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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of cardscout182
posted
For me, it was summer of late 1979 , our family had moved to a small rural town about 4 hours drive from the coast. In the main street of Tenterfield, opposite the movie theatre, was Charlie's Milk Bar. What a heavenly store for any 9 or 10 year old kid with a few cents in his or her pocket!!
Having 10c, meant you could buy a small bag of mixed lollies (candy) and 20c meant you could buy a big bag of aforementioned lollies and these were any of the lollies in the glass counter top that you wanted to pick. Then, when you got pocket money from your parents or paid for dropping pamphlets from the local furniture store into letterboxes, you were really cashed up and had 2 whole dollars in your pocket, meaning only one thing to a kid like me...straight to Charlies, to gaze into his second glass counter top, containing original King Kong, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Buck Rogers wax wrapped gum cards!! (Just to name a few)...purchases were made at around 25-30c each packet.!!
So, the reason for my trip down memory lane, I'm heading back to Tenterfield next week and am hoping to get a pic in front of Charlies milk bar as it's the place that first got me collecting cards, and was wondering if anyone else has done this or had the opportunity to go back 40 years to when they were a 10 year old kid, riding my malvern star chopper around, catching tadpoles, and collecting cards.
Go you good thing... Thumb Up
This ring any bells with my fellow collectors?
 
Posts: 563 | Location: sydney nsw australia | Registered: February 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
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In 1974 my dad took me to our local 7-11 in Oceanside California and walked me through the process of buying, reading and caring for comic books. By 76 I had expanded my collecting habit to trading cards. I believe either the 6 Million Dollar Man or Space 1999 titles were my first at 10cents a pack. Of course "caring" for them meant some rubber bands and shoe boxes. We also had half cent candy so a quarter got you 50 pieces. Dance

When I moved to Tennessee in 1980, I only went back to Cali for Navy Boot camp and school. It would be 20 years before going back to where I got my first cards. As expected with such a place, too many changes and too many people living on top of each other. Only small fragments of what I remember and because 7-11 is a franchise the whole store had been completely redone. Now, judging from Google maps, it is gone completely.

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Posts: 3341 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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Very cool! I hope you enjoy your trip!

I grew up in a very small town.

My friends were all collecting sports cards, and I collected mainly because of them. . . but I never really got in to sport cards. I just didn't really care that much.

There was a local video store in my town, and at some point they had a small box of vintage packs on the counter. After thumbing through that box I realized how many different entertainment cards were out there. I consider that the place where my mindset shifted from collecting because everyone else did to actually being interested in cards.

Of course the video store is long gone, at the time it was replaced with a local home decor store, and who knows what it is now. I make it back 'home' fairly frequently so pass by the old store, but I've never really taken that trip down memory lane. . . . Maybe I'll look a little closer the next time I drive by.
 
Posts: 4587 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of AWR
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In New Jersey, Used to walk to the local stationary store with friends to buy candy and packs of Original Topps Star Wars cards for 15 cents. Then would come home, open them up, and actually play with them.

I have been back to the area over the years, and recently saw that the Stationary Store finally closed down, and i believe it is now one of a number of restaurants that are taking over the town. Wish I had taken some pictures of me with my cards in front of the store before it closed.
 
Posts: 330 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of stevetrek
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I started noticing cards in Chicago when I was a kid around 1960. There was a candy store about a block from my grade school. They had a mixture of Sport and Non-Sport cards. I remember they were expensive, so I'd walk to the drug store another block away that had a vertical display rack by the cashier. Those cards which were stored in a shoe box disappeared at some point. Fast forward to 1998 when I decided to by Star Trek cards. There was a K-Mart that I would stop at on my way home from work in downtown Chicago. They had overflow sealed boxes of Skybox Star Trek TNG for $15.00. They were mostly Season 5. I would open them and get autographs and I was hooked.
 
