Like many collectors, I was pretty excited today about the release of 2017 Topps Series 1, the real celebration of a new year for many of us. I stopped at Target on the way home from work, not finding any of the new cards. Later in the evening I told my wife that I needed to go to Wal-Mart, and off I went on my search for a fix. They didn't have 2017 Topps Series 1, either, but that's not how Topps disappointed me today. They don't have control over when the retail stores get their new cards.
While I looked at the Wal-Mart card aisle, a couple boxes of 2016 Topps Archives 65th Anniversary Edition caught my eye. This product pretty much passed me by when it released, but today I thought it looked like something fun and new to break in the absence of the new 2017 cards. I was pretty much choosing between this, some NASCAR stuff from Panini, and some WWE Divas Revolution cards. This won out, because I hadn't opened it before and I was in a bit of a baseball mood.
Here are the pack odds. Each box contains one pack, with 16 cards in the pack. There is a shot at some parallels and stuff, and one card in each pack is guaranteed to be an autograph.
The card fronts are all reprints of significant Topps cards of the past. There is one for every year that Topps put out a set, or 65 cards total. The backs are all the same design. I don't know vintage Topps well enough to tell right off the bat whether these are based on an actual historical card back. The card stock is relatively thin. It's got a halfway rough texture, like someone thought about making them feel vintage, but got distracted and kind of half-assed it.
Here are some more of the base cards. There are some pretty decent names here. I like that Fernando Valenzuela card. I like the Harold Baines, too.
These ones all go way back in time. The original Koufax predates the birth of my parents, and the original Maris and Simmons were printed before my parents turned three.
WHAT. THE. HELL. I guess I should have read the reviews of this stuff before putting my money down on this stuff. Apparently most boxes of this product had doubles in them. But I didn't know about that when I was opening this box of cards in my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot. All I knew was that Kent Tekulve was the first card in the box, and the last card in the box. I actually checked the plastic wrap to make sure it was the original Topps wrapping. Then I checked to see if any of the doubles were parallels of some kind. Nope. Somehow Topps was okay with packing doubles into a single $25 pack of reprint cards. Why do I give this company my money?
This was my autograph card. It's a $1 + shipping card on eBay, but I'm not particularly disappointed with it. Sparky Lyle has an interesting nickname, a nice signature, and he's an All-Star closer with a nice mustache, a reputation as a prankster, a Cy Young award, and a couple of rings. No, this autograph doesn't disappoint me, but those doubles sure do. I guess Topps wanted to pay homage to the junk wax era, when you might expect to pull doubles out of a single pack of cards. Ultimately, it's just a couple of base cards, but when I am plunking down $25 on some cardboard, is it too much to ask that all 16 cards in the box be different from each other? I guess one of the Tekulve cards was a little different from the other, as it had a big ding on one corner.
Ugh. I guess I'll keep looking for some Series 1, but I was pretty disappointed with my substitute purchase. Buying packs is for suckers, and I definitely feel like one tonight.