Olagato House

November 25, 2008

the “local” hobby store

Filed under: collecting meta, crafting meta — morineko @ 11:44 pm

A couple of weeks ago, another Twin Cities resident commented on my blog asking if I knew of any remaining sports card shops in the area other than Uncommon Sports Cards in Richfield, which is a store that I like–the only problem is that it’s in Richfield, and I live about 25 miles away. Thus, the only times I’ve been able to get there have been when our APA has collations in South Minneapolis, or if I’m going to sf conventions in the area. I haven’t had any other reasons to go there, so that’s not been very often.

I had mentioned that I had recently visited another sports card store in Roseville, but I couldn’t find them in the phone book. That’s because it was a new store. Three Stars Sportscards just happens to be 25 miles in the other direction from my home. However, I haul out to Roseville more often because I have had a weekly comics pull at Source Comics and Games for about ten years. (I used to work in Roseville, and my shopping habits stuck.) In fact, it was one of the Source employees who told me about “this new baseball card store over on Hamline” because I was buying card boxes and not buying Magic cards with them. ;)

Now I have another reason to go to Roseville. The Scrapbook Shop is moving from St. Paul to Lexington, which is near Roseville.

Sports cards and comics were all faddish in the 1990s. Only the good stores survived. Any new stores are springing up to fill a void. There was a local newsstand chain that sold sports cards that went out of business a few years back. The scrapbooking fad is fading, too. There used to be an actually local to me scrapbooking shop right here in Cottage Grove. It closed. Then the one in Woodbury closed. Then the one in Roseville reasonably near Source, where I used to go after picking up my pull, closed (that was mall development fail, not store management fail–they had been in operation since 1998 and I had also been going there for rubber stamps for 10 years.) Then, finally, the store in South St. Paul near work and another store in Hastings closed. Scrapbook Shop is the only independent store left, as far as I know, on the St. Paul side of the river.

I’d love to shop independent and local, but it’s hard. One can’t even use the counter-argument of “you’d have more options if you didn’t live in the suburbs” because almost all the independent hobby and “geek” shops in the Twin Cities are in the suburbs, save for a few comics places and the local sf bookstores–and the latter are not in St. Paul. About the only thing that is still in St. Paul was the yarn store I was going to when I was crocheting, and I shopped there because they had a lot of customers who won’t use animal products and thus carried non-wool yarns.

November 22, 2008

aaaargh Topps, part 2

Filed under: collecting meta — Tags: — morineko @ 2:52 pm

I bought three hobby packs of Heritage High Numbers today because I didn’t feel like using a credit card for 70 cents of empty boxes.

One of the packs of cards only had seven cards in it. The wrapper looked untampered with, at least.

Also, Topps has changed the manufacturer of the insert gum and it tastes awful. If you already thought the gum tasted awful, now it’s even worse.

November 20, 2008

my collecting story

Filed under: collecting meta — morineko @ 7:12 pm

This is my post for the blog carnival Bat Around over at Sports Card Uncensored.

what type of collector am I?
I don’t really classify myself as a type of collector. I like stuff printed on paper. This blog is about all sorts of stuff printed on flat sheets of paper. However, I like those things to be interesting to look at. Sometimes, I like them to be shiny (this explains all the Heidi Grace paper I’ve been storing up…ooh, organic forms with glitter.) Sometimes, I like them to be cute. But when it comes to cards, I need to either have good photography or good design, and preferably both.

boring prattle on how I started collecting
Like a lot of kids, I got interested in baseball and soon after started collecting cards. My mother bought me my first pack in 1987. I kept on collecting cards and watching baseball for the next seven years. I do need to note that a large part of my interest in cards was social. We traded cards at recess. I traded cards with penpals. (This explains why I have hockey cards from 1990.) Once I hit junior high, the social aspect decreased, so I bought less cards.

