Nachos Grande asked about the hardest
button set to button collect in a Blog Bat Around. Three sets come to mind that have been difficult track down.
|1997 Nintendo Power Mario Kart 64|
#1 - 1997 Nintendo Power Mario Kart 64
If you asked me this question when I recently got back into collecting my answer would have been the 1997 Nintendo Power Mario Kart 64 set. I found a couple of these cards in my collection but I could not find any more information on the set. There was no checklist online. Google searches turned up some unhelpful images of the cards. I even found a Reddit post that was a couple years old and asked the poster if he still had the cards; he didn't.
eBay was of no help either as the only cards for sale were an unopened pack going for something like $100. No thank you! Eventually, a few months later perhaps, a full set showed up on auction and I turned out victorious.
#2 - 1996-97 Collector's Choice Update Cards #401-430
|1996-97 Collector's Choice - Exchange Card / #428|
This next set I've had great success tracking down through Beckett Marketplace and Sportlots for an inexpensive per card price. In addition to the base set of 1996-97 Collector's Choice basketball is a 30 card trade update set. Included with Series 2 was a trade update card that you could exchange for the 30 card set at a later date.
I had an easy time finding the exchange card but the rest of the 30 card set has taken some time. I wouldn't think these cards would that hard to find since Collector's Choice was widely available at their release. Yet here I am still missing 6 cards. These cards are low priority so I don't search for them on a regular basis.
#3 - 1996-97 Collector's Choice Stickums Series 1 Base
|Stickums Series 1 - Sticker #29|
|Stickums Series 2 - Base #29|
The last set has been *impossible* to find. I have not seen these for sale. I have not even seen scans available for any of these cards so I couldn't show one if I wanted. This set is again from 1996-97 Collector's Choice: Stickums Base Series 1. The Stickums set is made up of the stickers of players, plus the silhouette base card to attach your stickers.
I have all the stickers from series 1 but even a single base card has eluded me. I think Billy Kingsley mentioned that the base Stick Ums from series 1 were a trade in or only available from certain packs. Either way, they were not widely available at release.
I once bought a bunch from different sellers on Sportlots but of course the sellers were all wrong. Unfortunately, they did not have the right cards. The base cards do not have any names on them so it can be tricky to know if your base is from series 1 or 2.
As the cards pictured above demonstrate, if you are paying attention, the stickers from series 1 clearly do not match the base from series 2. The team names match up across the different series but that's about it. I can understand the mix up but it is not excusable when you are selling online.
I'm not giving up hope on finding this set. I'm not expecting to complete it anytime soon, either.
Billy's comment below spurred me to examine the series 1 and 2 sticker cards. I've found a very important difference that maybe has unlocked the key to this mystery.
|Series 1 Sticker Back|
On the back of the series 1 cards, it reads "you can keep the card intact or simply adhere the player photo and player name stickers to notebooks, inside your locker, or any other place you want!"\
|Series 2 Sticker Back|
On the back of the series 2 stickers, it reads "you can keep the card intact or follow the directions below to make a match with the Super Action Scene Card."
It's interesting that the series 1 card makes NO mention of the Stickums base, whereas the series 2 card explicitly mentions the base cards. That strongly suggests to me that Upper Deck didn't make series 1 base cards.
Honestly, this is enough to convince my collecting obsessive mind that my series 1 Stickums set is complete. Until I see otherwise, I'm going to assume the base cards do not exist.