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|Silver Card Talk Member|
I have to say that I agree with this. The culture around Comic-Con has really changed, and the culture around comic and hobby collecting isn't what SDCC is about anymore- it is more about celebrity sightings and Hollywood announcements. Even the city of San Diego changes the week of the convention and is remarkably different than it was during convention week even ten years ago. The sad thing, I think this change is starting to spread out to other conventions as well.
I think card manufacturers have a hard time promoting their products to this population as many people have become highly specialized collectors wanting unique collectables and grab every freebee they can find and evaluate their profitability later, or general collectors who really are being edged out of the convention circuit, either because they don't want to deal with the hassle and expense of the convention circuit, the extreme collectors, or going to a convention that doesn't have what they want. For example, the last time I went to SDCC I wanted promo pack of The 4400, because that was the show I was into at the time. I found that the booth that had it (I think it was the CBS booth?) required you to spin a wheel and have the wheel land on that spot to get it. The problem was that every time they advertised that they would open the wheel up for spinning, it got mobbed. This went on for all four days that I was there. Finally, on Sunday my friend and I waited two hours from the end of one opportunity until the next opportunity to spin, only to have the runners at the booth decide that they were just going to let people take stuff as freebees so they wouldn't have to pack it up. Well my friend and I were at one end of the booth and the cards were placed on the other end and by the time that I could get from one end to the other, all the cards were snatched up! Mind you, I saw people with four or five packs, and we only wanted one pack between the two of us! I got too frustrated that day and decided to just avoid Comic-Con and Downtown San Diego during SDCC week. In fact, it is the week I usually take off to go visit family in Northern California. Conventions are just not worth it- I wasted time and money for one four pack of cards that I ended up getting off eBay a month later for $5. If any collectors are like me, SDCC and comic conventions in general have just become too overexposed and not as fun to be at as they used to be!
I totally agree with this. I think that non-sport manufacturers need to penetrate the general market and the sports hobby market better. Places like Target have open boxes with packs, but why can't they have sealed boxes for sale also? Target sells sealed retail sports packs- why not make a non-sport release that has the same odds as the packs that they are all ready selling, but in a sealed bundle packaging? That way people could pick up individual packs, or have an incentive for buying packs in bundles? Also, the products need to be located in the impulse rack as well. As a kid, my parents would always let me pick a pack or two of cards from the box that was on the aisle that we chose to check out from. If there was no box there, they would always forget unless I reminded them. I am surprised that there aren't some non-sport releases in the impulse section at checkout aisles. There are Pokemon cards and small Lego sets- why not a peg with individually sealed pack of the current movie that is in release? For grocery store, this might be a hard sell as there really isn't any card product that are sold there anymore, but stores like Target all ready are buying this, and all it would take is the card manufacturers working with a corporate office to adjust their planograms. Having worked retail, I know that planograms can be adjusted fairly easily, and the impulse section is always full with product, and I think it would really get people not only noticing the hobby, but buying packs as well as they are in a section that everyone has to go through to buy something, rather than be in one section that can be easily missed.
I also think that some outreach could be done to hobby stores that sell sports memorabilia. I think non-sport might be viewed as a bit "soft" of batch of releases, so why not show different releases that have unique and valuable cards that might appeal to sports collectors. Furthermore, why not try to dovetail with sport releases that have non-sport aspects? I think things like Razor's Pop Century release would go well with Donruss' Fans of the Game release which may give people incentive to try other non-sport releases that have autograph and memorabilia cards. I know a lot of sales technique is about complimenting products to get customers to buy multiple product lines, and am always surprised when I go into a hobby store that exclusively sells sport cards as I think there is a lot of overlap in the hobby and non-sport could really get some exposure in the sport shops.
billylomas1 on Epack
This is a good discussion. I am going to agree with the OP, that kids nowadays are uninterested in collecting physical media. Just as my generation had a heyday growing large DVD and CD collections, and we learned a hard lesson when industries said "No! It's not the best you can get! Here's an option to buy the one or two songs you want off the album, in data form you can use on your computer and your phone, and here's HD video... your DVD sucks."
