What it means to be a collector.

Over that past few weeks I have noticed a trend that honestly upsets me - The lack of updates and the absence of once prominent members of this community. I don’t know all of the reasons behind this, and I’m sure they are valid but, I really don’t care about the details. It seems to me that we all need to be reminded of what it means to be a collector. We all share one thing in common: at some point in our lives there was a defining moment that drew us toward a seeming simple card game. It changed who we are and for some of us, our bank accounts :slightly_smiling_face:. The reality is each of us has some story of how collecting a piece of cardboard brought us here today. I believe we should share these stories, from the serious collectors who can finance a home right down to the person with one binder whose childhood memories live between nine pocket pages…I want to hear them all.

I’ll start.

It began 12 years ago when I was 8 years old. The playground was abuzz with a new phenomenon that I would soon discover to be Pokemon. From the start I was drawn to the fantastic illustrations and holographic patterns of the early sets. the cards were like nothing I have ever seen before. I remember one evening asking my father to buy me my first theme deck at a local book store. I chose ZAP! as the characters mewtwo and pikachu stood out to me the most. These were my first 60 cards. I had no idea how to play at the time. So upon further inspection of the cards, I noticed the set numbers and the collecting began. Some of my fondest childhood memories were traveling to various card local shops with my parents and hunting down each individual card needed to complete my sets. However, one card escaped my grasp, the infamous birthday pikachu! At $500 it was well out of reach. However, there was one set of cards that I would soon discover made all the birthday pikachu cards in the world look like a common weedle.They are the trophy pikachu cards. Since I first saw them in beckket in 2000 I knew that it would be a life goal of mine to eventually own one of them. From that moment forward (especially when WOTC lost rights to printing) Pokemon cards faded in and out of my life. That was until I received a Tropical Tidal Wave top 16 card for Christmas. That card reignited my passion for collecting and I once again went on my quest for the elusive trophy cards. Then one day I saw it. The SSB No.3 Trainer. It wasn’t a pikachu, but It was rare, hardly ever seen, and featured mewtwo. I had to have it. So, I worked my ass off washing dishes at a crummy restaurant and made the most fiscally irresponsible decision of my life. I took the money I earned and combined it with my savings account and struck a deal! I was a proud owner of my very own trophy card at the age of 17. Since that cards arrival three years ago there has been no turing back, my my passion for collecting has flourished (along with my managing my money :stuck_out_tongue:). I have added many new things I thought I would never in a million years have the chance to own.

Everyone has a reason why collecting matters, for me its preserving old memories and making new ones all while enjoying something I love. So lets here yours.

I appreciate those of you who stuck through the whole poorly written, half asleep article…your a champ!

@mkpokecc – I want to update frequently, yet the lack of cards on the market is very disturbing :stuck_out_tongue:

I embarked on my passion fifteen years ago. I walked to the convenience store where they sold the very first types of booster packs available for Pokémon cards. I bought one package, and within this silver wrapper lurked a brand new Zapdos. It was a beautiful experience - the crisp yellow edges, the scent of ink and paper, the reflective glean of holofoil shimmering against the fluorescent lights…I stared in admiration at this scintillating paper treasure, gently tilting its rectangular surface to capture every sliver of light. This wonderful experience was the beginning of an amazing journey.

I phased beyond the English Pokémon TCG in 2008. I began to collect a specific species – Mew. It was my favourite Pokémon because it was very obscure – and special. My first Mew card was Shining Mew [Coro Coro]. I began accumulating both languages, and discovered that a few were never released in English. I further investigated this peculiar sanctum, and discovered just how exclusive certain cards were. This research piqued my interest for Japanese cards, and thus commenced my voyage into the unknown. I slowly replaced common cards with recherché ones – special cards sought out for its lucrative rarity. I believe the first ultra rare card to arrive in my possession was Flareon ★ [024/PLAY]. Upon obtaining this new found prize, I suddenly realized how incredible it felt to possess something so special. I subsequently desired to learn everything humanly possible about rare cards.

