set registry

One PSA Set Registry Member’s TCG Journey5 min read

TCG Collecting vs. Sports Card Collecting 

The subjects of trading cards range from your favorite first baseman to the first man on the moon. If you can imagine it, it probably exists and is likely found on the PSA Set Registry. The wide array of sports and pop culture phenoms in the hobby provides a thrill for collectors of all backgrounds and ages! Sports cards allow fans to celebrate hometown teams and legendary players like Jackie Robinson. 

Trading Card Games (TCGs) are a bit different. The characters they depict like Pikachu and Charizard, cannot go out and bat .313 or break the color barrier. Yet, the name Pikachu is a beacon for collectors across the globe. The novelty of TCG characters like Pikachu is that they are timeless in their own right. They do not age like athletes, nor can they get injured. Pikachu, who stole hearts in the late ‘90s, is the very same character we celebrate today. This bridges the age gap between fans of TCGs from the industry’s inception to those collectors just recently discovering the hobby. Peter Chenette and his son John embody this bridge.

Peter as a Collector

Nearly 75 years ago, Topps issued a non-sports trading card set (1949 Flags of All Nations & Soldiers of the World) that was inserted into packs with bubble gum. Little did the world know, non-sports trading cards were a sleeping giant and would pave the way for the rise of the TCG phenomenon. Peter’s collecting journey began on the trail that Topps blazed in the late ‘60s. He still has vivid memories of purchasing 1966 Topps Lost In Space packs, right out of the box. By the time TCGs of the ‘90s took their first steps, Peter had been running a collecting marathon that included the completion of Batman and Marvel Super Heroes sets. His passion was so strong that it carried over to his son, John. 

Breakout television shows like the animated Yu-Gi-Oh! and the Pokémon series spurred John’s interest in TCGs. A general interest in the shows grew into his visiting the local tournament scene and eventually to competing at these tournaments and winning! Peter recalls, “at this point, I started putting cards into binders for John to have as collectible memories of his TCG adventures. Years later he was surprised to find out how many PSA-grade-worthy cards we had stored away!” 

Peter’s collection on the PSA Set Registry is tantalizing. Highlights include vintage Pokémon sets such as Fossil and Rocket in both English and Japanese. He has even completed the aforementioned Topps Lost in Space set. The towering collection Peter has assembled has earned him a spot in the top 500 of all competing members in the Set Registry! That being said, his most prized card is a Yu-Gi-Oh! card won by his son in his early tournament days, the 2003 Yu-Gi-Oh! Tournament Pack 3 Card #2 – Anti Raigeki. 

“It will always remind me of how proud I was that he took his love of a childhood TV show and used it to become an award-winning Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament player,” he said proudly. Their bond embodies the spirit of collecting in all facets of the hobby. Peter further demonstrates those bonds in his My Top 10 showcase. 

Peter’s My Top 10 Entry

In January, PSA launched the Set Registry’s “My Top 10” contest. The spirit of the contest is to have collectors from all collecting backgrounds come together and tell their own stories. A cornerstone of the hobby is inspiration. For some, it is being inspired by Michael Jordan to seek out his coveted ‘86 Fleer #57 rookie card. For others, the inspiration comes from the collecting mentor they looked up to in their youth, perhaps a friend or relative.

The My Top 10 contest’s goal is to have passionate people who make up this community continue to inspire each other, engage with one another, forge new friendships, and share what is meaningful to them. Peter’s entry to the contest comes via his My Authentic Game-Used TCG Top 10. Drawing inspiration from the ‘game-used’ cards in the sports side of the hobby, Peter set out to put together “an authentic group of early Yu-Gi-Oh! game-used TCG cards.” This collection is unique because it showcases the competitor’s devotion to the craft. Peter’s son, John, had a choice between preservation and aspiration. He ultimately chose aspiration, and succeeded as a tournament player.

Even though the high dollar card value would provide incentive to keep them in pristine condition, the owner’s love for the game propelled him to allow his son to play the cards to the detriment of their condition. This very same passion burns bright throughout the collecting community. Peter’s story serves a great role in inspiring new players, and bringing together collectors who can relate to that fervent drive to compete. The My Top 10 contest runs through May 27, 2022, which leaves a bit more than a month’s time to get your submissions and stories in, to share with the community, just like Peter! For more details about how to enter and possibly win prizes, follow this link.

Set Registry Growth

The PSA Set Registry was established more than 20 years ago. There have been growth, discussion, and changes, but the underlying purpose of the Registry still rings true. It was designed to provide collectors with an opportunity to safely show off their collections, and see how they stack up against others in the hobby. Engaging with one another is the desired experience, every step of the way.  

Peter is a pillar of the PSA Set Registry and holds the No. 1 ranking across multiple sets! He has been a member since the early 2000s and uses the Set Registry as a basis for comparing his sets to other collectors’ compilations. He describes watching sets and collectors come together as a “joy to see.” In addition to that joy, the Set Registry has brought focus to his current collecting needs. Being an active member of the Registry has reminded Peter that he is not alone in his collecting tastes, and he stands by the fact that without learning from and engaging with other collectors, his collection would not have reached its greatest heights.

Motivated by collectors like Peter, the Set Registry staff is driven to help members complete their sets, compete with one another, and organize their collections in a way that allows them to easily track progress. To Peter, and all of the collectors out there, we say thanks.


Posted by Greg Marquez

Greg is embracing his role as the PSA Set Registry Associate Brand Manager for TCGs. He is a lifetime collector and competitor in his field who is always ready to talk about the hobby.

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