finish. They have a nice crisp feel.  I don't have a lot of 1954 Topps but this looks like a pretty good facsimile.

2012 Topps Archives #77 Chipper Jones
The original 1971 cards featured a different closeup photo of the player rather than a cropped version of the front of the card like these do.

2012 Topps Archives #108 Cliff Lee
I chose Phillie Cliff Lee to represent the 1980 cards because the Phillies won their first World Series in 1980. The backs are pretty close to the actual 1980 cards although the color is off. Also, the 1980 set had the copyright in a box at the bottom of the cartoon.

2012 Topps Archives #187 Nolan Ryan
I didn't check all the former player cards, but the original 1984 Ryan card did not have this photograph. And the back is different since this card features Ryan's entire career. The original cards also had color team logos on the back.  This is the only Astro I pulled from the box. Astros cards have been very scarce this year. I've bought 971 cards so far and only 12 of them feature Astros, which is way under average. By contrast, I have 73 Phillies cards which is way over average.

2012 Topps Archives All-Time Fan Favorites #221 Jim Abbott
Cards numbered 201-241 are called the All-Time Fan Favorites. They are all past players except #241 which has Bryce Harper. These are inserted 1 in 4 packs. I only pulled 2 of them in 16 packs. These feature a past player on some randomly chosen card that was issued during the player's career. The photo is not the same photo as is on Abbott's 1992 card but the back is a reprint of his 1992 card except for the card number. Confused yet?  1992 was the first year that Topps issued cards on white card stock. This is the first post-career card of Abbott that I know about.

2012 Topps Archives Rookie Reprints Cal Ripken
This is from the 50-card insert set which is supposed to be a reprint of the player's rookie card. I got 4 of these. You can tell this card apart from the 1984 cards in the set in that it has a "Topps Archives" logo in gold foil on the front. Also, the team logo on the back is in color. The card has the same number as the original card. This is a nice card but Ripken's rookie card was 1982.  The other three I have are reprints of the player's actual rookie card.

I'll post the other inserts in a few days.

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