Trading Cards and Accessories
What are the types of trading cards?
A trading card has an image of a person, place, event or thing on the front, and on the back is a brief description of the importance of the subject. They vary greatly with some being collectibles and have autographs, color images, and elaborate graphics. Most are produced from heavy card stock paper, but they have been made out of silk cloth, felt, transparent plastic, metal, celluloid plastic, and holographic plastic.
Most people associate them with stars in baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. But there are ones for many other sports, like racing, cycling, running, and rugby. There are some for events like the Olympic Games and the World Series.
Trading products that are not sports related are categorized as non-sports cards. These products cover a broad range. The 288 card set Horrors of War printed in 1938 is famous for its vivid graphics and quality text. Children collect ones based on cartoons and superheroes. Other subjects have included television shows, movies, and reality shows like wrestling. The card game category grew out of the non-sports cards category. Magic the Gathering was played primarily via cards with players and collectors of all ages around the world.
How should they be protected?
Well preserved items will give years of enjoyment. There are several ways to protect and organize your collection.
- Plastic acrylic cases: Plastic acrylic cases come in varying sizes to accommodate standard and custom sizes. They can hold a few to a hundred or more trading cards.
- Screw down plastic card holders: Screw down plastic card holders are made of two pieces of clear plastic with one screw for closure. It fits one card. Some holders are acid free and PVC free.
- Albums: For larger collections, albums may be a good choice. An album is similar to a 3-ring binder with pages of sleeves. The advantage of an album is ease of access, viewing and organization.
- Cardboard boxes: A simple but efficient way of keeping your collection free from blemishes and damage is cardboard storage boxes. They come in different sizes. They can contain 50 to thousands of trading cards.
Are retail and hobby cards the same?
A retail one is packaged in a pack of five or more. They are sold to the general public. Hobby products are sold as collectibles. They may include some material or content that is not available in the retail packs. Manufacturers will also release limited items for promotions and redemption. All of these can differ from the retail versions.
Who makes trading cards?
Some manufacturers include Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, In The Game, Press Pass, Tristar, Leaf, and Sage. Some specialize in certain sports. Tristar's sports division focuses on Minor League Baseball and wrestling. Sage makes football-related products only. Topps does both sport and non-sport cards collectibles.