By Joe Simanis aka GHCHambone

To me there is no better joy than ripping open a pack of wax, finding that card you have been searching high and low for, or trading cards with another member here on Sports Card Forum. These are the things that card collecting and trading are all about. However, card collecting can be an expensive hobby at times, and this may possibly turn some kids away from the hobby. So what can be done? Here are a few of my ideas to help bring this wonderful hobby to a new generation.


Companies should produce a wide range of prices for their products- This is something I feel companies do pretty well currently, but could improve somewhat. I feel that companies are moving more towards the higher-end/more hits sets. These sets are great for the collector who only wants game used cards or autographs, and they make sense for companies to produce. But trading card companies also need to make some more lower end products aimed towards the younger generation. Obviously, younger kids have less money to spend on trading cards, so if they cant afford them then this may discourage kids from entering the hobby. Also, I think kids enjoy opening the packs and having many cards, rather than just a few. So a lower end set with lots of cards for kids to open would be a great way to help bring the younger crowd to trading card collecting.


More low-end inserts for kids to pull- Very few of us have the money, time, or patience to open box after box, and pack after pack to pull that one card we have been looking for. Kids have an even shorter attention span, so some cool, not so rare inserts in these lower end sets may help encourage kids to join the hobby. They don’t have to be autographs or game-used jersey cards, just some different looking cool cards for kids to collect. Give them something to chase, but reward them often.


More giveaways at games or in products- Kids also love free giveaways. It seems like no matter what it is, if it’s free, kids want it. So maybe a team set giveaway at a sporting event, or a few cards with a box of cereal or something like that. Just a few cards to get them started.


While there are some things card companies can do to help bring the next generation into card collecting, it is really up to us to get them started. So what is the number one thing to get more people into the hobby?


Show them what it’s all about- Next time you are with a younger sibling, cousin, family friend, etc., show them your card collection, especially if you have some sports they are interested in. If they start to show some interest, give them a few cards! Sure, they may get a little beat up, but nothing beats giving a youngster their first jersey card or a card of their favorite player. Show some generosity! Starting someone off on their new hobby may be as simple as giving them a few cards. If they start to get into the hobby, maybe take them to your local card store next time you go.


Everyone has to do his or her part to help keep this wonderful pastime going. For us to do that we need to help bring the next generation of card collectors to the hobby. Yes, card companies can help bring kids to card collecting by producing some lower-end fun sets for them to collect, and to giveaway cards at sports games or with products. But we as trading card collectors have the true obligation to show this hobby to the next generation. So think back to when you started collecting. Why did you? Did you just have to find that card of your favorite player? Or did a friend show you his or her collection and got hooked? So think back to the reasons why you started collecting, and even today think why you enjoy collecting, and next time you see a youngster give him or her a few cards and get their collection going. Show them the reasons why you love card collecting and get them hooked too.