I love my little blu-ray collection but I have been seeing for years in tech forums, comments like "people who collect media are stupid". It's in recent months that I have really noticed Comcast has bumped up the quality of their HD, such that most action scenes do not get reduced to pixelated rubbish, and Netflix streaming is good enough for most film material. Netflix has made it clear THEY know the future is almost up for mailing movies to people.
I can see how in most cases, it makes much more sense to use On Demand or Netflix to browse and start a movie in seconds, than pop a disc in, wait for it to load, stare at the FBI warning, the warning that the extras and commentary on the blu-ray might offend me, and then skip the trailers, only to get to the movie that looks a bit better, and sounds a bit better. Great, if I am not watching a sci-fi, CG, summer blockbuster, but instead, a period drama, I really am not missing anything.
All that being said, ask a kid what they collect and chances are the first reply is, I have 4,000 mp3s on my iPhone.
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
You hit the nail on the head with that one. Younger generations under twenty-five now have been exposed to so much more than we were at their age, its no wonder that their mentality is very different from how we grew up. I don't know what the average age of Card Talk members may be, but many here have been collecting trading cards in some form or other for decades. Many have come back to card collecting after a long absence because it was something they did when they were kids. And to be sure, there is always that little streak of hoarding that is in most of us deep down, because we like to collect and own a variety of things.
What younger people today want is only the latest thing, be it phones, computers, music, movies, cars, games, clothes. They don't even have to own it as long as they have access to it. They get everything off the internet and social networking sites and they put all of their spare time into it.
I think the future of our hobby in terms of products is great. Non-sport cards have never been made this good, with so many different subjects and plentiful premium hits of certified autographs and terrific sketches. Yes, they are more expensive, but good value can be found.
But in terms of having a collector base that will expand or even just keep pace with current numbers, I wish I could see it, but I just don't.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
Or how many "Friends" they have on Facebook
I find very sad the way this next generation is sooo different from the older generations even my generation is pretty bad(I was born in the eighties, that's all I will say )
It is such a throw-away disposable generation, new iPad, must Have it and throw away the old one(not that there is anything wrong with the 2-3 year old) They just have to have the newest and best.
I don't think they know how to appreciate things anymore.
I'm an avid HC 1st Ed Book collector and to me there is nothing better than going into a second hand bookstore and being surrounded by books, it's my idea of heaven
The idea that books will some day disappear because people would rather download a book and read it on their Ipad or something terrifies me.
My earliest childhood memories are of my Dad or Mum reading to me and I think that is what has instilled a deep love for books.
I feel the same way about Trading Cards, it was actually my younger brother who was obsessed with collecting basketball cards that my Mum one day spied a Non-Sport set that she thought might interest me, the Dynamic Australian Aladdin set. I loved them so much I even made a little album for them out of a photo album, but I was never able to finish the set though due to the tiny little card shop selling out and wasn't able to find anymore.
I stop collecting for over ten years, but never threw them out.
I had the collecting bug though, so when I found out that alot of my favourite shows have had sets made, the rest is history
These days though, my one tiny little comic book shop doesn't even sell non-sports cards, only a few CCG stuff. Even though they sell alot of ultra pro supplies.
So I haven't seen cards in a shop since I was a girl, I think in part that is due to the fact that the few that were around 15years or more ago stocked Australian made cards, and to import cards is so expensive today it's not worth it for shops to do so when it's easier for the buyer to just buy straight from the US themselves unfortunately.
I read some of the posts in this thread to my wife and she had an interesting observation, that, kids don't know or care about the value of their 'collections' outside of the worth to themselves. So, those 4,000 mp3s are precious to them but worth nothing to anyone else as different from the millions of copies of those files elsewhere.
With the average young person nowadays throwing away devices, and collecting everything as data, what is the future collectible?
|Silver Card Talk Member|
I totally forgot to address this idea when I answered earlier. It is a sad thought, as I find the data to be a lot less enjoyable than my cards, even though my cards take up a lot more space- which is the main reason I am trying to go paperless. It seems like a lose-lose situation- either I run out of room or I have "worthless" data images.
