Monday, February 14, 2011

Love At First Sight

It's been a few days since I've posted as I've been busy with work. I hope to be able to post on a regular basis this week.

I'm not sure if everyone remembers their first, but I sure do. I've been at it now for 20+ years and after all these years I refuse to forget my first.

This is the card that started my obsession with collecting back in 1990. This card came from a pack of Kraft Cheese Singles. I still remember the wrapper: light blue, white packaging and a picture of a glass of milk. On the winter day in 1990 two life long loves started: collecting hockey cards and eating grill cheese.

The picture of the card is not the actual one I got myself on that day back in 1990, the scan I used is from a MUCH better conditioned version of the card I own. I still have the original somewhere, as I saw it in a box in the depth's of my closet some month's back. The original card is creased, covered in dirt and maybe some food. Upon getting the card I held it quite a bit and even brought it to bed with me when I got it as a youngster. When I got the "upgraded" card for my set I couldn't believe how white the border actually is.

When I grew up collecting the 90's you could pretty much find hockey card's on all type's of food products. My collection grew quite quickly due to my families loyalty with Kraft/J-ELLO, Highliner, Humpty Dumpty and Kellogg's.

While many people just throw away these food issued cards, I treasure them. They are simple reminders to me of what the hobby use to be about: fun.

For the last few years I have been chasing after different food issued sets and I tell you it's not easy! Most people just threw them away or cut them very poorly off the box. A poorly cut card is not a big deal to me, they always have a spot in my collection. To find factory cut cards is rare and quite a thrill, finding factory issued binders is even tougher.

The card industry has turned into a business and packs cost anywhere from a few dollars up to a couple hundred. Nr-mint and mint cards are all the rage, even with vintage and anything fair from mint is cast-off and un-wanted.

I'm not sure what it is, but to me a beat up card has character. It shows me that the card was appreciated and handled by someone who was really happy to own it OR it came to be that way from a set of bike spokes. Whenever I get a vintage card from the 50's or 60's I really enjoy examining it and trying to think about why all the crease came to be.

I'm a dying breed of collectors these days and I'm bordering on endangered or extinct. I plead to anyone who reads this that you will bring out your food issued cards from the slow death they are enduring in a closet or basement. If you had a certain set you really liked as a kid, challenge yourself to complete it. I assure that you will have a lot of fun along the way and it will change your whole prospective on collecting.

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