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reoddai
07-15-2009, 01:27 PM
Back when I was a kid, my dad took me to the local card shop. When we went, the store was something like 10 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. The entire left wall, top to bottom was FULL of open boxes. It was a pack buyers dream. Absolutely everything from the last few years was available as well as older products.

As a kid, I got very little allowance compared to my peers. But every so often I would have enough to pick one or two packs and I would be allowed to buy them. As I child, I remember the exhilaration of looking at the boxes. Already I had a passion to collect all the cards in the set and pull my favourite players. At the time, I was beginning to understand the value of money and when I reached into that box of to pull my lucky pack from the bottom left (my dad was left handed and I wanted my pack to be one that no one else had touched), I could feel all the other packs as I pushed past them to get that bottom pack. For every pack I passed, I thought that I would just NEVER be able to afford them all. The dream of buying a box was too huge and far away to ever be a reality. I opened my pack, and on those rare, RARE occasions, I pulled a hologram and life was wonderful.

Then, the 90's happened. Overproduction, speculation, etc. etc. With the value of all sports cards on the rise, pack searching became something that not just the extremely greedy did, but that many more people learned to do and it proliferated. Pack searching did exist while I was younger of course, but since most product was available in hobby shops, all you needed was an honest owner who could tell the loser to get out of there.

The result? Today, my childhood card shop is like all others. Oh sure, the wall of packs still exists... but much of the wall is now behind a counter. The owner, a wonderful man named Dave, now picks your packs for you to ensure that everyone get a fair chance at a hit. His store is much like other honest stores. Sure, some stores let you pick your own packs, but stories fly around about those stores. They search their own packs before putting them out to the public, or at least feed hot packs to their best (read: richest) customers to cater for their business.

I'm a little older and wiser now. Somewhat richer too as I occasionally have 5$ in my wallet to call my own. Not enough for much, but just enough to still enjoy at least one pack of cards, right? But now, unlike in my childhood memories, I can no longer get the tactile sensation of all the other packs in the box. I can't pick up the box to feel its weight, its embossed texture or and enjoy the smell of the wax. I will never see the very bottom of that box of packs as I reach for my bottom left pack. If I go to a place where the owner doesn't care if the box is searched, sure i can pick my own, but... the box has already been defiled. My hits will never be any more than base and/or inserts. Which means that the 5$ would have been better spent to buy five 1$ grab bags rather than a pack. No one is so rich that they can just waste money on something that can't possibly return what is promised, which would be fair odds for pulling hits if a box isn't searched.

As a result of pack searching, I no longer buy loose wax. My 5$ of impulse spending money goes elsewhere and it does not go to cards. If pack searching wasn't so bad, that 5$ would go toward cards. And I would be able to enjoy it knowing that I had at least a tiny chance to pull something big. I suffer because I need to find relaxation elsewhere and I would dearly, DEARLY wish that I could do so while shooting the breeze with my friends at the local hobby shop and opening some packs. My local hobby shop suffers because I don't spend as much money with them as I would and in these times, you really do need to support your local shop.

The proliferation of pack searching killed my enjoyment of going to the hobby shop and spending a few dollars on wax. Unlike what I had with my dad, I will never get to pass on such an experience to my future children, or a niece or a nephew. After all, they'll never even be allowed near the box. Human beings are sensory in nature. We need to see, touch, smell, and hear to relate to our environment. I want to see my wax before I buy it. I want to touch the box to see if it just radiates luck to me and feel the other packs brush against my hand as I go find my bottom left pack and think how one day, maybe, I could afford them all. I want to hear how the pack is pulled out. I want to smell that new wax smell, or old wax smell and the next time I smell it, I want to remember all the great hits that I pulled, even if they aren't great by other people's standards.

With my dad now dead, some of my fondest memories of him are card shop memories. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world and part of me is so hurt that I will never be able to share something like this with a son of mine. All because of pack-searching.

In case you were curious, did you want to know the name of that shop? Aptly enough, it was Cardboard Memories, 230 Sandalwood Parkway East, Brampton, ON L6Z 1R3 905-846-1058

WORD COUNT: 1009 (for tuff stuff, I'm sure it can be shortened by 9 words)

gmoney168
07-15-2009, 10:12 PM
Stolent Cardboard Memories

By Matthew Tomkins aka reoddai

Back when I was a kid my dad took me to the local card shop. When we went the store was something like ten meters long and two and a half meters wide. The entire left wall, top to bottom, was full of open boxes. It was a pack buyer’s dream. Absolutely everything from the last few years was available as well as older products.

