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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of btlfannz
posted
Quintessence raised an interesting point on another thread in this forum. He pondered on why the hobby of trade card collecting is so dead at the moment.
Yes it is dead but the $64,000 question is, will it ever recover to the levels that it once enjoyed in the '90's.
As much as I wish otherwise, I think not. One only has to look at comparative hobbies like stamps, coins and cigarette card collecting. Each of these had their heyday and all three survive today only by way of a group of hard core of collectors who trade between them selves. Nothing will change for us unless todays children suddenly rediscover trading cards. Don't hold you breath on that one.
Todays children seem not to be motivated in collecting anything, largely I suspect because they have grown up in a (very) disposable lifestyle. They wouldn't even think twice in literally throwing away yesterdays cellphone let alone keepng a bubblegum wrapper.
Once upon a time everyone bought their music on vinyl and every new song came out first on a 45 rpm disc. Ineveitably people hung onto their records and this in turn led to some collectors amassing huge collections. I owned the largest collection of 45 rpm singles in Australasia which numbered just under 27,000 discs. I ended up selling them to my local second hand record store simply because I couldn't find anything else I wanted and, more importantly, anyone else to trade with.
Is that the future of our hobby? Are we already at the point where there is no more new collectors and the hobby will only survive as long as we live? Look at the cigarette card hobby. My father was an ardent collector and accumulated hundreds of sets (is collecting hereditary?)In the end he ended up selling them. Collecting seems to be a fad at a given point in time. Remember phone card collecting, beanie babies and copmics? All of them had their peak and all of them only survive today by way of the hard core that never let go of their collections.
Do you know why you collect? What is the driving force that makes you want to buy more and more cards? I've decided that for me it is because I am a completist. I absolutely have to have one of absolutely everything within the span of my collecting. The question is, what will happen once I get it?
I have an aquaintance here in New Zealand that collects Rolls Royces, He has 27 of them. He once said to me "You are only ever the curator of your hobby. When you die it will all get split up and another collector will start to put together his collection. There is only ever a finite number of things to collect but an unlimited number of people who may decide to collect them."
Very profound

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SBelcher
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Interesting read.
I think the hobby died off from the 90's highs mainly due to price, though that was pushed through the roof by consumer demand for autographs, relics/event-used/game-used, etc.
My parents got me into the hobby (neither of whom collect anything) thanks to the 1989 Batman cards released by Topps. If I was good, they would sometimes get me a pack or two. Back then, they cost 45 cents - a 36-pack box would be less than $17! Topps could print (read: Overproduce) these cards and stickers without the added cost of autos and screen used props... just License-Print-Pack. And my parents wouldn't think twice about dropping 90 cents to shut me up Smile
Current Release that a lot of people had hopes for (it seems): Kree-Skull Wars.
What parent out there can really afford $4 per pack cards? To me, that's a far cry from an impulse buy - it's a meal or a gallon of gas (over here).
Long post, short: Manufacturing Costs went up due to Consumer Demand for Hits. Or vice versa Big Grin
 
Posts: 281 | Location: Indiana | Registered: April 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by SBelcher:
Interesting read.
I think the hobby died off from the 90's highs mainly due to price, though that was pushed through the roof by consumer demand for autographs, relics/event-used/game-used, etc.
My parents got me into the hobby (neither of whom collect anything) thanks to the 1989 Batman cards released by Topps. If I was good, they would sometimes get me a pack or two. Back then, they cost 45 cents - a 36-pack box would be less than $17! Topps could print (read: Overproduce) these cards and stickers without the added cost of autos and screen used props... just License-Print-Pack. And my parents wouldn't think twice about dropping 90 cents to shut me up Smile
Current Release that a lot of people had hopes for (it seems): Kree-Skull Wars.
What parent out there can really afford $4 per pack cards? To me, that's a far cry from an impulse buy - it's a meal or a gallon of gas (over here).
Long post, short: Manufacturing Costs went up due to Consumer Demand for Hits. Or vice versa Big Grin


Questions.

Do you think anyone would buy a pack, box, or case of trading cards nowadays IF it DIDN'T have an "Auto, relic/event-used/game-used, etc"? {Just a base set of commons, a few chase, and promos ?}
We used to.

