Non-Sport Update's Card Talk
What level of a promo card collector are you? Or do you collect them at all?

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September 23, 2020, 01:53 PM
What level of a promo card collector are you? Or do you collect them at all?
I'm curious as to what level of a promo card collector you are and why. And if you don't collect them, why not.what level of a promo card collector are you?I don't collect themI collect only to complete a master setI collect certain franchises or subjectsI only collect product premiumsI only collect ones that promote card setsI collect every promo I can find
September 23, 2020, 02:02 PM
I collect every promo card I can find. I love the hunt and stuff I've never seen from decades past show up all the time. It never gets boring. I also like the fact that the subject matter is endless. That they tend to be limited in print run also appeals to me.
September 23, 2020, 03:34 PM
Over the past decade, I only keep the ones for the sets I am working on. Money and space keep me from doing anything else.
September 23, 2020, 03:47 PM
I've been collecting promo cards ever since Wizard started putting them in their magazines. After that, I started with the Topps "X-Files" cards and everything grew from there.

I currently have twenty 3" binders filled with promo cards. I'm primarily trying to fill in the holes in my promo card sets now. Although, I still pick up promo cards wherever I can.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kennywood,

Lucy Van Pelt: How can you say someone is great who's never had his picture on bubblegum cards?
September 23, 2020, 03:59 PM
I checked off I don't collect them, however I will keep those I just find if they are for titles I am buying. I actually think its much more difficult to collect cards that have no relationship to each other or any consistent title. It may be less expensive to collect promos only, but it seems to me that it takes a lot more time, effort, research and expertise to do it. I lack all those things. Big Grin
September 23, 2020, 10:13 PM
For me, there are a few reasons. What makes promo card collecting especially interesting is that it requires patience, the desire to learn and the ability to do some sleuthing as well as having a blast along the way.

I started out as a most card collectors, looking to complete card sets, at whatever level I could achieve and afford. In those days, I was partial to Disney, Star Trek and Marvel. Most non-promo card collectors I know, either collect by certain eras or specific franchises or yet certain levels of "chase/premium" cards like sketch, autograph etc.. However, I've never heard of someone trying to collect every card from every set produced by every non sport card manufacturer of the last 3 decades. Most card collectors narrow their hobby to a specific parameter or field.

However, as a promo card collector, I can collect the world! I'm not talking about my personal challenge of collecting a copy of each promo card, I'm referring to the breadth of topics that have been covered by card manufacturers over the last 30 years from A-Z. I have learned about topics, I never would have broached but for the fact that "if you are a promo card collector, you gotta have it!". So, except for X-rated promos, I'm interested in all of them because the topics they deal with are so diverse.

I like the fact that as I turn the album pages, I can marvel at the beauty of a photograph one second, be immersed in a painting a few moments later and then effortlessly reminisce about a movie because all those images are in front of me on the same sheet. I never get bored!

Moreover, the amount of knowledge I have acquired about pop culture; history; transportation; comic characters; space; TV shows; movies; famous people and a myriad other subjects is incredible just from reading the backs of these little pieces of cardboard over the years.

Another reason is that I simply enjoy the hunt. There are promo cards that just have never shown up for sale on Ebay or anywhere else. The awesome thing is that it may be a $3.00 card. It often is, but it may have taken 15 years of searching. So patience is the name of the game when it comes to collecting promos. Just this week, I saw a promo card I hadn't thought existed for 16 years despite searching for it incessantly!

If you're a promo card collector, you have to develop a strong investigatory ability. For you non-promo card collectors, your life is much easier than ours. All you have to do is go to your favorite buying site, type Marvel or James Bond(an additional 007 search may be needed there) or whatever product you are looking for and voila!
For promo card collectors, simply typing in promo in the search bar will only yield 50% of the desired results. There are also: samples; prototypes; test cards; mail ins; mail always; magazines; comics; product premiums and a plethora of other designations, which only the cabal knows Cool but hey, we don't mind sharing.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: promoking,

September 24, 2020, 01:37 AM
I've always liked movie cards, music cards, animal cards, pin-up cards, history cards, and comic book cards. Promos offer a mix of all those and more. There are promos for books, artwork, toys, cars, and various events like auctions and celebrity appearances. I might not buy a box of a particular Star Wars title but I can get the promo to represent it. Collecting promos can be a lower-cost alternative to paying the ever-rising prices of the latest sets with their extended families of parallels, autographs and sketches. However, some promos have going rates scattered into the hundreds of dollars so you can pick your poison there too.

Promos also offer a distinct challenge of hide-and-go-seek. I was buying boxes in the mid-90's to early 2000's, collecting promos as well, but after several years largely away from cards, I noticed Promoking's thread about promos from before 2009 that were not listed in the 2008 Promo Card Encyclopedia. Todd was very thorough back in the 2000's so I wondered how many cards he and those that helped him could have missed. Promoking had declared there could be thousands of unlisted cards out there because there's always a lesser-known comic book that had a card bagged with it or some regional food product that tried out that type of promotion for just a month or some small collectibles show that gave out exclusive cards - so many possibilities. There are even cards from well-known sets that slipped into obscurity because they were never officially released for whatever reason or were inserted with a video that didn't sell many copies. Thousands? Was he challenging me to join the search?

It turns out Promoking was right because I have found a number of cards that date from the late 80's to 2008 (and some more recent too) that have gone undocumented if not virtually unknown. It's been fun looking for oddball cards.
Sometimes, I had a vague description to look for or some other clue from another collector or dealer. Sometimes, I just got lucky stumbling into a card while looking for something else.

