Sunday, May 23, 2021

Collecting Mistakes

I recently watched a video on YouTube where an adult toy collector discusses some mistakes he has made over his 20 years of collecting action figures.  He prefaced the video by saying it was about his experiences with toy collecting, but can (and should) relate to any form of collection (sports cards, stamps, comic books, physical media, etc).

It was a fun video and he went on to discuss how buying Star Wars cereal didn't make much sense looking back, but at the time he was trying to be a completionist and collect everything relating to Star Wars Episode 2.  If you want to watch the video by Nerdzoic you can click here.

I related to the video, not because I bought Star Wars cereal and party cups, but I had made some of the same collector mistakes.

This collection of the above 3 cards describes many of the mistakes made.
It is a 2018 Panini Chronicles Classics partial rainbow.  As you can see this parallel has very subtle color differences.  The Classics logo is a different color and there is a foil stamp with a serial number.  The gold is limited to 99 copies.
The purple is limited to 10 copies.
The base isn't numbered.

This card, in it's base form, brings me joy as it is a nice design and shows Cutch in his San Francisco uniform.
The back is nice as well.
The problem is with the color parallels.
The gold does nothing to quickly identify itself as a parallel despite being limited to only 99 copies.  

It is almost like those old Highlights magazines with the "Spot the difference" feature.
The purple parallel is just as bad as the gold, but with the added pressure of being limited to only 10 copies and costing significant more than the base.  For the very subtle difference of a purple Classics logo instead of the standard, fans can expect to pay 10x or more the base price.  A Ronald Acuna /10 PSA9  is currently listed for nearly $700, but the base PSA10 recently sold for $70-$110.
I'll admit that I was lucky in that I didnt have to pay for the gold as I got it in a group break, but I did seek out the purple and paid just over $10 for the card.  

And it doesn't bring me anymore joy to the collection than the base.  

I have really cut back on adding new cards to the collection over the past month and it feels awesome to go through my binders and enjoy what I have instead of constantly focusing on what I don't have.  

Have you made any collecting mistakes that you really regret?

Do you watch any YouTube videos or listen to any podcasts about collecting?  If so, please recommend some channels to me. 


  1. Trying to collect 80s-early 90s sets buying wax boxes/cello boxes etc...would have been better to buy complete sets then keep the boxes complete unopened given current prices increases

  2. I've made mistakes but they are usually of the .18 cent variety whereby I buy a card by accident that I already have. Sometimes I click the wrong card and sometimes I misread my spreadsheet. I always accept responsibility for my dumbassery. I don't like watching videos, but I listen to Wax Ecstatic podcast religiously, as well as the Baseball Beyond Batting Average.

  3. My mistakes are usually buying something I already have. But I do think it raises some interesting points. Regardless, collect the way you want, whether it’s collecting everything about a subject or picking and choosing.

  4. Great video. Thanks for sharing it. I've made a ton of collecting mistakes over the years... but the good news is that they are balanced out with some really great decisions.

    That being said... I wish I would have bought the following three things when they were much more affordable:

    #1: 1973 Topps baseball set
    #2: Tony Gwynn signed Topps rookie card
    #3: Topps Update Trout rookie card

  5. No matter how carefully I document parts of my collection and how vigilant I try to be at getting new stuff, checking it off before I put it away, I still end up with dupes.

    I recommend IF Sports Cards, Baseball Card Collector Investor Dealer, and The Mangini Collection. Many of the rest of the channels are only "investors" who focus solely on the "market" and how much all their high end graded stuff can be sold for.

  6. I think every collector makes the "I bought a card I already have" mistake. I just did it last week.

    I listen/watch the "About the Cards" podcast (the one I guested on). It is topical and the guys are great. Their view of collecting is good, too (they're not investor types, they don't believe in grading, etc.).

  7. For me it's one, not understanding I might have gaps in collecting and selling off cards when I now wish I would have held on to them. Even if it ha been a small number. Second is just organization. I know many struggle with it but it can be tough with the challenges of space to be organized and time to do it. Great topic and thanks for the post and sharing the link.