Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Abandoning Ship

About six weeks ago, Corky over at Pack War asked the question which inspired today's post:
Have you ever seen a set that initially interests you, but after hitting a point you decided against adding the cards to your collection?
Why, yes. Yes I have.

While many sets have interested me, at this point my type collection is enough to cover my interest in a set. There were many sets I bought boxes for and put together want lists for, mainly in the 1990s, but I never really decided against adding the cards to my collection. I do have a lot of those cards in storage as "extras" at this point as my collecting focus changed after college. I chase several sets now (nearly 100 as I look at my want list), with some that aren't even started. But they sit there on my list.

There were some sets that I chased for a while before finally dumping them, and that's what you're here to see, right? I actually have an archived copy of my want list from 2013, so I can see what sets I wanted six years ago that have since disappeared from my list, incomplete. Images from COMC.
Packaging Sets. One trend that I see is the deletion of several sets of "non" cards. The earliest were 1998 and 1999 Upper Deck Retro's lunchboxes. Also from Upper Deck, 2005 Origins included Tin Signs in their tin boxes, and I only had two in 2013. Goodbye to them.
Manupatch Sets. These days, manufactured relics are pretty common, but they were just getting started in 2003. The earliest on my list is 2003 SP Legendary Cuts Historical Impressions; I had 20% of the 40 card set. 2003 Sweet Spot and Sweet Spot Classic also had about 80 patch cards each; I probably had only one card from each set in 2013. And 2003 Upper Deck Patch Collection had tons of them. I managed to get about 1/3 of the set before giving up. This might be a set I return to whenever(if ever) I move back to the States. I managed to collect 3% of the 728 different patches in 2004 Sweet Spot Classic.
1999 and 2000 Stadium Club die-cuts. 1999's Triumvirate and 2000's 3x3 were die-cut sets designed to be pieced together like mini puzzles. Like the two groups above, these two sets just proved to be too rare and pricey to finish. I put together one puzzle for each and called it a victory.
2000 Topps Gold Label. Topps has issued some interesting sets over its history. The original Gold Label sets had a beautiful shine to them that inspired me to add it to my list. But I lost interest and deleted it after getting only a couple cards.
Coin cards. 2003 Topps Tribute World Series had an insert called Subway Series Fan Fare Tokens. The 12 card set included old subway tokens. And the 2003 Topps Gallery set had an insert called Currency Connection, which included old coins. I had three Currency Connection and no Fan Fare cards when I deleted these sets.
Topps All-Time Fan Favorites/Archives. I could have started a set run of this series of throwback sets, but I realized I was more interested in the concept than the actual cards. Many of the insert sets in Archives and Heritage could be added to this list, too, for similar reasons. The type collection is good enough for these sets!
2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary. This set has 2500 cards. That didn't bother me. What did bother me was the high price of the singles, and the repetitiveness of the set. There were 2500 cards in the set, but only 500 subjects - each topic and picture was repeated five times. Card #1-5 were the same subject and "headline", with the only difference being the blurbs found on the back. A little adjustment to the design and text editing would have easily fit all of that copy on the back of one single card, but Upper Deck just wanted a massive set. I managed to get over 16% of the set, which is 400 cards. It just got too boring. If they had made only 500 cards, and I only had about 100, I might have been more interested in chasing the other 400 over time. If someone got me with 500 cards of a full set, I'd be interested in chasing after them. But this set is just done.

What do you think of these sets?

Until next time...


  1. I have one Topps Archives set (2012) and it doesn't include the 40 SPs at the end, or the Bryce Harper RC SSP at the very end, so I guess that was an abandoned ship.

    2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary is a monster! The repetition of photos and subjects soured me on that set but I do have a few singles.

    One set project I abandoned is 2003-04 Topps Pristine hockey. It's only 190 cards but cards 101-190 are tiered and serial numbered, with the third card of each RC numbered to just 199 copies. I'd be satisfied with completing the 100-card base set..except it's 15 years later and I still don't have #31 Ed Belfour!

    1. I would argue that finishing/having the "short set" without SPs is still finishing a set. I've got several Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter sets like that.

      One card away from the short set on Pristine would drive me nuts. I'd be on Sportlots or COMC trying track it down.

  2. I love the 2003 Tribute Subway Series token set. I've actually thought about building that set.

    1. I think it's one of the most unique yet appropriate relic concepts ever.