Guest article by Scott Kozlowski (Scottkoz20)

Building any type of set requires time, patience and a bit of luck when trying to find the cards you need. However, trying to build a master set of any product raises the level of difficulty exponentially. Not only would someone need to complete the main base set, they would also need to obtain various insert and parallel sets as well.

Currently, I am working on building out the 2007-2008 O-Pee-Chee Hockey master set. I chose this set to celebrate the arrival of my daughter Olivia because it was the set that had the most complete player set, and the cost would potentially not break the bank. This set being as large as it is, will be a challenge to complete, but will be very rewarding once completed.

Here are the challenges I face in building out this master set.

Base Cards: Generally, out of a six card pack, four-five will be base cards and with 36 packs to a box, it is reasonable to think that one should get approximately 165 base cards towards the set. With the base set having 500 cards, it would take a little more than 3 boxes to build a base set of 2007-2008 OPC Hockey.

Rookies Cards: The odds on getting a rookie card in a pack are fairly good. According to the OPC packaging, there should be one rookie card for every two packs (1:2). From these odds, one reasonably would expect that a 36 pack box of OPC would yield 18 rookie cards. With 100 rookies in the set, this would only take about 5 and half boxes in order to get all 100 rookies, assuming there are no doubles.

Inserts: The odds of obtaining inserts cards in a pack are just as good as obtaining rookie cards; one insert per two packs (1:2). However, there are 5 different insert sets that account for a total of 100 cards. Again, we are looking at 5 and a half boxes to obtain all 100 inserts.

Now you might be saying to yourself that’s not too bad. According to the numbers above, if one opens 6 boxes of OPC, they should ideally have 1 base set with all 100 rookies, all of the insert sets and a possible second base set without the rookie cards. However, obtaining the rest of the master set now starts to get interesting.

Micromotion parallels (Silver Rookies): This is the main parallel to the base set. There are 500 Micromotions parallels and 100 Silver Rookies. The odds of obtaining one of these cards are the same, thus the reason I am putting both of these together. The odds of pulling any one of these 600 cards are about one in every six packs (1:6). So, with 600 cards in the set, this would be equivalent to opening about 100 boxes. This is assuming that there are no doubles

Micromotion Black parallels: This is the second variation to the base set. These cards are numbered to 100 and there is one for all 600 cards in the set. The odds of pulling a Black parallel is about one card for every 18 packs (1:18) or two a box. With a total of 600 cards in the set, this would be the equivalent of 300 boxes or 25 cases as each case has 12 boxes of the product.

Quad Jerseys: 72 quad jerseys were produced for this set. The odds on pulling one of these cards are one out of every 144 packs. Essentially, there are three quad jerseys per case. Again, we are looking at more than 20 cases.

Autographs: There are 60 Autographs and the odds of pulling an autograph are about one autograph for every 432 packs or one autograph for every 12 boxes. Therefore, it would take 60 cases being opened or 25920 packs of cards (yes that is twenty five thousand packs of cards!).

Because of the parallels of this set, the cost of building this master set is very prohibitive. As you can see, it would take a lot for someone to build out this particular master set. It really does not matter which sport you are talking about, the costs are going to be just as high, if not higher depending on what you are attempting to build out.

My suggestion to anyone who is thinking about building out any type of master set is to be prepared to accept the fact that it will take a long time for the cards from the set to be found either for purchase and/or trade. Patience is an absolute must for someone who is preparing to build out a master set of anything. While I can not wait for the day this set is done, I know it might take several years in order to get everything in.