After law-school finals periods (and with awesome results) CardHunt and it’s editor -yours truly- are back for some serious collecting.
Coming up this summer some great reviews and articles on the best of the Non-Sport World!
Stay tuned for the great stuff coming up this summer on CardHunt: your favorite source of Non-Sport!!
NSU’s latest issue came out last week, and I was pleasantly surprised to see The Invisible Woman (from the Fantastic Four) featured on the cover; and if that was good, things kept getting better at every page-turn, as this month’s issue came jam-packed with very interesting reads.
One particularly appealing article was “Classic Cult Cards-from Sci-Fi to Sword & Sorcery”, written by Charlie Novinskie, and it reviewed the soon-to-be-released fantasy and sci-fi series from Cult Stuff. So if you are an FPG collector and a fan of its fantasy artist sets-as I sure am- I highly recommend this piece.
This issue’s Promo column discussed different promo cards from the animated series “Thomas & Friends”. In another period of my life, this article would have been ignored, but parenthood has a weird effect on people (lol). My kid loves the show, so it was cool to learn a bit about these cards.
Lastly, it is worth to mention Dave Thopson’s new column Beyond Non-Sports. This new section centers on themes not directly link to NS cards but yet related in some way. This column premier gave a glimpse of the “Magic: The Gathering” world. It was very informative and entertaining piece with some very interesting insights and ideas on the card game.
Here’s the list of articles on this issue as display on the NSU webpage:
Editorial: Where, Who, What?
Venturous Vixens: Rittenhouse Archives presents the darlings of dilemma in this splashy new Marvel set.
Beyond Non-Sports: The Game is Afoot! – NSU thinks outside the non-sports box in the premier edition of this exciting new column.
Classic Cult Cards—From Sci-Fi to Sword & Sorcery Barbarians, dragons, and…Martians?
The Notorious Bettie Page: The original Dangerous Diva!
Horror Monsters Mystery. There’s more to this creepy classic than most collectors realize.
I cannot end this review without mentioning the Notes column by Roxane Toser where she shared some of her frustration with the downfall of our hobby and the apparent apathetic attitude of some collectors. On this note I have to say that indeed we’ve been somewhat “dormant” with the growth of our hobby. There’s much we can do in order to get people hooked with collecting. We HAVE to get young people back on collecting; and we HAVE to be creative if we want Non-Sports to survive this recession.
This past weekend the 19th David Comic Clan Convention took place at the YMCA here in San Juan. There were many dealers with a decent variety of Comic/Sci-Fi related merchandise but unfortunately none of them got any Non-Sports (bad day for me, good for the wife’s). Still, I was surprised and pleased to see more people than usual. Even more to see many teenagers looking around and some of them were all dressed up in their favorite anime character. And that is –in my humble opinion- the most important element in order to keep hobbies alive: getting the young people involve. Otherwise, we will all be buried with our “priceless” treasures.
And that’s something that’s been missing from our hobby lately, young people. Most of us card-hunters are adult males. Man who have either grown up collecting them or collectors that once gave it up and are now back searching for lost memories of their childhood. But it didn’t use to be like this. Back in the 90’s a big part of the hobby was composed of young teenagers and eve younger kids. But times have change now.
Technology has increase, and with it, the access that the youth has to it. Internet, video games, cell phones have come to take the place that collecting once had. According to a survey by the “Pew Internet & American Life Project” 97% of teenagers play some type of videogame. That’s an incredible number considering that it would mean that almost all of them have access to a game console. Yet, why then is our hobby in such a bad shape? To get an answer of the present, we must first understand the past; we need to see at the moment where card collecting started falling.
It all went down in the 90’s (my collecting era). Manufactures where eager to produce for in the first half of that decade a lot of interest emerge for sport cards due to the popularity that reach both baseball and basketball -we all can thank Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal for that. But let’s go further back for a moment.
In the beginning cards (in the format we know them today) were an extra from a main product, the chewing gum. As time went by, kids started to be more and more interested in the card, the hunt, the fellowship. Then came the Second World War and with the scarcity of paper a lot of cards and comic books where donate by mothers all across America.
In the mid eighties there was a lot of attention to the high prices that these old comics and cards were reaching. Then at tsunami of buyers in the early 90’s saw current comics and cards as a retirement fund that they would cash in some day. As an answer to that, manufacturers started producing thousands of comics saturating the market. People were buying not boxes, but cases of cards and dozens of comic’s dups. When all of them realized that at the end those items were worth some pennies above the original price, they stop buying.
People didn’t realize that those comics and cards that were been auction for incredible prices were real rear to come by since most of them got destroy; either by kids, or later, the war. Producers got hit as true collectors as well; not the guy who saw cards as IRAs, but the ones who treasure them for the fun.
So, what does the future holds for card collecting. It’s hard to say and I don’t see much hope. We’ve been outbid by technology; kids almost seem to get to this world with precognitive skills for computers and game consoles. Lots of parents have also neglect the quality time with their children, where it was where parents use to collect and sort cards with children. That initiation is lost and TV has come to fill that void.
We got to get young people back to collecting. Not only to keep our hobby alive, but to give them the opportunity to share the fun, the hunt, the memories that comes with every pack! One can start by making cards cool for our kids and grandkids; find the right subject or theme set. Cards can be given at birthdays and Christmas. Collect with them! Read with them (or to them) the back of the cards! Sort them out. Take them to your local card shows! BE CREATIVE!