Posts: 773 | Location: IL | Registered: February 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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When I was a kid there were actual candy stores with soda fountains on lots of blocks. I used to get new comics and baseball card packs every Sunday from a little store right opposite the Church. Probably the only way they could get me to go. Big Grin

I made the 800+ baseball card sets by pack or by trade with the other kids and we really did play flipping cards.

I stopped collecting everything once I got to JHS and did not come back into any hobby for many years until I was a working adult. Almost anything I had earlier in cards or comics were either traded, sold, lost or destroyed.

All those candy stores have been replaced by 99-cent stores and bodegas. The Church is still standing.
 
Posts: 8056 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of cardscout182
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These are all great stories people, keep ém coming Thumb Up
 
Posts: 563 | Location: sydney nsw australia | Registered: February 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Will
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Not candy stores for me, but the drugstore where my father and I used to go every Saturday morning, as they had a lunch counter. Used to spend time reading the comics on the magazine rack, buying them when I had the money, while my father finished his breakfast and visited with the regulars at the counter.

The other place was a little locally owned convenience store that sold, among other things, comics and cards. Picked up a comic every couple of weeks, when I had the twenty cents (!!) to pay for it. Got packs of Wacky Packages cards, some baseball cards, all kinds of things. This store was close enough for me to ride my bicycle, and the owner/employees knew all the kids from around the neighborhood.

Man, if I had only taken care of that stuff from back then, I would be sitting on a treasure trove of old Batman and Detective Comics, probably some early 70's Wacky Packages cards, and who knows what else.

Sigh...
 
Posts: 1406 | Location: Prairieville, LA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Contest Czar
Picture of barobehere
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It was 1980 and my mother and I went into a TG&Y store near our house. It had hardware, clothes and toys and just about anything else. When we were at the checkout, I saw it. A box full of Darth Vader faces staring up at me, Topps Empire Strikes Back series 2. I spend the rest of the summer buying up packs. My parents allowed the door to my bedroom to be covered in the Alphabet stickers. At some point they were joined by Black Hole Stickers and video game card stickers. It all started there.
 
Posts: 5669 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Komodo
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My first cards were from the 1977 O-Pee-Chee Star Wars set. It really was the only way that I got to see the movie until years later. No such thing as Blockbuster back then! Somehow I put together most of the Space:1999 set. I don't remember actually buying the cards, I lived with my Dad at the time, and we lived in a lot of places within 3 years. But non-sport has always been rather scarce here in Canada, new material is almost non-existent now Frown

I remember very well when Empire Strikes Back came out- I had a paper route at the time and bought oodles of packs trying to complete the sticker set!! Then Black Hole, Alien around the same time. The store where I bought them has been closed for over 20 years now, still sitting empty. I remember Wacky Packages floating around when I was a kid, but I didn't understand some of em because they weren't anything that I knew (Canada, remember?), and I thought they were just dumb anyway. Still do LOL. But I was pretty much on my own, I don't recall knowing any other kids who collected this stuff. That hasn't really changed now that I'm older.

The only place I see non-sport material now is cheapo packs at the dollar store, usually just kids stuff.

____________________
Collecting since 1977!
 
Posts: 1190 | Location: St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada | Registered: June 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I started collecting cards with Topps baseball and football cards and Kellogg's 3D baseball cards in 1973. A family moved in two houses over and they had sports cards and G.I. Joes (the space capsule, "Shark's Surprise" set, and the Amphicat, plus various accessories). I wasn't really thinking about building a set, just going after all the great players and all the players from my favorite team, the A's.

A few years later, my brother and I stopped the ice cream truck intending to get Sidewalk Sundaes or Missiles until we saw that we could buy Star Wars cards (red series had just been released). Star Wars on trading cards! It was the greatest idea since G.I. Joe. We bought all the packs we could and when the yellow, green, and orange sets came out, we bought those too. We didn't learn about the blue series until later. We also ate as much General Mills cereal as possible to get those Star Wars stickers.

