I used to be a huge fan of collectible card games. Maybe it was because these card games had coincidentally cartoons on children’s TV that I enjoyed immensely, or maybe my enjoyment falsely stemmed from conforming to the latest fad my friends and classmates had partaken in. Either way whether these card games were a “big name” brand like “Yu-Gi-Oh”or a more niche game like “Duel Masters” that I had dabbled in it as I child, I will admit that after primary school, I stopped playing and collecting collectible card games. Even a naive then first-year secondary school-er knew trading cards were uncool and socially unacceptable at secondary school. I would be committing social suicide! But recently collectible trading card games have re-entered my life in an unexpected way.
I was recently shopping in Sainsbury’s. Nothing out-of-this-world or interesting in any shape or form. As I was paying at the self checkout section, the self checkout assistant approached me, “Do you collect these?” she asked, holding a collection of brightly orange card packs. The large picture in the middle of these packs was that of Lego figures. I immediately felt sympathy for this poor assistant for being forced by Sainsbury’s to ask everyone this question; even a six foot four, man in his twenties such as myself. My inner frugal mogul asked if these cards were a complimentary gift, or whether I had to pay for them. My brain clearly chose the correct question to ask, not bothering at all as to why these card packs were being offered to grown adults, not just children. The assistant revealed that these card packs were given out to shoppers for every £10 spent. While most people would have declined these cards, because of their “childish” Lego branded nature, I decided to accept them. They were after all free, and if anything, it was a way of rewarding this assistant for her duty. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be asking grown adults if they were interested in Lego trading cards, if I was in her shoes.
As I opened the card packs, I felt a sense of nostalgia rush over me as I was reminded of “the good ‘ole days” of ripping open a pack of trading cards. But quickly that feeling was soon replaced by a sense of apathy. Maybe it’s because I am not the intended audience for these cards, despite my enjoyment of the Lego video game series’ and animated movies. Or perhaps it is because the trading cards I always preferred were cards you could play with other people, but my lack of interest of these cards outside of curiosity honestly displeases me. As I child I remember following every craze and newest release for trading cards whether it be collecting branded cards or football cards, and I wasn’t even a fan of football!
So I am left wondering about my lack of interest in these cards, but more specifically my lack of interest in trading cards as a whole. I was once so enthusiastic when it came to trading cards in any shape or form, but not anymore. Is it due to my age? Is it due to not having any friends or acquaintances who also collect these cards, with whom I could trade, play and share experiences with? Or is it more simply that this particular brand of “Lego” trading cards does not appeal to the “collector” in me despite having an interest in Lego. Regardless whatever the reason is for this lack of interest, it makes me feel old and out-of-touch, and that makes me sad.