Wacky Packages Type Collections

The concept of being a completist as a trading card collector took on a whole new meaning in the late 90's when Wacky Packages collectors started collecting every possible item related to their hobby - every nuance of difference in the sticker fronts or backs became highly sought after variations and Wacky Packages collectors were the first card collectors to really start caring about wrappers, boxes, shipping cases and even gum.

As recently as 2009 there were still people who thought they could eventually get every variation of every sticker. It was extremely difficult, but a couple people were close. The flashback series with just 50 gold borders printed of each title was a shock, but Topps promised it would be a one-time thing.

But of course it wasn't a one time thing and these things massively changed the landscape of the hobby between 2009 and 2017 - now every series contains more and more difficult sets to complete than the previous. Eventually they released series with subsets for which just one of each title was printed. That spelled the final death blow to the hopes and dreams of the completists. This drove some people out of the hobby in great frustration, while it piqued the interest of others. The entire landscape of wacky packages collecting has changed.

It is still possible to pursuse a complete vintage collection. But what about the new series? In response to these impossible sets, a new paradigm in wacky packages collecting has come into play. That is the so-called "type collection". A type collection has one example card from each of the subsets. This has been popular for a hundred years among coins and currency collectors: people would collect one of each denomination of their liking.

So for example a complete set of ANS11 with all variations would be a whopping 1,253 different cards, and that does not even include sketch or buy-back cards. Yet there are only 32 subsets, so with a bit of work, it is not at all impossible to complete an ANS11 type collection.

Therefore, Wacky Packages are forging their way into a new era, one where true completism is no longer possible, but type collecting is on the rise. In fact a true complete type collection of all ANS series would be a beautiful thing - a sight to behold.

There is no wrong way to collect Wacky Packages, as long as you're having fun then you're doing it right.