I wish I could go pick up and bust some unopened boxes as a collecting ideal:
[2004 Topps Traded, 2005 Bowman, 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads, 2005 Donruss Zenith, 2005 Fleer Tradition 2005 Fleer Platinum, 2005 Topps Turkey Red, et al].
It doesn't take much to pique my interests as a baseball card collector, especially when it is the middle of winter and there is no real MLB baseball to follow. Part of collecting is the materialistic aspect of having cards in your hand [can be at any time during the year], part of it is following a sport during the season.
Still, there are so many trading card releases coming out - the caveat is making concessions because I can't collect everything. I want to gamble on some unopened boxes featuring cards that might be valuable - rookie-year parallels of pretty good prospects, but I don't want to be caught up in not being able to make a move [on a single card/box] because I've blown my wad before better shit has come out.
I want to make smart moves with such a small 'collecting budget.'
I'm not looking for significant pulls, but if I want to buy a product - it will be for the cards themselves and not some secondary, arbitrary reason like looking for base cards to get signed in-person or through the mail.
If I was to bust boxes on a regular basis, midlevel brands($60-$70) like 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, 2004 Upper Deck SP Prospects, 2005 Bowman Chrome, Bowman Draft/late season releases, et al would be the most collectible products featuring opportunities to pull rookie-year autographs/parallels.
I think rookie-year parallels [such as refractor/numbered cards] have the most potential value as far more common pulls out of products featuring prospects and rookies [particularly position players as opposed to pitchers].
As far as other cards, I need to get low-end cards on the cheap. I think it would ideal to collect insert cards [featuring superstar players, Hall of Famers, et al] such as parallels and game used cards but they aren't too desireable because they are considered redundant, default pulls.
I need to defer to the others as far as the early hype is concerned [busting boxes of a new product] and make my own moves to add selected cards from the latest products in my collection.
I need to pick up singles with modest goals such as acquiring a particular player's rookie card without expectation of value. I want to 'represent,' even though at times, I may not have the most valuable card of a player.