Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Extinction Of The Set Builder

I once considered myself as a set builder. I would pick out a set or two each year and between boxes, packs and trades, I would complete that specific set. Over the last year I have found myself slowly losing interest in building sets. Gone is the feeling of accomplishment that I once felt when I would find that last card and could finally close the lid and set the storage box in to my personal collection. I have actually donated complete sets in the last few years finding myself overloaded with too many storage boxes taking up room in my closet.

In the last few years we have seen sport card releases change. Where checklists once included a base set and a couple of inserts we now find checklists that include a base set, base set parallels, short prints, short print parallels and so on. Even if you are able to complete a majority of the base set are you going to complete the short prints and inserts that are part of the checklist? What is the point of completing 90% of a release and then find yourself stalled because you cannot afford those 25 rookie SPs #/10 that are on the checklist?

Card companies have made it difficult for set builders with all the extra parallels and short prints and at times even releasing sets that are completely inserts and hits. Where is the love for the set builder? Even the low end base releases contain so much clutter that working on building the set is frustrating and confusing.


  1. Quit building sets from a year starting in 20.
    Start building sets from a year starting in 19.
    Much more fun and better for your sanity.

  2. dayf - nice call

    pack war - i feel your pain. i'm okay with short prints as long as they're reasonably available... like UD Masterpieces. but if they're numbered to 100 or less, than it's just not worth chasing.

  3. The market seems to be all around hits and spending a lot for a auto or game used swatch. Perfect example is the new Topps Supreme. The price is also far more than any kid can afford. The opportunity of getting great cards shouldn't only be for the people who can afford it. Was there always 2 markets a retail and hobby?