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Hey everyone, Matt from Beckett told me about this board and I can't believe I haven't been here before. I'm the owner of a new trading card company called Fascinating Cards (https://fascinating.cards) and last month I released a set of U.S. Congress trading cards. It sold out in two weeks. This seems like the right place to post about my set. I've been active over at the Vintage Non-Sports Card forum and on Blowout Cards. Blowout Cards also did a writeup about me on their blog.

I'm launching a Kickstarter in a few days, so if anyone here would be interested in that, I'd love to hear from you. I look forward to being active here! (don't worry, I won't always be plugging my cards...I love non-sports cards of all kinds).

Nice to meet you all!

-Eric

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Owner of Fascinating Cards, LLC (https://fascinating.cards)
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Eric-

Welcome! Congratulations on the quick sell out. I'm curious to see what other cards you produce.

Jon
 
Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you! The next set will be the 2021 U.S. Congress set. I'm also working with a few companies on obtaining permission to use images for other types of sets. A few that I'm really hoping to produce are North American Birds, U.S. States, and U.S. Cities.

I feel the non-sports market has been under-served, and I'm hoping to help turn that around a bit.

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Owner of Fascinating Cards, LLC (https://fascinating.cards)
 
Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Eric

Nice to see you have found us at last, hope you enjoy your stay. Wavey

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Posts: 28320 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have you done any promo cards ?

Were there any on the set which sold out ?
 
Posts: 4407 | Location: Bayonne, NJ, USA | Registered: May 06, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The set which sold out had exactly 535 1/1 cards made. They were included in each box that was sold. Here's what I'm shooting for in the next set:


  • Much nicer printed display boxes (I didn't have the budget for display boxes in the first set).
  • Better collation across boxes and cases. Two guaranteed complete sets per case.
  • State quarter relic cards. Each senator will have a number of thick cards made with their state quarter embedded in it.
  • Sequentially numbered cards out of 10.
  • Rare refractor versions of each card.
  • Autograph cards (assuming I can get them...this is the toughest part so far).
  • A parallel set featuring buildings and rooms related to congress.
  • A Kickstarter backer-only card number #0/535.
  • One "hit" (special card) in every five packs.


Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions on that. I'm still getting quotes from some printers this week and as soon as I have a ballpark cost on production, I'll set the Kickstarter goal and launch it. Right now we're going to be looking at around $75k to cover production and related costs.

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Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Entertainment cards definitely seem to be an underserved market.

The projects you are mentioning are different than a lot of what is being produced. I hope you find your niche and are very successful!

Looking forward to your future projects.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: webjon,
 
Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
Entertainment cards definitely seem to be an undeserved market.


I hope you meant underserved instead if undeserved.
 
Posts: 3128 | Location: Luton, UK | Registered: October 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also sincerely appreciate that you are working to get the word out on various forums. I'm always surprised at the number of small manufacturers who really don't attempt to start or participate in discussions on their products at all.
 
Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raj:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
Entertainment cards definitely seem to be an undeserved market.


I hope you meant underserved instead if undeserved.


Fixed, thanks.
 
Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by EricFC:

  • Autograph cards (assuming I can get them...this is the toughest part so far).



  • Congressmen have Autopen machines. Try and make sure that you get real signatures instead of these machine-made ones.
     
    Posts: 1452 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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    quote:
    Originally posted by webjon:
    I also sincerely appreciate that you are working to get the word out on various forums. I'm always surprised at the number of small manufacturers who really don't attempt to start or participate in discussions on their products at all.


    Thank you! It's a fine line between getting the word out and being a spammer, so I'm trying to be mindful of that. I am genuinely proud of this product and if I wasn't the one making it, I'd definitely be collecting it. I want to make sure that people who would be interested in these cards know that they exist.

    ____________________
    Owner of Fascinating Cards, LLC (https://fascinating.cards)
     
    Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Bill Mullins:

    Congressmen have Autopen machines. Try and make sure that you get real signatures instead of these machine-made ones.


