Monday, June 02, 2014

Product Review: 2014 Topps Archives Hobby Box

Being a fan of baseball card collecting , you have to love Topps Archives. I can say without a doubt that Archives is my favorite brand that Topps brings back for it's third installment in 2014. This year 1973, 1980, 1986 and 1989 all play a part in the 250 card set. 200 cards are in the regular base set with the final 50 cards as Short Prints.

One of the cool things about this set is that it is a non-glossy card finish giving collectors both the look and feel of pulling one of these cards from those years. It's also a favorite for those autograph hounds looking for a card to handle ink without smearing or smudges. 

Aside form the great base cards, Archives comes with a few others to search for within packs and boxes alike. 20 Relic card in the 1968 design are inserted in 1:215 packs, 40 1969 Mini Decal cards, 20 1971-72 Hockey inserts, 15 1987 Future Stars, 30 1987 Topps All-Stars, 10 1997 Stadium Club Firebrand die-cuts, and 4 Major League Movie cards. Archives is packing a lot this year and giving fans more to collect in this brand. 

To the Namesake of "Fan Favorites", Topps brings us closer to some of our favorites from all years. This years 38 cards have a great lineup with the likes of Chris Sabo, Jose Canseco, Mookie Wilson, Rob Dibble and Mark McGwire to name a few. All are on-card autographs and are on the 4 different years within the product. 

Each of the inserts in this product also have Autograph versions and most of those are all on-card autographed as well. Lots to collect and lots to love in this product. The Major League Movie autographs are already hitting the roof on the secondary market and it's less than a week past from the release date.  

Why don't we find out how we did on our box:

Base Cards: 163 (0 doubles)
Base Card SP: 6 - Ortiz, Tulowitzki, Freeze, Wilson, Posada, Puig
Base Card Gold: 4 - Choo, Kiner, Kuroda, Cingrani /199
Base Card Silver: 2 - Juan Gonzalez, Todd Frazier /99
Firebrand: 1 - Ivan Rodriguez
1971-72 Hockey: 1 -  Manny Machado
1969 Mini Decal: 5 -  Hernandez, Canseco, Ripken, Gant, McCutchen,
1987 All-Star: 6 - Gossage, Fryman, Jenkins, Carter, Freeman, Goldschmidt
Major league Set: 2 - Harris, Dorn
Fan Favorite Autographs: 1 - Greg Nettles
1981 Topps Mini Autographs: Joe Kelly /25

Like every year the base cards are just plain cool. Putting either current superstars or retired veterans onto these designs make the set very collectible. Having the Gold and Silver parallels numbered help the secondary market and both add to the nice designs of the set. The only difference from previous years is that the 50 SP's are within the same 4 year designs as the main set. Before Topps use to use other year designs for them. 

Inserts are plenty and enjoyed the new additions to 2014. The Decal Mini's are nice and very sensitive due to the cut borders. Watch for Autographed versions which might be hard to tell at once due to the design. Being a Canadian you have to love the 1971-72 Hockey inserts. Very clean and bright design that puts some of the current stars into the set. 
The 1987 All-Stars are a nice new touch but I really enjoyed seeing the 1997 Stadium Club Firebrand die-cuts. These are pretty sweet in person and could be one of those sought after singles. The Major League cards use to the 1989 design and depict each charter in the movie.
Autographs are always great and with being on-card, they are exciting to pull from the packs. We pulled Greg Nettles as our Fan favorite. Nice clean autograph on the 1973 design. We also managed to pull a 1981 Mini Autograph of Joe Kelly numbered out of /25. These are 1:296 packs so very happy to pull that one out.  
It's very hard not to like anything in this product. From the box and pack design to the Base cards, inserts and autographs. Everything about Archives is great. Again you have to enjoy the retro feel and look of the product or else it won't be as appealing to you. This set brings you back to the kid that use to bring change to the corner store to pick up a pack or two. Loved ripping open each pack, reading each card and admiring the designs of this set. Another great job Topps with this 2014 edition of Archives. 

Most cards/hits pulled in our breaks end up on our site storefront, or our COMC account ThePackGambler. If you are interested in any of the cards we have mentioned please send us an e-mail at

Gambler Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Cost: 5/5
Autographs: 5/5
Design: 5/5
Parallels: 5/5
Inserts: 4/5
Fun Aspect: 5/5