King of Hoops EUHobby Musings: Erik Bogdan Growing Hobby Across EuropeOpening a hobby store in Hungary is just the latest way Erik Bogdan has looked to grow the hobby in Europe.  Already expanding the hobby’s growth in the United Kingdom, he found his way back into the hobby a few years ago like many others.  I had the chance to catch up with him to discuss his expansion across the continent.

KS: Erik, why did you decide to open a card store in Hungary?
Originally, I am from Hungary and prior to opening our online shop and breaking group in the United Kingdom, I have always been involved in the Hungarian hobby community. Being in contact with Hungarian collectors, I feel like we know what we can offer that can be different and exciting for all collectors in Europe. We decided to open a store in the heart of Budapest so that it is easily accessible for everyone across Hungary and Europe.

KS: What is the collector atmosphere/appetite like in Hungary?
EB: I feel that collectors in Hungary are mature. They have been in the hobby for a long time and have a lot of experience and card knowledge. Plus, collectors in Hungary are interested in a wider variety of sports like basketball, soccer, NFL, and hockey, whereas in the UK, it’s predominantly soccer and basketball.

KS: Which sports and athletes have you found to be the most in demand in Hungary? 
EB: Basketball and soccer are most in demand in Hungary as well. Collectors are looking for old school players as well as rising stars. I found a lot of them are collecting Hungarian soccer players.

KS: What have you found to be the biggest challenge with operating card shops in Europe given that many collectors and companies are based in the United States? 
EB: There are a lot of challenges that we did not anticipate prior to opening if I am being completely honest. Aside from local regulations and laws, I found logistics to be one of the challenges. Luckily GTS has thought of that and opened its warehouse in Germany. We are looking to have a bigger variety of products available for our customers. Being able to offer retail and hobby boxes, low and high-end cards and as many sports as we can is one of our biggest priorities at the moment. Having a European distributor such as GTS is a massive advantage and a boost for the hobby in Hungary and Europe.

KS: How did you get started in the trading card world?
EB: As with many others, I started collecting when I was a kid. Opening packs, buying cards, attending card shows was my reward for good grades. I reconnected with the hobby about five years ago when going through my old card albums and discovering the hobby on a different level. It was exciting to get back in, but living in the UK, I didn’t find many communities, so I decided to start my own breaking group and connect with other collectors in the UK. As the market grew, (around the time of lockdowns) we opened our online retail store in the UK, being one of the first ones to do so.

KS: What do you think is the best part of having your card shop?
EB: It’s very simple – it’s a childhood dream coming true.

KS: How would you say card collecting in Europe has changed/evolved over the past five years?
EB: I saw a lot of collectors my age reconnecting with the hobby at the same time as myself, as well as new collectors joining the hobby. There is more interest in the hobby now than five years ago, I can say that.

KS: What do you think is the key to further growing card collecting on the continent? 
EB: For me personally, the hobby will always be about building connections, meeting new people, socializing. I would say building strong relationships with collectors, organizing social events like trade shows and trade nights would definitely strengthen the community and hobby in general.

KS: If there was one thing you’d like to see the card manufacturers do to further help out international card shops, what would it be?
EB: I believe the European market is ready for more European exclusives, both low and high-end releases.

KS: For collectors who want to know, where can they find more information on your stores?
EB: Our online store in Europe:
Facebook group: King of Hoops Hungary
UK store:
Facebook group: King of Hoops Box Breaks


Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Kelsey Schroyer

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