Meanwhile, in Mike’s collection…

§ April 23rd, 2014 § Filed under trading cards § 13 Comments

…in one of his half-dozen or so binders of trading cards, there sits these two Wizard promo cards for the Dark Horse/Valiant crossover series Predator Vs. Magnus Robot Fighter:

…numbered 3 and 4, and I have no idea what 1 and 2 were. The cards are from 1992, advertising the then-forthcoming mini-series, and there they are, 22 years later, still in a card binder, still on a shelf, no real point to having held onto them for all this time other than for using them for this blog post you’re looking at right now. Plus, it’s not like they’re in the way at home or anything…I’m not moving, like, the dining table around and saying “I’d sure like to put this over in that part of the room if it weren’t for those damned Predator Vs. Magnus Robot Fighter trading cards already being kept there.”

Trading card accumulation was a real symptom of ’90s comic collecting, where one could get in cases of Jim Lee’s X-Men or what have you and easily expect to sell through all of them. That particular aspect of the market seems very diminished now…we received the 2014 Marvel Universe cards this week, and expect it’ll take a while to work through even a single box of those. The comic collector/card collector overlap likely burnt out in the overproduction of product a couple of decades back, from both sides of the equation. I remember personally buying and collecting various trading cards, and being fairly excited about tracking down those last few missing numbers I needed to complete a set. The very act of opening packs and collating sets was a strangely satisfying and fun activity in and of itself.

And then, suddenly, that particular collecting urge within me went away. It’s not like I have any newly-found disdain for the card sets I do have: I’m glad I have my Death of Superman set, or that set of chromium cards featuring Golden Age covers, or those two sets of Berni(e) Wrightson cards (with their accompanying special Berni(e) Wrightson binders!), or any of the other oddball sets I’ve gathered. I simply no longer have the desire to obtain more sets, buy more packs, sort more cards.

There are circumstances where I would want to buy more cards, of course, but more as a subset of other obsessions, rather than “I must buy and complete this new set of cards.” If DC Comics put out a new line of cards that included Swamp Thing images, I’m sure I’d set out to track down those specific cards, rather than acquire a full run of the whole release. Unless it was a full Swamp Thing series, in which case, okay, they got me.

Until then, I’m happy with the number of card sets I do have, in those half-dozen binders, resting on that shelf, where I can occasionally pull them down and look at them. And, of course, scan ’em and show them to you.

13 Responses to “Meanwhile, in Mike’s collection…”

  • Alex says:

    The rare time or two I’ve glanced at what card sets are out there in the last couple years, I’ve thought that all the unique sketch cards and other stuff like that was pretty neat. Then I realize how hard it would to actually find/acquire those cards, and I move on pretty quickly with my thinking. Maybe the singles of those chase cards are cheaper than I think on eBay or something, I’ve never had the urge to look.

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    I collectedthe Milk & Cheese card set. Those are fun but it did take me awhile to complete the set and I had nearly a full set of dupes by the time I was done, and no one else with whom to trade.

  • i still keep a couple sets around; the inaugural marvel one im never letting go because it was a present from my dad on my Basic Training Graduation; my set of Bloom County Chromiums is never leaving; one of those Dark Knight sets is staying-i even have the SkyDisk i could have gotten 50 dollars for but now would be lucky for 8.

  • kid nicky says:

    If the Marvel ones were at my local gas station or target/kmart/whatever like they used to be, I’d probably get them, but my LCS is a half hour out of my way and I buy all my comics digitally. Sometimes at Target I’ll get a pack of WWE or Star Wars but it’s really just…..nolstalgia I guess? I’ll probably never complete a set again unless I just buy a full set on ebay or something. I kind of still want TMNT series 1 and Marvel Masterpieces series 1.

  • Brian says:

    Card #4 there has both a Magnus Robot Fighter upskirt AND a Predator upskirt shot — SCANDALOUS!

  • Patrick Joseph says:

    I was just lamenting yesterday that I got rid of my Flaming Carrot set a few years ago.

    I really think the internet killed card collecting. You want a picture of something you like? Google it. Really love it? Print it/make it your desk top/LiveJournal Icon/AIM image etc..

  • swamp mark says:

    Thanks for reminding me. I dug into the collection and found my Swamp Thing hologram card from 1992. I haven’t seen it for quite a while so it was nice to rediscover it. I forgot I got it signed by Steve Bissette. How cool is that!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “numbered 3 and 4, and I have no idea what 1 and 2 were”

    1 and 2 were NO more impressive than 3 and 4.

    “we received the 2014 Marvel Universe cards this week, and expect it’ll take a while to work through even a single box of those”

    I’m surprised they still bother making them!

    “The very act of opening packs and collating sets was a strangely satisfying and fun activity in and of itself. ”

    uh huh!

    “And then, suddenly, that particular collecting urge within me went away.”

    Yup. Although I DO need to sort my Raiders of the Lost Ark cards sometime!

  • I really enjoyed collecting the recent Mars Attacks series. I had to buy them online and/or have a friend buy me a box but that somehow increased the enjoyment.

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    I have several sets of 80s and 90s comic cards that I cherish, but I have no interest in acquiring more. As stated above, they don’t have as much value when you can do image searches or look up character information online.

    I always resented a little having to buy several hundred cards or more to get a set of 100-200.

  • caleb says:

    Hey, Predator’s not a robot! Get back to work, Magnus!

  • Brian says:

    Robot Fighter, Predator…Lover?

    Card #5 is something special once he’s got the big guy down on the ground…

  • CalvinPitt says:

    Comic trading cards were really big at my school around the time I was in 5th, 6th grade. Series 3 and 4 of the Marvel Universe sets mostly. I have fond memories of trading for the characters I really wanted, or getting in trouble with my parents for spending too much money on packs of cards. I’m not sure why I stopped exactly. Maybe because I wasn’t buying as many comics, or I didn’t like the designs of the cards.

    I’ve bought a few complete sets of those older series at conventions in the last few years, but I haven’t given much thought trying to collect any newer sets.