Inside the Pack: 2021 Topps Archives Blaster Box Review
Topps Archives is the company’s annual walk down Nostalgia Way. The company uses designs from yesteryear to feature both current and retired players, a pleasing mashup for historically-minded collectors. This year, for Topps’s 70th anniversary, all seven decades of Topps were represented, as the designs came from 1957, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1991, 2001, and 2011. In a special bonus, Topps included 20 cards in a futuristic 2091 Topps design, a move made extra painful by the thought of Topps losing its license to Fanatics.
Blaster boxes come with 7 packs per box and 8 cards per pack. To be honest, after opening my box, my memory made me think that it was 10 cards per pack. I guess that’s because of all the time involved with looking at the new players on old designs, old players on new designs, and so on. It’s a fun trip back through decades of collecting. My favorite design of the batch was the 2001 Topps. Though it’s far from my favorite set in reality, the Archives cards from the ’01 grouping felt truest to the originals.
Archives also relies on old insert sets and oddballs to round out its offerings. This year, Topps included an homage to the 1963 Peel Offs set, one of my favorite vintage oddball sets. The 1991 Bazooka Shining Stars was a nice reference to my early days of collecting. Though I didn’t receive any, there are also 1994 Draft Picks-style cards. The photos I’ve seen of these look nice, though I never liked that subset when it came out.
My favorite insert set was the 1989 Topps Big Minis. I have always loved the ’89 Topps Big design, but hated the large card size. For about two years on my list of blog post ideas, “Bring back Topps Big” has been sitting atop the list. When I’ve talked to other collectors, I have found a general disdain for the set, so I never ran with the post. But, this is exactly what I had in mind – the nice and simple design on a standard-sized card. Blasters come with foil versions and they’re beautiful.
My least favorite of the inserts were the Movie Posters, which seemed out of place (since they never existed previously) and kind of pointless. I think Topps has enough historical material to draw from to avoid making up new sets for Archives.
I didn’t receive much excitement in my blaster, as I failed to pull any autographs or even a single numbered card. For $20, though, I couldn’t resist grabbing the box from the Target shelf and I have no regrets in having done so.