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Thread: What Made You Collect?
01-13-2013, 12:09 AM #1
What Made You Collect?
The title pretty much says it.... I am curious to know what made you start collecting.
I want to hear what I am sure to be very intriguing stories. I suppose I will get it started with my story......
If my brain serves me correctly I was probably about 10 years old and I didn't really collect I just got some hockey cards because I just started to play hockey. Every base card was like getting a new puppy even though I knew nothing about them.
So life went on, hockey cards was just another thing. I would go on a hockey tournament and there would be a booth with hockey cards and I remember getting a jersey card and I didn't know it was game used. I just thought it was so us fans would get the chance to feel what it was like to where a jersey. You know, kinda like a neat little fabric to look at and feel.
Then I met a bud of mine. He collected and we had a lot in common. We became good buds at a hockey tournament. He would tell us about the awesome Walmart deals!
So you can kind of see I was back and forth with collecting. It was never something major but as I got older it kept drawing me in bit by bit and my collection got better and better. Then about half a year ago I started watching box breaks and was fascinated.
Eventually I thought I would try making a video on Youtube so I did and things just blew up! I started getting people wanting to trade, I got about 15 subscribers in one night. It was awesome. Then I was introduced to websites like this very one and things just kept on growing. I was having the time of my life and I still am to this day.
I now have nearly 20,000 views with around 210 subscribers. But that was just a piece of collecting. I have come to love it in so many ways! You meet great people, make exciting trades, go to card shows, the pros are endless! I am very thankful that I collect hockey cards and hope you guys are too!
There is my story. I hope that wasn't too boring. Leave your story down below!
Last edited by HockeyCardMan; 01-14-2013 at 10:46 PM.
01-13-2013, 10:49 AM #2
I first collected cards as a kid. I remember I could buy a pack of O-Pee-Chee cards for $0.25 plus tax. By the time I hit high school, I stopped buying cards.
I got into collecting again with my children through Macdonalds hockey cards. The three of us would have a meal and then open packs and trade cards. In the second year of Macdonalds collecting we only needed a couple of base so everyone could have a complete set. But we just kept getting doubles. So I decided to check out a hobby shop to get the rest. Sure enough we completed the sets there.
Being in the shop brought back memories for me. So I wanted to get my son into the fun of collecting. We started off with OPC that year because that is what I had as a kid. We also started with UDS1 and UDS2. That was the only year we did OPC because now it is way to expensive to build a complete set compared to when I was a kid as there are way more cards!
We kept collecting UDS1 and UDS2 until Score came out. I realized that kids really just love the thrill of breaking wax. Also, I only allowed him to open 2 packs a night because I realized that opening more than that was just too overwhelming and he would not really look at the cards like I did as a kid. For kids, the thrill is getting a "special card" in a pack (non-base). So Score with their insert or hot rookie in every pack satisfied that thrill. Also, Score helped with my budget! :)
When Certified came out, there was something about that set that caught me. Maybe it is the shiny cards! lol However, I realized I spent way too much money on it the first year. So the next year I just concentrated on completing Score with my son (getting the entire base set and inserts).
This year with the strike, my son lost all interest in cards. He barely made it through two boxes this year whereas in the past year we opened about 20! I was hooked though :) So I started collecting Certified again. But I am just keeping it small so it does not cost too much. For me, the thrill of the collecting chase is to try to complete the Mirror Red set of the base cards for all the years. It takes time and patience. Also, it is not as expensive because most other people do not care about those cards.
I got onto Ebay a few months ago and it has been a lot of fun! I have learned though that you have to be patient or you will pay way too much money. I set a price in my mind of what I think the cards are worth to me and stick to it. I care nothing for Book Value or reselling cards. It is just a fun pastime...Oh yeah...it makes going to the mailbox a lot more exciting now as well :)
However, for me...the ultimate would be if Macdonalds came out with their card sets again. The time going there with my kids, eating a meal and opening packs with them, and trading...that is priceless!
Last edited by JVW; 01-13-2013 at 10:52 AM.
01-13-2013, 11:15 AM #3
01-13-2013, 05:41 PM #4
The first pack I bought, I was 6 year old and cost me 5 cents and no tax back then. At school we used them to play on the bick wall to try to win more cards. This is why so many of these card have rounded corners.
Here is one of the card I kept from then with rounded corners:
Back then it was all for the fun of it, we would bring our pack of cards to school hopping we would come back with a bigger pack of cards. Then in the 70's I started to put them in show boxes. My father was a collector of stamp and money, so eventually early 8o;s he bought us some boxes made for cards and that is where I started to really collect more as a collector. Also the card condition had increase a lot since I was paying more attention to them.
