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Determining sets and subsets

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2013 03:33PM EDT
A Set on Zistle is considered any set that is sold as an individual product or brand. Some inserts cards may also be considered a set if they were inserted in multiple brands and/or can be purchased as a factory or separate set. 

Factory Sets

If a set can be purchased as a factory set, the factory set is not necessarily a separate set from the main set. For example, if you purchase Topps Series 1 and Topps Series 2 but you also purchase the Topps Factory set of that year, these are catalogues ad the same set. Unless there is something unique about the factory set (a special logo, variation, etc) these should be considered the same set.

Products versus Sets

There are a few products that are particularly confusing because they frequently insert cards from other sets into their product. In particular, Topps Series 1 and Series 2 and the Bowman Products. 


Topps Series 1 and Series 2 are NOT considered individual sets on Zistle but they are products that contribute to the Topps set of that year. Since each product contains different cards in the main set parallels, etc, they are all considered Topps and no distinction is made between the series. 

The reason is that it is too difficult to manage what belongs in what series with a member moderated library.

In addition, there are also subsets that are retail only, hobby only, Wal-Mart only, Target only, etc. Since these are also sold in separate products. To avoid confusion, all of these products are included under the set of Topps.


Bowman releases several products and cards from several sets are inserted into others. This leads to extreme confusion for determining the sets. 

- Bowman
- Bowman Chrome
- Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

- Bowman
- Bowman Chrome
- Bowman Draft Picks
- Bowman Chrome Draft Picks

Despite the fact that Bowman Chrome are inserted into Bowman sets, they are also sold as a separate set so they are considered a separate set.

For consistency, we keep the same logic for the Draft Picks & Prospects sets. 


Each set contains a subset called the main set which contains the base cards of the set. The base set is determined by the numbering. For example, rookies and legends are still considered part of the main set because the numbering is the same.

Any card that has a distinct numbering system is considered a subset. An insert that belongs to different set is not a subset unless it is somehow distinct from the main set.
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