Trading Cards as Halloween Treats

While I was at the grocery store earlier today, the Pokemon cards above caught my eye.

I think trading cards are such a great idea to stuff into the bags, sacks, buckets, and pillowcases of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. They’re going to get more than enough candy, so things like these cards give much-needed variety, and something to do while consuming said candy.

Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I did my trick-or-treating on the street that my grandmother lived on. The street had mostly elderly people living on it, and they absolutely loved to spoil all of the kids who came around trick-or-treating by giving not only the best candies on the market but numerous other trinkets as well.

One nice man in particular was an avid baseball card collector. He liked to help foster the passion for his hobby of choice by giving out unopened packs of baseball cards. And I’m not talking about small sample packs like the Pokemon ones pictured above. No, he spent a lot of money and bought regular packs to slip into kid’s bags.

Those cards made such an impression on me, that I can specifically remember the cards I got from him. In 1988 it was a pack of Topps, in 1989 was Fleer, and in 1990 was Donruss. It’s not an exaggeration for me to say that getting those cards in my trick-or-treat bag really helped kindle my love of collecting cards.

Seeing the Pokemon cards today also brought to mind “Trading Card Treats” that were available in 1991. Much like the Pokemon cards, you could buy bags of packs of trading cards, each featuring a few cards per pack. They were designed to be given away for trick-or-treating as 1991 was around the apex of the trading card hobby.

Trading Card Treats were available in several choices too, so whomever was giving them out could pick what they wanted to give. They could choose between Marvel Super Heroes, Archie Comics, Universal Studio Monsters, Inspector Gadget, Widget, or Nintendo cards to give away.

It was such a great concept back then and still is today. I don’t know if there are other trading card options out there this year like the Pokemon ones I saw, but I sure hope there are. If you want to be fondly remembered for years to come by this year’s crop of trick-or-treaters, consider giving away some trading cards instead of candy.

1990/1991 NBA Hoops Trading Cards

Somewhere in 1990, I really started getting into trading cards. Baseball cards mostly, and some non-sports cards that I thought were cool. In the fall of that year, I spotted packs of 1990/1991 NBA Hoops cards and they would be my first foray into the world of basketball cards. I saw them at my local grocery store one day and bought a few packs. I really didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that some other kids at school were trading basketball cards and these were basketball cards. I found that I loved them. The silver border was cool. I knew some of the players, there were rookie cards and all-star cards to try and find, and my friends at school now wanted to include me in their trading. All was well in my world when it came to basketball cards.

The next time we went to the store, I spent my whole allowance on packs of these. When we got to the car, my mom threw a fit about me using all of my money on cards. She gave me a lecture on how cards aren’t worth what people think they are. In her words, “If they were worth anything, they wouldn’t put them in those packs. They’d just sell them for what they’re worth.” She clearly didn’t understand how the secondary market worked. And she didn’t understand that having these cards got me into a somewhat exclusive group at school. To me, that made these cards worth spending a whole week’s allowance on.

I still dabble in trading cards from time to time, and when I’m on that kick, I’m always on the lookout for unopened packs of these. It’s not with the hope of finding anything valuable in them because that’s not really a possibility. It’s just that opening an unsealed pack of these takes me back to my middle school days for just a little while, and that’s a high you can’t buy.

Awesome! All-Stars Trading Cards (1988)

It’s another episode of Wax Pack Flashback! Where we open old packs of trading cards and let you watch along to join in the fun. There were so many sets and series of cards that came out in the ’80s and ’90s, that there was no way you could have got to experience them all. That’s where we come in. We track them down and open them so you can see what was missed.

In this episode that I filmed for The Retro Network, I open a pack of Awesome! All-Star cards that were produced by Fleer in 1988. I’m pretty sure a pack of these was the first cards I ever purchased on my own. So sit back and enjoy seeing what I find inside.

Batman Forever Trading Cards (1995)

In this episode of Wax Pack Flashback, Adam and Jason from The Retro Network both open a pack of Fleer Batman Forever cards from 1995. This 120-card set featured promo shots and stills from the movie. Unfortunately, there were no chase cards produced with the set, but the guys find some very fun cards and share their memories of Batman Forever to kick off the video.

Wax Pack Flashback is a series that appears on TRNTV on YouTube, hosted by a rotating cast of Mickey, Jason, and Adam. See all of the various trading card opening videos on TRNTV.