Did we {collectors} price future generations out of the hobby, because of higher demand and or manufacturing costs ?

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Posts: 1307 | Location: Rhode Island USA 02889 | Registered: January 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BILLZEE
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If the subject is hot in demand and the packs are sold 2 for a dollar (no special inserts), I think more peeps would collect to complete a base set in which they have an interest. That means a box of cards would be under $20 again.

In other words, a manufacturer would need to return to the old school version of trading card production. That could include some type of mail-away bonus when the collector redeems 20 or 25 wrappers.

If the licenses are too costly these days, this may not even be possible in todays economy, but I'd buy in to this Thumb Up
 
Posts: 2213 | Location: DFW | Registered: January 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SBelcher
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Do you think anyone would buy a pack, box, or case of trading cards nowadays IF it DIDN'T have an "Auto, relic/event-used/game-used, etc"? {Just a base set of commons, a few chase, and promos ?}
We used to.

Did we {collectors} price future generations out of the hobby, because of higher demand and or manufacturing costs ?


Yes, I would purchase by the pack or box without a chance at an Auto or Relic, but I understand if someone else wouldn't. I'm just license freak - if I enjoy a show or movie, I'll buy the cards. Put a Batman logo on anything - I have to buy it lol

As far as pricing future generations out, I'd say we certainly deserve some of the blame.
 
Posts: 281 | Location: Indiana | Registered: April 19, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of btlfannz
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So what you guys are saying (if I read you right) is that the reason the kids of today are not collecting is purely price orientated?
Sorry, I just don't buy into that. Price might influence some people but I beliweve that it is more of a cultural thing. The children of today just simply do not have the "collecting culture".
Well not until "the next best thing" comes along at least. Did the hula hoop ever make a come back? I don't think so!!

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Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've moved this from the Card Trading section as this seems a more appropriate place for a discussion!
Au Res.,
Paul

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Posts: 7200 | Location: Basildon, Essex, United Kingdom | Registered: November 30, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Arvin Sloane
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Things run in cycles. The hobby evolves overtime. Do a search on this site's database and you'll find this question asked over and over again every few years, just as you'll find repeats of, "What makes a master set?"
 
Posts: 2206 | Location: SD6 Headquarters | Registered: April 01, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
So what you guys are saying (if I read you right) is that the reason the kids of today are not collecting is purely price orientated?
Sorry, I just don't buy into that. Price might influence some people but I beliweve that it is more of a cultural thing. The children of today just simply do not have the "collecting culture".
Actually, I think you are wrong about this. What has changed is that they are no longer collecting tangible, actual items. They have collections of mp3/music files, collections of video files/image files and anything else they cram onto their mobile phones, netbooks, ebook readers, pad computers, etc. I think one possible exception being that I'm sure there are some out there who collect mobile phones, but that's more because they just dump there old phones in a draw and forget about them rather than consciously collecting them. This is a bit like the way collectors come to a hobby in the first place. The are looking through a draw or attic or the back of the garage and find something they used/cherished years ago and decide to see if they can find or acquire more of them. The equivalent in the future will be coming across an old USB drive in the back of a draw and going throught the music, video or images files hidden away on it.

There will always be collectors, it's just what they collect that will change Smile
 
Posts: 1304 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of TC00
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As most have I've been watching the steady decline of supply and demand for the card hobby particularly non sport. Even big movie tie in sets like NECA's Twilight isn't selling like massive movie tie ins used to which I think reflects how younger generations view card collecting. There probably was a time when esp. kids would buy cards in the hopes of getting an autograph or costume even if it wasnt particuarly 'cool' to collect cards just because it was something from their favourite movie franchise. As someone who began collecting at the turn of the millenium with what was then 'new' sets I recently have begun collecting many Topps sets from the late 80s early 90s where entire sets comprise of a simple color card Base set and Sticker 'Chase' Set. I've gotten quite into base set collecting recently having previously grown bored trying to start new sets and then seeing the massive chase list and figuring some are literally impossible to complete (eg Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) so I began to just collect the base set for it. I've found a lot more satisfacting in just enjoying the base sets which the Topps 80s/90s sets have given me a real appreciation for. Being able to complete a set but enjoy each new card and moving onto a new set is a wonderful feeling. I am still in part a 'victim' of the 'Mass pack/box' buying and ending up with 'thow away' base and only taking an interest in the 'hits' just isn't the same Shake Head I think companys like Monsterwax a wonderful for trying to keep the original ethos of cards collecting alive. If only other companys would try to take a feather out of their cap because some manufacturers are brilliant making chase levels and parallel sets to offer but this can eventually prove their down fall when economic down turns means tighter pockets and collectors being unable to afford for the high pack/box/card prices (eg Inkworks) and its a real shame. Hopefully new manufacturers like Cryptozoic with sets for current hit TV shows The Vampire Diaries and Big Bang Theory could persuade a new generation to enter the hobby and find a new joy to revive it. Surf
 
