Archives is out!!!!!!!!
These were some elusive little creatures to find. I went to the Target by work on the release day, nothing there, then the next day I went to the Target by the house after my son's kindergarten screening, and nothing there. Finally, Friday night they showed up as in-stock at the awesome Target on the way home so I stopped there, at 10:45 at night mind you, and stocked up. I grabbed two blasters and three fat packs. I had two coupons from my Series 1 blaster I used plus just over $30 in gift cards that got me a good deal on them.
I started with the blasters first. As usual, the first card of the first pack I opened and it's Yasiel Puig.
Archives this year is based on the 1959, 1977, and 1981 designs. Sure, they're not exact replicas but they're close enough for me. I always love the inclusion of retired stars in Archives, especially those such as Bert Blyleven and Warren Spahn. Even better, Spahn is listed as a member of the Milwaukee Braves.
I got the two vaunted rookies every is probably after, Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto. Is is just me or did the Ohtani-mania craze die down fairly quickly after he got hurt. There's also an Ohtani variation of him swinging a bat going around.
Two more 59s, and I'm curious as to why they chose the color pink for these two. I feel like Honus Wagner only pops up in Archives. As far as variations go, there are two different types ... one is a no autograph variation (which speaks for itself) and the other is in the backs. There are white back and grey backs called "Venezuelan backs".
Moving on to the 77s. One gripe I have about these is that, in the case of Bruce Sutter, the facsimile autograph is nearly obscured completely by the darkness of the background. This happened with a few other cards as well.
The Jeter is another case where the autograph is pretty much unable to be read. However, I think these are probably my favorite design of the bunch. Variations on this theme include only a non-autograph variation.
One blaster yielded me this gray parallel of Travis D'Arnaud. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Now the 1981s. The 1981 set is something I feel that gets often overlooked or forgotten about. Personally, I think it's a pretty neat set and Archives did it well. Nice to see Edgar Martinez show up in newer cards. There's also a variation of the Ernie Banks card floating around.
I didn't get any of the variations of the 1981 (which include a different Clemente card and cards with the old style Topps logo) but I did get a nice batch of awesome players like Trout, Carew, and Clemente.
I got a good batch of Reds and Indians cards but my favorite of the Reds ones has to be the Barry Larkin card.
Some Indians cards including catching prospect Francisco Meija and Jose Ramirez who is on an absolute tear right now.
Inserts I think is really where Archives struggled this year. I know the Hank Aaron "turn back the clock" card isn't really an insert, it sort of fell in there when I took the picture. I enjoy "The Sandlot" as much as the next person and having cards in there using the 1962 design is neat but they just don't do it for me. I've got two Sandlot cards, and they're already earmarked for my next package to Dimebox Nick.
My favorites of the inserts are the Future Stars cards. I could've done without a "Rookie History" insert reprint set though, considering just a year or two ago we got "Berger's Best" reprints in flagship which featured some of the same cards.
Moving on to the fat packs now. One thing about these is that I really like the pack design. One thing I didn't like is the fact I got a lot of duplicates. However, I did find a number of cool cards I didn't get in the blasters.
Getting cards of Ichiro is something that makes me really happy.
Three people here in Ozzie, Cozart, and Correa that I like to collect. My favorite though has to be the Early Wynn card. Have a look at that background will you!
Two more Reds, both new and old.
The Coming Attraction inserts are really the best insert set in Archives this year.
Finally, I'll close this with my two favorite cards I got from my haul. First, David Ortiz as a member of the Twins!
And this .... Ronald Acuna Jr. who has just absolutely terrorized the National League recently with his incredible hitting and the lead-off home run streak.
So, that's it for Archives this year. Was it great this year? Not really. I liked 2016 and 2017 a lot better. I think I would've liked it better if they'd chosen something other than 1959 and maybe continued on with the 90s sets and used 1993 as the past few years where it was 1991, then 1992.