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Promo Cards - Why do you collect them?
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Picture of fuchaldream
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quote:
Originally posted by promoking:
Fuchaldream,
Since you said you were curious, I'd like to point out a little article I wrote appropriately titled "why collect promo cards?" You can find it on page 2 in a thread on this board titled "which is the rarest promo?". There, You can read some of the reasons that I feel promo collecting is a fulfilling part of our hobby.
Albert


Thanks! I will check that out. I am curious, and I appreciate everyone's responses. We all enjoy different things, and I like to hear what (& why) brings others joy. It helps me understand other perspectives - something I strive for on a regular basis.
 
Posts: 275 | Location: Indiana | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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The thing about true promos is that they are given out for free. In the mid-90's comic book stores used to give them away at the register to anyone though even back then some reserved them for regular customers to pick through. Manufacturers gave special promos to dealers at shows giving a dealer something extra to give away or sell but they were still free in the beginning.

In those days you built a promo collection almost by accident. There were a number of trading card magazines in the early-mid 90's and they all had promos inserted and contests for others. By then you could get a packet of promos at many shows even the smaller, regional ones. Even when you bought ones you didn't have, a dealer might charge you a buck a piece or three for $2.

These days, some companies make "promos" that are to be sold but most collectors smelled that out quickly. At that point many collectors started just focusing on "real" promos or looking for oddball, older ones. I look for oddball animal/science-related cards or a good deal on other ones I like.

When I have collected sets (various Star Wars, Bloom County, William Stout) I have considered the promos as part of a master set. You can't say that they aren't associated with the set they promote. If I like a set enough to go after all the chase cards, I'm going to go after the promos too.


quote:
Originally posted by fuchaldream:
Hi! I have been collecting cards in some form for about 30 years. I have collected some promo cards here and there, mostly when it is was not terribly inconvenient; but I have never really gotten too excited about them.

It seems like some people on this forum quite enjoy collecting them, and it made me curious. What is the draw to collect them?

There is no judgment here. Just sincere curiosity.

Thanks to anyone who responds.
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of AWR
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With the 62nd Philly Show next week, glad somebody resurrected this chain. I have always have fun chasing down the promos given away at the show (Promos are now listed on this site, as well as an "official" list of promos that will be given away - Big thanks to Bill DeFranzo).

As I was putting together a list of older promos to look for, I was amazed at the sheer number of promos I have collected over the years, and the even larger number of ones that I am missing. The hard part is determining what are considered promos for a specific set, and what are not (i.e - Cards issued by Inkworks or Topps for a set that are only available in DVDs, Toys, or other things that you need to buy). I do consider them promos if they are similar to the free promos (P1, P2, P3-DVD, ...). Am kind of stuck of things like 9 card Preview sets given out at places like Comic Con - Not sure if those are considered promos for the set, or simply a subset much like chase or parallel cards.

Hardest Promos (but fun to track down) are the ones included in Binders (Rittenhouse and other companies), and the ones give out at special events or through mail offers. For sets that I don't collect, its hard to justify buying a binder just for the promo. (Anybody out there have some P3s form Binders they bought that they don't want?). Also older Inkworks P-i and FOA (Friend of Allen) Promos that I missed (have most but not all) can be found but can be quite expensive

But just to be able to go back though all pomos and see all the sets that have been released over the years makes it worth it.
 
Posts: 364 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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Mentioned a few times recently is " what is a promo card and what is not "?

This has been talked about a lot in the past and I think it has to come down to your own thoughts, you cannot be told what is and what is not.

Some people say it is only a promo card if it is given away free but these days that would mean most of the cards that come out are not promos. If a manufacturer sends a dozen to a dealer for free it is a promo but if you then have to buy it off the dealer then it becomes not a promo.

If you have to purchase something to get the promo then it is not a promo so therefore all the Rittenhouse binder cards are not promos.

You could go mad thinking about it all. Big Grin

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 28514 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
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I collect promo cards for sets I like but I won't pay silly money for ones I am missing. I have never understood promo card collectors it does not matter what the subject is as long as it is a promo as they define it. Nothing wrong with that but I need to have some attachment to what I collect.

____________________
"The problem, I'm told, is more than medical."
 
Posts: 5706 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use the definition "A promo card is a card that appeals to some or all of the people who collect promo cards." Cool At times I group things and call them "promos, previews, limited distributions, and product premiums." That gets me beyond the fact that some manufacturers print "Promo" on cards that I would call inserts or dealer incentives...
 
