I was brought back to my childhood this past weekend when memories of my love for trading cards and sports memorabilia came alive again after watching a video of people opening trading card packs online.
What used to be a borderline addiction for me as a kid – opening packs of cards and praying for big-name players, autographs and jersey clippings – has now been brought back into the spotlight as entrepreneurs are using the thrill of opening packs to resell products to fellow sports fans online.
With the popularity of YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, entrepreneurs are beginning to use streaming via live videos to reel in viewers and sell cards and other sports memorabilia to a live audience of bidders and enthusiasts online.
What I saw from the few streams that I watched was actually captivating.
I was always a casual collector, whose box of cards currently resides in a drawer in my closet.
What I witnessed on the first stream I viewed was far from anything I could have imagined as a kid.
The stream was a cornucopia of stimuli full of bright lights, broadcast-quality voices and most importantly: big boxes of cards.
The hosts went one by one through the boxes ripping open plastic cases and exposing flashy cards that would have made childhood-me grin from ear to ear.
Even though I did not partake in any bidding or spot buying, I still watched these streams for quite a while.
Afterward, I found myself unable to resist breaking open my old collector’s box and looking to see if I had any hidden treasures that I may have overlooked in my youth.
Instead of finding a card that could lead to early retirement – some cards can go for upward of seven figures online – I found a piece of myself that I had forgotten about over the years.
I saw cards that I actually remembered where and when I bought, as well as players and names I hadn’t seen in over a decade.
It was refreshing, to say the least.
While I’m not sure if I’ll get much more involved in collecting again, I would recommend to any sports fans in town with a stash of cards laying around to go find their cards and give them another look.
Even if you don’t find that one unicorn of a card that everyone is looking for, what you may find instead is something you can’t put a price on.