Then came the era where cards became so popular that everyone saw value in cards, this was 1990 and I remember the frenzy, It was making the news that sports cards had value. Many just tought they could make a lot of money. I started to sell cards at show in 91 and 92. It was all for the fun and buying more cards with the sales. But I remember certain person thinking they could make a lot of money and one in particular who ended up buying a truck of cases of Pro-Set cards thinking in 20 years from now, he would be rich. Of course we all know now this money was the equivalent of trwoing it down the drain. But it was like this. Card could go up from show to show by double the amount. Just image Pro-Set being the thing LOL. word was out there that there was special insert very rare of the stanly cup and everyone was dreaming of pulling the card. Serial did not exist back then, so the print run was not something we were used to. Then all this frenzy died down and probably got out of collecting around 1995. Real life was more important and did not have much money to spend on this.
Got back into collecting in 2007. I was collecting Patrick Roy when I stop as the main player in my habs collection and Carey price got me back into wanting to collect him. Also something had change in my life, my father had cancer, my mom was alzheimer and I had a sister that is handicap. SO I had to stop working and come back to the family house to take care of them. This is when I started to clean up thing in the house and I always had keep most of my collection there. So I had a lot of time and started to clean up in my collection.
Being a programmer, I also decided to create a application to enter my cards in so I could have a idea of what I had. Then in early 2008, I became a member here and got in touch with online trading. I really like it but was finding it hard to showcase all I had. While I did started to create a inventory, I felt that if I could get in touch with the owner of sportscardforum, that I could maybe convince him to host a inventory applpication for the member. Plus having member help out, it would be much easier to get all the cards into a database.
Six month after being a member here and the minimum time to apply to become a mod, I did just that and became a mod in hockey for about six more month. Around the time it took me to start getting attention from the owner on the fact I could create internet database application. so in febuary 2009, he ask me to code a simple TTM application. Mainly the one we have today but with many more feature then the owner had ask. He used this project to gage if I was able to program for a site like this and had a other experience programer review it to see if I had the caliber for bigger project. It's one thing to code but to work on a big site like SCF, not all programmer could do that. It ask for a good knowledge on security issue, stability and performance. So I pass the test and since I did not need to work, I did not want to loose the touch. So helping out SCF was a good solution to stay busy and in touch with programing. Then automn 2009 is when I started working on the inventory and a year later, we opened it to all members.
I have been working on growing my Habs collection with a focus on Carey Price and habs goalies. Today I got one of the big Carey price collection and a pretty extensive Habs collection that range from 1933 to now. I enjoy the hobby and also enjoy helping fellow collector with my programing ability. Now I am one of the main administrator on SCF but did work hard to get there. I was also lucky in all my trades as I never really lost anything or had to go into dispute. But I know what it can be because when time permit, I do handle dispute and it's certainly not the best part of collecting but definitly is part of it.
The inventory also has help me a lot to make trade. Being busy working on SCF issue or coding, I often do not have the time to initiate trade as I would like but members find my card in my inventory because I take time to enter them each time I buy boxes.
So many time this year, I got new member that had just sign up on SCF because they found I had a card in google that they needed. Many were from europe and did some of my best trade with european.
SCF definitly brought collecting to a other level for me. Back in the 90's, card show was about the only way you could trade or buy cards and LCS ws probably too expensive to buy singles. So I had a great experience here so far and pretty happy I was able to convience the owner for getting a free inventory to all members who like to use it. I also think it was a big factor in SCF growth over the past two years. This year alone the site saw 30% more unique member connecting on average. This is a huge increase and I know the inventory is one of the reason. It also make it more of a chanlenge to have it running on daily basis, This year alone the upgrade were huge to perform but I think we did well. While I see all that can go wrong from time to time, I can also get number of transaction to do go right on daily basis. I also tried to make SCF more secure by adding feature to make it easier to find returning scammer and this also have help.
The hard part is that we get so many new members and we have to educate them to SCF standards, I know the senior manager do a huge job at trying to do this education but member also do help a lot to carry on SCF tradition. This card talk forum is also part of how member are there to help new traders. This is why I am still a collector an still enjoy it.
01-13-2013, 05:42 PM #5
When me and my older brother were kids our parents would go out on dates and we'd have a babysitter. We'd wake up the next morning with a pack of hockey cards for each of us to open. We used to take them with us when my mom ran her errands and when we got bored we'd take them out and play with them.
One night a few years later my dad came home from work and tossed me a baseball card Price Guide. I looked up a few cards and to my surprise I had a Wade Boggs found out that was worth $18!
Well that was it...from there I got a Beckett Hockey price guide. I didn't understand the concept of a rookie card so when I looked up my 85-86 Topps Lemieux for the first time I was surprised and super-excited. It's still my favorite card to this day, creases and all.
