While visiting my sister in Denton, I stopped at the local Target on the way out-of-town to get some cards. I picked up a rack-pack of 2014 Topps Archives just to see what this year’s set would be like, and I am so glad that I only spent around $5 for this pack.
My initial reaction to these cards was, why are they so incredibly flimsy. Why Topps? Why? For those who are not yet familiar with ’14 Archives, it is printed on what feels like left-over Opening Day card stock.
The top section of pack had a peculiar order of the cards.
All five of these cards were in order. Initially, I was in favor of this particular design. As you know, I am hand-collating a set of ’86 Topps (wife’s year of birth). However, these cards don’t impress me. Posed portraits in 4 of the 5 cards, none of which are very good. I grew up watching and collecting Tony Gwynn, but this card is awkward: no hat, no helmet, just a smirk and a bat. Why wouldn’t Topps have picked a picture of Tony from 1986? No doubt there is a photo of him from the ’86 season collecting dust on the shelves in the storage room.
The next three cards were also in order. Did anyone else have this happen? I actually like the style of these cards. They are done in the style of 1973 Topps, which is an iconic set. Of the three, I like the Banks card the least. Again, why Topps chose to use a posed shot of a Hall of Famer known for his hitting skills is beyond me.
Believe it or not, when I opened the bottom pack, these five cards were in order as well. Based on the 2012 Topps Archives design, which is based on the 1980 Topps design, these cards look as recycled as they are. If Topps is really this out of ideas, perhaps they should cut back on the number of sets produced each year.
These were the last four cards in the bottom pack. Based on the 1989 Topps design, these cards are just as lackluster as the others. Ridiculous posed images is the dominate theme. Is it just me, or does that image of DiMaggio look exactly like a recent card from 2012? Perhaps a Gypsy Queen mini?
Why, yes, yes it does. Thank you Topps. Not only did you recycle designs from 2012, you recycled cards from 2012. That must have been a banner year.
The final card from the pack was actually from the top section I just got on a roll and forgot to mention it, that is how awesome it is.
This card does not bother me in the least. Except that Goldschmidt is not a future star; he is a current star. He almost won the MVP last year and was a rookie in 2011.
Overall, I am far from impressed by ’14 Archives. I know the intention of this set is to appeal to vintage and modern collectors. Topps may be trying to bridge the gap between the two groups of collectors, but this isn’t the way.
With the exception of the Gwynn, McGwire, Chapman, and Carew, these cards will be trade fodder.