Posts: 937 | Location: UK | Registered: December 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I take exception to the statment that Inkworks was high pack/box/card priced - Inkworks was always very fair in their collation and pricing, no box was more than $40ish and contained usually 2 card sets, 7 chase cards and 2 big hits per box, it is the new 1 card per pack #numbered card at $50 to $80 a pack resembling the sports card nightmare that is keeping potential young collectors out of the hobby - this is not collecting it is speculating. Marvel Beginnings could have helped bring youth into the hobby but not when it takes 2 to 3 boxes at $65 just to make a base set - what were they thinking - as nice as the cards are - as a collector and dealer I passed because I cannot charge my customers a reasonable price for even a base set - I guess the only thing people will agree on is that there must be a way to bring NEW blood into the hobby
 
Posts: 197 | Location: United States | Registered: December 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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The sad thing is that right now the industry is poised to go through massive growth, but few seem to be trying to tap into it. . .

Show attendance at big shows is at an all time high -- Comic Con sells out multi-day passes a year in advance. C2E2 was so packed with fresh blood you could barely walk. Wizard World Chicago last year was busier than I've seen it in the last 10 years. . . Manufacturers should be getting promos into the hands of each collector, but except at SDCC they aren't.

Croptozoic is bringing in some very mass market friendly products, but will they be able to market them to the masses?

Kids aren't collecting -- well that's not true there are many card games that have had popularity with kids. Some of these kids will start collecting cards. Price isn't the issue, product selection and availability is what is preventing more kids from collecting. You don't see many boxes of cards sitting next to cash registers anymore, and that isn't likely to change. The kids that want to collect will find the hobby -- I mean it isn't like there were a ton of non-sport cards available when I started collecting.

Lots of sport card dealers are jumping in to our hobby. Some of those guys are collecting too. . .

Hobby dead? Not so much, growing in many ways. . . but there are a lot of opportunities that manufacturers could be exploiting. . .

Jon
 
Posts: 4291 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of willgull
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Well, I read this and then turned and asked me 12 year old what he thinks about card collecting and whether he will continue to enhance what I have collected after I leave it to him. His summarized reply is as follows:

First, he had absolutely no outlet with which to collect cards...they are not available anywhere but online (or with the cherry picked boxes at the local Target, Wal-Mart, etc). No local shows, no shops, nothing! Yes, his main objective is to get the auto , costume and sketch cards.

Second, He has already been emabarrassed beyond belief by one dealer who gave him a box of cards and then took them back when the dealer thought he was not being appreciative enough. The kid was 10 years old at that time, for Crissakes! Hence, one of his few interactions with a dealer has completely left him with no desire to go that route again (and we don't).

Thirdly, some of the sets being produced do not excite him in the least (the ones that are age appropriate for him). I will not name some of the titles he quoted since no good could come of that. He is not really interested in many of the sets that have recently came out (or are to be out soon). Just because a license is available does not make for a good card set (his opinion mind you...not mine).

Last of all, he told me he would rather purchase a neat video game, ball bat or bike/bike enhancement with what he would be spending on a few packs or box(es) of cards. They are way too overpriced for him at the moment.

Like I said, that is a summarized reply by my son who has been exposed to collecting since he was born. If his opinion is as such, I can only ponder what someone who has never been exposed to the niceties of NS card collecting would think.
 
Posts: 802 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: January 21, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of hcbrewer
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
The sad thing is that right now the industry is poised to go through massive growth, but few seem to be trying to tap into it. . .