And lastly, support your dealers, shops, favorite card websites, and magazine editors (like Les Davis or the Tosers); we can make waves. Again WE can!
How good it feels to be one step closer to completing a set; especially if the set is close to ones heart. It’s like getting one character of a Star Wars jigsaw or getting another train “property” in a Monopoly board game. Had that feeling this week!
I’m currently working on completing my Achilleo’s sets (both series 1 & 2). See, I like Master Sets. I believe that the process of building Master Sets in an era where you will mostly get the base set for a couple bucks online, Master Sets are the way to go for people who enjoy the process of building it.
The definition of “Master set” it’s greatly debate by collectors. Some might consider Master set to be the base set, chase cards and promos. Others include binders, autograph and sketch cards. I myself see a Master Binder as the “Anything-related-to-that-series” set. And what exactly is that? Well, on my book:
- base set
- parallel sets
- chase cards
- autograph cards
- sketch cards
- case topper cards
- seller sheets
- display box
In my book, building this is no peaches and cream
Some of you might be thinking that this will be an easy task with places like Ebay floating with auctions on thousands of sets. But you got to remember that it will all depend on the set (scarcity, year of production, etc.). Also, not every dealer or seller tends to have that kind of inventory. Finally, even after you’ve found the item, money could crash your dreams.
In my case, another step was taken with an incredible deal from a fellow dealer at www.non-sport.com.
The Achilleos series 1 has two parallel sets: one silver-foiled and one gold-foiled. It’s rare to see singles of both of them and rarer to see the complete set. TODAY I checked on Ebay and the silver and gold sets were been auction for $250 each (an amount of money I’m not comfortable spending with today’s economy). The gold set was the one I bought and I got it for a fair price. With this acquisition, I’m moving to get the silver one which appears to be tougher to find.
Right now, for Series 1 I have:
- Base set
- 4 cards uncut promo sheet
- Gold Parallel Set
For series 2:
- Base Set
- 3 of 5 Metal Storm chase cards
- Binder with special Binder Card
- Promo sheet
There’s still a long way to go and I’m happy about that for that means the HUNT it’s still on.
I invited you to read a full review of the set in the archives of this blog.
Last issue of The Wrapper came last week and yet another great issue. For those of you who don’t know what The Wrapper is, here’s some history to catch-up.
The Wrapper is the oldest Non-sport magazine in the United States. It focuses on pre 1970 trading cards (even doe newer cards and info can be found). Every issue has from 4 to 6 well written and interesting articles and a lot of ads from dealers and traders from all around the country and beyond (I’ve seen ads from people from Australia!).
New issues are release every six weeks (a total of 8 per year) and mailed to subscribers. The magazine started in 1978 and was originally intended for a local distribution but spread as the hunger of collectors for means of communication and trade increased. The name obviously comes from the wax wrappers where cards come.
On this particular issue there were some interesting articles. One of them entitled “Addams Family” was centered on that popular set from 1964 (Donruss Company) that was reissued in 1996 by Dart. Another article, Another Tough Bread Issue,
was centered on Wild Bill Hickok cards from bread and other food products from the 50’s. My favorite one was an article written by David Hornish about Topps Early History. Overall, it’s an awesome issue with great articles and lots of good ads.
As a closure I will like to thank Editor Les Davis it’s a hard-working man and a devoted collector and father. His effort has been medullar for the continuity of the Non-sport cards collecting hobby; a work for which his subscribers and fellow collectors are very grateful.
I still remember the rush back in the car with my mom driving me to the drugstore to buy some cards. She always was fond and supportive with my interests. She didn’t mind the bloody monsters in the illustrations; she just loved seeing my face before and after getting those packs. I opened them with anxiety and thrill.
Good memories are attached to trading cards. And at the end of the road, those memories, the nostalgia, the idea of reviving a time past, it’s part of what makes collecting trading cards so great. Differently to other collecting hobbyist who mostly starts at an older age (like cars, bonsais or DVDs), most trading card collectors started their collection at a young age.
For me, those times were the 90’s. Times were different back then (or back-back then in the 60’s and even before that). In those days computers were a gigantic thing that wanted to take over the world on a sci-fi movie; or a legendary monotonous thing only accessible to rich kids. Comics and trading card had a great era. Collecting was an awesome way of past time and share with friends while building and awesome set.
We didn’t care about bills or money; we didn’t know who were running for governor or what the weather forecast was. We just cared about that one card; that last one or rare card. Dup’s were trade or gave away: new friends were a single away. How sad how greed took it down.
We collect for many reasons: the hunt, the bragging; the fun reading, organizing and admiring the art; the community of collectors. But no more beautiful reason than grasping a piece of memory between our fingers; and remember; and cry from joy.
A couple promos I ordered came in the mail today. Heavy breathing and sweating overcame me when I realize that the seller shipped them in a cheap manila envelope. What a lousy job to protect those valuable promos. This is what happens when one orders from amateur sellers. I don’t want to sound elitist but when your selling a product through Ebay, as a seller, your also selling the future deals you’ll make. I ordered packages on a regular basis; mostly envelopes. Sometimes, I have to fight with the wrapping because of all the protection some sellers use on their merchandise. But man, this guy used a hot pocket box as support. Then on the corners of the envelope, in almost undistinguishable letters was written “Do not bend”; needleless to say that they got bent. I’ve learn from this one. Next time Ill go with one of my regulars and forget about the pity savings