As you all may or may not know, I've been collecting comics since the early 90's and the other day while driving to a comic book shop here in Virginia; my friend and I were talking about how we began to collect comic books. You see, the beauty of having a lifelong friend who has a lot of the same hobbies you do is that; he might remember details of the past that you might have forgotten and vice versa. While i remembered our first steps into this larger world of comic book fandom he remembered that our first real collecting began not with comic books per se; but with comic book trading cards! When he told me this the memories came back like a tidal wave and nostalgia took over me in a way that I did not expected. As we arrived at the comic book shop, I got the books I was looking for and proceeded to search for something that was insanely popular in the 90's but not so much in this day and age... Marvel Universe trading cards!
Of course they had a few assorted cards in a box and unopened boxes as well, although we left that day without buying them. As we left all I could think about was how much fun those trading cards were back in the day. Young people, let me help you understand why these cards were so cool and important for someone like myself as I ventured into this world of comic books and geekdom in general. See, back in the day we didn't have Wikipedia to learn about all our favorite characters, we didn't have enough money to buy all the comics we wanted in order to learn everything about Spider-Man or Wolverine; what we did have were trading cards. Each card told us the character's stats, basic origin, allies, foes, powers and were usually beautifully illustrated by some of the best artists in the business! Another benefit was that they were easier to collect because they occupy far less space than comic books. But one of the things I enjoyed the most about trading cards was that you could exchange your doubles with your friends and complete the sets, making them even more engaging than comics. But how could such a wonderful hobby disappear the way trading cards did? Did fans got tired of them? What exactly happened to comic book trading cards?
I don't know what happened to the hobby of trading cards but I do know one thing, I think I got bit by the trading card collecting bug again and I'm going in full force; I'm tracking down these trading card sets and collecting them. Hopefully I'll get a few people interested in the hobby again and who knows, maybe we start building a fan base again and companies take notice. Wishful thinking! I think the time is perfect for trading cards to come back because, with so many changes and company reboots; the only way fans could keep up with storylines is if A. they're rich or B. they have a trading card set that can tell the main stories in a few cards.
So, with that said, here's a few pics of me and my boy opening our very first box of Marvel Universe Series III trading cards from way back in 1992!
P.S. Share with us in the comments if you had, or still have; a collection of trading cards. What do you think about them and/or if you'd like to see these make a comeback.