2018 Topps Archives Has Some Sneaky Venezuelan, Logo Swap and Signature Omission Parallels

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2018 Topps Archives Baseball has nods to the past at every turn. From old designs to inserts that riff on the company’s heritage to a checklist that prominently features stars, nostalgia is the beat. But some of those nods are a little less obvious — like with some parallels that vary based on the part of the checklist the original base cards are from. 2018 Topps Archives Venezuelan parallels are only noticeable on the back. Signature Omission and Logo Swap versions offer up different fronts but are subtle enough they’d be easy to skip over.

You probably don’t want to.

Here’s a look at all three types, what to look for and what cards they cover.

2018 Topps Archives Baseball Venezuelan Parallels

Cards Covered: #1-100
Odds: Blaster: 1:108 packs, Retail Value: 1:48 (combined with Signature Omission)
Where to Look: on the back (color of card stock)

The first 100 cards on the 2018 Topps Archives Baseball checklist are based on 1959 Topps Baseball. The first 196 cards in that set had a special release for the South American market similar to how O-Pee-Chee cards were available in Canada.

Topps Venezuelan cards are noticeably more fragile, printed on lesser-quality paper. They also have darker brown backs versus their Topps counterparts, which is mimicked with these 100 parallels.

It’s worth noting that some online sellers are calling these parallels “Grey Backs.”


Venezuelan Parallel


Base Back


2018 Topps Archives Signature Omission Parallels

Cards Covered: #1-200
Odds: Blaster: 1:108 packs, Retail Value: 1:48 (combined with Venezuelan)
Where to Look: on the front (no facsimile signature)

Both the original 1959 Topps and 1977 Topps Baseball sets have facsimile signatures on the front. The pre-printed autographs are integrated into the design. Not surprisingly, the first 200 cards in 2018 Topps Archives Baseball, which are rooted in 1959 and 1977, get the same treatment.

However, on the tough Signature Omission parallels, the facsimile signatures are removed.


Signature Omission Parallel (1959)


Base (1959)



Signature Omission (1977)


Base (1977)


2018 Topps Archies Logo Swap Parallels

Cards Covered: #201-300
Odds: Blaster: 1:215 packs, Retail Value: 1:96
Where to Look: on the front (Topps logo)

1981 Topps Baseball uses the simplest of marks for the company’s brand, a word mark in basic block letters. So do cards #201-300 in 2018 Topps Archives. However, for the Logo Swap parallels, those block letters are switched out for the old “hook” logo.


Logo Swap Parallel


Base (1981)


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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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7 comments

  1. fred 20 August, 2018 at 14:33

    This is a lot to think about while you’re sorting through baseball cards. How about next year the only variations are photos of the player in question waving their arms in the air with an air bubble coming out from their mouths saying “This is a variation!”

  2. John S. 20 August, 2018 at 22:49

    I was wondering why that Ohtani that I recently pulled has a darker back. Now I know. It was also near the back of the pack that I pulled it from where as the other 59 design cards were always at the front.

  3. Jason Kaul 21 August, 2018 at 01:55

    ’59 is the ugliest set of the 50s. ’81 is the ugliest set of the 80s (although, ’86 is close).

    Why on earth did they use both of them in the same archives set?

    Also, typo alert!!! In the large font opening the subsections for missing signatures and logo swap, it reads “Archies” instead of “Archivves.”

  4. Nelson Ramirez 1 September, 2018 at 09:20

    1981 set for me is my all time favorite. It uses a clean border, nice team colors on the perimeter of the cards, and also uses a baseball with the topps logo inside of it. Not to mention, a retro hat on the card with the team’s name, color, and the position of the player. Great job Topps!!! Now all that is missing from these Archives set is the 1978 set, which is another well done, beautiful set! Hopefully it will be in one of the 2019 products!

  5. Michael 4 March, 2019 at 19:51

    How many 2018 Archives 1981 LOGO SWAP of each player produced?? Figure 10 to 100 of each player?
    Anyone know exact number?

  6. Chris R 10 December, 2019 at 05:30

    I’ve only seen 5 signature omission of a certain player. Either these are being missed completely or the production run is very low. From past experience, these resemble Heritage throwback production and I would say no more than 20 produced based off 2-years of watching for these sold on open markets. If anyone else is watching other players and can give input on a estimate on what they have seen on open markets may help shed light on possible production numbers. From my point of view, these may be the best kept secrets of 2018.

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