My initial review of 2013 Topps Archives wasn't a great one. Like the majority of opinions I've read, the designs chosen were underwhelming, teams were underrepresented, the cardstock was too flimsy, and the photos were borrowed from other sets.
A few weeks into fully absorbing the set, and... I still feel the same. I bought a few packs from my local Walmart, but somebody ransacked the place a few days later, and they've been sold out since, so I haven't been tempted to buy any more, thankfully.
Though I haven't added many of the base cards to my "Keeper" binder, this is easily my favorite card of the set. Was very glad to pull it from the last pack that I bought.
However, I have to give props where they're due, because as lame as the base set is, that's how much I have liked some of the inserts that they've included in the set. Here's my favorites from the inserts so far...
Wasn't crazy about these at first, and I won't be trying to put the whole All Star team together, but these still look good. This Mike Trout was a keeper, though if I had the Tony Gwynn card in hand, it would've been used in this slot. I bought the Gwynn card on eBay for 56 cents, but it hasn't arrived yet.
Next up, the short prints. I'm not a huge fan of most of these, but I love that they included some cards from 1993 Topps. In my opinion, '93 was the last year in the 90s that the Topps flagship was any good, and I really dug this set. There are three cards with this design, the Salmon, which I pulled from a pack, Hal Morris, who is coming to me via trade, and Alan Trammell, who I'm still on the lookout for.
The "Tall Boy" inserts are kinda weird. To be honest, I pulled a few of these and didn't really like them, but what really makes it for me is that they included FRED McGRIFF onto the checklist! Love me some Crime Dog. This card came in the mail yesterday off eBay as well, for the whopping fee of 46 cents. Coincidentally, when Chris Denorfia homered off Clayton Kershaw in the first inning yesterday, Padres radioman Ted Leitner called it a "Fred McGriff moonshot". Maybe a little bit of an exaggeration, but still cool to hear Fred get a mention.
The idea of having things like shiny, chrome, gold foiled, serial numbered cards in "retro" sets like Archives and Heritage seems a little backward. Still, I like these gold foil cards, and I actually kinda like the serial number that's printed on the front. This Headley card is numbered 70/199, and even though it's the exact same picture that was used in this year's Heritage set.
As much as I like all the the cards pictured above, the card below is undoubtedly my favorite card of the year so far, and easily my favorite card from Archives.
There are a lot of guys on the autograph list who might be cool to get, but a lot of them are before my time. True, by the time that my fandom really began, Santiago's days were numbered in San Diego, as he started the 1993 season as a Marlin. Still, as a fan of the Padres (and awesome catchers in general), being a fan of Benny isn't difficult. SO awesome to see him on the auto checklist. Even better, the card only set me back the price of a rack pack and a few sticks of gum. The seller just stuck it in an envelope with a piece of bubble wrap next to it, so I'm glad it made it here alright.
Here's the back, for those who are interested.
Anyways, there are a handful of other cards from this set that I wouldn't mind adding to my binders (including the McGriff auto, which is still selling for above my price range on the secondary market), but I've got most of what I need wrapped up. Except for the only two Padre base cards, still not sure how those have eluded me.
Speaking of awesome, the Pads won last night and are currently in SECOND PLACE in the NL West!!! Keepin' the faith!