Then again, data has a high premium on games like World of Warcraft, so maybe there can be some interest/value in that train of thought.
billylomas1 on Epack
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
So, the discussion seems to be split between the dollars killed the golden goose group and the 'fings ain't wot they usta be' group.
The fact is the hobby is dead either way and we may as well get used to the idea that in the finish we will all end up trading with each.
The sad part about that is that there is only a limited number of collectors out there that I can access.
Anyway, you Americans and British collectors are relatively lucky. There is absolutely no trading card retail outlet in New Zealand (pop. (pop.4.2million) and (to the best of my knowledge) only two in the whole of Australia (pop. 22 million)
Ebay of course is the great Trading Card Market Place but even so, it's just cards that do the rounds from one collector to the next.
Never mind, when I die my wife will put my half million cards on the market and you can all benefit.
Now there's a happy thought!!
My dog is a RotweillerXLabrador. He'll bite your leg off but he'll always bring it back to you.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
It is a sad thought that eventually our hobby will die out and no new products will be made.
Are there any pre teens/teenagers interested in trading cards anymore? I know I only collected them when I was still in primary school, but grew out of it before I entered high school.
The way I see for kids today this would be an "uncool" hobby and anyone into it would be the geeky kid at school without any friends. I'd like to know in 10 -15 years time what the kids of today will be collecting or if they are collecting anything at all.
Wow, sounds depressing.. I really started seriously collecting about 2 years ago.. have invested alot, I hope my investment will still be worth something in the years to come.
How about a quick age check, I am 35.. sounds like everyone else is a bit older..
|Silver Card Talk Member|
I just ordered a box of The Tudors, my first new set want since Buffy Memories (or possibly Charmed Forever).
I have been collecting Heroes and newer LOTR sets through trading, but in the meanwhile have been buying over the last few years costume cards and autos to fill holes in my collection.
New sets are great but so is filling the gaps
Is beginning to realize that collecting cards is like an itch that never goes away......
|Silver Card Talk Member|
I think we just have to know there are two roads we can go down with this business/hobby.
A. We continue to charge 50+ for new boxes, making each pack 2-4 dollars on initial release. If you make that the price point, you HAVE to put in something more then base cards and simple inserts to make the set something to buy. If you're only gonna put in a 5 dollars base set that you printed TONS of into your 50 dollar box, your industry dies in 3 months...would you buy a 50 dollar box when AT best you can only hope to get 6 dollars worth of material from it? Of course not.
B. You release sets/boxes with pack price points of 50 cents a pack, 8 base cards, and 1 or two basic foil insert sets. You keep the box price to 12-18 dollars a box. Boxes would only be broken by collectors/fans and so the glut of them on the market(base card/insert wise) would stop because the case breaking dealers would stop ordering/buying. This would bring the base sets values up to the point where a 15 dollar box would get you about 15 dollars in cards. It also means people can afford to buy more boxes and not feel crushed when they do. It also takes the entire chance/gamble aspect out of it so you lose both the highs (Kayanan sketch WOOT) and lows (Alien soldier # 2 auto DOH!) that come with opening high dollar high risk/reward boxes.
Those are the only two options we have really seen so far en masse...they are as i see it our only 2 options for the future. If you make boxes cost 50+ , if you put in just base its a ripoff and no one buys. If you make them sub 20 and no high end inserts, you cut the market for buyers down a lot but you also maybe bring in more younger kids and ex-collectors back into the fold potential. That's how i see this shaking out.
Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!
|Bronze Card Talk Member|
Let's not forget that there are such things as 'Retail' boxes and 'Blaster' boxes - though they are much more prevalent in sports cards.
Retail boxes are intended to be a cheap option for kids and are generally devoid of higher end chase cards (or the odds are astronimical for high end chase cards) and as such the prices are much lower.
