Saturday, March 13, 2010

For the Love of Cardboard

While it's easy to provide opinionated commentary about the things we deplore in The Hobby, it's important to remember that this is done not to spit out mindless vitriol but to provide a a voice and forum for those whose opinions run contrary to the status quo, all the while providing a method of brainstorming new ideas and innovations to enhance The Hobby and the products that feed it.

There is much more that I love about this hobby than I detest and although it will always be the negative that some people focus on, I find it therapeutic and a bit of a public service to detail some of the things that drive my personal passions when it comes to the cardboard chase.

I love the anxious anticipation that comes when first removing the shrink wrap of a new product. Be it a blaster or Hobby box, the mystery of things yet revealed is like a drug. My hands sometimes shake with excitement, a small bead of sweat forming on my forehead, a slight increase in heartbeat and breathing rate as the experience commences.

I love the banter of opinion and commentary that this era of social media provides. Whether it be spur of the moment pack breaks on Twitter, YouTube box breaks, or the comments of a new blog post, sharing of the aforementioned experience is something that provides a needed collector connection that has become hard to find outside of the virtual world with the closing of many a card shop.

I love the generosity and fellowship shared by collectors who connect via social media. A connection that transcends the "book value" mentality that is so prevalent at the brick and mortar shops that still exist. This unfortunate truth may be limited to my own back yard, which I hope is the case. I witness on a daily basis collectors offering to GIVE their social media buddies unwanted cards from their own breaks to help further the player collection of someone they have never met.

I love the buzz that surrounds the first live days of a new release; the flurry of traffic that ensues as collectors flood message board forums, the blogsphere, Twitter and Facebook with the revelations of newly discovered product content in all its glory.

I love that I collect in an era that has a secondary market not dependent on old school, Hobby shop curmudgeons willing to pay me 30% of "book value". While sellers gripe about rising fees, unfair feedback and search policies on eBay, the fact remains the existent of such venues provides collectors an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on their cardboard finds.

This is just a small sampling of the things that fuel my passion. What are yours?

What do you LOVE about The Hobby, your hobby, my hobby, OUR HOBBY?

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