Posts: 2423 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In the old days the promos and the sell sheets were sent out to let the dealers know about upcoming sets/products. Some dealers threw away that stuff and some left them by the register as freebies. They often went ignored by customers but some people liked the extra cards.

It didn't take too long before dealers became aware of a new market, some collectors being willing to pay for some promos. Some dealers saved them to show to their regular customers. I see your point that if they aren't free, they aren't promos but collectors were the ones that created that marketplace. There are still dealers giving away promos.

I consider binder cards as promos though an argument could be made that they are just an extra chase card (you buy packs to get the regular set and the chase cards; you buy the binder to get the otherwise unavailable card). However, at least one manufacturer also gave out extra binder cards. When I joined Cornerstone's Inside Trader Club, I got the set of club promos plus the Monkees #0 card which was the binder insert for the Monkees set.

I bought the Star Wars Widevision binder that came with a promo but I was going to buy it with or without the card because I collected the set. At the time the card was an added incentive to hook the collector of the set. This was just before promo collecting really took off as a hobby itself. Of course, I liked the extra card as both a collector of the set and as a promo collector.

Many of the "preview sets" of recent years were for sale from the beginning so they weren't real promos (promos in name only). When a manufacturer sells promos to dealers and collectors, that's when the line is crossed.


quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:

This has been talked about a lot in the past and I think it has to come down to your own thoughts, you cannot be told what is and what is not.

Some people say it is only a promo card if it is given away free but these days that would mean most of the cards that come out are not promos. If a manufacturer sends a dozen to a dealer for free it is a promo but if you then have to buy it off the dealer then it becomes not a promo.

If you have to purchase something to get the promo then it is not a promo so therefore all the Rittenhouse binder cards are not promos.

You could go mad thinking about it all. Big Grin
 
Posts: 2432 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Promos have evolved so much over the past 20 years. I see that it's come to a point that one manufacturer, Benchwarmer, has gone so far as to give out promos at shows (which ARE prominently marked PROMO on them) and then 2-3 months later, sell the promo sets for sale on its website for about $ 30 a set!

More economical than chasing down singles for $5-10 apiece on ebay, IMHO
 
Posts: 2867 | Location: NY | Registered: August 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BGH
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
I think people started collecting promos simply because they were free cards, and as soon as a market developed they started making money on free cards. Big Grin When the manufacturers began distributing very limited promos and promos that had autographs they crossed the line altogether. I actually resent the whole promo market nowadays because I feel these cards are merely ads and were designed to be given away as freebies. It was one thing when they were sold for nominal amounts, but quite another when limited promos became equal in value to premium hits in some products. I just think that's wrong.

I never buy promos, but if I am making a particular base set I will keep ones that I find. I don't consider them part of the set, but most master set builders do. Incentives are not the same as promos in my opinion. I always consider all incentives to be part of the set, especially now that a few manufacturers have taken to inserting a token number in packs.


I would say that is a pretty fair assessment of my feelings. The gimmickry is what made me lose interest in cards for years. I am only just now coming back and the negative aspects seem worse than ever. It reminds me of what happened to other collecting areas...comics, beanie babies, etc. Speculation, ultra-limited Taylor Swift nosehair braid/fingernail clipping cards, makingcollectors jump throughhoops, and later...the reality of manufactured collectible markets eventually push people out of the hobby or at least make them apathetic towards new offerings.

In my opinion, if they are inserted into packs, are sold by manufacturers, or otherwise have some paid mechanism for the manufacturers, they are not promo cards. As a collector, I understand collecting them. I would just like to see them for what they are...either promos or chase cards disguised as promos.
 
Posts: 52 | Location: KY | Registered: May 30, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BGH
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quote:
Originally posted by David R:
I became interested in promos around 1995, when I was able to obtain so many of them for free from my local comic/card store, or from magazines in which they were inserted (Wizard, Previews, etc) I then discovered that others were from obscure conventions, such as the Topps ones on X-Files and the various Star Wars sets. But as 1995 was before the days of ebay, I had to contact stores which advertised in NSU to find these missing ones, such as one particular place in CA

Back in the 1990s, I drew the line, however, on ones that were inserted in toys that became too difficult to obtain, such as the Topps Jurassic Park, SkyBox Star Trek in the action figures, the 30 different Babylon 5 cards in the VHS tapes and the ones in all of those Wildstorm figures (Wildcats, Wetworks, etc) I didn't collect those, as it would have been too difficult to chase down 50 different cards for each set, buy purchasing figures/toys at $10-20 each. Later, I passed on the Inkworks James Bond cards in the cars (I think there are 70-80 different ones) and the KISS (rock band) cards which also came in Johnny Lightning cars. However, I did collect product inserts such as ALIAS and Buffy by Inkworks, if there were only a few.