Blaster Boxes are these same cheaper retail packs with multiple packs inside a factory sealed box (say between 5-10 packs) which makes it a multiple buy/purchase - that also coincidentally makes it harder to cherry pick, or at least I would think it does.
These sku's are often made in addition to Hobby boxes, though obviously not in all cases.
Inkworks did it for some products - Lost being one that I can recall, and Topps does it for Gardbage Pail Kids & Wacky Packages - or at least I think I've seen some of them, the Blasters at least.
Rittenhouse doesn't do 'Retail' versions of their products that I'm aware of but I assume that's because their products are limited runs, and basically Hobby focused. Perhaps their licenses don't really lend themselves to retail (Stargate, Lost, Eureka, Warehouse 13 - not exactly mass appeal products) as well as Topps' Hannah Montana or Jonas Brothers or Transformers brands?
So there are lower priced product options out there, usually in mass market 'retail' (Wal Mart, Target, etc.) for the kids/casual collector's to be able to access, but of course its nowhere near as accessible as it used to be when trading cards were in every corner store. The convenience stores (here in Canada at least) appear much more likely to have YuGiOh or Pokemon gaming cards than non-sport (or even sports cards) these days.
Sorry to say but this is part of the problem. Since the 90's a lot of comics and cards have been bought as investments and there are some really disappointed people when they try and sell their prized possessions. You only have to read the 'My best eBay bargain' thread to see how prices have dropped.
When I first started collecting it was by the pack and dealers used to carry thousands of base cards so I could always complete my sets. I then moved on to boxes and multi-boxes to improve my chance of getting that 'special' chase card. I even bought the odd case or two just for sketch cards. It seems that as collectors buying habits changed everyone became a mini-dealer, dumping thousands of base sets on eBay, and it's sad to see loads of very good base sets go unsold for as low as 99p - how can full-time dealers compete against that?.
My card collecting habits have changed dramatically over the last two years. I haven't purchased any new releases at all, and I'm even considering down-sizing my collection. I still buy a few cheap boxes for my grandson and commission the odd sketch card but I think it says it all that the most enjoyment I now get from cards is collecting the Mego Museum cards and you can only get them by trading or the generosity of others.
|Gold Card Talk Member|
It seems to me there are three arguments as to why less younger people are collecting nowadays:
1) Less selection/availablity at point of sale in shops.
2) High prices of current products.
3) Young people are less 'inclined' to be collectors because of modernity.
Simply put, I disagree with all three.
1) I can think of several newsagents/supermarkets etc. in my neck of the woods that offer several different types of cards at the point of sale. I haven't gone out of my way to look at how much they cost as they aren't the type of cards I collect, but they are all very much of the moment, i.e. Doctor Who, Top Gear, Twilight etc so I imagine are the 'right' kind of cards kids would want.
I think the earlier suggestion of sports-card dealers branching out into non-sports is a very good one. When I was at school, just about everyone collected Premier League football stickers. If people are buying these over the counter, kids are going to see the non-sport products and branch out, which is probably what I did: just like everyone else I collected Premier League football stickers and went mad for Power Rangers and the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition sets when I was a kid. Kids will spend their pocket money lapping up a retail product, but only it's put in front of them.
2) I think a combination of retail and hobby products for licences are a great idea to entice a range of collectors. That said, even if looking only at the Hobby side that has ever more expansive chase lists with high value sketchs, autos, costumes, not everything is expensive. I genuinely believe most modern products offer something for everyone's price range.
A retail focused product is a good way to capture the younger audience however promo cards are an invaluable tool as well. If they have the name of the manufacturer and some scant product details, in this day and age it's not too much of a stretch to imagine the youth of today could do a bit of googling and come up with some good results. Manufacturer's need to find more ways to get these into the hands of collectors so future collectors can see what esle is out there.
3) Simply put, it's nonsense, and this is coming from someone in their mid 20s and surrounded by people who are obsessed with iPhones and the like.
