In the past, I've gone all-out with my posts of Topps Archives hobby boxes, putting on little plays with my old childhood toys (2014 part 1, 2, 3, 4). But these days, I just can't get as excited about it. Topps Archives is the product that I give the credit for getting me back into the hobby. The past few years, I've pre-ordered a hobby box or two each year. Aside from hitting the jackpot with a 1/1 Griffey auto a couple years back, I haven't pulled much of note from the product, but it's still a fun rip.
So let's get to it: A pair of 2018 Archives hobby boxes.
The autos I pulled were fine, but sadly nothing "big" or even any PC hits for me. Ouch. The Mike Timlin is one of the few hobby-only autos, though, so that's something. (Felix Millan was supposedly retail-only per Beckett, but that's obviously not the case, as I pulled him from a hobby box.) And the Merced is a grey parallel numbered /99. All four of these are up for trade, so give me a shout if you're interested in working out a deal for any of them.
Three base card parallels here. Goose is a nice PC hit for me. Newcomb is a handy trade chip for my bud Bubba who collects him. As for the Salvador, I can't even remember the last time I traded with a Royals collector, so sadly this nice-looking /25 blue parallel-- the lowest numbered card I pulled from either box-- doesn't do me much good. But it's available if anyone wants to trade for it.
Some Rookie History reprints. I pulled a Kaline from each box and figured they were dupes at first. Then I realized one had blue foil.. turned it over and saw it's #'d /50.. so that's kinda cool. Any of my Tigers-collecting trader buddies want to call dibs on it? No offence to Mr. Tiger, but I wish it had been the Trout reprint that was numbered instead. Oh well.
Looks like the Sandlot inserts are 3 per box. Seeing as I've previously completed this set thanks to trades and blasters, these six are all available. Feels like that Bertram Weeks card was double printed or something.. I think this is my 3rd or 4th friggin' copy of it.
Seems these Turn Back The Clock cards are 3 per hobby box, too. Nice selection here.. all dudes I've got PCs going for.
I was pleasantly surprised to find all these Coming Attraction inserts in my hobby boxes. They apparently aren't in blasters, so I was thinking maybe they were exclusive to value packs. But nope, I pulled a bunch of them.
Some horizontal highlights.
I pulled an Ernie Banks card from each box, then eventually realized they had different photos. Turns out the in-game shot is a photo variation. From looking at eBay sales, it's not all that scare/valuable, but still a neat pull.
To make sure I didn't miss any other variations, I strained my eyes reading all the tiny code numbers on the backs of all the base cards. But nope, came up empty. About 15 minutes of my life wasted. #ThanksTopps
Here are a few highlights from my tall stack of "keeper" base cards. Last year and/or the year before, my two hobby boxes basically had the same base cards in each box, with only the inserts being different. Thankfully there were much less dupes between my two boxes this year. But if you gotta pull dupes, hard to be upset with Trout, Soto, and Ohtani.
New additions to my Willie McCovey PC! How great is it that Topps included tribute cards with him on the A's! Haha-- no, I'm only joking-- those cards on the sides are customs I recently whipped up.
As my "free bonus item" with the order of the boxes, I went with this 2017 Leaf National Sports Collectors Convention VIP 2 Card Set. Happy to add another card to my Vin Scully collection. I don't have much interest in the Mayweather/McGregor card, so that's available for trade.
Also got tons of other 2018 Archives cards not pictured that're available for trade. Anybody working on the set, or a team set, or what-have-you.. please get in touch and help me thin out my stack.
In summary, I'm not thrilled with how Archives went down this year. I pre-ordered my boxes way back in April when they were scheduled for August. Then the release date got bumped to September, then way back to late October, even though the retail version of the product came out earlier. Topps gave no explanation for the delay, per their usual poor customer relations. There were no cool surprises in the hobby version to make it up to collectors or anything (besides maybe the Karen Allen Sandlot auto, which is a pretty tough card to pull [the shitty-looking grey #/99 parallels are more plentiful than the base!]). After all that wait, the estimated value of cards I pulled came nowhere near the price I paid. Not that that's a surprise, but a solid hit would have taken the sting out of the delay. The whole experience left a sour taste in my mouth and at this point I'm leaning toward not buying any Archives hobby boxes in 2019, just calling it good with a blaster or two. But we'll see how I'm feeling in a few months. Really though, I think I'm losing interest with modern cards, and have been enjoying vintage set building more these days.
Thanks for reading.