1. Card Design
Following the Topps Archives playbook from past years Topps has released their Archives set for 2019 which consists of card designs from 1958, 1975 and 1993 designs. Each design has 100 cards to create a 300-card base set. Card design for Archives is nothing new but it does remind us of those designs we saw growing up in the hobby. The 1958 and 1975 designs are two collectors’ favorites. As for 1993, it has an acquired taste but hey it was in the middle of the junk wax era. What also freshens this up is the opportunity to see today’s players on one of the three designs.
2. Checklist Review
With only a total of 300 cards in the base set this will be a fairly easy set to build without breaking the bank. Of course, Topps has put in many Short Prints such as 30 randomly inserted High number cards at 1:8 packs. Also inserted are 1994 Future Stars with players from today and back then at 1:25 packs. There are another 100 cards added to the set when you factor in the 1975 Mini’s which range from 1975 to today. As a twist, Topps has 25 Topps Coins available at 2 per box but they are only available in Blasters.
2019 Topps Archives Baseball really takes collecting a master set to a next level with this release. Yes, you can put the base set of 300 together with probably the purchase of one hobby box and a couple commons along the way.
4. Favorite Parallel/Insert Set
A couple of interesting Parallels in this year’s release. There is a 16 card Ichiro Retrospective with 3 short prints available at 1:12 packs with the short prints available at 1:240 packs. These are reprints of his base cards from his career. They include Foil Logo parallels in Blue (#/150), Green (#/99), Gold (#/50), Red (#/10), and Black (1/1). There are also short print versions which feature the same parallels except for the Blue version.
My favorite though is the 50th Anniversary tribute to the Montreal Expos. Say what you will about these uniforms I really like seeing a Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez throwback in this sets. These have the same parallels as the Ichiro inserts as well as a 21-card set available at 1:24 packs.
Other inserts in 2019 Topps Archives Baseball include limited 1975 Mini Base cards which are 1:78 packs, and the 1975 Topps Highlights cards at 1:8 packs. The 1993 Topps Rookies insert uses the same Draft Pick design while the 1994 Topps Future Stars at 1:12 packs identify the future stars of today and from 25 years ago when the set released.
The on-card Fan Favorites Autographs with 51 cards mixes past and present players at 1:25 packs and multiple designs in one group. The Parallels include Purple (#/150), Silver (#/99), Blue (#/25 – Hobby only) and Gold Foil board (1/1).
Most of the inserts have hard-signed versions, as well. This includes the Ichiro Retrospective Autograph (#/5) cards for the base and Short Print set. You can also find the special 50th Anniversary of the Montréal Expos Autograph cards in Green (#/99), Gold (#/50), Red (#/10), and Black (1/1) Foil Logo parallels.
These are joined by 1994 Future Star Autograph and 1978 Topps Record Breaker Autograph cards, which offer Blue (#/25 – Future Star only), Red (#/10) and Gold (1/1) parallels.
Finally, there are 13 Topps Original Autograph buybacks which are numbered to 10 copies and come from sets issued during the 1950s to 1990s.
Topps Archives is always a crowd pleaser and this year’s release is no different. With three very distinct designs spanning 40 years there is something in there for all collectors to focus on. The 1975 design has always been a collector favorite so put a twist on it by featuring today’s biggest stars such as Bryant, Ohtani and Alonso and now you’re talking. I would definitely go out and pick up some Topps Archives. It’s a fun set with the ability to put the base set together without breaking the bank.
Overall Score: 4.86/5.0