I have a friend who is very tech-savy yet is passionatley building up his blu-ray film library. In contrast another friend who is even more tech-savvy prefers his hundreds of films in electronic form, yet collects martial arts weapons and other assorted objects. We are all passionate about different things and I think for the most part, we are all inclined to collecting, it's human nature to hoard things we enjoy. The only reason it may not be trading cards is because people don't even know they exist!
Manufacturer's need to get a bit more innovative about showcasing their products. What got me into hobby cards was a 'Collectibles Hour' on QVC which was hosted by Darren Epstein. I purchased a Tomorrow Never Dies binder and base set and this one purchase rekindled that collecting craze I had when I was a kid and opened my eyes to the world of 'trading cards'. Over a decade later I dread to think how much I have pumped onto helping keep this industry alive.
To keep this hobby going manufacturers need to do two things:
1) Invest in retail products which are essential to capture the younger crowd.
2) Get the information out there when it comes to current hobby products. The industry seems too insular and people won't buy what they don't know about.
I'm going to pick a couple of nits with you.
For your first point, that cards are out there, I'll be specific to what is available around me in the Fort Lauderdale area. Target, wal-mart, 1 sports card store that carries zero non-sport, and 2 comic stores, one of which has ancient cards (80's stuff), and the other who has the newest CCGs and occasionally, a single box of the latest, hottest non-sport. Oh, and, of course, the dollar tree with their chase-less mix of product. It really is slim pickings.
For your third point. It might just be that people in their 20's are too old to dictate the future of this hobby in the age of iDevices. When I suggested to ask a kid what they collect, I meant just that. Ask someone between the ages of 12 to 17 and, chances are, they don't have a collection of anything more than data files. My nephew is 13. When he was a kid, it seemed he would be lot like me, loving LEGO, and building a collection. Now, he has his iPod touch and iPhone and everything of value is in those.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nicnac,
|Gold Card Talk Member|
I have to agree with Nicnac
Few, if any, of the comic book stores around here still carry non sports cards. You may see a few retail cards at Target, but that's about it. In my experience, the only way to get the new releases is from dealers or ebay
Having attended recent major shows, I don't see any people there under the age of 30. Maybe I go to the wrong shows, but you really don't see too many kids. Am I wrong ? Anyone else have an opinion ?
|Platinum Card Talk Member|
I am lucky enough to have one very decent hobby store near me. I often have to request that specific non-sport boxes be bought for me alone. There are perhaps 2 or 3 regular customers who are also interested in non-sport cards besides me and we are not always looking for the same products, as some prefer sketch cards or comic based sets and I like autographs. None of the non-sport collectors buying there that I know of are young, me included.
Furthermore, in observing the store traffic, there are two main catagories of young non-sport card buyers, I won't call them collectors because I'm not sure that is their objective. You have your under 10 year-olds that are coming in with their parents and are getting Disney type stuff, or superhero related or those Pokemon type cards. Then you have the teenagers and young adults (all male it seems) who are into Magic type gaming cards. The store still runs a couple of gaming days a week and is quite happy with the sales.
You can say that its the hobby's fault that young people are not attracted to non-sport cards, and to some extent the suggestions brought up have valid points, but from my experience the society has changed quickly since the internet age and the generation gap is turning up in all sorts of places.
Adult card collectors of today generally learned about card collecting as kids, whether or not they had big collections. Indeed the best non-sport products of today are geared for adult collectors with money. The collector base is not expanding because the foundation is not being laid for kids to get hooked, partially because its expensive, but mainly because their interest is just in other things. Its OK if you disagree, just my opinion, and I don't like it either.
|Silver Card Talk Member|
I work at a middle school,and all they think about is their phones or ipods,etc. No one that I know collects any kind of cards.
You're not afraid of the dark are you?
|Titanium Card Talk Member|
.............and there you have it.
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
But then, is the problem that kids expect hits? When I was a kid, it was enough to open 1 or 2 card packs using my hard earned pocket money and find new BASES that I didn't have, or extras I could actually trade for those I didn't have. Now, I can imagine, kids are like me. If there isn't a chase in a certain amount of packs, I ain't risking my money.
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