My Perfect Trading Card Set

I was thinking the other day on what my perfect card set would be. So I am going to create the perfect set of trading cards, at least in my opinion. I’m not going to talk about design or anything as that would take a lot of work for me and I’m not THAT good with Photoshop CS3. So we will just pretend.

Packs Per Box: 18

Cards per pack: 7

Base set (200 cards)

The base set would consist of strictly veterans of the game and a few retired stars. I would also have card numbers 151-200 be short printed cards which are slightly harder to find. I wouldn’t number the SPs, but they would be limited enough where you only pull maybe 1 SP every 5 packs. I would also parallel the base to two numbered versions. I would number them to 50 and 1. That’s it.

Rookies (25 cards)

I would choose 25 of the top rookies for whatever sport we are doing. However, these rookies would be limited to maybe 199 copies of that single card. This keeps the rookies limited and fresh while helping them hold value over the long term. Maybe only include 1 or 2 rookies per box.

Inserts (4 or 5 insert sets of 15-20 cards each – at least 1 veteran, 1 rookie, and 1 legend set)

I like inserts and I love that they break up the monotony of pulling just base cards. However, I would only have inserts included 4 or 5 per box. Maybe one of each insert per box? Every insert would be numbered according to print run, and I don’t really have time to put together exact numbers but we’ll just say maybe numbered to 299.

Game Used/Autograph (3 -4 total per box)

The parallel versions of these inserts will include either game used memorabilia or autographs. I would parallel these cards a few times but with specific reasons for each parallel. Memorabilia cards numbered out of 100, prime memorabilia cards numbered out of 75, autographs numbered out of 50, autographed memorabilia numbered out of 25, and autographed prime memorabilia numbered to 10 or lower. The autographed prime memorabilia would be the best patches you can put together. I think keeping these numbers low is key to having them hold value over the long term, especially when you are pulling star players.

Base/Rookie Autographs (75% of cards in base set, every rookie)

Base and rookie base autographs numbered to 50 and numbered to 1. Again,we are printing lower numbers and getting less autographs of these players in a product. In reality, who wants a product flooded with autographs of a single scrub player or two?

Box topper (1 per hobby box)

I think box toppers should be in every product. These are so versatile and you can do anything you want with them. Rip cards, 5×7 cards, autographs, memorabilia, random minis, or anything your creative team can think of. Any added value to the collector is a great thing for everyone involved.

This is a very generalized set that in my opinion, would be a great starting point. I haven’t really run the numbers on how many cards would be needed, price of product, price of creation/distribution…but the basics are there for a product loaded with potential value and the hits that collectors would want to get. It’s large enough for set builders to have a challenge as well.

I understand the numbers may not work or whatever, I’m not claiming to have done the math and the actual hard work the people who get paid the big bucks get to do. I’m just thinking of ways to improve value over the short and long term.

What would your perfect trading card set consist of?


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4 Responses to My Perfect Trading Card Set

  1. Matt G. says:

    I would do an old time box break.
    350 card set
    100 rookies seeded 1:3 packs not numbered. a shiny type refractor surface.
    50 old timers 1:10 packs not numbered. Also printed on plastic type surface.
    200 regular cards. printed on a thick cardstock with extra gloss
    4 different kinds of inserts printed differently and unique. 1 or 2 per box.
    24 packs per box
    5 cards per pack
    $2.99 per pack

    I wouldnt put any jersey or autos in the box. I would make them 1 in 144 packs which makes them more valuable and harder to get. And this set would also make it more interesting for people to try and build a set since its hard to find singles since they are only 10 Sp’s per box. with 8 of the sps being rookies. I think jerseys and autos are way to easy to get and it drives there value, even the best players, are worth 20 dollars or less. If made harder to get, especially the good ones, it could be a driving force in the hobby like in the late 90’s. Also make inserts worth chasing again. And without them being numbered. This is just my opinion and my set i would try.

  2. I was actually thinking about this last night! So much so that I emailed myself to do a post about it at some point soon. I haven’t thought it out too much, but my perfect set would be huge…a base set of over 700 cards (think Topps Total), some inserts (like League Leaders and Milestones), and it would also include a year end “Debut set” highlighting all of the players who made their MLB Debuts that year, like what Topps did around ’90 and ’91.

  3. I think…

    200$ a box
    2 Packs in a box 8 cards pack

    Set Break
    100 Base Cards Numbered to 599, 399, 199, 99(Jersey), 50(Patch), 25 (Auto), 10 (Patch Auto)

    Autographs would be of Athletes, Celebrities, Innovators of Industry and the Arts (like Ginter I guess, but…) Numbered to 149, 49(Auto GU), 10(Auto Patch), 1 (Auto Dual Patch)
    Really like people who haven’t been featured much.

    Innovators: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Shigeru Miyamoto(Video Games), Joel Robuchon(Chef), Ray Croc(McDonalds), Steven Hawking, Ben Bernanke, John Williams(Star Wars Soundtrack), Mark Zuckenberg (Facebook), Google Creators.

    Athletes: Tiger Woods, Bernard Hopkins, Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal, Manny Paquiao, Hope Solo, Lalia Ali, Si Ri Pak, Annika Sorenstam, Michael Phelps

    Criminal Mind: Charles Manson, OJ Simpson, Bernie Madoff, Michael Vick, Martha Stewart,
    DB Cooper

    Historical Politicos: Andrea Merkel, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Mikael Gorbachev, Ronald Regan, FDR, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Jacques Chirac, John Paul II, Yitzak Rabin, Yasser Arafat

    Philosophers: Karl Marx, Kurt Vonnegut, Ayn Rand, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, George Orwell, Noam Chomsky

    Music: Kanye West, Tupac, Garth Brooks, Spice Girls,

    Legends of Sport: Cal Ripken Jr, Ken Griffey Jr, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Navratilova, Graf, Agassi, Samprass, Mark Spitz, Mike Tyson, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky

    Seriously? I love the international flair, and I know I haven’t hit everyone, I also know cost and contracts would be impossible. I guess it’s a dream.

  4. mfw13 says:

    Rule #1:

    Should be able to complete the set by opening packs/boxes for less than $100.

    Rule #2:

    No game-used memorabilia. These have become so overdone that they are viewed as nuisances now, not as hits.

    Rule #3:

    No scrub autos. If the player’s auto sells on Ebay for less than the cost of a pack, it’s not a hit….just a waste of cardboard.

    Rule #4:

    SP’s should comprise no more than 20% of the checklist, and the distribution ratio should be such that you should be able to get all the SP’s you need to complete the set at a reasonable costs (in terms of buying boxes).

    When it starts costing $200-300 to complete a set (as it does for most sets these days)…well, sorry…I’m going to go buy myself some nice-looking 50’s-60’s HOFers instead.

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