Non-Sport Update's Card Talk
Do Parallel Base Sets Serve A Purpose?

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May 23, 2018, 03:30 PM
Do Parallel Base Sets Serve A Purpose?
Returning to the hobby after a few years with a 'bare bones' collection. Looking at sets to start collecting (or collecting again), I've noticed quite a few manufacturers have introduced more parallel base sets.

Inkworks did it with some sets having a single parallel base set. But the likes of Breygent Marketing with American Horror Story have 2 or more parallel base sets.

Do you think these really add a lot to a set (or the NS hobby in general)? Or is just a good way to get completist (Guilty as charged) to keep buying more packs, boxes and cards to get them all?
May 23, 2018, 05:12 PM
It's all about the money!!!
May 23, 2018, 07:20 PM
I HATE parallel sets!
May 23, 2018, 07:22 PM
Don Norton
Parallels are not worth chasing. All the companies make them, and to me it is a lazy effort to give collectors "what they want".
The picture is the same, the text is the same, we'll just add a color border - people will love it.
There has only been one parallel set worth collecting in the history of trading cards - Fleer Batman Forever Metal. The Silver Flasher cards looked different from the base cards, but the text on the back was also entirely new. This is the only parallel set I have ever completed
May 23, 2018, 07:37 PM
Yes it is about money and the perception that this same card, with some extra foil, or a number, is limited and therefore gets a premium. However, unless you are trying to complete a parallel set or sell individual cards, the 1 or 2 or whatever number of parallel cards that you may get in a box are simply wasted. At least that's how I look at them.

I think parallels should be stopped and they should just make better looking base cards. With the cost of product, boxes should not have different levels for the same card, especially since there isn't any demand for it from the average buyer.
May 24, 2018, 07:55 AM
Imagine the dealers with binders full of parallel cards which were a good part of what they paid for and alledgedly worth loads of money. Chances of actually selling them are slim to none.

Boxes full of stuff that nobody wants.

Boxes full of stuff that nobody wants.....( parallel post diffrent color )

Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
May 24, 2018, 08:41 AM
If there is one or maybe two I don't see a problem with it but when there are more than 5 parallels that is extreme - I am talking to you Topps! Perfect example is Star Wars ANH: Black and White. You could barely tell them apart. What was the purpose except to pad the product so there would be more cases made. Rittenhouse and Cryptozoic will usually have one or two parallels and that is good. One easy that you can make a set from one case and then one hard one that you only get one or two per box.
May 24, 2018, 09:41 AM
Topps teases you with the parallels. You get just enough of a particular parallel that you want to complete the set. Star Wars collectors are very active, so completing a set through trades is enjoyable. Other franchises are not as easy to complete.

I do agree with everyone above in that the parallels are not necessary. The cards are almost always the same as the base cards. I don't want to collect Garbage Pails Kids stickers(cards) in 6 colors plus refracters, canvas, and so on.
May 24, 2018, 11:56 AM
David R
I enjoyed collecting the parallels on the first X-Files sets by Topps, way back in 1995, as the parallels came 1 per pack

But over the last few years, Rittenhouse had crazy parallels on the James Bond sets that came (unless I am mistaken) 1-3 cards per box. How can one reasonably be expected to make a set of those ? I passed.
May 24, 2018, 12:39 PM
I only collect Star Wars parallel sets, I do not bother with the base set, I Pefer 3 levels so the set fits in 9 pocket pages in rows of 3. Although I only buy job lots at around $0.50 per card or less and then try and trade for the rest ( will have a trade list up some for all you people that wish to get rid of them, but then I will only have parallels to trade) I rarely buy boxes anymore as there is not much value if you only pull a common auto or poor sketch, made up patches are ok but pointless really

Vice Admiral Wuher black gold Team GAB -

Traded with: RupT, Mar53, LUZNDAVE, Cardz_house , INDYPAT75, blwilson, KADRAN00157, Card Reaper, Tangent, Shaunicus, Ifish, wolfie, rwn410, Geoff bovey, WarriorBabe, womble
May 25, 2018, 03:08 PM
Well it seems an almost unanimous response of parallels not being very popular.

I think they work as literally a singular parallel set but the variables don't serve dealers or collectors in the long run.

What do you think could be used to replace parallel sets? Or just phase them out and create smaller (and cheaper?) sets.
May 25, 2018, 04:17 PM
They would have to phase out parallel sets, cut autographs, sketches one per three cases, archive box or ten case only autograph cards, etc., etc., to get me started collecting again, and I don't think that's going to happen.
May 25, 2018, 06:02 PM

Can I be more clear? They serve NO purpose except to annoy me. They're completely worthless and pure evil.

Needless to say I do not like parallel sets...
May 27, 2018, 09:06 PM
Numbered parallel's work in sports but not in non sports especially if they are unnumbered, a set like the Walking Dead is a perfect example, you get a parallel unnumbered card in every pack, so you have 24/100 with nothing exciting about them, then (if your lucky) you get one numbered to 25 card in a box, that's 1/100 and 99 to get, the thing that should have parallel numbered cards are the insert/chase sets, less to collect and a bit more fun to collect, someone tell Topps.
May 29, 2018, 12:28 AM
The last parallels really I liked were the Star Wars Finest (1996) refractors. I did like Topps 75th rainbow foils and will still go after some of those at some point.

Comic Images used to do refractors with its 90's chromium sets. I didn't chase those - just happy to have the one or two I picked up buying a box and loose packs.
May 30, 2018, 02:20 PM
Like the Star Wars card set, which has a great deal of frustrating parallel cards, makes collecting just the basic base set a challenge! So if you want a base set, you have to buy more cards, like going round in circles and not going anywhere fast except getting dizzy! They wonder why more people are getting out of the hobby?
June 02, 2018, 07:47 PM
I recently picked up a pack of X-Files Connections and Buffy Connection but forgot about the parallel base cards. Twak I think they're really well made and I did go after the whole set in the Charmed version but I don't know if I'll be as keen this time around.

The Charmed set was mostly built up from sealed boxes so you're bound to complete a 72 card set in about 180 packs. But I don't think I could stand to collect these cards individually.
June 02, 2018, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by <<<<ALDO_NOVA>>>>:
Like the Star Wars card set, which has a great deal of frustrating parallel cards, makes collecting just the basic base set a challenge! So if you want a base set, you have to buy more cards, like going round in circles and not going anywhere fast except getting dizzy! They wonder why more people are getting out of the hobby?

I think there needs to be more variation or newer chase levels or similar to entice former collectors as well as newer ones into the hobby. Parallel base sets were an interesting chase which got old quick. It was fine when it was a set with literally A singular parallel base set but when it became parallel SETS it got tedious quickly.