I still have most of my 70's cards (we bought a mix of Moonraker, Odd Rods, and Battlestar Galactica) but I don't know what happened to my football cards. I bought some singles and more 3D baseball cards at shows in the 90's.

Jess
 
Posts: 1560 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Silver Card Talk Member
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As I have mentioned before in other threads my first experience of card collecting was some time in the mid 1950's and was probably when one of my parents opened a Brooke Bond tea packet and then handed to me or my siblings the card found inside the packaging. The set may well have been Out into Space as Brooke Bond had a habit of issueing the same series for a few years as I remember the cards. I first came what I term bubble gum cards a couple of years later when Flags of the World was issued by A & BC. Around that time I also remember coming across a machine standing outside the sweet shop which dispensed a ball of bubblegum and a card. The sweet shop disappeared in the 1980's when that part of London was redeveloped and the whole area totally rebuilt. I have been collecting cards ever since. In the late 1970's I came across a catalogue issued by one of the major card dealers here the UK, some after that I joined the Cartophilic Society of GB and I have been a member ever since.

Whilst at the Society London monthly meeting I got involved in helping the "New Issues" editor of the Society magazine find new issues. These being mainly UK product inserts although I would find the occasional European item. Some years later the current "New Issues" editor asked me if I had seen a certain card he then produced. This was one of the X-Cutioner's Song cards issued Skybox in 1992. Searching for the rest of them got me into collecting promo cards as I found all sorts of cards polybagged in comics which in turn got me into visiting London based comic shops. The same gentleman introduced me to NSU which I eventually started subscribing to as it was getting difficult to get every issue.

regards

John

This message has been edited. Last edited by: JOHN LEVITT,

____________________
 
Posts: 1666 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: October 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Picture of pcetodd
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My grandfather owned a corner store in the 60s and 70s, so i used to get a pack of anything when he had a box out. Wackys, Star Wars, Jaws 2. King kong....i used to plaster my lead-painted bedroom door with all the stickers. Then in the early 90s I saw a comic book with a card inside so I got it. Then I wanted another, and another. Soon I was going dark comic book stores and back-of-the-building card shops looking for stray cards that weren't sports. people looked at me funny when I'd ask "yoogotanypromocahds?". When promo cards only took the edge off I had to start looking in frozen dinners for cards. When that wasn't enough I started grabbing anything on card stock that was free. Who in my situation wouldn't? I learned what a "non-sport update" was and from there I learned there's a whole world of people out there like me. And then I decided someone needed to document these newly discovered collectibles. Now, compiling info is my hobby. But I still want one of everything.
 
Posts: 2145 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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I, myself, started off with comic books. My dad introduced me to Disney, Archie, and Dennis the Menace comics around 1978-79, which they had on those spinning rack things at stores, including the local place that we went to for milkshakes on Friday nights.

Around 1982, I recall buying Donkey Kong stickers/cards from another local deli/store with my friends. And around 1983 (?) they had those Pac Man stickers, which a relative of mine somehow got an uncut sheet of.

The first card set I purchased was probably that Hulk set that Comic Images did in 1991. But I also recall doing all of the Impel/ SkyBox/Fleer Marvel and DC sets from 1990 to 1998. Also, I did the Simpsons, X-Files, and Star Wars from the 90s.

I got into collecting promo cards and magazine inserts around 1995, starting with the X-Files and Star Wars promos by Topps, and realizing that I had most of the Wizard mag cards. At that point, I started tracking down nearly everything that had come out in terms of promos and magazine inserts and now, 25 years later, I have about 40 binders full of them. No exaggeration.

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Posts: 4391 | Location: Bayonne, NJ, USA | Registered: May 06, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I mention how it all began for me, but tell a bit about how it evolved during the journey. Wavey

I guess I first got hooked in the mid-80s by the fantasy artist sets, back when packs were sold at the checkouts of convenience stores. Then I discovered hobby shops (mostly comic stores, but they sponsored gamers with CCG cards and also had box and pack sales of other non-sports. I had been keeping databases on my books and sci-fi/fantasy magazines and faithfully recorded the edition and the cover artists' names, and I could often look to see if a card-sized image was available in a larger format in my book and magazine collection.