    Yeah, I've been warned about that. To be honest, I'd rather have signatures done by auto-pen then no signatures at all, but at the same time I don't want people to feel ripped off. I have a person on the inside in D.C. (a family member of a congressman) and I've asked her to get a selfie with as many possible members of congress as possible to help prove authenticity.

    ____________________
    Owner of Fascinating Cards, LLC (https://fascinating.cards)
     
    Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    First of all, congratulations on selling out on your first set and one devoted to Congress. That doesn't sound like a subject that would be a fast seller. There was a set in 1993 like that but I think those cards were given away so you deserve praise for making the idea work as a product and one that sold out within a month.

    It will be interesting to see how your future projects develop. Doing a set on North American birds or U.S. Cities would be something of a fresh idea among the constant flow of superhero/Star Wars movie sets we've been getting for years. Nature and history cards have been popular in the past and I think there is a hunger in the card collecting world for old school sets that are neither autograph nor sketch-driven.

    A set about birds can be colorful and educational. The chase sets could cover endangered species or extinct species of the 20th century or you could go into the truly prehistoric past and feature extinct birds of the La Brea Tar Pits and other odd birds of North American fossil deposits. Those could show glow-in-the-dark skeletons. A glow-in-the-dark owl subset might be cool. You'd want the set to have informative text on the backs to attract both amateur bird watchers and ornithologists as well as card collectors looking for something different. I guess you could include sketches for a bird set but you'd want to find talented wildlife artists for that.

    In any case I wish you good luck.

    Jess


    quote:
    Originally posted by EricFC:
    Thank you! The next set will be the 2021 U.S. Congress set. I'm also working with a few companies on obtaining permission to use images for other types of sets. A few that I'm really hoping to produce are North American Birds, U.S. States, and U.S. Cities.

    I feel the non-sports market has been under-served, and I'm hoping to help turn that around a bit.
     
    Posts: 1664 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by catskilleagle:
    First of all, congratulations on selling out on your first set and one devoted to Congress. That doesn't sound like a subject that would be a fast seller. There was a set in 1993 like that but I think those cards were given away so you deserve praise for making the idea work as a product and one that sold out within a month.

    It will be interesting to see how your future projects develop. Doing a set on North American birds or U.S. Cities would be something of a fresh idea among the constant flow of superhero/Star Wars movie sets we've been getting for years. Nature and history cards have been popular in the past and I think there is a hunger in the card collecting world for old school sets that are neither autograph nor sketch-driven.

    A set about birds can be colorful and educational. The chase sets could cover endangered species or extinct species of the 20th century or you could go into the truly prehistoric past and feature extinct birds of the La Brea Tar Pits and other odd birds of North American fossil deposits. Those could show glow-in-the-dark skeletons. A glow-in-the-dark owl subset might be cool. You'd want the set to have informative text on the backs to attract both amateur bird watchers and ornithologists as well as card collectors looking for something different. I guess you could include sketches for a bird set but you'd want to find talented wildlife artists for that.

    In any case I wish you good luck.

    Jess


    Thanks Jess! To be honest, I had no clue if these would sell at all. I knew it would be a pretty niche market, so the interest in them was surprising and humbling.

    I too am tired of the same old stuff with trading cards. I think that birds would be fun for the same reasons you stated. They are colorful and would look great on cards. I just need to find good pictures and obtain the rights for them. That's been tough, but I think I'll get there eventually. Your idea for chase sets and parallels is really great!

    Thanks again, I really appreciate the support.

    ____________________
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    Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out as your products seem to be content based where most products sell based on the hits. I definitely wish you luck, and you are obviously doing well with your first set. . .

    If someone told me you'd be able to sell out a $100 a box product with half a base set in a box and the only hit being a serial numbered base card I wouldn't have believed them. Clearly you are on to something here. . .

    I'm curious to who your buyers have been -- are they political collectors or card collectors? If card collectors are they entertainment card collectors, sports card collectors or vintage card collectors?

