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December 14, 2010 / care4cards

The rise and fall of base sets

Are you nostalgic?

Late 80’s, early 90’s, busting packs was all about pulling the hot star of the moment (Mario Lemieux for me) and trading was, for the most part, a way to complete your base sets and insert sets.

Now, all these base cards are taking room in my apartment and the girlfriend is pressuring me really hard to either sell them or store them away. But how do I explain to her that all this money that I spend on cards is now lost within these ‘valueless’ base cards? Dosen’t make any sense to her and, quite frankly, it starts to make less and less sense to me as well.

We all know that the emergence of all the jersey and auto cards devalued the single base cards to an afterthought but what about the collector’s responsibility in this? If we were still chasing the base sets, trust me, these cards would be more than just pack filler for the manufacturers who spend time on the design, time on the print but know for a fact that these are nothing more really that space filler and finger cutting hazard waiting to happen.

So what’s to do?

For me the answer is simple : Complete Base Set. When I bust a box now, I’m always hoping for a full base set or at least be close enough to complete it with a couple of purchases. For me, this is part of the fun. Sorting the cards, placing them in binders and then looking at them every once in a while. That’s what I was doing when I was 7 and now that I am all grown up, I like going back to these careless days and just look at cards.

A simple act really, enjoying what you have and finding comfort in the simplest of things.

Base sets, for me, are simple pleasure. It comes with busting boxes and altough I know these won’t gain any value, I just love them. All of my SPA Base sets, no serial numbers, no GU, no autos… just plain old base cards. I love them.

I still love going through my monster box filled with star bases from the 90’s, all in toploaders, all waiting for a tiny bit of love every once in a while. These take space, for sure, but these are also a testimony of all the time I spend in this hobby. All the highs and lows, pinned down to a collection of well protected ‘valueless’ base cards.

Join me and value these. Cherish them if you must. We all have little kids in us waiting to pile up some ‘junk cards’ and laugh at the fashion faux pas. We tend to forget about this little kid and focus on value and super-duber-shiny-xyz-fractor.

Go back to simple, once a week. You’ll feel better.

I feel better, vindicated in my hobby.

Yeah, the girlfriend will understand. I hope, playing the nostalgic card is my only way out. For now…

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