Trading Cards and Accessories 

What are the types of trading cards? A trading card has an image of a person, place, event or thing on the front, and on the back is a brief description of the importance of the subject. They vary significantly, with some being collectables with autographs, colour images, and elaborate graphics. Most trading cards are produced from heavy card stock paper, but they are also made out of silk cloth, felt, transparent plastic, metal, celluloid plastic, and holographic plastic and can come in sealed trading card boxes. Most people associate them with stars in various sports, and auto racing trading cards, football cards, and baseball cards are particularly popular. There are also cards for many other sports, like basketball, hockey, racing, cycling, running, and rugby, as well as events like the Olympic Games and the World Series. Trading products that are not sports related are categorised as non-sports cards and cover a broad range. The 288-card set Horrors of War, printed in 1938, is famous for its vivid graphics and quality text. Children can collect cards based on cartoons and superheroes, while other popular trading card subjects include television shows, movies, and reality shows like wrestling.  The card game category grew out of the non-sports cards category. Games like Magic the Gathering were played primarily via cards with players and collectors of all ages worldwide. 

How should they be protected?Well-preserved items will give years of enjoyment, and eBay has a wide range of storage and display supplies to keep your collection organised and protected.

  • Plastic acrylic cases: Plastic acrylic cases come in varying sizes to accommodate standard and custom sizes. They can hold a few to a hundred or more trading cards.
  • Screw-down plastic card holders: Screw-down plastic card holders are made of two pieces of clear plastic with one screw for closure. It fits one card. Some holders are acid-free and PVC free.
  • Albums: For larger collections, albums may be a good choice. An album is similar to a 3-ring binder with pages of sleeves. The advantage of an album is ease of access, viewing and organisation.
  • Cardboard boxes: A simple but efficient way of keeping your collection free from blemishes and damage is cardboard storage boxes. They come in different sizes and can contain 5 to thousands of trading cards.

Are retail and hobby cards the same? Retail cards are packaged in a pack of five or more and sold to the general public, while hobby products are sold as collectables. They may include some material or content that is not available in the retail packs. Manufacturers will also release limited items for promotions and redemption, and all of these can differ from retail versions. 

Who makes trading cards?Manufacturers include Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, In The Game, Press Pass, Tristar, Leaf, and Sage, with some specialising in certain sports. Tristar's sports division focuses on Minor League Baseball and wrestling, Sage makes football trading cards and products only, and Topps does both sport and non-sport card collectables.