June 05, 2011

Awesome Set: Topps SNL Archives™

Let's face it: it's been a long time since Topps put out a great Archives set. 1991 saw the re-issuance of the fabulous 1953 baseball set as "The Ultimate 1953 Set." Topps also put out a "Rookie Years" basketball Archives set in 1992-93 to celebrate their re-entrance into basketball cards, featuring rookie-year designs for players debuting between 1982 and 1991 using the baseball designs from those years.

These two sets were followed by "The Ultimate 1954 Set" in 1994 (sans Ted Williams, under contract at the time with Upper Deck), and then a spate of sets including Archives Reserve, Best Years, and Fan Favorites during the early 2000s. Topps Heritage and Topps 52 Edition sort of picked up where Archives left off by putting modern players in Topps designs of the past, but as great as those sets are, it's really not the same thing.

That's why it's so awesome that the company's finally bringing back the Archives brand with a new twist: the classic characters, musicians, writers and performers of Saturday Night Live in the designs from their debut years on the show. I have to say it's ingenious. Remember that regrettable SNL set that Star Pics put out back in the early 1990s? Ugh, that thing was hideous. But now with gold-foil embossing, short prints, thick card stock, and not to mention every performer ever since 1975 (!) ... I'm going to have to find the sell sheet on this set, because the stuff they were going on about sounded fantastic.

Travis and I have been talking this set up with each other for weeks now, since I read about it in April's Card Trade. While he was on vacation he found a pack and shared the scans with me. Here they are, with pack wrapper.

 SNL Archives #1 - Lorne Michaels

 SNL Archives #30 - Dennis Miller

  SNL Archives #104 - Toonces The Driving Cat

 SNL Archives #120 - Chris Farley (SP)

SNL Archives #133 - Father Guido Sarducci

SNL Archives #187 - Michaela Watkins

I have to say it's pretty spectacular for Travis to pull the Farley short print in his first pack, considering that there are only six cards per pack. I also read somewhere that there are variations lurking in the checklist. Let's hope that they're not as inane as the "pie in the face" Yankees from 2010 Topps.


PunkRockPaint said...

I am gonna try and find a box of these somewhere! Ben, have you seen a checklist for this set?

Ben Henry said...

I think the checklist comes one per box, as a box loader, like with Bowman Heritage. I bet my local shop has a few left over. I'll see what I can find.

I'm Your Average Card Collector said...

Nice set

Matthew Glidden said...

Ooo, a classic. Nice work.

Steve F. said...

I'm thinking Howard Hughes' diaries here. But awesome work! I hope the product development people at Topps realize the buzz this set is causing....

(Chris Farley SP, "Now with Angels"--rockin'!)

Batboy said...

"I have to say it's ingenious."

Can't say it any better myself. "Well done" is just an understatement for these.

Eric L said...

Please tell me that one of the "inserts" in this set pertains to Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy.