Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cardboard Commentary #1 (Why Collect Cards?)

Check it out! Yet another weekly feature is coming to the Cardboard Review. It's going to be called Cardboard Commentary. Each week I'll be writing an article about something in the hobby. It could range anywhere from talking about what to collect, what's hot in cards, opinions, shipping, eBay, to... well... ANYTHING! If you want to propose a topic, I'm all for it. Let me know in the comments section. I look forward to this new series. I hope you like it!


The first topic I'd like to talk about is why collect cards in the first place? See, card collectors are a very small minority in the world (and sadly, getting smaller). And I think most non-collectors would question why people would 'waste' time and money on little pieces of cardboard - this applies especially to adult collectors (like myself). Isn't card collecting something just for kids anyways? I mean, if someone is going to buy sports cards, it should only be for younger (say, teens and under) people. C'mon, grow up!

Well, first and foremost, I have to say that if someone chooses to collect hockey, baseball, football, or whatever kind of card for their enjoyment, there's absolutely no need to judge them. Hobbies are great ways for people to invest their time in something they like to do. I don't think there ever should be a need to look down on things that people enjoy doing. And I'd say this would apply to stamp, comic, coin, and other collectors as well as people who enjoy playing video games, music, board games, knitting, doing sudoku, painting, and all other types of activities. If someone likes to do something, let them be happy doing it. No need to judge.

Now that that's out of the way... why collect cards?

There are actually many reasons, but here are a few that apply to me (and maybe others):

First, collecting cards brings me closer to the sports I follow. I remember buying baseball card packs as a kid and wondering who these players were that I had pictures of. When a ball game would come on, I'd go to my pile of cards and take out all the cards of the two teams that were playing on TV. I'd pay close attention to their batting, their fielding... everything they did. It was cool to know that I had THEIR card! So I became invested in that player, and it made the game more exciting for me. Now as an adult, I don't put all my cards in front of the TV anymore, but when I pull a rookie card, I'm pretty much immediately looking up their news and information on the internet to see what their potential is, or how they are faring in the league. It's totally fun, and it's a great way to get in the game.

So I just told you about how I would line up my cards during games... well... those were awesome memories for me. And as an adult, I remember my childhood days fondly. Some of the best times were buying and trading cards with my cousins and friends. Going to the local card store with them was always a thrill. For some reason it was always a competition to see who could pull the better cards. Usually I lost because my cousin Jimmy always had the hot hand (darn him!)... but those were definitely good times despite me getting jealous of Jimmy's ridiculous pulls. I think the reason why a lot of us adults still collect or have come back to collecting is because of those great memories and experiences we had as kids. And there's something to be said about doing something consistently for a very long time. I mean... how cool would it be for a baseball card collector to have collected from the days of Mickey Mantle to the present day. That would be some bad-ass-ness there! Imagine that collection!

And finally, collecting is simply thrilling and fun. It's pretty much a form of risk taking (ahem, gambling *cough* *cough*). Who doesn't like buying a pack of cards and finding a super rare autograph or memorabilia card of some superstar player in the NHL, NBA, etc. That's just as awesome as it gets. And it keeps us coming back for more - because it just doesn't happen often enough - hah! Just enough though, right? I have heard some liken card collecting to having Christmas every time they have a mailday or pack/box break. Opening something that could potentially have something cool that you want is never a bad thing. That's the more positive spin on labeling the thrill of breaking boxes and packs. But any way you look at it, it's just plain fun to do. Just make sure you have a good budget for your spending though - thankfully there is a huge range of products with many different price points for collectors to select from.

So there you have it... just a few reasons for collecting. Like I said, there are many more (like helping your organization skills, giving you something to pass on later, to be a part of a community...), but I'll leave it with just the three above. If you have a great reason for collecting, I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading this first post of Cardboard Commentary! This will be a once-per-week column on this site. See ya next time!

14 comments:

  1. I got into collecting as a kid almost as a social outlet. Living in a small town prior XBOXs, internet and smartphones was very isolating. Busting packs and swapping footy cards (in this case Aussie Rules) was something we could all enjoy on day when it was simply too hot to actually play footy.

    As an extension of that I got into collecting NBA cards when it had a boom around '93/'94, even became a Charlotte Hornets fan despite never seeing a shred of game coverage (only 2 TV stations!).

    When I moved to the other side of the country in '95, no one was collecting cards anymore and shops weren't selling them. So like just another fad, it was put in the cupboard and faded away.

    I got back into collecting last year - hockey this time - as a way to connect with a sport that is completely off the radar down here as far as mainstream coverage goes. I played the videogames, watched the highlight packages and read the coverage, but never really felt I knew much about these players.

