I think sooner or later, as a card collector, you have to embark in some sort of unrealistic feat to complete, a project that is so far out of your reach, you will find gratification anyway for putting together at least a tiny part of it.
I decided I found mine in the 1934-36 Diamond Stars set, produced by National Chicle and also known by its catalog designation R327. The set includes 108 cards measuring 2 3/8” by 2 7/8” and fronts feature color representations of photographs against art deco backdrops.
It is a classic in style, in my opinion much better than the contemporary Goudey set.
The original 1934 issue included cards 1-24, with green ink on the backs. In 1935, cards 1-24 were reissued, 25-72 were printed with green ink and 73-84 can be found with either blue or green ink. By 1936, some cards from 1-31 were printed again, along with all cards from 73-84 and the final run, 85-108. Cards 97-108 are much scarcer and feature players who had already been featured on cards in earlier series.
This way, collecting all the front/back variations is kind of a nightmare, one I don’t even consider: it’s already a steep project to find at affordable prices all the cards.
Notable names in the set are Lefty Grove, Earl Averill, Bill Dickey, Hank Greenberg (with a mispelled version, Greenburg), Jimmie Fox, Pie Trynor, Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Mickey Cochrane, Lloyd Waner, Tony Lazzeri, while the dynamic duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig is not in the lineup of superstars.
There are not average prices for these cards, of course, but from what I saw a minor star card in good conditions sells for around 50 dollars, with superstars in the 200-300 dollars range.
Do a little math and you come out with a price I don’t even want to write, one that will need much more green on my side than I can afford, at least now.
But the thrill of digging through online auctions, finding a card for a decent price, nailing another one in your collection is what makes this impossible mission one to cherish in the next years.