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Stumped but pleased

A couple of weeks ago I was supposed to travel to see my in-laws for the Christmas season and gift exchanges.

That didn't happen for reasons not worth getting into, but it left me in a little bit of a lurch because I was pretty sure my sister-in-law had gotten me some hobby-related materials -- she always does -- and I was in desperate need of some supplies.
I didn't know when my gifts and I would happily unite, but quicker than I expected, my sister-in-law shipped them to us and they arrived last week. I opened them Friday in a covid-booster-shot haze and immediately took a nap afterward.

There they are all protected and festive. As someone who knows my sister-in-law and has been in the hobby for quite awhile, I knew most of what I was looking at before I even opened it. Those hobby shapes are unimistakable and the little gift bags must be gift cards (they were).

The only one I didn't know was the green package on the left. It turns out they were the penny sleeves you see at the top of the post. I am not familiar with that packaging configuration. Also, as I've mentioned many times, I have never purchased penny sleeves in my life since all of the blog trading has given me a lifetime supply. I will never run out.

OK, this is what I knew about the other packages prior to opening:

The red package front-and-center was a binder and pages, a definite need. I could use like four more of those, but we'll start with one. The silver package on the right were more pages. Always need "more pages." They go so fast.

Now about the green rectangular box.

You've all seen that shape before.

I knew immediately that it was likely a complete set. Knowing the hobby these days and the state of retail shelves and my sister-in-law's pedal-to-the-metal habit when she's buying me hobby things even though she doesn't know much about cards at all, I pinpointed exactly what it was.

Yup. It's a complete set of 2021 Topps.

A few things:

a) High-five to my sister-in-law. I can see her triumphantly taking that to the checkout counter. I am so proud.
b) I have never received a complete set as a gift in my life. I know this practice is completely familiar to a number of collectors. I have come across many people, who aren't as active collectors as me, who have said, "I received a Topps complete set for Christmas every year." That never happened to me as a kid, it's never happened to me until now.
c) I don't like 2021 Topps. I believe I've mentioned this before.
d) What do I do with this?

My first thought when confronted with a set that I'm not collecting is to see if it can be sold for parts ... er, I mean mined for Dodgers.

But I have all the Dodgers in this set already.

So my next thought was to either dutifully enter it into a binder (there's another binder I would need) or maybe sell it (sorry, sis).

Then there's the matter of this:

One in three sets is a complete parallel set.

What if it's a complete parallel set????
Arggh ...

What to do? What to do?

OK, maybe I'll write down my options, this sometimes helps:

1) Leave it sealed until an idea comes to me
2) Open it for the possibility of parallels with a 67-percent chance of being disappointed.
3) File that sucker in a binder like the dedicated set-collector I am. I'll learn to love it. A complete set is a complete set!
4) Sell it.
5) Give it away as a blog prize.
6) Open it and turn it into some sort of series of blog posts.

I'm sure there are other possibilities.

I am actually considering all the above options seriously, although probably not the last one. I don't think I need to post any more 2021 Topps on this blog.

So that's where I'm at: stumped but pleased.


If I were you I would order the options like this:

3, 2, 5, 4, 1, 6

#6 in last place. Hmm, maybe that's why I don't have quality daily content like you do.
Old Cards said…
I vote to file it in a binder like the dedicated set-collector you are. You may look back in a few years and be glad you have it. You may change your mind in retrospect. It happens. Plus, think of your sister-in-law going to the trouble of buying you something she thought you would like. It's the thought that counts.
Brett Alan said…
I know you like having sets in binders, but would it really be so bad to keep it in the box?

I suspect if I were gifted with this, I'd open it, see whether I hit the parallel set and what was in the bonus pack, and then probably keep it in the box thereafter (if any of the rookie variations turned out to be stars, they'd go in my parallels binder). But that's just me--everyone collects differently.
Nick said…
I have to say, in the money-hungry state of the current card world, I'd very much consider selling it. I rarely sell cards, but I'd find it hard to resist selling it to fund some stuff I need.
bbcardz said…
About 10 years ago I won a sealed complete 2011 Topps set from Topps. It's the box with the large "Diamond Anniversary" logo and no players pictured on top. I already have a ton of these cards so I never opened my prize (it's still cellophane-wrapped). I just now saw that Amazon sells the exact same box for $279. I'm shocked. For that kind of money, I could probably buy a NM 1969 or 1972 Topps Pete Rose (both of which are set needs). So maybe you go with Option #7--keep it sealed for a decade or more.
Crocodile said…
Open it! Once you discover it's the standard set hopefully I'll have a better chance of getting a parallel set in mine :)
simpson said…
definitely #1 - no need to rush into a rash decision, leave it be until you feel a strong inclination one way or another.
You have most of the "gold star" Dodgers too. Blue star would be cool or foilboard parallel (1/1's) would b enice. Oh yeah, I have two complete sets I opened but did not break up and they're still sitting here.
Fuji said…
If it were me, I'd open it up to see if I got one of those parallel sets. If it was, I'd plop it into a binder. If it was a regular set, I'll throw it back into the box and store it with my other sets.
Matt said…
Open it - if it's a parallel set you can mine the Dodgers, give the Red Sox to me ;) and sell the rest of the cards. If it's a normal set, you still have options to sell/binder/giveaway/whatever.
Bo said…
Definitely open it. Even if you don't love the set right now, you may learn to over time, especially as it tracks a season where the Dodgers won the World Series. Maybe don't put it in a binder, try leaving it in the box and see how you feel about storing cards that way, you might find you like that more than you realized as well. There's something about picking up a pile of cards and flipping through them . . .
Kin said…
Certainly a great gift from the sister-in-law. We all always need supplies but hate spending money on them. Not sure when that configuration of sleeves began. I never saw it at my LCS until about a year ago. In the last few months, they now have a 1000 count pack as well.
Dave said…
Leave it sealed in case Fanatics crashes the base set market. Then open it to remember the good ole days when even guys like John Nogowskigot a base card.
Jafronius said…
I wouldn't sell it / break it up since it came from a family member who supports your hobby. I'd probably open it to see if it's a parallel set; if it's not keep it in the box and if it is, binder it up. I've only received one complete set, from the Wife back in 2006 (?). It's still unopened.
Nick Vossbrink said…
Nicely done with the supplies gift. Almost looks like she realized that if she was gifting you a complete set that you'd need a binder and pages to store it. I'd say open and binder it but I've got a bunch of complete sets I've not opened yet so who am I to say anything here.
Jon said…
I'd probably just sell it and buy her something nice with the profits. Waiting a little longer to decide would be a good option too.