As a kid I got very little allowance compared to my peers. But every so often I would have enough money to pick one or two packs and buy them. As I child I remember the exhilaration of looking at the boxes. Already I had a passion to collect all the cards in the set and pull my favorite players. At the time, I was beginning to understand the value of money and when I reached into that box of to pull my lucky pack from the bottom left (my dad was left handed and I wanted my pack to be one that no one else had touched), I could feel all the other packs as I pushed past them to get that bottom pack. For every pack I passed I thought that I would just never be able to afford them all. The dream of buying a box was too huge and far away to ever be a reality. I opened my pack and, on those rare occasions, I pulled a hologram and life was wonderful.

Then, the ‘90s came with overproduction, speculation, etc. With the value of all sports cards on the rise pack searching has become something that not just the extremely greedy did but that many more people learned to do. Pack searching did exist while I was younger of course, but most product was available in hobby shops all you needed was an honest owner who could tell the loser to get out of there.

The result? Today my childhood card shop is like all others. Yes the wall of packs still exists but much of the wall is now behind a counter. The owner, a wonderful man named Dave, now picks your packs for you to ensure that everyone get a fair chance at a hit. His store is much like other honest stores. Some stores do let you pick your own packs but stories fly around about those stores. Some rumors are that search their own packs before putting them out to the public or feed hot packs to their richest customers to cater for their business.

I'm a little older and wiser now. I am also somewhat richer now. It’s not enough for much but just enough to still enjoy at least one pack of cards. But now, unlike in my childhood memories, I can no longer get the tactile sensation of all the other packs in the box. I can't pick up the box to feel its weight, its embossed texture or enjoy the smell of the wax. I will never see the very bottom of that box of packs as I reach for my bottom left pack. If I go to a place where the owner doesn't care if the box is searched I can get my own packs but by then the box has already been defiled. My hits will never be any more than base or inserts. That means that the $5 would have been better spent to buy five $1 grab bags rather than a pack. No one is so rich that they can just waste money on something that can't possibly return what is promised, which would be fair odds for pulling hits if a box isn't searched.

As a result of pack searching I no longer buy loose wax. My $5 of impulse spending money goes elsewhere and it does not go to cards. If pack searching wasn't so bad, that $5 would go toward cards. I would be able to enjoy it knowing that I had at least a tiny chance to pull something big. I suffer because I need to find relaxation elsewhere and I would dearly wish that I could do so while shooting the breeze with my friends at the local hobby shop and opening some packs. My local hobby shop suffers because I don't spend as much money with them as I would and in these times you really do need to support your local shop.

The proliferation of pack searching killed my enjoyment of going to the hobby shop and spending a few dollars on wax. Unlike what I had with my dad I will never get to pass on such an experience to my future children, a niece or a nephew. After all they'll never even be allowed near the box. Human beings are sensory in nature. We need to see, touch, smell and hear to relate to our environment. I want to see my wax before I buy it. I want to touch the box to see if it just radiates luck to me and feel the other packs brush against my hand as I go find my bottom left pack and think how one day maybe I could afford them all. I want to hear how the pack is pulled out. I want to smell that new or old wax smell and the next time I smell it I want to remember all the great hits that I pulled even if they aren't great by other people's standards.

With my dad now dead some of my fondest memories of him are card shop memories. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world and part of me is so hurt that I will never be able to share something like this with a son of mine all because of pack-searching.

In case you were curious the name of the shop, aptly enough, was Cardboard Memories, 230 Sandalwood Parkway East, Brampton, ON.

gmoney168
07-18-2009, 05:28 PM
Articles: http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/?p=713
Digg: http://digg.com/baseball/Stolent_Cardboard_Memories_Sports_Card_Forum_Artic les
Prop: http://www.propeller.com/story/2009/07/18/stolent-cardboard-memories-sports-card-forum-articles/
Buzz: http://buzz.yahoo.com/article/1:04336a8f0df176e64b208827a806c85d:7ef1c3e7690a342 4682e4bbcbe1e4949/Stolent-Cardboard-Memories?usc=1