Show attendance at big shows is at an all time high -- Comic Con sells out multi-day passes a year in advance. C2E2 was so packed with fresh blood you could barely walk. Wizard World Chicago last year was busier than I've seen it in the last 10 years. . . Manufacturers should be getting promos into the hands of each collector, but except at SDCC they aren't.
. . .

Jon


people attending these large market shows are not fans or buyers - they are just the masses that are there to check out what it is and see everyone in costume

SDCC is just the latest thing to do
 
Posts: 438 | Location: Toronto | Registered: August 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I find that the hobby has gotten too expensive in both boxes,and the auto/relic cards. For example,an auto card of Chris Hemsworth in Star Trek I got for under $30.00-the same signature on a Thor card goes for between $600 to $800. EekI know some of you might say,"Well,it's Thor,a popular movie......it's the same guys sig. Shake Head
Most importantly a person has to have disposable income,and I,unfortunately,do not! I can't afford to go to SDCC-I want to,but I barely have a job,and don't know what is going to happen 1 month from now. This is the reality of a typical,poor,collector wishing she had more money. SmileIf things were cheaper,but everything is getting ridiculous not just cards-rent,food,cloths,cars............. Eek
I'll stop ranting now..... Wave

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Posts: 1491 | Location: Panama City Beach,FL | Registered: June 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BILLZEE
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quote:
Most importantly a person has to have disposable income,and I,unfortunately,do not! I can't afford to go to SDCC-I want to,but I barely have a job,and don't know what is going to happen 1 month from now. This is the reality of a typical,poor,collector wishing she had more money. If things were cheaper,but everything is getting ridiculous not just cards-rent,food,cloths,cars.............
I'll stop ranting now.....


Amen to that! I know what you mean... Look how food & gas prices have jumped. All the necessities must take precedence over hobbies & collecting. Now when I look at a new pack of cards on a store shelf, I just don't see the value for my $2-$4 cash layout. Its the same way I view new comic books and magazines. Price hikes are slowly pushing me away.
 
Posts: 2213 | Location: DFW | Registered: January 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of samauto
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My question is, Will you still have the drive to complete olders sets if no new sets/boxes are released in the future. If all the card companies stopped producing altogether, would you want to find that one card to finally finish that Master set you have been collecting and slowly adding to for the last 5 years..... As I write this the world is 'supposed' to end in 20 minutes, so I guess we all won't have the chance to do anything like that Big Grin

Pete.

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Posts: 502 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: July 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of hcbrewer
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I would and have
comic cards "stopped" being produced and I still collected them
and now they are back Smile
 
Posts: 438 | Location: Toronto | Registered: August 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hcbrewer:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
The sad thing is that right now the industry is poised to go through massive growth, but few seem to be trying to tap into it. . .

Show attendance at big shows is at an all time high -- Comic Con sells out multi-day passes a year in advance. C2E2 was so packed with fresh blood you could barely walk. Wizard World Chicago last year was busier than I've seen it in the last 10 years. . . Manufacturers should be getting promos into the hands of each collector, but except at SDCC they aren't.
. . .

Jon


people attending these large market shows are not fans or buyers - they are just the masses that are there to check out what it is and see everyone in costume

SDCC is just the latest thing to do


Exactly -- these are the people who are willing to look around and are curious about what it's all about, and you can convert some of them into buyers. . . I can't think of a better target market for potential new customers.
 
Posts: 4291 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of riddickfan
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quote:
Originally posted by BILLZEE:
quote:
Most importantly a person has to have disposable income,and I,unfortunately,do not! I can't afford to go to SDCC-I want to,but I barely have a job,and don't know what is going to happen 1 month from now. This is the reality of a typical,poor,collector wishing she had more money. If things were cheaper,but everything is getting ridiculous not just cards-rent,food,cloths,cars.............
I'll stop ranting now.....


Amen to that! I know what you mean... Look how food & gas prices have jumped. All the necessities must take precedence over hobbies & collecting. Now when I look at a new pack of cards on a store shelf, I just don't see the value for my $2-$4 cash layout. Its the same way I view new comic books and magazines. Price hikes are slowly pushing me away.


sad to know there's more than one like me out there. maybe it'll get better! Smile
The economy-I mean.......

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Posts: 1491 | Location: Panama City Beach,FL | Registered: June 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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