Most collectors will probably tell you that their favorite time of year on the card calendar is late January/ early February, when the new baseball card seasons kicks into gear with the release of Topps Series 1. Ask for a second most favorite time of year and perhaps the response will be, “after the final product is released.” Collectors have become jaded with the copious amount of product on the market, so I get it, but that doesn’t prevent me from looking forward to the calendar turning to June- and beyond.
Archives isn’t included in the early summer trio of Finest, Series 2 and Stadium Club, but it too is something I always look forward to with great anticipation. Last week, we were given the first bit of information regarding 2018 Archives (with an August street date)- and, thankfully, we will see fresh throwbacks this year as Topps revisits 1959, 1977 and 1981. I’m especially looking forward to the 1981 theme, as it was a childhood favorite.
While I can relate to collectors growing weary of products, I don’t get the exasperation many of them feel over something as insignificant as a font change. It happens with every retro set and 2018 Archives is no different.
My approach to this subject is to view it as I do when an artist covers another artist’s music or a producer remakes a movie. I don’t want an exact reproduction; artist liberty calls for a re-interpretation, not a carbon copy. And I view the brand manager as someone who has artist liberty in how they produce a set. Not popular among collectors, but I’m usually the contrarian.
I guess I can take comfort in knowing that multitudes of music fans around the world share my view. Afterall, the most-played song ever is “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”- and many of those spins of the disc were of the dozens of artists who re-interpreted the Righteous Brothers classic.