I started really collecting during the unfortunate boom in '89 when they started mass-producing products. I still love the 80s retro cards and rookie cards will always be my favorite.
Card collecting has also helped me develop my numeracy through putting them in order as a kid, has gotten me to expert status with Microsoft Excel, and I feel like it is partly responsible for me becoming a math teacher. Like a lot of other collectors, I lost interest in hs and college until I got my own place. When I went through the loss of my grandma in '06 it was a very difficult time in my life, and getting back into my hockey cards really helped me get through it.
Even more than the thrill of packs which I can hardly afford these days, I love the thrill of going to local card shows and finding great cards at a decent price that I can trade for even greater cards that I can trade for something truly special. I like the search and the acquisition almost as much as I like the actual cards. It's a bit introverted, but each card has a story that I can remember about how I acquired it, and the trades/purchases made to get there.
It's kind of sad that I can remember the three trades I made that allowed me to acquire my Mark Messier Auto but I can't remember what my wife told me we have planned for next weekend lol.
01-13-2013, 06:39 PM #6
Great stories. Seems like we all started around the same age.
I started when I was 7, after the Habs won the cup in 93, when my Dad gave me a few of his old cards including a Bobby Orr Rookie Card. Earlier that year, I had submitted a book report on Bobby Orr for class, so I was ecstatic to have his rookie on me. I didn't realize the value of the card for years though (Dad told me to guard it VERY CAREFULLY), but I still have it and it holds a ton of sentimental value. Soon after, I started buying packs from the local 7-11 and Mcdonalds (loved grabbing a happy meal and 3 packs), and that went on for years until I hit my teens and started going to local card shows. Although my Dad isn't a major card collector, he still checks out my recent breaks and celebrates on the big ones.
The more invested I am in the game, the more I'm into the hobby. If the NHL hadn't returned this year, I would have taken some time off until the league recollected itself. Glad it's back!
01-14-2013, 10:26 PM #7
My Mom got me started collecting by cutting out the hockey cards on the back of Kraft Dinner boxes. This was the first card that started it all:
Shortly after in 1990 a friend of mine gave me a nice stack of cards to further my collection and I was hooked. My Mom was always letting me pick out packs at the dollar store and within a few years I had amassed a nice collection of cards. My Mother bought me pocket pages in 1992 and helped me organise all the cards I had.
My Sister and I both played competitve sports, with my sister playing Ringette in the winter and me playing hockey. We both also played ball in the summer. Every weekend during the winter was spent on the road and we always hit up flea markets, which really helped me build up my collection without eBay in the mid 90's.
I collected steady until 1999 when I lost interest in High School thanks to playing hockey pretty much 24/7. I briefly picked up collecting again in 2003 for a year and then drifted from it again until 2008. When I got back into collecting I went for more of the high end product. I started to lose interest again when I decided to finish some insert sets I started as a kid and got hooked again.
For the last 4 years I have mainly focused on collecting 90's insert sets and my player wants. I have pretty much completely got away from buying recent product, except for when ITG produces Kirk McLean cards. I have never enjoyed the hobby more. At first it was quite lonely going for 90's product, however I have met collectors along the way that share the same interest in collecting as I do and have been very lucky to meet some very nice people!
I don't really see myself letting up for a long time as I have plenty of 90's insert sets I'm still trying to complete and many white whales still out there!Main Wants right now: 2000-01 Titanium Game Gear & Patches, 1995-96 Pinnacle Rink Collection, 1995-96 Topps Home Grown Series 2
Always looking for Kirk McLean cards I don't have.
01-14-2013, 10:44 PM #8
I won't type it all back but here is my article on the topic: http://www.sportscardforum.com/artic...the-beginning/
01-14-2013, 10:50 PM #9
Truly amazing stories. I love every second of reading them! Thanks so much for sharing and keep them coming guys!
01-15-2013, 02:32 AM #10
Really fun reading all these stories! Here's mine...
I got my start in the hobby as a youngster in elementary school not with cards, but with the annual OPC sticker books in the early 80's. I'm not exactly sure what got me started, probably friends who collected or their older brothers... each weekend I'd get a couple of 25 cent packs if I was well behaved while helping mom with the weekly grocery shopping at Safeway - adding the ones I needed to the album, and trading others the following week with my classmates. By the end of the season I was usually down to just a handful remaining, and my dear grandpa would shell out the dollar or two and help me write a letter to OPC request the last few stickers to finish my album.
