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Old 03-03-2018, 09:56 AM   #1
Raymond23
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Default What is a “Master Set”? Is there an agreed upon definition?

Do “Master Sets” or “Mega-Master Sets” include things like sketch cards, printing plates, buybacks, 1/1 parallels, multi-auto cards etc? Master sets used to mean one of every card, but with every thousands of 1/1’s (if you count every plate and sketch as unique), the only master set possible is at the Topps warehouse before a product ships. Are these cards even considered in “Master Sets”?

My thoughts on these definitions are (looking for opinions if this is accurate or not):

Mini-Master: All Base and un-numbered Inserts (no hits, no parallels)

Master: All base and un-numbered Base parallels. All inserts and un-numbered Insert Parallels. All base (or lowest tier) hits (i.e. ifan auto is not included in the base tier, it is optional). No 1/1 cards but a sample sketch, plate, buyback, or 1/1 could be included.

Mega-Master: All base parallels, all insert parallels, all hit parallels (excluding 1/1’s). One sample of every type of 1/1 card (red, plate, buyback, animation cel, sketch, etc). If there are multiple sketch card types (regular, foldout, die cut, Wood), then one of each type of card...artist doesn’t matter). Ditto for animation cels (vertical, horizontal, Droids, Ewoks, or whatever the checklist specifies), buyback cards (vintage, sketch, Medallion, auto, etc). Bonus points for one sketch from every artist.

Is this similar to your definition of these types of sets? What is your definition of a “Master Set”?
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:22 AM   #2
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Master Sets on PSA do not have any card with less than a 3-card print run, so that excludes sketches and printing plates or superfractor 1/1s. Normally they do include base short prints and super short prints.
Best thing to do when you're buying them is to read the listings of what they contain. If you're selling them, clearly list what is included. If you're collecting them, you can define it however you like depending on your budget. If they only made 5 Harrison Ford autos in a product and you can't afford it, leave it out of your "master set."
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:26 AM   #3
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I think that most people exclude sketches, printing plates, and autographs from the "master set." They are more considered as plus (+) to the master.

Here's what I figure (open to other's opinions):

Master: All base and inserts (no parallels).

Mini-Master: All base, but not all inserts. Usually excluding the rarest insert set.

Mega-Master: All parallels of base and inserts.

The reason I think that people exclude sketches, plates, and autos is that it's just too insane to try putting such a thing together. It's not really reasonable, so no one wants to go there with these definitions.

Similarly, when people talk about rainbows of a single card, they usually do not include the printing plates. Just too crazy to assemble five 1/1's. Plates are viewed more as a bonus, or plus, to the rainbow of parallel colors.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:49 AM   #4
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As far as sketch cards go, I know that some people consider collecting at least 1 sketch card of each artist featured on a set a "true" master set.

With so many parallels, short prints, redemption/achievement and 1/1 cards in modern sets these days, it is very hard to define what a master set consists of.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:07 PM   #5
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How about A Full Character Master Set. Don’t know if that’s a thing, but I guess I would like to know, if anyone else is just as insane as me.

I’m collecting a master set of every US trading card that (mainly) features the silver surfer that includes 1/1, parallels, inserts and a sketch card from each set that featured the surfer and an ap from every marvel trading card series since. I don’t know if I should do foreign ones as well.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:50 PM   #6
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I would say a master set includes one of every card in a set. Where sketches are included you would need one from each artist. Parallels would only be counted if they are numbered. I would not include any 1/1 (except sketches) or printing plates.
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:53 PM   #7
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Yeah, it can certainly be a confusing definition. I define my own obsession when I talk about it, which is a sketch card master set, meaning one sketch from each artist. Needless to say, any master set, regardless of definition, is quite a challenge!
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:01 PM   #8
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Mega master? Never heard of it... Sounds like a new term had to be developed because of how the industry is evolving.

I always considered a master set to include all feasible inserts and parallels. Of course, that was a simpler time when a case would get you a near complete master set minus a handful of parallels/chase cards, and sets mostly had just one level of parallels. I also think a master set should include at least 1 example of each type of 1/1 card included in the set, i.e., 1 sketch, 1 printing plate, 1 1/1 parallel, etc... unless its something super rare like a cryptozoic redemption card.
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:59 AM   #9
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I don't even bother with the term(s) and wouldn't try to buy or sell based on any given term because of that just because of the amount of variation. Ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerg View Post
I don't even bother with the term(s) and wouldn't try to buy or sell based on any given term because of that just because of the amount of variation. Ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers.
As far as buying goes, I fully agree. If thete is a title and no details in the description, I'm not buying without the listing getting updated first.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:30 PM   #11
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I really cant see how sketches can be considered part of a master set. If its not done by the actual card producer (i.e. Topps, Upper Deck, Rittenhouse), I wouldnt consider it part of a master set.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceChange77 View Post
I really cant see how sketches can be considered part of a master set. If its not done by the actual card producer (i.e. Topps, Upper Deck, Rittenhouse), I wouldnt consider it part of a master set.
The backs are.

I collect all alice in wonderland, green arrow and Hawkman cards I can find, plus black canary, superman, deadshot, and heatwave. But not as obsessively. I collect the foreign ones that I like and are reasonably priced, but I can't always convince myself it's reasonable to pay for them. Lol. I don't consider those master sets tho. Master sets imo, come from a set.

I'm only a few cards shy of s1-6 inkworks small villa sets. Like less than 10. Like only 6 now I think! :O those however are way easier to put together than today's sets. I do have a few extras from it too. Unreleased and/or uncut cards. I don't count the binders or boxes. But I do have the sell sheets and wrappers. I also don't count the uncut sheets of inserts that were released or the S1 printing plates released in frames, however I do have one.

A today's master for me would be base, inserts, and all hits, autos, wardrobes, etc. I don't know if I'd even count parallels, but those aren't really my thing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:36 PM   #13
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I generally never include hits of any kind (autos, memorabilia, printing plates, sketches, etc) when considering "master" sets of any kind. Hits are generally advertised as guaranteed "prizes" to be found in boxes or packs anyway, so I've never considered them as parts of a "set." Then again, I don't think there's any universally agreed definition of a master set.

Me, personally, as a set collector... I only pursue two kind of sets - base sets (all base cards) and master sets (all base and unnumbered inserts). Anything on top of that is gravy to me.

Something to consider - if a particular release features checklist card(s), what do they list? I know, I know, you don't see checklist cards much anymore, but in the past I've seen some checklists only include base/inserts, but I've also seen some include all chase/hits as well.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is - I miss checklist cards.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:19 PM   #14
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Cryptozoic still does them, I think? They do bring back memories of a simpler time.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider-Fan View Post
Cryptozoic still does them, I think? They do bring back memories of a simpler time.
I think all of them just have the card checklist on them with the card numbers and titles. They do make beautiful, full, download able checklists tho.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:06 AM   #16
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a mini master set used to be every card in the set and subset, a true master set being every Cardin the set and subset, plus the memorabilia and autographs. Now there are a bunch of parallels of the same card and sketches.

I would say one sketch and one plate would suffice to add to a master set. I would not include ultra rare parallel cards to a master set.
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