Trading cards are an extremely popular collectible for both adults and children. These sets of color printed cards, usually presented as a series or a theme, are traded with other collectors, bought and sold and saved in albums. When people think about trading cards, they most often visualise sports trading cards. Sports cards have photographs and stats of players in all sports including hockey, baseball, basketball and football,to name just a few of the very popular series. There has also been increasing interest in trading cards other than sports cards. These usually feature themes from movies, television, or music.
Some people will think of trading cards as childrens toys. It is a fact that collecting trading cards is a wonderful hobby for children. As a parent you must teach your kids to keep their cards in mint condition in order to maintain their value. Make sure that while enjoying their card collection,they realise that only mint condition cards have full value as collectibles.
Sports cards began with baseball cards which date back as far as 1887. As a matter of fact,the great popularity and continuing growth of baseball card collecting is tied to the expansion of the game of baseball across the United states. This took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The first trading cards were quite different from today’s cards. They were usually printed on cloth or other soft materials. In 1902 baseball cards began to be produced on a commercial basis. Soon after that baseball cards were packed in with products like tobacco, bubble gum, and Cracker Jack.
As baseball cards became ever more popular,by the mid 1900s,other sports and more companies wanted to get in on the act. Trading cards became very popular once more in the 1980s as kids built their collections of sports cards. The trading card industry reached maximum production in the mid-1990s. Large numbers of trading card series as diverse as Garbage Pail Kids and Olympic athletes were produced.
Sports cards have remained the most popular trading cards. The late 1900s saw the production of many pop culture card series. Anyone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s will know all about cards such as Uh-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, Digimon, and World of Warcraft.
Even Hollywood saw the profit potential and popular cult TV and movies were produced as trading cards. Some of the shows which were made into trading card series include Star Trek,Buffy the Vampire Slayer,The X Files and South Park. Popular movies which were placed on trading cards include Ace Ventura, Independence Day, and even old time movies such as The Wizard of Oz and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The trading card market is almost completely dominated by several large companies. These include Topps, Upper Deck,Fleer, Leaf Candy Company and Donruss. Most of these companies,which are known best for their sports cards,also produce non-sports series of trading cards.
The value of a trading card depends entirely on its condition. Mint or Near Mint condition cards must have almost no flaws. They have must have sharp edges and corners,no creases and no damage. Such things as writing on the card,off-centered printing,corner damage, tears, creases or any other imperfections will lower the value greatly. Cards graded as Poor will have serious damage such as tears,creases or worn corners.
What can you do to keep your cards in excellent condition? There are many storage and protective covers,which can be purchased,to keep your trading cards safe from damage. Plastic sleeves and covers are very good for protecting cards from damage,although they could still be creased or bent. If you have valuable cards you must keep them in hard cases.
If you want to put a price on your cards,value guides can be purchased for most collectible series of cards. The well known Beckett price guides are generally accepted as leading value indicators for sports trading cards.
Collecting trading cards is an extremely popular hobby. Plenty of information and resources is available for card collectors. Online forums and price guides will help collectors to put a price on their cards and to discuss their hobby. Card shows are held in many major cities. These shows enable many buyers and sellers to meet for the purpose of trading, buying and selling cards.