trading cards

This week the New 52 trading cards, created by Cryptozoic, came to my local comic store. I was really excited when I heard that they were going to release these cards, which urged me to write a previous article about collecting trading cards here at ShortBoxPodcast.com. So, when the day came for them to be sold at store, of course I had to get some packs of cards.

New 52 CardsFirst off, these cards are not game cards like Magic, they are trading cards. The have a certain character of group on the front and a description or bio on the back. The bio is the up to date bio of the character for New 52 continuity. Each pack contains 5 cards and usually costs between $3.00-$4.00. In each box of trading card packs, there is always a chance that you could get a special sketch cardbecause there is one inserted into one of the packs.

The main cards that you can get in a pack are the normal character cards. Some of the characters are harder to find than others. For example, I have bought a few packs already and not once received a Batman card, but I have received a few Flash cards. I actually seem to hardly get any doubles. This could seem like a good thing, but it is also a bad thing if you are wanting to trade. Doubles are usually used for trading purposes. You will also come across some foil cards from time to time, which are just foil versions of regular character cards. Recently got a Wonder Woman card call “Work In Progress” (WIP) which shows you the process of drawing, inking, and color when you look at the card from different angles. Of course, there is the sketch cards which are incredibly rare to find, but are cards the are actually drawn by artists. There is also a group of cards called “Lantern Cards” which are few but contain characters from different Lantern Corps.

Hal Jordan Lantern Card

My biggest complaint is that the cards don’t have that much information on the back. I mean, the updated New 52 bios are nice, but I would like to have a little more. Back in the day a company called Fleer used to make the DC Comics and Marvel trading cards. The backs of the cards would have all sorts of stuff on the back. The cards would have some character stats on them and the artist name who drew the card. My only way to see who drew the card is by reading their signature on the art, which is sometimes impossible to figure out, or by knowing who the artist is already like Greg Capullo’s art on the Batman card. Sometimes it is a total unknown. It may have been a change to put a QR code onto the cards to make it more interactive with the internet.

Fleer Marvel Canonball Card

Fleer Canonball Card Back

So far I have really enjoyed the packs that I have gotten. One of the first packs I opened had a Talon card in it which was pretty cool. I epically like getting characters that I really enjoy. That is really why I was hoping to open a pack and receive a Batman card, being one of my favorite. My biggest complaint is that very few people are buying packs, so I really have no one to trade cards with. There are over 60 normal cards to this first series to collect and it is a good way to understand who some characters from DC are.

Cryptozoic also makes the Walking Dead trading cards. You can usually find these cards at your local comic shop and if they don’t, check and see if they can get some in. They are a fun pass time and it is fun to see what characters you can get. Also, this is a good way to get your kids into reading comic books. A lot of people that I know got into reading comic books because of the Fleer trading cards back in the day, so give them a shot and see if you get some of your favorite characters.

Last weeks podcast, Nick and I talked about how trading cards have really become a thing of the past. I remember when I was a kid growing up in the 90s how collecting inexpensive pieces of cardboard or paper was such a fun pastime. Whether they were pogs or trading cards, I loved to collect them for the picture that was on them or the information on the back of them. If you had doubles or character you didn’t like, then you could trade them with a friend. What a great way to get your kid to socialize with others.

This hobby seems to have become a thing of the past. A coworker of mine used to collect sports cards as a kid and he said that kids used to get sports cards to learn the stats of certain players, but now that we have the Internet we can look them up at anytime. Even the information with Marvel Trading Cards and DC Trading Cards can be looked up on Wikipedia. What’s the point of buying it in “card form”?

Trading cards are a great way for kids to learn responsibility. When trading, kids learn that in order to gain something you want, you have to give something in return. In this case, if Kid #1 is a huge fan of Spiderman and Kid #2 is a loves Wolverine then they can make an equal trade for the characters they like if Kid #1 has Wolverine and Kid #2 has Spiderman. Sometimes cards are more rare then others, letting the kid make a decision on what is more important, having your favorite character or having this limited edition Wolverine card that hardly any kid has. This also teaches a kid how he has to live with certain decisions once the deal is done.

What present-day hobbies do kids have that actually teach them responsibly? I’m a fan of video games, but video games are expensive. Inexpensive hobbies are not available anymore or they just aren’t promoted enough for kids.

As much as I would hope that this blog post of mine would spark discussion bringing back trading cards, it is really about bringing back the inexpensive hobbies of olde. Things that actually teach kids something. I don’t want this blog post to sound like I am against gaming, I just think people need to have another pastime that takes them away from a screen and gets them out and about.

-Adam Russell