Updated: Nov 19
It’s possible that you’re a kid in The Hobby reading this, but most likely you’re an adult. (It’s hard to write for an audience that you don’t know just as much as it may be hard to read an article from someone you don’t know either, and so I look forward for us to get to know each other better.) This is my first article for Hobby News Daily, and I could not be more thrilled for two reasons: 1. When a lot of us think about content, we tend to think about the a/v content - podcast for audio and Instagram reels, YouTube vlogs, and TikToks for video, but we cannot forget that the written word is the earliest form of content both on social media and I suppose, in the history of mankind? 2. I join a group of talented writers in The Hobby from whom I can learn from, share ideas with, and be a part of something great.
So why do I bring up being an adult in The Hobby in the beginning of my first article? Because what I would like to explore in my monthly articles is what we as adults can do to make this a better place for the next generation of hobbyists. The reason I would like to do this is that I remember what it was like to be a kid in The Hobby back in the 90’s.
Let me take you back to 1992, I was ten years old, growing up in NYC, specifically Queens, and when you’re in New York, you’re supposed to root for the Knicks. And yet, MJ. Michael Jordan just won his second MVP, first ever NBA title and Finals MVP. Back then, we all knew he was great, but no one would have thought he would win six rings and be considered the Greatest Of All Time (as we now truncate down to the acronym GOAT or perhaps use the goat emoji). We all also knew that he was everywhere in the cultural zeitgeist, the spokesperson for McDonald’s, Hanes, Nike, just to name a few, and he had what the kids nowadays call “rizz.”
My classmates and neighborhood friends, all we did was talk about Michael Jordan during recess, in the playground, on the streets. We didn’t have phones and highlight reels at our fingertips. We used our bodies to pantomime the motions of Jordan flying in the air, we told stories of what we saw on our cathode ray tube television sets, hoping that we had our rabbit ear antennas just right. We also had trading cards.
I don’t exactly remember what my first ever card was in my PC, or that I held in my hands, or the first pack of cards that I opened. But what I do remember was that feeling rushing into my LCS (which no longer exists), the sight of the sealed wax behind the counter and register, the smell of the cardboard and ink on it, the feeling and the sound of junk wax packs being ripped open, most of the time by my friends who came from families that had more than me, but I still ripped packs when I could, but whenever any of us did, we all huddled together, with bright eyes filled with hope, to see what one of us got. At that time, collecting cards was the inexpensive way to get into sports, to root for your favorite athletes and teams. Of course nowadays, it can be the opposite. I never got to see Michael Jordan live at Madison Square Garden (or anywhere else for that matter), but I sure could pull his card in a random sealed wax pack.
When I think about my obsession with cardboard, I think about my childhood, but also my children’s childhood, and how nowadays it’s such an expensive hobby. I understand that there are lower price point SKUs on the shelves and online, hobby and retail offerings as well, but we all know that there is a glamorization of the high end, of the flipper, of the hustle and grind within The Hobby. I don’t have to type that out for you and I to both know this. What you can expect from me in my monthly offering is the WHY in what we do and in doing so, maybe see how we, as adults, with of course working with the current kids in The Hobby, can make this hobby space better for perhaps not just the next generation of hobbyists, but for the current one and well, ourselves