New Year’s Resolutions and Hobby Goals for 20194 min read


It is the time of year that many of us review the past 12 months and recognize the changes that we want to make moving forward. Our collecting lives are no different and so I have made a series of New Year’s resolutions and goals regarding my collection and the hobby as a whole, and would challenge others to do the same.


My overall collection consists of a few smaller subcategories and I plan to add to each of them.

  • Autographed AFL Cards – I’m getting down to the nitty gritty here, but I would love to be able to complete one of my three remaining sets in 2019, either 1960 Fleer, 1962 Fleer or 1965 Topps.
  • Vintage Lacrosse Cards – This is a collection that I am charting as I go, because there is very little documentation about this area of the hobby. I hope to add a dozen unique pre-1950 cards to my collection this year.
  • Pro Set Football – I recently started opening boxes of 1989, 1990 and 1991 Pro Set football cards and searching for all of the errors and minor variations. This is a new style of collecting for me and an inexpensive way to have some fun. I played high school football at the time these cards were released, and so while they have little monetary, they hit a sentimental soft spot and truth-be-told, the cards are very attractive. In an effort to lengthen the process I’m trying not to purchase cards individually but rather only through opening packs or picking up large opened lots. I hope to add another 50 card variations to my collection in 2019.


This is a big one. Helping other collectors can be done in any number of ways. Notifying someone when you find a card they need, lending your knowledge to someone less experienced and helping to ease new collectors into the hobby are just a few ways that we can make the collecting experience better for others. It’s good for us, good for those we help and strengthens our community. I want to help as many people as I can this year.


I have been actively collecting cards for 40 years and am still fascinated at how much I do not know. In my job with PSA it also helps to be knowledgeable in many different areas. While I will continue to learn the intricacies of the areas that I collect, I also want to build a solid understanding of the trading card game (TCG) genre. Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! are wildly popular issues of which I understand little. I want to learn how these games are played, what makes one card more desirable than another, and be able to “talk the talk” with TCG collectors.


While it may not be the most enjoyable way to spend our hobby time, being organized is of great importance. Not only does it keep us from accidentally buying cards that we already have when building a set (I’ve done that and felt pretty dumb), but organization simply helps us lead a more peaceful hobby existence. Card Savers, boxes, spreadsheets, and the PSA Set Registry are all tools designed to streamline and organize our collections. Scanning your cards for inventory purposes is helpful as well. I plan to document every card in my collection this year and maintain that list moving forward.


This hobby is INFINITELY more enjoyable when shared with others. Message boards such as the PSA Forums and other collecting communities are great ways to connect with other hobbyists. Check them out and don’t just be a lurker, but actively participate! Last year I met great new friends and ran a hall of fame campaign, all of which came about simply because I shared an image of a card acquisition on Facebook. If our campaign is successful (and so far it looks to be), it will have changed the life of a former football player and helped him to finally receive the recognition that he has deserved for decades. Not every social experience will be as fulfilling, but I encourage you to get out to shows, participate on message boards and join online collecting communities. There are countless good people in this hobby and I enjoy meeting them. This year I will go out of my way to meet collectors and share hobby stories. If you want to help me in that endeavor, shoot me an email at [email protected] and introduce yourself. I’d love to hear about your collection!

Posted by Todd Tobias

Todd Tobias is a longtime hobbyist and PSA staff member who is constantly on the hunt for vintage lacrosse issues and autographed cards for his American Football League (1960-1969) collection.

Johnny Robinson - Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019!!!

3 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions and Hobby Goals for 20194 min read

  1. There is something to be said for pursuing lower grades for the collector who is looking to complete a set quickly , or who can afford to rebuy to upgrade it, but one has to make that choice. As a modern collector it can be a Sisyphean task to complete a set. The almighty Calendar waits for no one! Collectors valiantly try to finish one year while the Pages turn, driving new releases with a fresh rainbow of colors and inserts. Mike Trout is a perfect example–every release has 20 cards with autos and colors…
    One can argue Vintage sets are almost easier, but one has to contend with supply and demand driven by age and scarcity, fighting the ebb and flow of value.

    1. All true, Beth. It all boils down to the most basic collecting mantra – buy what you like and can afford. Keeping up with the Jones’s (or Trouts, in your case) doesn’t work for everyone, but if it does for you then go for it! And as much as we tend to gripe about the challenges associated with our own collections, this hobby wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if we could obtain every card we wanted without a bit of struggle.

      And props for working Sisyphean into a trading card conversation. 😉

      1. In a former lifetime I was a Greek and Latin scholar…they traded differently back then.. what image would Topps use for Plato? Or Achilles? Interesting non-sports set.

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