2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition Box Break & Review

Upon opening a box of Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition last year, my head almost exploded.  Not only did I pull a card numbered one-of-one, but it was an autograph of Mike Trout too.  Its not everyday that you get to pull one of those.  That was the second Mike Trout autograph I’ve pulled.

Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition has returned for 2018.  Housed inside each $50 box is (1) buyback autograph of a current player.  The version of this product that focuses on retired stars will be released in October.

To some collectors, $50 might seem like a lot of money for just one autographed card.  Especially when you have no clue as to who you might get.  That’s why the secondary market is a great place to pickup singles if you don’t feel like taking the $50 gamble.  Over the years, Topps has created some amazing looking sets.  On-card buyback autographs amplify some of those awesome base sets.  I know when opening Gypsy Queen or Allen & Ginter I’ve said to myself “Wouldn’t this base set look cool with autographs?”  Products such as this do exactly that.  Something as simple as an on-card autograph on a base card can be quite eye appealing.  Just look at how well Stadium Club has been received the last few years.  Simple is almost always better when it comes to card design.

The checklist covers (67) active MLB players.  Each player has multiple cards, and the serial numbering varies.  Risk takers hoping for a big pull should have fun.  So should those player collectors picking up cards on the secondary market.  In some way everyone can enjoy it.

Another 1/1!  I’m on a roll with this product.

Here is what I pulled:

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  • Starling Marte 2016 Gypsy Queen Walk-Off Winners Buyback Auto #’ed 1/1

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Card of the Day: Chad McConnell 1994 Signature Rookies #39

How To Spot A Fake 1999 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition Dan Marino Autograph

Dan Marino is no stranger when it comes to counterfeit cards.  His 1984 Topps rookie has been heavily faked over the years.  So much in fact its not safe to purchase one raw.  You’re safer buying one that’s been graded and/or authenticated.  I’m not saying fakes don’t get by them, but it can drastically reduce the odds of owning one that isn’t real.

Rookies aren’t the only cards of his that get counterfeited.  Autographs from popular sets are also in danger.  Take for example this 1999 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition Autograph.  Cards from this set are highly sought after.  Especially big name players like Dan Marino.  Every 12-pack box featured an on-card autograph inside each pack.  Still a relatively new concept at the time.  This is also one of the earliest brands to introduce cut signatures.  Sealed boxes command major dollars today.  The asking price for a single sealed box is usually around $1,000.

Adding a Dan Marino autograph from this set to your collection is a great choice.  But you need to be extremely careful.  Over the last few years counterfeits have flooded the market.  When compared to authentic versions, the counterfeits usually have these characteristics:

  • Slightly smaller in size
  • Blurred lettering and logos
  • Completely glossy – authentic cards have a matte background, and just the player is glossy
  • Incorrect coloring

Another big giveaway is the autograph.  Of the counterfeits I’ve seen, the autograph looks nothing like the real thing.  There are lots of discrepancies.  Dan Marino almost always includes the #13 in his signature.  These forgers didn’t even do that.  Plus the pen they used looks to be much thicker.

For a detailed side-by-side comparison, check out this post over on the Blowout Cards Forums.

Fake

Authentic

Card of the Day: Michael Stanton 2008 Razor Signature Series #97

Card of the Day: Marty Cordova 1997 Donruss Signature Series Auto

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Postseason Edition Box Break & Review

I think it’s important to point out that there are two different 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series products this year.  First is the Active Player Edition (Mike Trout on the cover) featuring current stars that continue to play.  The other is the Postseason Edition (Derek Jeter on the cover) that has retired players who performed well during the playoffs and World Series.  Both offer cards which would look great in your collection, but it all depends on what your in the mood to open.

Housed inside each box is (1) encased autographed buyback card.  For the most part, I’ve seen cards from the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s.  But I have seen some from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s too.  All vary in serial numbering.  Postseason Edition boxes are a lot more affordable when compared to it’s active player counterpart.  $40 will get you one of these.

Buybacks bring life back into older products.  What was once a simple base card now could be super desirable.  When it comes to the Postseason Edition, I like to see autographed buybacks of player’s rookie cards.  In today’s hobby its common to pull rookie autographs of a player.  But this is really only something that started in the 90’s.  There are so many great players collectors never had the opportunity to pull an autographed rookie of.  Buybacks changed that forever.

Stadium ClubNational Chicle, and Allen & Ginter buybacks are my personal favorites.  Base cards from those three products always have me saying “This would look nice with an on-card autograph.”

Over the years, Topps has partnered with many companies in order to bring collectors exclusive cards.  Teaming-up with restaurants, retailers, and food manufacturers was not out of the question.  Using these cards for buybacks was a fun idea.  Cards made for Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Nestle, Cap’n Crunch, Kmart, Hills, and Toys “R” Us can all be found in here.  Having these semi-obscure sets resurface with autographs I’m betting will bring back lots of memories for collectors.

Here is what I pulled:

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  • Tim Wakefield 2001 Topps Buyback Auto #’ed/10

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition Box Break & Review

Whoa!  I’m still shaking after ripping into this box.  You would be too if you lifted the lid and saw the card I pulled.

Buybacks are great.  There are lots of well designed cards floating around that don’t carry much value.  Buying them back and adding an autograph can make all the difference.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened a product and said to myself “Man, this card would look cool if it had an on-card autograph.”  That’s exactly what buybacks do.

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition is a picture perfect example of a quick-thrill product.  Boxes range in price from $50 to $70.  Inside each box you’ll find (1) encased autographed buyback card.  Unlike previous releases, this product focuses on current players instead of retired stars.

Yes.  Products like this are a gamble.  But what product today isn’t?  The best thing about products such as this is that the format allows high-rollers to get their fix, while player collectors get to pick-up some very affordable autographs on the secondary market.  To put it simply, the format/price may not be for everyone, but the cards overall appeal to a large audience.

My favorite thing about buybacks are when Topps gets athletes to sign their rookie cards.  Then its a double whammy.  Not only do you get an autograph, but a rookie card too.

Here is what I pulled… brace yourself.

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  • Mike Trout 2013 Bowman Buyback Auto #’ed 1/1