    As a graphic designer it also holds an additional interest as I like seeing all the different designs from the different products. A lot of the time whether I like the design can be a determining factor as to whether I'll buy the box or not.

    I've since got back into Australian Football cards, and NFL (go Rams!) too.

    - reebz0r

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    1. oh wow, that's awesome! i was just thinking how the design of a card could influence someone into collecting. i personally think upper deck has the best overall card design... since you're a graphic designer, i wonder if you agree?

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    2. I tended to lean towards Panini last year, though price was probably the deciding factor when choosing between a Panini and an Upper Deck product. For instance I liked the look of 11/12 Artifacts, SP Authentic and SPx but ended up going with something like Contenders, Titanium or Limited. Same with The Cup v Dominion, liked both but Dominion was easier on the wallet.

      That said all I've bought this year is Black Diamond and Heroes & Prospects, and it only makes me wish ICE was a stand alone product again.

      - reebz0r

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    3. yea, price definitely has a lot to do with what to collect. panini stuff tends to be much cheaper... but ud tends to hold value a lot more.

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  2. A while ago in 1998 I collected Mcdonalds hockey cards and took it upon myself to get the whole set. My elementry school classmates would collect them too and with their help I managed to trade for the cards I needed and I finished the set! It was a fantastic feeling to complete the checklist, never to be done again. This was before I had the internet so ebay wasn't there to help me.

    Now I collect cards because of the rush it gives. To see if your purchase is a good pay off. The feeling of getting a hit in a pack fun and thrilling for sure. Maybe even addicting? I've heard people use the term 'scratch the itch' before, and I know what they mean.

    Also I collect because it gives me something to do. Organizing and sorting cards takes a lot of time. I don't play video games or have any other hobbies so buying packs sometimes helps pass the time.

    ryannturnaa

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    1. yea for sure... i think it's great to have a hobby. i mean... what else are you going to do after work? sit in a quite dark room by yourself? creepy!

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  3. I used to collect baseball, basketball, and football cards when I was a kid. i have a lot of them, never really lost any. I have a few jersey,auto type cards from then as well. I stopped about when I was in maybe 7th grade. I have thousands of them. About two years ago i started getting into hockey when I saw the playoffs on television and I started rooting for the team closest to me, the vancouver Canucks. they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup, and of course, as you know, lost in game 7. I have recently grown nostalgic of collecting cards and I have now started once again, but I will only be collecting hockey cards, as I am not really into baseball or basketball anymore. I am still into football of course but football cards wouldn't interest me as much. I bought a set of cards from 1990 so I could learn more about the player then and what not, like I used to do when I was younger with sports cards. I just ordered two boxes of some new hockey cards. They are the cheapo kind (Score) I can't wait to receive them. I am very excited to really start collecting again and hopefully get some hits possibly. Like you said, collecting cards really does bring me closer to the sports I follow!

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    1. for sure! thanks for sharing your experience with cards. i think that's how i got back into the sharks too... in 2009 they were so close to getting to the stanley cup finals... now they are on their way back down... ah well!

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  4. Keeping closer to your sports is a great point I've never thought of. Also, collecting is a community. I have become friends with many other collectors, store owners, dealers, and bloggers through the hobby.

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    1. yea absolutely, that's also a great point. there are a lot of good people in this card community that share the same passion. it's awesome to get to know people!

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  5. I too collected when I was younger when cards were mass produced. but what really brought me back last year was when I saw the low numbered cards, jersey/patch cards, auto cards, etc I didnt know that they brought cards to a whole new level since I was young, so I had to get in on the action. im glad i did, its an awesome, expensive hobby.

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    1. hah, yea, it is sooo expensive! that's why it's important to focus the collection. i'll be talking about that more in upcoming posts. but i agree, being able to collect cards that are numbered to 50 and less is unreal! that would have never happened back in the mass produced era!

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  6. I remember when I got back into collecting last may, I was going through my closet and came upon some old hockey cards from 05/06 from when I was 5, and I found a creased Ryan getzlaf rookie class card. Me not knowing anything about cards at the time i thought it was worth $40, and all of that just got me interested in cards again. Since last may it has been an absolute blast collecting, from watching my brothers breaking a box to me breaking a box it has just been an amazing experience. Pretty much the only problem collecting for me is, being a kid myself I don't have a lot of money, so if I were to decide to break a box I would have a lot of my money gone. Sincerely Aidan ,
    Bruinsma888

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    1. yea for sure, i gotta tell you though, as an adult it doesn't get any easier from the money standpoint. cuz now as adults we want all the good stuff... but those things are really expensive. i'm looking at you, ud the cup.

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