Sunday, June 02, 2013

Product Review: 2013 Topps Archives Baseball Hobby Box

In 2012 when Topps brought back Archives I was thrilled. The same goes for 2013 with Archives coming back for it's 2nd stint in a row that promises to bring as much as it did in 2012.
The 2013 Topps Archives edition brings back the famous things it did a year ago and will not disappoint. The 200 card set will encompass the 1972, 82, 85, and 1990 card designs. The 1985 design is one of my favorites growing up so I'm very pleased to see this one included for 2013. Fan Favorite Short Prints are cards 201-250 again and are found 1:4 packs, no word yet on any Super Short Prints like the Harper from last year. However Topps has hinted and printed on the package "New Error Card" which fall at 1:1717 packs, so be on the lookout. The Base card gold foil is returning but this time each will be numbered /199, these cards are still hot from 2012 and with a printed serial number for 2013 you can bet these will be sought after as well.

Inserts for 2013 are all new themes and provide four to collect. 1965 Mini Football Tall Boys, 1972 Basketball, 1969 4-in-1 stickers and 1983 Topps All-stars are awaiting collectors to pull. The 1965 Tall boys did very well within the football line and Topps is looking for the Baseball line introduction to do just as well.

Back again in every Hobby box will be 2 on-card autographs from the Fan Favorites collection. These are some of the stars and home town heroes from the last 30 or so years on their previous released cards but with different photo variations. Added with the autograph search again are the Topps Originals and Framed Mini's. Newly added are Triple Autographs featuring players from the 70's, 80's and 90's, Mini Tall Boys Autographs /25 and All-Star Autographs on the 1983 design all numbered /5.

Relics make their way into the product again with the 1960 Topps design. These will incorporate a die-cut design above the relics which could appear to a lot of collectors. Box Loaders and Case Loaders are also in the Relic/Autograph mix with the new 1971 Greatest Moments Autographs and Touched by Greatness On-card Hand prints. Both of these will be tough to find and should be interesting to see on the secondary market. Along with those two, Topps is bringing back Topps Contracts which will be only found as Case Loaders.

To round out the fullness of this product, Topps has continued with Topps Originals Buybacks, Originals Redemption (cards, packs,sets), Vault Redemption (items from the Topps Vault) and Printing Plates. All of these can be found in packs with the better odds within the Hobby packaging.

So did you open you box or case yet? Are you waiting for your shipment or still undecided? Well it's an easy choice for us to go in on this product, loved it last year and hoped for the same this year. Lets see how we did:
Base Cards: 166 (0 doubles, 34 away from the base set without SP's)
Base Card SP's: 6 - Williams, Wilson, Moseby, Jefferies, Sierra, Evans
Gold Base Parallel: 2 - Prince Fielder /199, Kendrys Morales /199
1965 Tall Boys: 4 - Parker, White, Davis, Kaline
1972 Basketball: 1 - Tony Gwynn
1969 4-in-1 stickers: 3 - Trout/Harper/Braun/Kemp, Gwynn/Boggs/Ripken/Sandberg, Ruth/Gehrig/Berra/Jackson
1983 All-Stars: 6 - Harper, Stanton, Rice, Pujols, Verlander, Cabrera
1998 Stadium Club Triumvirate: 1 - Mariana Rivera
Autographs: 2 - Frank White, Darren Daulton

Can't say enough about this product. the base card designs are great as they continue to bring us back to the days when we collected as kids. Love the mix of Retired Hall of Famers and Current players in this set. The photography is really nice as well and provide different shots of retired players you might not have seen before. The Short Printed cards in this product are a nice hit. The players on the SP's are in different photos then when they did appear in that certain set. Again with a 45 card set to build these do tend to get a little pricey on the secondary market as everyone loves collecting the full complete set of this product.
The addition of the serial numbers to the Gold Base parallels are great. These will only increase in price going forward and don't take away from the "Archive" look of the cards. The 1972 Basketball insert is alright along with the Tall boys. Not really a big fan of mixing sports inserts around but they add a little difference to
this product which is nice.
The three 4-in-1 stickers we pulled can't get any better. Just awesome lineups on these and are very crisp. Almost makes you want to use them as stickers when looking at them and on the other hand wanted to have them graded since they are in nice shape.
The 1983 All-Stars insert is a nice 80's look coming back. It was a great set back in 83 as well and with the current players on this design, they look even better. The Stadium Club insert brings you back to a more modern age of collecting. A nice add to the box, they are very light and could damage easily so watch when holding them or placing them into a penny sleeve.
The autographs in this product are definitely a fan favorite not just of ours but of any inserted in baseball. Sure you could grab these guys at the time and have them sign a lot of cards you brought to the park that day, but seeing them on these new vintage designs and to be on-card as well are just fantastic. the frank White and Darren Daulton we pulled aren't to two hottest ones in the product, but any of the ones you could pull are pretty cool to have
This product will not disappoint anyone collecting baseball cards. It's the only product we have given a 5/5 rating and it's no reason with the amount of goodness in this product. Young or old this is the product to collect. Under $100 for a box you'll have fun looking at the cards in the set and also enjoy finding those inserts, especially the on-card autographs. Go out and buy a box or blaster, we'll probably open a few more before the year is up just for fun as they continue to impress us. Thanks Topps for bringing the kid back into baseball card collecting with this product.

As always, most cards we pull in our breaks we send into our COMC account (ThePackGambler). If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Thanks again and remember to visit us at

Gambler Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 5/5
Inserts: 5/5
Parallels: 5/5
Concept: 5/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5

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