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?