Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How do You Build Sets?

I think the greatest aspect of card collecting as a hobby is because of the abundance and wide variety of material available, every person can collect and build their sets or collection in any manner that fits their spare time and budget. With that being said, I'm asking the question above because I'm entertaining the idea of building this years Heritage Set. Now, I'm aware of the difficulties of building this set and the scourge the short prints can be (not mention the variations in the set), but I have bought a lot of Heritage this year and since I have not built a Heritage set before, I thought why not.

Thinking about whether to build this set got me to thinking about how I build sets and how other collectors build their sets. For me the number one factor whether to build a set is not the time it will take but the cost. I collect cards on a budget and like to find affordable prices for cards I need in my set. For modern sets this isn't much of an issue, unless the set has short prints and short printed variations. For my vintage sets, this means purchasing my needs in lesser condition. To me the time it takes only adds to the chase of building a set.

So I have realized I like to build my sets slowly. Vintage sets inherently can take longer to build because the material is not as readily available as modern sets and can be more costly.When I build a modern set, I'll buy  two or three blasters and some loose packs to build a starter set and then work to complete my set through trades or card shows. The appeal to leisurely working on a set building project is it makes finding the last cards you need to complete the set much more rewarding. If I complete a set too quickly the end can feel anti-climatic and not as satisfying as a set I spent more time on. The ultimate chase  becomes the last card you need for your set, and you may find a 1982 Topps Mario Soto my be more valuable to you and have more meaning in your collection than the latest auto-patch card of an over hyped rookie.

I have decided to Build the Topps Heritage set. You will be able to find my want list above in the next few days, and I welcome any trades, just don't send the cards over too quickly.


  1. Good luck on your quest, buddy. If i have anything off your want list we'll swing another trade.

  2. I am trying to put together every Allen & Ginter set. I have 2010 done and I'm about 15 cards away from 2008. I LOVE Heritage this year and would love to complete the set, but considering I'm STILL trying to put together 2008 Heritage, it might be too much of an undertaking for me. Good luck. I'll see if I can send some help your way.