First look: 2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps is bringing back the favorites.

The Fan Favorites, that is.

The company teased the release of a new — but old — line of cards for 2012 as it appears it is readying Fan Favorites for a return of sorts after a seven-year hiatus.

Fan Favorites, which first arrived in 2003, was a set comprised of past favorites in new photos on varying card designs from past Topps sets. The real draw? Certified autographs — signed on-card — along with the old looks with new (cleaner) printing technology. Oh, and there were Chrome cards — and Refractors, too. This time, though, they will be found as an insert set in an also-revived and not-yet-unveiled Topps Archives product.

Fan Favorites is back?

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“Yes, Fan Favorites is coming back as autograph insert in new Topps Archives in 2012,” said a company official via Twitter. “Awesome product, I think will be a really fun break.”

While Topps hasn’t yet offered any other details for the 2012 release, it has teased photos — and one of the images is one that should excite a few collectors — a 1989-styled Ken Griffey Jr. autograph, which couldn’t have happened in the past as the company just recently signed the former Upper Deck-exclusive to an autograph and likeness deal.

Take a look at the additional images seen here — and tell us what you think via the comments and our poll.

We’ll have the latest on this one as it becomes available.

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. Bob Kale 15 December, 2011 at 15:57

    I like the idea of more odd ball Topps side issues and test issues… More 1975 mini”s anyone????

  2. Jim 15 December, 2011 at 16:04

    Does this mean that new Topps sets will only have new cards? I would love to see a 2012 archives set AND a 2012 current set with no re-prints and no legacy/homage type cards. Let the old cards stand on their own and give us new autographs of the old players – sounds awesome.

  3. hiflew 15 December, 2011 at 16:15

    I think there should be a third option on the poll. I definitely do not hate this idea and quite frankly am a lot closer to love than hate. However, I am disappointed because when I first heard the new but old thing I was hoping for the return of Topps Total. Plus as a Rockies collector these type of sets don’t really apply to me.

  4. chris thomas 15 December, 2011 at 16:17

    Can’t wait to see when it comes out! I just hope Topps doesn’t make it too expensive and ruins a good product.

  5. Bruce 15 December, 2011 at 16:24

    Awesome!!! Can Topps please do something like this with Football now! There hasn’t been a Topps Heritage Football since 2006. Topps Magic and Mayo were great but I haven’t seen or heard of a plan of any kind for a “throwback card” this year?

  6. Robert 15 December, 2011 at 17:27

    voted hate it – the autos are hard to appreciate when they blend in with the card image (no nice clean area on the card for the auto to see it and appreciate it fully) and also hate that there is no Fan Favorites base set. I loved original Fan Favorites for the base cards/subjects.

  7. Sal Rinauro 15 December, 2011 at 17:38

    Is this in place of Lineage? I’m all for Fan Favorites returning, but I Lineage to do so as well.

  8. Josh 15 December, 2011 at 19:19

    This looks awesome. My only hold up is wondering how much filler there will be.

    And to the guy above. The autos in the pictures are computer generated.

  9. bwd 16 December, 2011 at 00:55

    It doesn’t have the name on the bottom in tiny type, but otherwise the Mattingly reminds me of the Glossy Send Ins from the 80s.

  10. steve-o 16 December, 2011 at 03:49

    Id guess 1996 on the Mattingly.

    I heard that most people hated Lineage this year-cuz they thought it was gonna be ‘different’ ?? Since I never invest in boxes (last one bought……2007, and yeah…..I sure miss busting wax, but thats how finances go), I just bought lots & singles…..and I actually thought I got hosed on the two parallel sets, cuz I jumped on auctions the first or second night they were out and paid a hefty price-since then, Ive noticed quite a few auctions that had lots & singles and they were ending pretty good…, Im still not sure on how Lineage was perceived, overall.

    and Jim, Im going to say that Topps isnt going to stop putting the SP’s and the variations of the retired/deceased players in their base and probably too in their topps chrome product….like they have been last 3 years ( I personally like having the SP’s….cheaper than chasing auto’s all the time)


  11. Charlie 16 December, 2011 at 15:48


    Unless MLBP has changed their rules, the set is going to have to have plenty of current players in it. As stupid as it seems, topps cannot do a set of all retired/deceased players.

  12. steve-o 16 December, 2011 at 17:00

    Charlie…..yeah, that is lame. But I received an e-mail several years ago from some mucky-muck at MLB …after Id sent one “complaining” about them telling us what we can & cant buy , after they’d yanked Donruss liscense……and to make a long story short–they said they’d do whatever they wanted, because whose gonna stop them ???????????

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