On the forums, I’ve spoken ad nauseum (satire & otherwise) about the problems I have had with Topps coming out with their 2016 rendition of Archives Signature Series Buybacks.  I have gone back and forth, and decided to do a “blog only exclusive” article here to share my final thoughts.


  • You can get copies of buybacks that weren’t previously available in 2015
  • New for 2016 are buyback jersey/relic cards (sweet!)


  • There is (again) NO checklist
  • They were released a mere 9 months or so after the last release
  • They look VERY similar to the 2015’s.  Very similar stamps (though in gold this time) and same sticker on the case, only moved to the left side.
  • There have been buybacks sprinkled throughout several releases, thus watering down the rarity and novelty of the buyback concept
  • The BIGGEST no-no to me: They released the *exact same cards* in many cases this year, as they did 9 months ago!  If you paid big money for a low # rookie buyback of the guy you collect, you may have had to swallow the hard pill, and that is seeing the exact same rookie card numbered to much higher.  Nobody wants to see a 1/1 they coughed up big bucks for have its identical twin surface months later that is number out of close to /100.


  • Topps has seemingly turned a blind eye to condition of the cards.  I’m cool with minor flaws on these, as they are what they say they are:  buyback cards.  They were previously collected and likely in other people’s collections.  But c’mon!  I’ve seen trimmed, off center & badly dinged 1/1’s come out of them.  I don’t know how some of these made the cut!

Overall, I’m (still) happy with the concept, which is why I’m still a customer for these.  Topps has taken the baseball cards from our childhood, and made them new again by creating high end chase cards from a 1987 Topps base card to a 1992 Topps McDonalds or 1989 Kay Bee Toys card.  This is the epitome … the holy grail of what card manufacturers are after: finding a way to connect with adult collectors that are trying to buy back (pun intended) their youth.

It is that memory of you as a nine year old, being excited that your favorite player was in the boxed set of the new KMart cards, or the thrill of pulling a superstar from a box of Cap’n Crunch cereal.  Decades of fond memories are now tangibly signed, stamped, serial numbered and encased.  It is so simple … has already been done before, and yet is brilliant.

While I would implore Topps to not do any buybacks anymore for a good while, I must say I’ve been happy adding the new releases that were not available in the 2015 set.