By the Numbers: 2012 Topps Archives


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

The auctions have ended, the numbers have been crunched. The ranges have been tabulated and the OPG has been posted.

The 2012 Topps Archives baseball card set has arrived on with the favorites, autographs and memories in tow. Let’s take a look inside the numbers crunched by Beckett Baseball Senior Market Analyst Brian Fleischer  — and see even more — after the jump.

Did you miss the recent Box Busters episode? Catch it right here.

Total value … of all priced cards in product: $7,749.15.

Average price … of all priced cards: $10.69.

Highest-priced cards … autographs of Hank Aaron ($400-$600) and Sandy Koufax ($500-$600)

Other notable cards:

o   Bryce Harper’s short-printed Rookie Card – his first.

o   Yu Darvish and Harper autographs.

o   Roberto Clemente’s Archives Relics bat card, which based on market information, seems to be a very tough pull.

Fleischer’s Focus: Based on the amount of secondary market sales information for the product, collectors are really enjoying the return of the brand. There seem to be a lot of set collectors for the autographs insert set which has driven up even the price of common autographs in the product. For example, an unnumbered Greg Luzinski autograph, in almost any other product, would be a $3-to-$8 card, but in Archives, it is a $6-to-$15 card. So, as you’re ripping packs of this product and pull a couple autographs of some common guys from the 1970s and 1980s, don’t fret – you may be surprised when you see how much they actually selling for.

Olds’ Opinion: In a word, Archives is fun. This one combines a nostalgia trip and includes autographs of players who are known commodities as many of them are players whose careers are long-since finished so you know what you have instead of having to wait and see if someone pans out. The Harper cards are tough pulls, while autographs of guys like Ken Griffey Jr. get the attention of the thirtysomethings who might not have collected in some time. The same goes for the entire product — it’s a good way to revisit the past but with today’s perks of clean printing quality and high-end inclusions if you get lucky.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Ryan A. 5 June, 2012 at 15:42

    Lots of talk on trading sites about the low BV’s on the SP’s. $1-$1.50 for nearly all but stars. Definitely not the same as Heritage, A&G, etc SP’s. Not that I’m any bit invested but I know a few collectors who are. I understand the majority of the SP’s in Archives are relatively “no-namers” but is that the reasoning for the low pricing?

  2. Chris Biskupek 5 June, 2012 at 15:58

    I’m almost exclusively a hockey guy but when I saw how much fun you guys had during the box break I had to try one-my first baseball box since 1993!!!. Pulling autos of Cecil Cooper (81 topps my personal fave set) and Shawon Dunston (I am a Cubs guy) only made it that much better. The 1984 cards of older players (Ruth/Berra) look awesome! I have to admit the 1980 cards look great as well-especially the Blue Jays. The inserts are also brilliantly done.
    Will look to pickup another box in the near future.

  3. James Larkin 5 June, 2012 at 16:10

    You forgot the book cards, I pulled a redemption card for a 1 of 1 six signature book card.

  4. shaunzy2 6 June, 2012 at 21:41

    Bought one and only hobby box of 2012 topps archives and I received a 1 of 1 Jim Palmer magenta (in action) magenta card and also received a willie mays exchange card!!!! :-)

  5. Allen Craig 7 June, 2012 at 16:21

    I do love this format. If I only had a job, I would by a box or two. I have missed the last four years of great cards, but enough about me…love the box busters. It’s like I’m opening them, nice.

  6. Jason 9 June, 2012 at 10:31

    Hey Chris. I snagged a blaster box yesterday and scored a 1971 “Topps Original” of Nolan Ryan. Don’t see it in the 2012 Topps Archives checklist. Any idea what I have hear? Is this a 1/1 or something? Thanks, love your stuff on “Mint Condition.”

  7. joe 18 July, 2012 at 02:06

    i bought a box of archives yesterday and got a mike schmidt printing plate and a1979 robin yount topps originals. How good of a card is the robin yount?

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