State of the Collection 2016 – the Lifetime Topps Project

2 01 2016

Lifetime Topps project

The main purpose of this blog was to try to complete every Topps Base and Update set since the year I was born (1980).  Somewhere early along the line, I decided this meant the insert sets as well.  This collection is the reason I started this blog back in March of 2010 with a wax and vending box of 1980 Topps.

After bad-to-mediocre progress in 2013 and 2014, I made great progress in 2015!

I opened boxes and posted through the 2004 set.  That was an addition of 4 years, after I had basically only done one set a year in 2013 and 2014.  So I’m really excited I got back to the purpose of this blog.  Keep in mind I also open and post about the current year’s set, which is 3 series.  I think I can probably get 4 more this year, which would put me at 2008.  At that rate, I’d be caught up to speed with posts by mid-2017.

That would just be my initial posts about the set overviews and how I did busting boxes.  I still need to finish the sets I’ve started.  I made good progress here, as well, in 2015.  I now have ~20,750 of the 26,000+ base cards toward the Lifetime Topps Project.  That’s base cards from 1980 through 2009.  This year I passed the magical three-fourths mark, and am almost at 80%.

I’ve completed the 1980-1999 sets, as well as update sets through 1994 and 1999-2000.  I finished off 1994, 1995, and 1998 this year, though I still have to do the completed set post for 1995 and 1998.

I don’t directly count 2010 and on toward the project, but I’ve also finished up the 2010, 2011 and 2013 Topps sets.  I didn’t complete any of these this year, though I’m down to just 1 card each for 2012, 2014 and 2015.

I did complete a bunch of insert sets this year.  I’m so far behind on the posting for these, that it’s a little tough to figure out exactly which ones were in 2015 and which were earlier.  Here’s the highlights.

  • The one that jumps to mind was the 1994 Topps Leyendas insert set – I finished that off after looking high and low for a few years.  This was only available as a factory insert set in the 1994 Topps Spanish factory sets.  I’d been 2 cards short (Chico Carrasquel and Luis Aparicio) for almost 2 years, and finally found those 2 guys on an eBay lot in May 2015.
  • 1990 Topps Batting Leaders – I finished the 1989 set up in 2014, so getting this one finished felt a little anticlimactic.  But it was still a good notch on the belt as these were tough sets to find.
  • The Mickey Mantle reprint set from 1996/97.  This was the first set that went across multiple years.
  • The Clemente reprint set from 1998.  Just posted about that one 2 days ago.
  • 1997 Topps All-Stars
  • 1998 Topps Season’s Best
  • 1999 Topps All-Matrix
  • 1999 Topps Hall of Fame Collection – this was the first widely distributed insert set Topps did of multiple retired players.
  • 1999 Topps Lord of the Diamond
  • 2010 Topps Turkey Red – a huge set of 150 cards, this was the biggest post-2009 set I finished up.

That was my progress on the Lifetime Topps Project.  Tomorrow I’m going to look back at what I did in 2015 for my other card collecting projects.

Also, just to mark where I’m at, I’ve got 341 base cards and 435 inserts to go as things stand right now.  It will be fun to see how that pans out a year from now.



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