I lost interest in baseball after the 1994 strike, but looking back on my card-buying habits–I apparently bought a couple of packs of various whatever in ’94–my baseball card collection was replaced by an entirely different collection. You may have heard of this little game called Magic: the Gathering. This game absolutely occupied the group of kids I associated with in high school, and I played it until my second and final year of college. I picked up Magic again when I returned to community college and started hanging around with the group of various geek and otaku girls who gathered in the commons in the morning. I was even worse at Magic in 2005 than I was in 1995. I’ve kept all my cards but the game confuses all my current friends, except for the people who quit Magic and won’t go back. (Some of them replaced it with poker. Cardboard crack indeed….)

I have some Pokemon and Sailor Moon CCG cards around. My cousin’s Pokemon collection was absolutely epic, but she didn’t want to actually play the game with those. I had a starter set and we played with that. I–as a previous trade indicates–was also collecting the 2000 Cardcaptors set. It’s probably not worth putting my wantlist up for that. I see that unopened wax boxes are occasionally available on eBay, anyway.

I started watching baseball in earnest again in 2007. I picked up a rack pack of 2007 Topps soon after. I didn’t think I’d actually start collecting again. I was in fact going to use any cards that weren’t Brewers or Red Sox as material for paper craft projects. This didn’t happen. I discovered card blogs before I could get around to it. What, people are writing about cards? And trading them online? Maybe I should get into that…and here I am.

why do I collect this stuff?
Why do I collect the sets I collect? Design, mostly. If I don’t like the design there isn’t any point in having an entire set of totally fugly cards.

Why do I collect the players I collect? Because they’re my favorites to watch play, and because I don’t have hundreds or thousands of cards to look for especially if I’m not chasing parallels, because I’m not. It’s great when there are less than 100, or 50, or 20, to look for. :)

how can I be persuaded to buy more cards?
If there’s anything the manufacturers could do, it would be (as everyone and their dog posted) to bring back the sorts of sets that had everyone who made a major league roster in the previous year. I’d actually buy more cards instead of waiting for someone else to pull it and not want it so I can send off unwanted cards to them that they want to get it. If I’m only buying cards to use as trade bait, something’s wrong.

Also, bad design is right out. Stupid photomanips (“Photoshop,” airbrushing, etc.) are right out. Stop reminding me of scary stuff I’ve seen in media fandom. Fools with soon-parted money buy those, too, and I’ve never been able to figure out why.

November 14, 2008

why sf fans call it the post awful

Filed under: collecting meta — Tags: — morineko @ 11:19 am

I finally managed to get down to the post office to pick up my mail (3 PaperBackSwap books, 1 BookMooch book, 5 Postcrossing cards, package from Thorzul.)

The postcards are beat to heck, which isn’t so surprising–but that could be blamed on the Finnish postal service. There really is no excuse for how mangled the package from Thorzul is and it’s definitely not his fault. He scanned my envelope, after all, and that was intact. At least the card was still in it. (The baseball card is perfectly fine. Thank you!)

November 3, 2008

collect what you like, but…

Filed under: baseball cards, collecting meta — morineko @ 10:23 pm

I know I’ve been grousing in a lot of blog comments and here on Olagato house about the new releases not having what I want. I’m not in the hobby for the speculation (collecting in the early 1990s cured me of that) or getting relics or autographs out of the packs; I’m into hand-collecting base sets. I’ve always been into base sets. There are a lot of us out there getting old cards even if we are paying $8 for old factory sets or whatever, because we’re nostalgic about our childhoods. We want to share what we love with our kids or the kids we have around, even if they’re not ours. (How many of us came back to the hobby when we had children or started planning a family? It’s not exactly true in my case, but I did come back after my cousin was born.) We’re getting new cards to establish new memories.

That’s why I get frustrated when certain players don’t appear in some sets. They’re part of my memories. How am I going to explain the 2007 Red Sox to my cousin if I only have cards of 50% of the roster? (I can share the memory of trying to get her to sleep during one of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s starts, or her crawling up to the TV screen looking at Hideki Okajima practically falling off the mound; at least there are cards of those guys!)

Nobody is making big money out of card collecting these days outside of the companies printing the cards. The big collapse has already happened, much like the 1990s comic collecting boom. My local comic shop is still in business because they serve people who read comics, not just the people who speculated on them. If you’re just going to let things sit there, what’s the point? Keep the cards safe, but also show them off, talk about them, think about what they mean to you.

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