This year, I've concentrated more on filling in some sets but have found some new old stuff too. I think it was Chesspieceface who once posted a scan of a George Petty prototype I'd never seen before. It's a variant that has no text on the back. I had been looking for that and found one earlier this year. I've been collecting promos for years but there's always a lot to learn.

It's great to talk to Todd again and to see others talking more about promos.

September 24, 2020, 11:06 AM
I like the variety of topics. They come from products, trading card companies, toy companies, foundations, associations, airports, artists, dealers, and more that I have not named. They come with errors, recalls, parallels, and other varieties. A lot of effort has to go into getting them whether you are a completest or not. The best part is that you make contacts and friends trying to find them.
September 24, 2020, 11:19 AM
I'm kind of a hybrid promo collector. I got into promo collecting at the Philly Non-Sport Show where they would hand out a package of promos with admission. Then I would take my time going table to table picking up other promos (Big thanks to the late Bill DeFranzo who would provide a list of promos and where to find them).

Also, as a collector of Star Wars / Star Trek Cards, I started collecting promos for each set and as others have said, I really enjoyed the chase, learning about different card sets and promo cards I never new existed

And I got into long running Promo Card Sets - Way back I started collecting the Philly Card Show Promos give out at each show, and currently have every one (most signed, which has also been fun, talking a few minutes talking to all the different dealers and sellers). Also Promo card sets from dealer (Thanks Ed) and artists like Ted Dastick Jr and George Wright make things lots of fun year after year

While I do have a lot of random promos (Some from Non Sport Update Magazine, some from dealers, some from the Philly Shows), most of the promos I collect now are from bigger manufactures (Topps / Rittenhouse / Cryptozoic / Inkworks). Trying to keep track of them all has been a chore. A bit thanks to all the people who post on Card Talk who constantly amaze me with their knowledge of promos, it looks like I will be able to keep my self busy for a long time.

And one last thing - Promo Collecting is good for any budget - Most cards can be gotten for free, a small purchase, or a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
September 27, 2020, 11:19 AM
Let's hear from the quiet people.
September 27, 2020, 02:47 PM
When i got back into card collecting which i reckon was about 1998 i started collecting everything, infact it was more akin to accumalating than collecting. This went on for about 15 years and then around 2013 i suddenly said " what on earth are you doing " and stopped buying everything i could get hold of.

The result of this is i have binders full of promo cards, sell sheets etc for no other reason than they existed.

For instance i have loads of cards for Buffy, Angel, Charmed even though i have never seen an episode of these shows........very worrying. Shake Head

Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
September 27, 2020, 09:10 PM
I actively pursue promo cards from the sets that I collect, but I have also accumulated a bunch of promos from other sets along the way. While they are cool to have, they are not a big part of my collection. Honestly, I don't think a promo card has every inspired me to look into a particular set/franchise/company, but I appreciate the effort and enjoy getting them when they come across my path.
September 28, 2020, 09:30 AM
Hedgehog Witch
The first promo cards I ever got were for Xena back in the 90s. I wasn't even aware what promo cards really were then. There were some nice promo card sets(9-card and 6-card ones) made for Xena and I got most of them.

I mostly keep/collect the ones that are for sets I collect or titles I like, but I don't specifically look for promo cards. If I get them and they're usually free, great, if they're stupid money like some of the Outlander ones, I don't bother.
September 28, 2020, 05:15 PM
David R
I have pretty much collected every promo, with a few exceptions:

1) No food product inserts or things you had to cut off the back of cereal boxes UNLESS it was produced by a company that did other promos (Example: years ago, Inkworks produced Hulk cards that came with ice pops)

2) None of the action figure/toy inserts which came out in the 1990s by SkyBox and others for Star Trek, the Image Comics characters, etc., or the Johnny Lightning cards that Inkworks inserted in toy cars for James Bond and others. There were just too many of those to collect--dozens and dozens of cards.

3) No card sets in which the number of promos were astronomical---example American Vintage Cycles had like 200 plus different promos, one for each base card.

4) Nothing of an "adult" nature, meaning things too racy to be in PCE.
October 01, 2020, 05:47 PM
I have hundreds just by being in this hobby. I actively collect them if they are part of a set I want to complete...which does not happen anywhere near as often as it used to. Generally speaking my collection of promos is pretty much random.

For a year or two I also chased gift cards with entertainment themes. Most of them I got for free or just a couple dollars.
October 02, 2020, 04:56 AM
steve j
I collect Inkworks promos, plus a few other dealer and show promos. Obviously if I'm collecting a card set like the hobbit, I will try to obtain those promos too.
October 02, 2020, 10:46 AM
I don't collect any promos just because they are promos.

There are a few promos that I've collected just because I like the specific cards, for example the Local H card cardaddict recently generously gave me, and the Mallrats magic eye poster promos.
October 02, 2020, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by webjon:

I don't collect any promos just because they are promos.

Now if only i had told myself that 20 years ago. Big Grin

Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
October 03, 2020, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by webjon:
I don't collect any promos just because they are promos.

I'd love to hear more about this. What is it about promos that keeps you away from collecting them? I'm only curious, and this is not an inquisition. Smile
October 03, 2020, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by pcetodd:
I'd love to hear more about this. What is it about promos that keeps you away from collecting them? I'm only curious, and this is not an inquisition. Smile

I'm mainly an autograph card and sketch card collector. There are very few other cards I collect.

While I may collect some autographs/sketches just because they are autographs/sketches the only promo cards I've chased after are ones that I really like for one reason or another.