Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blog Bat Around: My Cardboard Lifeblood

Chris over at Nachos Grande recently posed this question to everyone and my answer is beyond complicated.

Blog Bat Around:  What's the Hardest Set You've Ever Collected (or Tried to Collect)?

I consider myself to be a set collector above all else.  I've completed many, I've got plenty in the works, and there are certainly some I'd love to add to the want list.  I'm also generally pretty good at putting a lid on myself and my wants and tend to not stretch overly much.

To me, the two best parts of set collecting is the process and the feeling of accomplishment upon completion.  Collecting a set is not simply going to eBay and buying the it all in one go.  Set chasing at its heart involves opening a product (or a trade package!) and finding that you like a particular base card or insert set so much that you want ALL OF THEM!  The chase then begins.

All too often I see player collectors defining limits to their PC's. "This PC is done when I've reached [insert arbitrary number here] number of cards."  "I need an auto, relic, 1-of-1, five different colored inserts, and ten base cards and I'll be happy."  By no means am I saying this is a bad thing, I just know that I personally wouldn't get that feeling of completion if I collected in this manner.  I need a defined beginning and end laid out for me.

Side note: it's curious how many of our cards we collectors label as 'sets' to try and obtain that sense of completion all with varying degrees of success.
  • The above stated PC delineations
  • Frankensets
  • Rainbows (more power to you if you can get that 1-of-1)
  • Team sets (though I would consider these 'true' sets)
  • There's probably more that my coffee deprived brain can't think of at the moment

I could sit here and tell you that my hardest set I've collected is the 2006 Allen & Ginter regular back minis or the 2010 A&G World's Saltiest Sailors, but I feel that'd almost be cheating as I picked up both of these all in one fell swoop.  I'm not saying there wasn't joy in picking these sets up.  In fact, much of the joy came with chasing them down over months trying to find them a great price, but that's not set building.

...and then as I started writing this response I realized that those two big purchases were simply stepping stones... little pieces of the puzzle.  I collect one big set; the Allen & Ginter set.  The other sets I collect along the way (the Chrome, Bowman, Heritage, ect.), those are all just mini projects that are (supposed to be) easy to complete to give me that joy of accomplishment.  If you must make me pinpoint it, then sure... the 2010 A&G master set is, and probably will be, the hardest set to track down with the sheer number of oddities and SP ratios that exist.

Yeah... this year truly was a Monster.

The biggest reason that I still buy Allen & Ginter today is because the entire thing is a set collector's dream.  Not only are there countless sets to chase with varying rarities, but you can pretty much decide for yourself how and what you're actually going to chase.  Trust me, when I say I'm a Ginter Master Set collector, I mean it in the loosest sense possible.  I know others that spend more time and money chasing down the minis I don't, or even other pricier items like autos or rip-cards.

Thanks for the Blog Bat Around resurrection Chris.  Looking forward to more of these!

1 comment:

  1. A great answer - and you'll find 2010 Ginter plays a prominent role in my answer (post goes live tomorrow) as well!