Some of my associates competed in BattleBots and used a fantasy image as a logo, and I amazed them by proving "I have the trading card for that".

My hook for fantasy and science fiction art was that I had already been involved in book collecting through forums and newsgroups in the early 1990s. We had an international group that searched local shops looking for used books that were missing from people's collections. The local comic shops were combined with used-book sections, so it all fit together before the internet got widespread. I saw one "rare" paperback on display at a used book store priced at US$1200, and somebody found me a copy in somewhat better condition for Cdn$0.25. I saw a late addition to a book series in a bookstore at $125 and found on the internet that it was still in print.

"Near the beginning" I branched into Garbage Pail Kids starting with Series 2 and discovered a hobby shop that specialized in them and published its own catelog of checklists and variants. I was judged to be way-cool by my (then) young nephews.

The next focus was the Impel Star Trek cards when they were sold in bulk J-packs at the WalMart/Target/etc checkout. It was then in the early '90s when I realized that my card-tracking databases could be converted readily to checklists and I started contributing to the mostly-Marvel site started by Amalia Barrios and expanded with sci-fi, entertainment, and other sets for Nerissa Morgan at Knucklebusters. Thus began a legendary obsession.

All of this got me hooked on the variety in non-sports cards and turned me into an omnivore. "Wholesalers" became active on the internet. Because card coverage at the local hobby shops was declining, I shifted to online box purchases for new material (about 30% off, but I still tried to go to hobby shops when it was possible, checking for used books but also looking behind the counter for non-sports boxes).

Then I found that the box-sellers also had older product, often at "dumped" prices. Potomac Distribution is still around, but some of you may also remember Marchant, Paul & Judy's, and Abon, some of which had coins as their major focus but had huge amounts of cards when the hobby was popping in the 1990s. They often acted as consolidators by buying warehouses full of old unsold product for pennies on the dollar and listing them at maybe 1/3 or so of the original retail price.

Some of the CCG series were routinely dumped after a year or so because, in the beginning, the manufacturers printed lots of cases to make sure some of them got to the gamers. When the next expansion came out, the previous one was dirt cheap. Later the cardmakers reduced print runs based on how many sold in the previous expansion, and it became much cheaper to print a Second Wave if they sold out on a smaller initial printing. It's sort of like what led to digital cards, where making extra copies is virtually free. With some sets, it's difficult to compile full physical checklists because of variations found in different print runs.

The cheapness of additional print runs is why I'm no longer trying to make lists for some series (Bench Warmer is one example), since a major purposes of a list is to give an idea of what can be found in a box or case. This isn't helpful if you find that there were three print runs within the first month and each run had a different composition.

Ebay and other auction sites increased the competition for older product sales tremendously, and the "consolidators" moved there (or didn't choose to compete there). They were joined by case-breakers.

I still bought boxes when I had a chance to chase full or near-full sets, but did so less often once the sets started being dominated by rare Big Hits. I began concentrating more on mini-master sets and individual auctions for Hits within favorite series.

I remember the days when I tried to get a master set with a sketch card from every contributing artist. Today the artist lists are often very large with only a few drawn by certain artists, but I remember when we tried to collect every variant of Waterhouse sketches for LOTR.

Because I wasn't interested in chasing Big Hits for everything, I now don't chase too many mini-master sets. Instead, I can try to verify a checklist without having the cards in my own mitts. So my *physical* collection isn't growing nearly as much as it used to. And because there aren't many dumped cases that I haven't already found, my boxes full of extra base sets isn't growing much. And if base sets are available cheap for everything, there's no incentive to be an active trader.

One more genre that was suitable for an omnivore is the tobacco/food/trade cards that are most popular in the U.K., Empire, and sometimes Europe. There are many thousands of sets and some of them, even from 100 years ago, were printed in large volume or the factory printing included full sets of items that had been inserted in product packages. Many of the scarcer and most popular very-old sets were reprinted. The cards are usually smaller, but they pack an awful lot of information for junkies of card-back text.

