1993/94 Hoops NBA trading cards.
421 cards plus 8 insert sets.
The goal... collect the full set of cards, i.e. The Master Set and then wait for next year.
Fast forward to the 2021/22 Hoops NBA trading card release and there are over 1,150 different cards. On top of this, you need to add the plethora of numbered variants, coloured variants, variants of variants and the final number becomes too hard even for this numbers geek to work out quickly. It is easy to see why the Master Set Collector has officially hone in the NBA collecting world, and most other forms of trading cards too.
So where has the Master Set Collector gone?
It appears that some have given up the chase, and as such, have lost passion for the hobby completely. This is understandable, as what was once an achievable dream was simply taken away the day 1 of 1 cards were introduced.
Many others, like myself, have moved to collecting certain players as our NBA PC (Personal Colection). I went from collecting entire base sets, to collecting Utah Jazz players only, to then collecting Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and Tony Bradley only. Eventually coming to terms with the fact that you simply cannot have every card in a set.
In another 25 years time, we will probably need to explain to the younger collectors what a Master Set even is, just like they will probably need to explain to this old guy the newest enhancements in card grading, NFT's and how to redeem a redemption, 2047 style.
There is no moral to this story, only a flashback to a time where collecting a whole set was acheivable. Keep collecting in a manner that makes you happy. Remember that it is a hobby and is meant to be fun, oh, and if you have any Tony Badley auto's, don't hesitate to contact me.