I collect cards for two intriguing, albeit bizarre reasons:

#1) I collect cards because it is my livelihood. In a situation too familiar with several of us, obtaining cards has become a lifestyle. It provides a thrill amidst my uninteresting, boring life. I like collecting cards because it makes me feel alive. It gives me purpose – at least, until I discover my true purpose :wink:

#2) I became a serious collector because I wanted to be good at something. Yes, I realize how pathetic that sounds. I was never truly acknowledged for anything in my life – even for things I was considered “good” at (i.e. drawing, writing, sports, music). I tried so hard to be somebody; I participated, I took risks, I pushed myself beyond my limits. What did I receive for my efforts? The harsh slap of rejection. I never won awards. I never obtained a title. I was always second best. I was always overshadowed. One day, I said to myself: “I want be one of the best collectors out there”. I believe there is no literal title for “best collector”, and that is the beauty of it. You never have any actual competition. Instead, you have a supportive community who encourages your progress and bequeaths its knowledge and praise unto you. I didn’t want to be the collector. I wanted to be acknowledged and respected as an outstanding member of the collecting community. I wanted to belong. I wanted to create a camaraderie between individuals who shared my passion…

… and here I am :blush:

That is exactly how I feel! Growing up I was good a a few different things, but never great at one. So like you, as my collecting developed I decided why not become good at collecting! :blush: For me I got better at the bargain hunting and deal making aspect. Partly because of age and school, my budget would not allow me to afford massive purchases…anyway I would definitely consider you an acknowledged and respected collector… there are a few things in it that one day I aspire to obtain :wink:

for me i remember it like it was yesterday.was around 12-13 and my little brother got me into pokemon and my aunt brought him the starter deck.from there on me and him just loved playing the card game and the pokemon around it.then later on i went with my parents shopping and saw a bundle with one of the theme decks and a starter deck so i picked blackout since it was blue and had squirtle.opened it up and started playing it like crazy.brought my 1st booster pack at toysrus almost when jungle was about to arrive and noticed like very quickly the difference between 1st edition,shadowless and unlimited.during that time i always was wondering how one was lighter than the other ones.when i got on my cousin’s computer did some quick search and randomly found about the whole set.i remember seeing the charizard for like 100+ back in the old days.after more sets came out i picked up a beckett magazine and inside contained the info about the new NEO sets in japan and quickly went into knowing about those cards.during a family trip i went to a japanese store and i beheld the lot of southern island sets and the neo 1 promo binder for a very cheap price compared to ebay.i also remember from the beckett magazine talking about the pikachu illustrator card and how much it was valued at.from then on japanese cards was my search on ebay.during the Neo era the Pokemon Center New York opened up and with that display of pokemon cards from base set all the way to neo i was just amazed at the cards time and time again.i grew bored of the pokemon cards and somehow made my way into yugioh for about 2-3 years.i got back into the game around the ex team aqua and magma line and brought my 1st booster in 3 years pulled sceptile ex out of it.

during the ex era i was mostly a collector of ex cards and of course the gold stars.i dug more deeper into the tcg with the japanese sets knowing about the very rare trophy cards the illustrator and the vending series sheets.i still didnt have a job so cards for me was very little i can do but was wishing i can get some of those sets especially the VS and WEB cards.time and time went on just about the last 2 years my focus went to japanese cards in which i have done very well with.completed both a peeled and unpeeled vending series 1 and 3 set.plus the demand and knowledge of the VS cards have been risen up due to people seeing more of these cards being opened by youtubers like myself and alot of others especially prguitarman.there will be cards i want to obtain as time goes on especially at least 1 pika trophy and one ssb but as of now i and happy with with i have collected

Hey guys, I’ve been very busy lately with work. I have a lot of cards that I added to my collection but can’t find the time to take pictures. I will update next week possibly. Also, I love collecting, been doing it for about 12 years.

hahaha ahh Charizard: king of the play ground. Its kinda neat to see how that card is still in demand (and selling at decent prices) all these years latter thanks to nostalgia. Its amazing to see how a “child’s game/show” touched so many people…I have noticed Pokemon is making a bit of a comeback with a lot of young adults now well into their 20’s due to the joy it brought them in their elementary days.

