Day 17: A card from the first set you put together hand collated
This is basically the same for me as day 3. I believe the first set I completed fully was 1992 Topps. And back in 1992, all my cards came from packs - I don't think I traded to finish that set, although I had card collecting friends.
I stopped buying tons of boxes of the same product soon after, instead "sampling" each product with a single box. Back then, it was affordable.. or, at least, my family/I was able to afford it. I don't remember if I hand collated any sets or just bought complete ones. Or maybe I did neither. Or both. Really, who knows? I do remember buying a whole bunch of junk wax at one point and putting together sets - 1990 Donruss, some late-90s non-sport stuff. You know. But since I had no focus and just opened packs and collected for fun, I don't really remember what sets I finished. It just wasn't important. Which may be why I stopped collecting - with no focus, buying boxes had no purpose.
Speaking of non-sport, I spent a lot of money trying to finish the Casper movie card sets. I somehow completed the Fleer set, but I'm still missing cards from the Ultra set.
Does anyone know any non-sport single card dealers? I'd love to finish that and a few other sets.
Anyway, when I got back into baseball card collecting in 2003, I started as a player collector before starting my type collection. I also started chasing insert sets that I liked. (That's three starts in a row...) I've finished a bunch of those sets, some by hand and some through complete-set purchases.
Because I kind of went on a set-buying/building blitz, I can't tell for sure what set I completed first back then.
But, I had a mini-hiatus in 2009-2010, where I collected a little bit but again was focused elsewhere. In 2010 I basically restarted my life, moving back to California, and again returning to cards. And the most important first set I built pack by pack was 2011 Topps.
It really was like I was a child again - I would grab a few packs as I checked out at Target or WalMart, and open them up in the car to see what I got. I kept a want list and traded with a few of you all to get the last few singles I needed. Beyond the fun of opening packs and the sense of accomplishment that comes with hand collating a set, the interaction I had sharing the set on this blog and trading with others across the country really made this set the first truly memorable hand collated set I have.
This year is the first year I'm hand-collating the flagship set since 2011. I've finished the first series, and I'll buy jumbo boxes of series 2 and 3 when they hit shelves here too. It's fun, but it won't be the same as that 2011 experience!