Thursday, June 23, 2016

Collector's Choice Statistical Breakdown

36 packs and 432 cards later, the box has finally been broken, sorted, and cataloged.  

Rather than make this post a card review (which I will likely do at a later date), I'm going to make it a statistical breakdown.  I bought this box for a specific reason: to backfill my collection.  I needed specific cards to complete Series 1.  To see whether this box was a success, the best way is to crunch the numbers.

Total Cards 432 100%
Base 365 84.5%
Inserts 67 15.5%

Some packs ran only 1 insert per pack (a mini-card) so to end up averaging 2 per pack worked out well.

Cards Needed for Series 1 42 100%
Completed 41 98%
Outstanding 1 2%

Considering how many cards I needed, the fact that I didn't finish off the base set is somewhat of a disappointment.  Even more so, it wasn't an all-star card like a Michael Jordan (which I didn't get) but rather Chuck Person of the San Antonio Spurs (#141).  On the bright side, this card should be cheap and easy to find.

A few highlights of the cards I received.  The current league lacks a good short man. 

Nowadays this would be a special insert that's tough to get but this look at the Bulls' record setting regular season is a sleek 5 card base-run.

Duplicate Cards
Base 324 89%
Inserts 38 57%
# of packs containing duplicate cards 6 17%

The number of duplicate cards is not surprising.  I had a small number of base cards remaining so by default I was bound to end up with many leftover base cards.  The number of duplicate inserts is also not a shocking amount.  The majority of insert cards were the mini-cards.  I had most of the mini-cards for Series 1 so duplicates were to be expected.  At least I finished off the minis.

What was upsetting was the fact that 6 packs contained duplicates of cards that were in that very pack.  For instance, a pack would contain two of the same team checklists.  I wonder if this issue has plagued other sets.  I certainly hope it doesn't happen now.

Inserts Found New
Mini-cards 36 2
Super Action Stick-Ums 9 8
Gold Mini-Cards 1 1
Silver Crash the Game 7 6
Gold Crash the Game 1 1
Meet the Stars Instant Win 1 1
NBA Draft Trade Card 0 0
Meet the Stars Trivia 12 10

The main impetus for buying a box was to find inserts and specifically Meet the Stars inserts.  These are throwaway contest cards, featuring trivia questions.  No players (well I guess Jordan is faintly in the back), no teams.  I'm sure these cards were inserted into all Upper Deck products that year but I've rarely seen them in the wild.  There wasn't even a checklist on TCDB until I added one a few months back.  I didn't acquire any low number trivia cards so I also question whether they exist in Collector's Choice.  Anyway. Inserts.  Yeah I got some.  I hope to collect them all one day.

Karl Malone seems like the obvious choice here
Silver insert

Gold Parallel

Future Supersonics player

Mini-cards.  Just tempting little kids to break them apart

Insert Card Odds Found Beat the Odds?
Mini-Cards 1:1 36 Tie
Super Action Stick-Ums 1:4 9 Tie
Gold Mini-Cards 1:35 1 Tie
Silver Crash the Game 1:5 7 Tie
Gold Crash the Game 1:49 1 Yes
Meet the Stars Instant Win 1:79 1 Yes
NBA Draft Trade Card 1:144 0 No
Meet the Stars Trivia 1:3 12 Tie

I'm always curious as to how true the odds are for finding inserts.  Based on my box, I'd say the odds are pretty accurate.  I was lucky with the Instant Win and Gold Crash the Game cards.  The others were break even.  I didn't count on the Trade Card.

The only card I didn't find were the Stick-Ums base cards.  The wrappers didn't say anything about the bases so I don't know where they come from.

In the end, this was a successful box.  The base set is a reasonable 400 cards so I think I can complete it one day.  The inserts will be a harder challenge.  Unlike modern day sets though, the number of inserts isn't outrageous and there are no base parallels.


  1. Nicely done box breakdown. I haven't done any boxes in a while but I may have to steal your idea on breaking out the inserts like that. Pretty sure the Stick-um base was retail only. I didn't do a box of this set when it was new, but I did a lot of packs and I bought the factory set.

  2. Also...I once pulled three copies of the same card from a pack on 1995 SP NASCAR. Did a box and didn't complete it, either!

  3. Yeah you're likely right on the base being retail only. I have some in my collection from when I was a kid and I would have only been opening retail packs.

    Three of the same card in one pack? That should be illegal. It's frustrating not being able to complete a set from a box, especially when a pack has mutiple dupes!