My mother and I were actually just having a discussion about this. I thought I was imagining things, but I think that there’s definitely been a resurgence in Pokemon’s popularity. Combined with a new generation of young players, it’s certainly interesting. (It’s not nearly like it was when I was young, but, it’s gotten alarmingly popular compared to the lull of a few years back, imo)

I know that when I was middle school age, I tried to ‘give up’ Pokemon to appear more “cool” to my classmates, but, you know how that works. I’m almost 20 and I’m really, really back into Pokemon.

Collecting cards has been something I’ve loved to do since I was little. I’ve always kind of gravitated toward the Japanese cards, since they have some really cool/rare promos and such. When I was about 12, I sold almost all of my collection (regret!), and was kinda sad after that.

About a year ago, I realized how much I love collecting the cards- they’re so special to me. The thrill of being able to own cards you’d seen in a magazine as a child is just…it’s amazing. I remember looking at Pojo or Beckett, or whatever magazine, and seeing cards like Birthday Pikachu, the '99 ANA cards, or whatever. And now, I can actually own some of my childhood dreams!

That’s my little ramble.


@genetbox - (Chuckles) It is an amusingly common phenomenon amongst us.

Hahahaha! I can relate…It was a dark time in middle/high school :stuck_out_tongue:

You guys have some pretty swell stories on the history of your collecting; mine isn’t as cool. As I don’t intend to “catch 'em all,” I am not a super-serious collector. Just know that this story is silly and unnecessary in length, so you may be better off if you don’t read it :stuck_out_tongue:.

-Chapter 1-
First, I’d like to give a small backstory. My dad is a collector of beer signs. He loves anything Pittsburgh and well… my house is filled with things of both sorts. I guess that was what started me on wanting to start a collection of my own.

Like many of you, my casual collecting started at a young age; I estimate around 1999. My cousins brought pokemon cards to the funeral of my great grandmother and I thought their cards were the coolest things ever (I just find it a little funny that it took place in an unexpected setting). Along with getting cards as gifts, my parents used to bribe their kids to try new foods with packs. My brother and I pooled our collection and tried to get as many as we could and then my older sister had her own thing going on. She’s studying abroad in Japan right now and doesn’t know that I’ve taken most of her cards. Shhhh. Though my brother and I ended up getting 3/4 of each of the first few sets, our prized card was a base set 2 Hitmonchan that went through the washing machine - I swear I’m not copying Reina :stuck_out_tongue: (I’d be glad to post a picture because it just makes me smile).

-Chapter 2-
Time passed and I eventually moved to other things after elementary school. I started playing Yugioh through middle to early high school, Runescape, wifi battling with pokemon diamond, back to Runescape, and then briefly back to diamond. Sometime along the previously-mentioned timeline, I went with my dad to visit some distant cousins. They had a newborn son, Clark and a dog Krypto - the dad was a hugeeee Superman enthusiast. He offered to show us the “Superman Room.” It was walk-in-closet sized room filled with Superman collectibles. Astounded by this, I promised myself that I’d eventually have a room similar to this, but with Pokemon. At this time, I still thought the most rare card was a Charizard; I was just really into Pokemon in general. I even have my giant stuffed Pikachu buckled into the front seat of any car that I drive and I can recite decent ev spreads and movesets for most pokemon in the generations up to sinnoh. Sadly, my collecting was given up.

-Chapter 3-
After going to my girlfriend’s homecoming, we went to her friend’s house to watch a movie in his room. Oddly enough, his entire bedroom was dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine and Power Rangers. It reminded me of my promise, which soon got me started with looking online to plan out my future room. Aside from a few movie posters and maybe an animation cel, a collection of older cards is my main focus. Though small, the room will be church-esque with a podium along the back with my binder open. Behind the podium is a stained glass window, which is of me shirtless and with my tongue out. Mostly to annoy my future wife or something. The end!

Hahah! Repping my city :blush: …although I can’t wait to move away.

My dad was also a major influence on my collecting as he is a collector himself (Although not of pokemon :/) I too plan on expanding my collection (as I continually do) although I don’t think I would dedicate a room to it!