Monday, November 29, 2004

No business like...

Well, I survived the Memorabilia show at the NEC Birmingham last weekend - I got back yesterday.
Fun. Busy on Saturday - especially as Harris Toser of Non-Sport Update (NSU) was hosting a meeting for Card Talk members (Card Talk is the online discussion forum hosted by the NSU website -
Thanks to a very good friend who is also a published trading card sketch artist (Patrick J. Hammill - his work appears in the Rittenhouse Archive "Art & Images of Xena: Warrior Princess"), two of my interests (trading cards and the author E.F.Benson) have combined to form this:

The view from the NSU stand (where I helped out for a while) was of the Tetley Tea van, and the massed ranks of sandwich and jacket potato eating show visitors, but it was still fun! Lots of new cards and hints about forthcoming sets which, if I repeated them hear, would mean me tracking down and killing anyone who actually reads this! However, I can reveal that there will be a new "Spike" set featuring the adventures of the character so memorably potrayed by James Marsters in both "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Angel"; there is likely to be a set for "Stargate Atlantis" and a "Quotable Star Trek The Next Generation" set is in the design stage for release next year...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Some days have all the luck...

It's been quiet on the acquisition front, mainly because I'm saving up for the big Memorabilia show at the Birmingham NEC at the end of November. That said, I have picked up a couple of packs recently, and managed to get lucky.
My local store, which has always been a good place for me to test out my 'lucky hand' had a box of Inkworks "Angel Season 5" in the counter, so I picked, at random, a couple of packs, paid for them, and left the store to open them (as I usually do). Lo and behold, the first pack I opened had an Autograph card, signed by Mercedes McNab (who played 'Harmony' in both Buffy and Angel). "Nice pull" I thought to myself as I opened the other pack - only to find a 'Pieceworks' card containing a piece of shirt worn by Amy Acker (as "Fred")...
This store is like that - which is why I will always trust single packs bought there. I have had so many great pack pulls from just one of two pack purchases there - including my Shatner/Nimoy dual autograph (from Rittenhouse Archives' "TOS 35th Anniversary" set), a couple of nice LOTR cards and (though the following was bought by my sister, it was at the same time as the aforementioned dual autograph!) one of the scarcest Xena costume cards from Season 6, amongst MANY others.

Support your local store and, if you get lucky, support them even more!

Friday, June 18, 2004

The Things You Find In Supermarkets

It's not just in card stores and comic shops that you find trading cards you know; you can also find them in other, less likely, places!
Last Tuesday, I happened to be in a local branch of Tescos (a UK supermarket chain) and happened to be in the breakfast cereal aisle (a useful place to be if, like me, you like gimmicky 'free gifts') Lo, I spotted boxes of Kelloggs Cereal and Milk bars (made from Frosties, Rice Krispies or Coco Pops) with a 'Spiderman 2' picture on the front - each box has a 3D 'trading card' based on the movie. The cards are rather nice, actually - the 3D effect is achieved by using a lenticular card, and is most effective. There are 4 in the set.
The casual collector might think "What's the point in collecting these? There must be millions of them out there". Well, yes, that may well be true; but most people buying these cereal bars will either throw away the card, or give it to a child who will end up throwing it away themselves. Collect the set now, and you could well have something of interest later on. After all, Weetabix did a set of cards on their boxes years ago based on "Star Trek The Next Generation" and these are quite sought after now...

Monday, June 07, 2004

The past is a different chase set...

So, between the general chatty bits, and on the basis that people probably won't actually see the contents of this blog so it probably doesn't matter WHAT I write, I thought I'd post the occasional bit of personal Trading Card history - how I got into collecting, odd things that have happened, that sort of thing.
The downhill path to penury started because a friend and colleague asked me along to a comic fair in London some 7 years or so ago. When we entered he room, I saw a crowd of people all looking at little bits of card, and I couldn't for the life of me work out why - then I saw the prices and made several comments about the sanity of those loons at the table. (this was before Pokemon etc hit these shores)
Some time later, I read a news item in a SciFi mag about a new set of trading cards for Star Trek that would have actual hand-signed autograph cards from members of the original cast! I was a huge Star Trek fan (I'm still a fan, though not as enthusiastic as I once was) so this was a bit of a 'must have' for me (this was before I started by brief period of going to conventions...)
I had some difficulty tracking down the cards - eventually I bought a Bruce Hyde autograph card from a dealer in Lakeside Thurrock, and placed an order for a couple of boxes of the next set, which would also have autograph cards. The die was cast...


Well, the weekend came and went, and I ended up with a lot of empty packs.
Saturday, I went to pick up the latest issue of Non-Sport Update (NSU) magazine; whilst in the shop I picked up a couple of packs of "Charmed Connections", a couple of packs of "Stargate SG1 Season 6" and a cheap issue #1 of a Tekno Comix comic book that happened to have a trading card stapled inside (well, it was only 50p!(US readers - approx 80c))
I got a chase card in one of the Stargate packs, and a Pieceworks card in one of the Charmed packs - PWC6 to be exact. A nice start to the weekend!
Sunday, train into London (the local rail company was doing a special promotion, so it was really cheap to get in this time!), met up with some NSU Card Talk members and bought a couple of cheap boxes - "The Saint" and "The Prisoner", both by Cards Inc. £10 each box.
I got two autographs in the Prisoner box, and one in the Saint - which was nice.
If you've new to the hobby, or just haven't been to a card show, I'd recommend you try one out! You can get all sorts of interesting stuff, and the advantage of a show is that you can compare prices and card quality. Some of the bigger shows, you might even get some freebies!

Friday, June 04, 2004

Life in a Cardboard World

I collect non-sport trading cards.
No, I'm not an over-grown kid; yes, I do have a life; yes, I work with computers; yes, I like Star Trek. Your point?

This blog is where I'm going to post about my personal experiences in the non-sport trading card world. I am a regular poster to Non-Sport Update Magazine's "Card Talk" message board (Non-Sport Update magazine - click on the link to 'Card Talk') but sometimes there are things I want to talk about/rant about/enthuse about/whinge about which might not be appropriate for "Card Talk" - so I'll probably post them here.

Coming up this weekend is a card and comic fair in London - (at the Royal National Hotel, Bedford Square) at which I'm hoping to meet up with a few of my friends for chat and drinks. I'll report here on anything that happens that I'm not sworn to secrecy about!