So to make a long story short (too late!), I missed out on the hobby when I was a kid, but I have been able to fill in an awful lot of series from the old days, when base sets and occasional inserts are still affordable.
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Posts: 2423 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Allender, I'm curious about your website. When did you get the idea to start it? Do you get feedback from the card manufacturers? How much time do you spend updating it for new products or revising old lists? It's a great resource for us all and it is appreciated.
 
Posts: 8056 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
Allender, I'm curious about your website. When did you get the idea to start it? Do you get feedback from the card manufacturers? How much time do you spend updating it for new products or revising old lists? It's a great resource for us all and it is appreciated.


Well, below is the blurb from the website. Over the years there have been about 1000 contributors and new resources. I admit that it's something that could absorb all of my non-work time if I let it, and I apologize to contributors who have sent emails that are sitting faithfully in my "get around to these" folder.

'Way back in March of 1997, I discovered the Knuckle Buster's Card Club, a terrific resource in the early days of people trading cards over the web. Previously I did my trading through the usenet newgroups and FidoNet echo (RIP). But Storm showed how linking the early web-trader pages could bring together a community of friends with similar interests. I hadn't even set up my own web page yet, but I offered to provide (then) about 160 checklists and Storm graciously consented to host my trading page for me! A lot of credit goes to Amalia Barrios and Mary Hughes (Ninjabread) for providing much of the inspiration.

Information for many promo and prototype cards comes from the cards I have seen, plus the guides published in Non-Sport Update and several now-defunct card-collecting magazines. I use Todd Jordan's excellent Promo Card Encyclopedia & Price Guide when I update pages, but mostly those updates are a work-in-progress. Corrections and updates are welcomed! If you want to provide any other checklists for posting, I can put them into web format, slather you with credit and praise, and appoint you to the Checklist League.
 
Posts: 2423 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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For your second question, I get some input from manufacturers outside the times they post checklists of their own, but in some cases those need to be corrected. (Yeah, often they post lists pre-release to promote the sets and some changes inevitably occur.)

For the most part, additional information outside pure lists may be available at company websites, from sell sheets, or at sites hosted by specialists in one corner of the hobby. I'll never have the ability to show images for 8000+ sets, but an example can help a collector figure out if they want to pursue a set. If my link to a manufacturer page is broken, it might be available in the Internet Archive ("Wayback Machine"). Ebay is a great place to find images for individual cards.

Occasionally there are people at the manufacturers who got into the biz because they are collectors themselves, and their input might not be limited to their company.

Nobody has responded to any hints that I ought be provided free master sets.
.
 
Posts: 2423 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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Charlies Angels pack (all they had as far as cards) and a bag of pop rocks from an ice cream truck in 1977. Moved on to Empire Strikes Back and Black Hole, Raiders of the Lost Ark cards, until comic books took all my money (possibly as much as $3.00 - $3.60 a week in the early 80's. Came back to card collecting in the 1990's and focused on mostly 1930's stuff, but anything pre 1945, even sports stuff.

____________________
Studio-Hades
http://www.studio-hades.com
 
Posts: 555 | Location: AZ | Registered: December 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I collected football cards from the age of 6 when they were in every sweetshop/newsagent in the UK but I got into non sports cards when the two sci-fi shops in Birmingham ( UK ) , Andromeda Bookshops and Nostalgia and Comics , started stocking them back in the mid 90's . I spent many hours in both browsing the bookshelves but as time went on also asking more frequently what new cards they had in .

Sadly Andromeda is long gone but Nostalgia and Comics is still around although they no longer sell cards ( or didn't the last time I went in a few years ago ) .

My first purchase was a box of the first Babylon 5 set which I still have and think holds up well in terms of quality against today's releases .
 
Posts: 2460 | Location: Sutton Coldfield England | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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