Hobby Musings: Rediscovering old hobby loves with Marvel cards – As trading cards have increased in popularity over the past few years, many people have been looking through their old cards in hopes of treasure. Pieces of cardboard that had been stuck in a box for years all of a sudden saw a new light of day. I’ve been no different as I’ve done a massive inventory of my own sports card collection. Thanks to a few few tweets about Marvel cards from our own Ivan Lovegren, I decided to do some research. I was astonished to see what some cards and sets from the 90s were selling for.
Before I became interested in sports memorabilia, I collected a large amount of comic cards from the early-mid 1990s. As a fan of X-Men and the other animated Marvel Saturday morning cartoons, I enjoyed collecting the cards of the characters. While I can’t put an exact number on just how many packs I ripped, I know quite a bit of allowance money was spent on those cards. As I got older and into sports card, I mostly lost interest in comic cards. In the late 90s, I ended up parting with a lot of them for a paltry price that makes me sick thinking about it to this day.
Given the prices for some of the Marvel releases from that era, I decided to dig out my box of comic cards that had set in a closet for years. Thankfully, I ended up hanging onto more of them than I had remembered. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a few complete sets and many others near completion. It was equally surprising to find that I had kept many of the insert card, including a sweet Wolverine hologram.
It took a decent bit of time to get the sets back into numerical order and to place them in albums. However, I can honestly say looking over them again was the most fun I’ve had with cards in a long time. The memories and nostalgia that hit me were immeasurable. Besides the Marvel cards, I found a handful of DC holograms and even some inserts from FOX Saturday morning cartoon shows like The Tick and Bobby’s World. Suspended animation inserts really need to make a comeback.
Perusing eBay, it’s interesting to see what gets labelled as a rookie card for a fictional character. Going through my 1987 Colossal Conflicts set, I found what seems to be considered Wolverine’s rookie card as he’s featured on it from his debut battle with The Hulk. Another cool card I came across was Stan Lee’s issue from the 1990 Marvel Impel release. Quite possibly his most famous card, it calls him Mr. Marvel and features a number of notable Marvel character costumes over his face.
One thing I had forgotten about the Marvel cards from that era were the overall quality of artwork and design. This was especially true with the Flair Annual sets from the mid-90s and the Ultra X-Men Chrome set I found. It’s amazing that these cards have seemingly been underrated for so long given the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Upper Deck’s more recent work with the category.
Over the next few months, I plan to track down the rest of the base cards and inserts I need to finish off some of my sets. I had initially thought about selling most of the collection to take advantage of the hot market. Seeing the cards again and remembering how much joy they brought me though prompted to keep them. It’s not always easier to recapture part of your childhood, but these cards have allowed me to do so with a smile on my face. That’s something I’m not inclined to so easily give up.
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.
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