Friday, July 22, 2022

My Personal History of Non-Sports Collecting

The year was 1987 and my favorite baseball team, the NY Mets, were fresh off a sensational World Series winning season and my Dad saw my brother and my interest peak in the sport. He decided a good way to get us acquainted with baseball and the players would be to buy us some packs of 1987 Topps cards. 
You know the set, the one one with the fantastic wood grain boarders. Well, little did he know that this decision would kick start my love for collecting cards. Every time we would stop by a convenience store, gas station or drug store, I would ask for a new pack of cards and the majority of the time my Dad would cave. It would be years later when I discovered the joys of collecting basketball cards with the 1990-1991 NBA Hoops set.
This newfound love of basketball kind of pushed baseball to the side and I started playing organized basketball and it became my favorite sport. My team won two championships and lost only 1 game in 3 years, I was even named to the all-tournament team as the best all-around "Power Forward"! Those were great times and even though I was big into sports at the time, another interest started to creep in and it all started in 1992 with the...
DEATH OF SUPERMAN! Yes, I had a few comics scattered around the house and yes, I did have a small collection of Secret Wars action figures, but it wasn't until this momentous occasion that I really saw what impact comic books could have on people and that story really began my comic collecting obsession. I had to read all the Superman books! Superman led to Batman, Batman led to Spider-Man, Spider-Man led to X-Men and not only did these comics lead to discussions on the play ground, but it also brought together kids who had never really hung out before. This was a type of pop culture that it seemed everyone had an opinion on and my mind was blown when during one of those meetings of the minds, one of my buddies whipped out his collection of Marvel Universe trading cards!
Two of my favorite hobbies were now together in one amazing package! They were cards, but they featured stats and bios of some of the greatest superheroes of the time! Just like my Dad when he bought us those 1987 Topps packs, these cards introduced me to so many fantastic creations that I had never heard of before and I wanted to know more which led to a deeper love of the comic genre.
I became a big collector of these cards when Marvel Universe Series 3 cards came out and I tried to collect the whole set. I had some of the holograms and came close, but ended up a few cards short. After series 4 of the Marvel Universe cards was released, my interest in collecting them kind of waned and I would pick up a few packs every now and then, but I wasn't as big of a comic card collector as I had been.
I've picked up a few cards recently, but my main focus is on the actual comics nowadays, but if the price is right I won't hesitate to buy a box of these magnificent relics from the era of the comic boom in the 90's. I've brought some of these boxes home for my kids to enjoy and to share with them that experience of discovering new characters via the art on these mini masterpieces and of course I am always happy to share my knowledge of comic book characters with my children. It's a nice little bonding experience for us that I hope they will remember for years to come.
Collecting these non-sports cards was a fairly big part of my childhood and although I am not into the hobby as much as when I was younger it still feels good to look through a stack of these cardboard wonders and relive that time when these characters were new to me.


  1. I've never been a big card collector but am happy I kept my few Topps Star Wars, Empire, and Raiders cards. I finally put them into binders this year and have enjoyed thumbing through them. I still get that same blast of nostalgia when looking at the Star Wars cards, because those came out before the toys. Crazy how sports card prices have become since the pandemic. Fun stuff. You have a neat collection.

  2. Great walk down memory lane! The first cards I can remember collecting were E.T. movie cards.

  3. The 90's Marvel Universe sets, especially the first two, were a gateway for a lot of kids.