    Good luck!
     
    Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by webjon:
    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out as your products seem to be content based where most products sell based on the hits. I definitely wish you luck, and you are obviously doing well with your first set. . .

    If someone told me you'd be able to sell out a $100 a box product with half a base set in a box and the only hit being a serial numbered base card I wouldn't have believed them. Clearly you are on to something here. . .

    I'm curious to who your buyers have been -- are they political collectors or card collectors? If card collectors are they entertainment card collectors, sports card collectors or vintage card collectors?

    Good luck!


    The next set will include a lot more "hits" like numbered cards, relics, memorabilia, and so on. I'm really excited about that.

    For the first set, about half of the sales were to dealers and distributors, including one in Canada, which I didn't see coming at all. The others went to lots of different types of people. Some political junkies, some vintage card collectors, and some set builders who like to collect everything. Someone posted about the set on the Vintage Non-Sports Trading Card forum and a whole bunch of sales came from there.

    It's been an interesting mix, and I've met a ton of really cool people.

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    Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by EricFC:
    Yeah, I've been warned about that. To be honest, I'd rather have signatures done by auto-pen then no signatures at all, but at the same time I don't want people to feel ripped off. I have a person on the inside in D.C. (a family member of a congressman) and I've asked her to get a selfie with as many possible members of congress as possible to help prove authenticity.


    Word of advice, you don't EVER want to accept an autopen for a signature. It is a facsimile. Although it may have the approval of the signer, it is not handsigned and as such, is just an exact copy of no worth at all to an autograph collector or an autograph card collector.

    You must disclose that it is autopenned and you can't call it autographed, as it's a mechanical copy added on to the card surface. A facsimile is generally produced in the card and is part of the card. Yet it all amounts to the same thing, an exact replica that is in no way an authentic signature.

    If you can't get them to really sign, I would suggest that you leave it alone and just do numbered 1/1s. An autopen is not an alternative to anything. Lots of luck with your products. Smile
     
    Posts: 8120 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Raven:

    Word of advice, you don't EVER want to accept an autopen for a signature. It is a facsimile. Although it may have the approval of the signer, it is not handsigned and as such, is just an exact copy of no worth at all to an autograph collector or an autograph card collector.

    You must disclose that it is autopenned and you can't call it autographed, as it's a mechanical copy added on to the card surface. A facsimile is generally produced in the card and is part of the card. Yet it all amounts to the same thing, an exact replica that is in no way an authentic signature.

    If you can't get them to really sign, I would suggest that you leave it alone and just do numbered 1/1s. An autopen is not an alternative to anything. Lots of luck with your products. Smile


    That's actually helpful, thank you. I was considering letting it slide if some of them used an auto-pen, but when you put it like that, it's a hard pass for me on that now. I'm not super-knowledgeable about autographs, so I really appreciate your feedback on that.

    If I can't get autographs, I'll find something to replace them, like some sort of memorabilia or relic cards. I was considering including pieces of historical documents in some of them, but I can't bring myself to cut up a document, so that might be tough. Pieces of used political signs and ads might be kind of cool though. I'll have to see what's available.

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    Posts: 12 | Location: Fargo, ND | Registered: October 04, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Good to hear you'll avoid auto penned signatures.

    Another company has some political sets with signatures, but I think their signatures are all cut signatures from other items. I've picked a few of their cut signatures. A lot of those seem to come from book plates and photos. I agree with you and wouldn't cut up historical documents -- that bugs me, but I don't find book plates, checks or photos offensive if they are cut up.

    As far as memorabilia cards I think it could be cool if you could get memorabilia that would be able to kept whole and embedded in a card -- like a pinback or something of that nature. Or if you could get bumper stickers you could cut several of the same up in to ~4-5 pieces so collectors could try to collect all the parts of the bumper sticker.

    Thanks for the insight on the buyers -- very interesting -- especially the Canadian dealer.
     
    Posts: 4625 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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