Yes, it has become frustrating that over the past few years, too many promos are only available as case incentive cards, or exclusive to one dealer, or at small, regional shows that few people attend (Blitzcon, licensing shows, etc) Still, I enjoy collecting promos


Also a fair assessment of my views with one slight exception. The cards available in videotapes, toys, food products or stores are not promos IMHO. Rather, they are standard card sets issued in products rather than wax packs or boxes. I have always liked them...all the way back to tobacco cards.
 
Posts: 52 | Location: KY | Registered: May 30, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by BGH:
quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
I think people started collecting promos simply because they were free cards, and as soon as a market developed they started making money on free cards. Big Grin When the manufacturers began distributing very limited promos and promos that had autographs they crossed the line altogether. I actually resent the whole promo market nowadays because I feel these cards are merely ads and were designed to be given away as freebies. It was one thing when they were sold for nominal amounts, but quite another when limited promos became equal in value to premium hits in some products. I just think that's wrong.

I never buy promos, but if I am making a particular base set I will keep ones that I find. I don't consider them part of the set, but most master set builders do. Incentives are not the same as promos in my opinion. I always consider all incentives to be part of the set, especially now that a few manufacturers have taken to inserting a token number in packs.


I would say that is a pretty fair assessment of my feelings. The gimmickry is what made me lose interest in cards for years. I am only just now coming back and the negative aspects seem worse than ever. It reminds me of what happened to other collecting areas...comics, beanie babies, etc. Speculation, ultra-limited Taylor Swift nosehair braid/fingernail clipping cards, makingcollectors jump throughhoops, and later...the reality of manufactured collectible markets eventually push people out of the hobby or at least make them apathetic towards new offerings.

In my opinion, if they are inserted into packs, are sold by manufacturers, or otherwise have some paid mechanism for the manufacturers, they are not promo cards. As a collector, I understand collecting them. I would just like to see them for what they are...either promos or chase cards disguised as promos.


I like it when someone digs up an old post of mine so that I can see if I still feel the same in hindsight. Sometimes I have changed my opinion based on newer factors, but mostly not. Here I agree with every word I said. Big Grin

As to your point BGH, I think its gotten even worse with the invention of the customized promo. For awhile now promos have been produced for certain large Cons or shows that specifically carry the name on the back. There are also packs, cards and products that are not promos that have also been customized for the events.

Now there are promos that are customized for certain dealers or distributors and they display their name on the back. I don't collect promos as I said, but in reading the boards there are apparently many promo collectors who feel compelled to find all of these customized cards, even if it has numerous different names on the back. Whether they just go around asking for them or trading for them or paying for them, I couldn't say, but someone is always trying to sell something, somewhere.

As someone who does not have this particular obsession, I still don't understand paying for what should be free. And if collectors do pay and pay well, they shouldn't complain about it, because they are the ones who allowed it to happen. The market is controlled by the buyers after all.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Raven,
 
Posts: 8663 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



NSU Pricing Specialist
Picture of Bill DeFranzo
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Heroes World, Diamond, Capital, Another Universe etc. Exclusive dealer/distributer promos have been around for over 20 years. They may be more common now due to technological advances which make them easier to produce.

____________________
Bill D.

AKA: Promo Czar (self-appointed)
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Hampton NH 03842 | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Bill DeFranzo:
Heroes World, Diamond, Capital, Another Universe etc. Exclusive dealer/distributer promos have been around for over 20 years. They may be more common now due to technological advances which make them easier to produce.


Even besides the production part, technological advances have spread the word about them and made them within the reach of promo collectors that a) wouldn't have ever heard of them before and b) didn't have the contacts to get them before.

The internet giveth and the internet taketh away. It made new markets while it destroyed old markets.

As one example, I have about 50 highly collectible plates somewhere that I paid $40 - $75 for, which were supposed to be very limited. With only a couple exceptions, I think I could find every one of them for sale now for $15 or less. They are over 20 years old too and no one is looking for them. I would have done better off with promos. Wink
 
Posts: 8663 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of stevetrek
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I started out collecting sets, but then started adding promos. I once completed a set of Stargate Movies cards. There were all kinds of promos for this series as well 3 mail in cards. It is the only series I have completed besides Topps Beatles cards.

Completing entire sets has become more difficult and collecting promos gives a wide variety of subject matter ranging from regular sets to movies or TV shows that never issue full sets of cards. Some of these are unique to conventions, artists, or advertising campaigns.
 
Posts: 810 | Location: IL | Registered: February 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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