What is more exciting and full of possibilities than an unopened pack of trading cards? Not much. We loved trading Star Wars cards as kids and the bug seems to have bitten all of our little Jedis. We know that the world of trading cards has changed a bit since the seventies and eighties, so we asked an expert for her advice on how to get kids started collecting and trading cards.
Susan Lulgjuraj is the Marketing Communications Manager at Topps. As a kid, she watched her brother and cousins collect and trade cards and decided she wanted to take part too. Here are some of our favorite tips from Susan:
- It’s tough to trade cards, but the best way to do it is find other children at school that are into cards. You can start a club, or during lunch just sit around a table and trade cards with your classmates.
- Trying to figure what to trade is even more difficult, but it comes down knowing what you have. If there is a card that you love more than the others, it’s going to take a lot from the other person to be able to trade that card. You can do one-for-one swap or you can trade one card for many cards.
- Kids can start collecting at any age, as long as they recognize what is on the cards. I have seen children as young as 4 years old collecting because they either love baseball, Star Wars or Garbage Pail Kids and want to get their hands-on them.
- An easy way to get them into trading is to do it in the house. So if you buy your child a pack of cards, get one for yourself too. Then you can make trades with your child so they are used to the concept. It’s also a fun way to get the whole family involved in a hobby.
- When it comes to the collectible portion, I think everyone is different. Some are going to keep the cards in binders and sleeves while others might just throw them in a shoe box. Of course, there is no wrong way to collect. Just as long as you are having fun doing it.
Our Jedis all like to keep their cards in binders and they each have their own system for organizing them. You can find the card sleeves on Amazon. They decorated the binders themselves with a combo of stickers, cards and wrapping paper. For the cards themselves, you can buy many series of Star Wars cards from Topps directly and Amazon also carries many Star Wars cards. We’ve actually bought many of our packs from Target or our local drugstores. Susan tells us that some packs might be configured differently in hobby packs and those bought at mass retailers, but that those are great for building a base set.
We found full card checklists for The Journey to the Force Awakens on the Topps Facebook page and the kids found them really helpful for knowing what’s still out there and what to ask for when trading. All other Star Wars card series checklists are on the Topps site (you’ll need to scroll through until you find what you are looking for).
Since we live in two different cities, our kids love to do cousin card trading sessions via Skype. They negotiate the trades online and then put the cards in envelopes to mail to each other. The Skype sessions are really fun and getting mail (especially with Star Wars cards!) is always exciting. That said, we do not recommend having kids trade cards with strangers online. Susan suggests that kids are 13+ before they try the Topps Star Wars Trader app and always get their parents’ permission first.
Susan also gave us some hints about upcoming Topps Star Wars Card collections:
- Topps is scheduled to release about 4-6 Star Wars products this year ranging from stickers to collectible trading discs and trading to high-end cards. They slated to come out sporadically throughout the year. There will be a concentration closer to the end of the year on the new movie Rogue One.
- The different collectibles we are putting out include Galactic Connexions, collectible trading discs, but it’s also a game. We are also putting out a sticker album. But anything else at this point that we put out will be trading cards. Although, we are always looking at different things we can do.
It looks like we all have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. We hope that these tips and ideas will help you and your kids get started collecting and trading.
We even found a great use for our old Star Wars cards in our A Girl’s Star Wars Bedroom Fit for a Jedi post.