At a time when collecting the shiniest cards of the hottest rookies from across a variety of sports is the real thing, I sit here and wonder how did this all happened? The recent boom in collecting has seen so many collectors return to the hobby that they loved when they were young. Upon returning, they have found a hobby which has exploded with terms like ‘rookie card’, ‘short print’, ‘guernsey numbered’ and ‘graded card’.
For me, there is a romance in looking for the old-style cards. If you look at players featured
on old Scanlens sets here in Australia, the ‘action’ shots were almost comical in their production. The attraction to me is that I can add old-school cards of legends of the game like Simon Madden, Kelvin Templeton, Barry Breen and Leigh Matthews (all players I admired as a kid and now immortalised on a small trading card forever) to my collection.
Modern cards are so beautifully produced. Production runs of the new draft pick signatures (DPS) can be as low as only 40 cards of each player. Collectors scramble not only over individual cards, but sealed product is now treated as currency by those looking to make a quick dollar. It is fair to say that nearly every player on an AFL list in 2022 has had a trading card produced of them, so collectors options are endless, however the chase for cards has never been more popular. Influential, Footy’s Finest and Draft Pick Signatures are still in high demand due to their limited nature.
One reason I love the new releases like Brilliance and Supremacy is that I can collect the legends of the game, those players who have proven themselves over time. For those new to the game or collecting, a dual autograph of the Lord brothers might need a Google search or two to work out who they are, but for this old campaigner, it is the old meeting the new, something that should be cherished, moments of time in history of the proven legends of the game.
So in conclusion, it just shows that it all depends on what you love about the hobby. For me it is a trip down memory lane in many cases, especially on the days I get a 1977 Scanlens in the mail. We are seeing so many older cards coming through at PSG so if you send an old school NRL or VFL Scanlens card in to be graded, know that I will have an extra look at the card and dream of the old days.