My first impressions on Topps Archives is a thumbs up. The price tag on this rack for a single 14 card retail rack pack was $5.34 at my local big box store.
2012 Topps Archives #188 Vance Worley
2012 Topps Archives #138 Joe DiMaggio
2012 Topps Archives #32 Adam Jones
That's right the 14 card pack included 3 Phillies!!! which is probably a record for a small pack for myself.
I like this set better then what Topps did with Lineage last year. The base cards in Lineage was just to drab for me. It doesn't hurt that the four years that were chosen for Topps Archives 1954, 1971, 1980 and 1984 are among the better designs in the Topps arsenal.
My 2 initial complaints are 1) The cards are on the newer posterboard rather then the classic cardboard upon which the original sets were produced. 2) The 5.30/pack retail price comes out to over 40 cents/card - kind of heavy for retail.
Regardless, my first impression is a good one. I haven't looked at the cards much in detail, but I am thinking that a Hobby Box may be in my future. The 200 card set size appeals to me, there appears to be a fun array of inserts - although they may be a bit confusing.
There is one other thing I like about Archives - judging from my limited 13 card sample, I like the photography - the shots are cropped as tightly to the subjects. I am a fan of trying to figure out what game in which the photos were taken. The last few years Topps has delivered some great digital close ups, but they are often too close for my liking.