Parallel sets – rules of engagement

18 04 2016

For the last half of April and the first half of May, I’m setting aside posts on this blog to add one additional item to each of the years of the Lifetime Topps project.

From time to time, I’ve done a bit of “defining” (and reiterating) on this blog about what the Lifetime Topps project means.  The project began as my attempt to collect each Topps set from 1980 until 2009.  That kicked off in early 2010, so while I am collecting the sets from 2010 until now, I view 2009 as being somewhat “done” with the project.  At least some type of finish line.

Along the way, I defined that I would be collecting the Traded sets.  And then I defined that the project includes me collecting each insert.  That last part increased the challenge exponentially.  Then I defined that as not collecting any parallel sets, because I do hope this Lifetime Topps project gets finished, well, in my lifetime.  Collecting inserts also excludes relics or autographs.  I don’t know if I ever defined that, but I also don’t want to spend away my kids’ college tuition.  I’ve added a bit of defining minutia here or there – like I don’t collect inserts that are really part of a different product (like the 1994 Topps Finest preview set that was inserted into 1994 series 2).

Well this post is adding a little more definition.  I haven’t talked about it too much on the blog, but I actually am collecting some parallel cards.  I had some internal back-and-forth on how to do this.  I think I’ve decided what I want to do, which means I want to post about it!  Now seems like as good a time as any to go through each year and update which parallels I’m collecting.  I had been buying enough parallel cards to fill up one page, which meant different players in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  But I’ve decided to change that a little bit.  Here’s the new “rules of engagement” for this part of the project:

  • I’m only collecting 1 player from each set.  So if there are 3 total parallels I’m collecting, I’m not going to buy 5 or 6 more cards to fill up a binder page.  I was thinking about putting together a binder page, but it’s going to be cheaper and easier to just get one player.
  • I plan on finding a duplicate of the card I pick from the Topps regular set and I’ll throw that in the binder page.  The purpose of this is to see a “rainbow” – as the kids are calling it these days!
  • I’m not limiting parallels to inserts or cards related to the flagship Topps product.  For example, when I get to 1996, I want to buy the Opening Day and Chrome cards for this.
  • I may include Topps Traded cards from time to time in the situations where there is some unique Topps Traded parallel card.  1990 is a year I know I’m going to do this because I got a Joe Carter test card of the finest/chrome technology.

1990 Topps Mylar Test Joe Carter

I’m doing something similar with autographs and relics, getting one of each, but I’m not far enough along to officially define that yet.  Maybe I’ll get to that this time next year.  At the end of the day, I want to put all the Topps cards from the Lifetime Topps project in binders.  Right now they are in cardboard boxes, but when I get to that light at the end of the tunnel (2009), I plan to start binder-izing each year.  I guess that will take up more space, but I’d like to be able to see my cards more easily.

Anyway, that’s just a little info on what I’m doing.  For the next 25 posts, I’m going to show the parallels I have so far for each year.  I’ll get to 2004, and then I’ll add this post each time I get to a new Topps year.

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