First appearance of Cable
First issue drawn by Todd McFarlane
Death of Gwen Stacey
But the truth is, as a collector I had not found my niche yet. In other words, I had not found the titles and characters that spoke to me as a collector so just randomly buying "collectibles" didn't seem like a good way to go. In the end, I ended up collecting a lot of Spiderman titles and yes, I do own the first issue drawn by Todd McFarlane (Amazing Spiderman 298) and it's very cool.
My point is, I am seeing a lot of playing card collectors being told that they need a deck of cards from the Ohio plant or that cards from the new Kentucky plant pale in comparison. And I know as a new collector you want to make all the right moves, but I just want to make sure you have the RIGHT information.
Yes, a long time ago (August 20, 2009) the USPCC moved from Ohio to Kentucky and when they did - everyone saw a noticeable dip in quality. The cards were night and day.
The new Kentucky cards were not different say like the difference between driving a Ford and driving a Chevy, it was the difference between driving a Ford and driving a bike.
Yea, that noticeable.
So when you read forums from "veterans" take special note of the date of when that post was written. Because a lot has changed in our industry since 2009.
I own decks from all of those eras and stages, so I do know what I am talking about, I have been collecting playing cards for over 40 years. So let me just drop some knowledge on you ok?
1. The quality coming out of USPCC Kentucky is on point - right now any Q1 deck coming out of the now seven year old plant is top notch. I would take a deck of Kentucky made cards over an old box of Ohio any day.
Why? Because the quality control and paper sources that USPCC uses now is excellent, true it doesn't always trickle down to their retail line, but there is something about a fresh deck of Bikes that makes me.... happy.
Also, playing cards are paper products, which means they are consumable, which means that time makes them deteriorate. And the truth is, tuck cases are not air tight even if they are plastic sealed. Air particles can get into everything, which means the longer that deck of Ohio sits there - the more it begins to age and break down. Of course it will be minimal and you might not notice it, but it's still a very real factor.
2. A lot of the "hype" surrounding Ohio cards is nostalgia. In other words, it's card collectors like me talking about the "good old days." Saying, "they don't make cards like they used to." It's the veterans trying to convince you that Foghat and Steely Dan are BETTER than The 1975 or the Screaming Females. (those are rock bands)
In other words, it always "feels" like the old days were better and you can't convince people otherwise because emotion and nostalgia are tied to those memories. Even now, some of those veterans are shaking their heads at me in disbelief.
But it's totally true. Pick up a deck of White Lions from David Blaine or the Smoke and Mirrors decks from Dan and Dave and tell me that those cards suck. Pick up a deck of Shifters from Theron Schaub and tell me the Ohio decks are better.
There is no way.
The truth is, in the past few years USPCC has had some incredibly talented people working for them - people who are into magic and card collecting and their quality has made incredible strides just within the last 4 years.
Not to mention, how many designers have walked through their doors and personally worked with them on projects. The staff at USPCC today has an incredible amount of knowledge - so much more so today than anyone at the Ohio plant did seven years ago.
Not to mention that Richard Turner uses USPCC for his "gold standard" decks - I would argue that nobody can tell the difference better between the quality of cards more than him. The United States Playing Card Company employ his services as a "touch analyst" to evaluate the texture, flexibility and cut of dozens of decks of cards each year.
3. You might not be able to tell the difference anyway. In the end you might end up with what is called "buyers remorse." You hear all this hype about Ohio cards, you save your money, you find a deck and then..... you open it up. THIS IS IT? You thought it would be like riding a unicorn while Boys 2 Men sang Motownphilly in the background?
It's what happens a lot when something is "hyped up" and you buy without knowledge. You open your new purchase and discover it's really not all that it's chatted up to be. So now you have 2 choices - ADMIT that you can't tell the difference or ... lie
Sadly a lot of people lie when they say "oh these are totally better." The sad truth is they don't want to be ridiculed or put down for not having the same reaction as the masses, so if the crowd says it's "delicious" you say it's "delicious" even though it really tastes like old wet leaves.
* NOT that the Ohio cards taste like wet leaves- they totally don't. Ohio cards taste a lot like you'd expect them to... like hard paper.
** Please do not eat playing cards
Are the Ohio cards good cards? Totally! Should you get a deck for your collection? Absolutely! But let me drop some more knowledge on you....
I also collect STAR WARS figures. And one of the mistakes a lot of veterans make is that they purchase an old sealed figure and then OPEN IT. Why? Because they want that rush of being the one to open something that had never been opened. And what they end up saying is.... "I wish I had never done it."
In the end, they find that the rush lasted only seconds and now they wish they still had the unopened figure.
I want to make that same argument for Ohio cards. Again, Ohio cards are becoming more and more rare every day - why? Because people are opening them! Every time a deck of Ohio cards is unwrapped - it makes all the sealed Ohio decks worth more.
Because we can't go back in time and make more. Which means one day a deck of Ohio cards will be worth $20, $50 or even $100 - YES, in your lifetime.
Which means the truth is - that deck is worth MORE as an investment than it is as a consumable commodity.
If you want to "play" with an Ohio deck - then buy an opened deck; and save your sealed decks. Invest in sealed Ohio decks. Because the truth is - those are the decks that will be worth money in 20 years - it won't be your Madison Dealers or your Federal 52s that you still have sealed - Just like anything collectible - the older stuff - the early stuff - will ALWAYS be worth more in the long run.
So yes, buy some sealed OHIO cards.... and save them.
* Do you think you can tell the difference between the old Ohio cards and the new Q1 cards coming out of Kentucky? Do you think I am full of crap? Comment below and tell me what you think.