After 3 years and 3 complete albums, I moved to Vancouver and my new elementary school classmates collected hockey cards, the year was 86-87 OPC ... I don't think I ever bought a pack - one of my friends gave me a handful of cards to get started, and I gradually won myself the entire set playing all the great school yard games of the time... "flipsies" (each kid tosses a card such that it flutters end-over-end, if one landed face-up and the other face-down, the face-up owner wins both cards, ties would be do-overs)... "closies" (each participant flicks a card towards the wall, closest one takes all)... knock downs (each person contributes a card propped up against a wall, take turns flicking cards at them from a distance, whoever knocks down the last card wins the heap)... "farsies" (flick a card, whoever's goes the furthest takes em all). Needless to say, few of my cards ended up in mint condition - though ironically the one card that most of us had mint was Patrick Roy's rookie card. At my school no one liked Roy for no reason other than we thought his neck protector looked stupid - so most kids would give them away rather than ruin their collection by having multiple copies of Roy, and no one would play tossing games if you included Roy, so I ended up with several pack-fresh copies in a drawer. Sadly, I sold them a couple years later along with my complete set for all of $5 at a garage sale. The next couple of years my classmates moved on to other stuff like Garbage Pail Kids, so hockey card collecting fell by the wayside.
Fast forward to 1990-91, the great hockey card explosion ignited the collecting fever amongst some of my high school buddies - I built a complete set of ProSet (protecting my "investment" including the highly desirable Owen Nolan and Peter Nedved rookie cards in 9-pocket pages)... still remember the big snowfall we got in Vancouver that year, and trudging to the local Mac's convenience store with soggy socks just to spend all my Christmas money on ProSet packs (I was way too cheap to splash on the extravagant Upper Deck which was double the price for fewer cards per pack!). I built the ProSet and Upper Deck sets the following year, but quickly switched gears when in the fall a much-heralded prospect arrived in North America - the Russian Rocket!
The city was electric with our first true superstar in our midst, I remember staying up well past my bedtime secretly listening to Bure's entire first game against the Winnipeg Jets on my Sony Walkman under the covers - I still get chills hearing the excitement in Jim Robson's voice as Bure broke through with numerous glorious chances... he didn't score that game, but that didn't matter, the sheer excitement he brought had me hooked. I traded / sold the handful of sets I'd built, and probably became the Pavel Bure Supercollector of the early 90's - I had everything from Russian cards, promo cards and sheets, broke open Parkhurst Final update boxed sets just for the Bure and gave away the rest, every Beckett featuring Bure, autographed posters, and even had my dad line up for hours to get my jersey autographed (sadly I had to perform in a school orchestra concert and missed my only chance to actually meet Pavel). I wore that jersey probably at least once a week all through high school till the autograph eventually faded out from all the washing machine cycles. I met up with a local dealer at a card show who took want lists, and he'd call me every couple of months with all the new cards he found - I'd arrange to meet him blocks away from my house so my parents would never know that I was spending my hard earned money on cards (in retrospect it probably looked like a drug deal going down as I'd hand over wads of cash the mall parking lot and get a paper bag in return full of cardboard). Just before Bure's terrible knee injury, I was away in Toronto on a co-op job, and my parents house got broken into - the entire Bure supercollection was gone, by far the most valuable item taken (the crappy VCR which didn't even rewind anymore and my parents 486 PC were pretty much the only other things taken). Apparently my little sister was really cute, she knew exactly how much the collection meant to me, and gasped to the police officers "Oh my God, the Bure's... they took all his Bure's!". While it definitely stung to lose the entire PC, by the time I'd returned home Bure was on the shelf for the year with his knee injury and didn't stay with Vancouver much after that, so in hindsight I'm pretty happy to have received the insurance settlement when I did.
The late 90's were a dark time for Vancouver hockey fans - Messier and Keenan came to Vancouver and we all know how well that panned out. But just before the new millenium, Brian Burke wheeled and dealed on draft day to scoop up the Sedin twins. Being a collector at heart, I wondered if they still made cards of prospects like they used to back when UD made the Bure and other rookie cards of WJC stars... and being the late 90's there was this relatively new Internet site called ebay, so I did a search, and sure enough, there were Black Diamond Sedin rookie cards available. On a lark I signed up for an account and picked up first one copy of each, then multiple copies, then the parallels including the really tough quad diamonds, and the rest as they say is history. For the next few years it was all ebay, and then I discovered a couple great sites in SCF and HI where I've met all sorts of wonderful people, made some great trades, and received some generous gifts from fellow 'nucks fans who just felt their neet Sedin oddball items would look good in my PC.
I feel so lucky that the guys I chose to follow have (so far, knock on wood) spent their entire time playing for the local team, blossomed into star players (an Art Ross apiece, Hart for Hank and a Lindsay for Danny), and are great guys in the community (big supporters of the Children's Hospital amongst others). Anyways, that's my story, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and hope to see more stories from others!