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Trading cards and the stuff we love

My name is Andrea. I’m an Ottawa-area mother of two school-age girls and I love my stuff. There. I said it.

I’m mildly obsessed with sorting, managing, acquiring, admiring my stuff and I know I’m not alone. We all have sentimental connections to our belongings. The interesting thing about it is that the degree of these connections varies widely. There are hoarders among us (people who live out their lives between teetering piles of stuff) and on the flipside: minimalists, backpackers, and monks who relinquish ties to all manner of earthly goods.

Where does it all come from? Is it genetic, or do we come by our obsessions in other ways?

Most of us fall somewhere between the hoarders and the minimalists, and nowhere are the differences more apparent than in our basements and attics.

How many boxes of stuff would you say you’re holding onto? And do you know what’s in them all?

I am pretty sure we have boxes that haven’t seen the light of day since we moved into our home, oh, back in the late nineties. I’m tempted, but totally afraid to throw them away sight unseen. Odds are they contain stuff that can be easily sold or given away, but here the thing … what if one of them contained a family heirloom? Or something I would miss, but has no value to anyone but me?

Take, for example, trading cards.

When I was growing up the boys in my neighbourhood were really into hockey cards. I had a few of those (I may or may not have attached a rookie Wayne Gretzky to the spokes of my bike to achieve a much-desired putt-putting noise) but I wasn’t really into sports, so sports-related trading cards didn’t hold much allure for me.  I focused on two collections: (1) trading cards from the movie E.T. (YES, the Extra Terrestrial). I don’t even want to think of how much bad gum I chewed, and how many hours I spent during recess scrutinizing, trading, and bargaining for the ones I was missing.

I am fairly certain that somewhere in my basement there’s a complete set of E.T. cards. Does it have any value to anyone but me? No. But I can’t bear to get rid of them.

Before E.T phoned home I was all about (2) Charlie’s Angels trading cards.

Here are a select few from my collection:

And my personal favourite:

I was never able to figure out how they maintained such perfect hair while fighting crime.

I especially like the bilingual captions and the frequent use of exclamation marks. It makes each! one! seem! so! exciting !

Did you collect trading cards? Are they in your basement somewhere? Do you think they’re worth anything, or are you just holding onto them because you love your stuff?

andrea usually sorts her stuff at a peek inside the fishbowl.

Mother of two imps and wife of one. Writer, photographer, pro blogger, adventure-seeker, Ottawaholic, social media evangelist and lover of STUFF. Also known as @missfish on Twitter.

22 Responses to “Trading cards and the stuff we love”

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In Grade 5, I collected the entire set of trading cards for the newly released movie Star Wars. (I guess that tells you how old I am!) Oh, it took me so long to get the coveted Princess Leia card! I had to trade several C3POs to acquire her. I was at a new school that year, and collecting and trading the cards was a good way to get to know the other kids in my class. I wonder what I did with those cards?



Never collected trading cards. Although I did love Charlie’s gals. I collected Archie comic books. My daughter loves them too!



Were we buying gum or were we buying cards? I can’t really remember. The gum was awful but the smell was heavenly.



I think I was into trading stickers rather than collecting cards…but I definitely identify with the boxes of “junk” in the basement that we can’t bear to part with!



    I was madly into stickers too. I might have them in the basement too. I wonder if the scratch n’sniffs still smell? They were my ultimate favourite.


I used to collect the Michael Jackson ones lol.


The Moffman

Andrea, I’m pretty sure I have some of these Angels cards. Maybe we should pool our resources and see if we can complete the puzzle on the back. 🙂



    OMG, I forgot about the puzzle on the back! Priceless.


I was never into cards, but I certainly have my share of other ‘stuff’ that is taking up valuable real estate. I am sure that someone in NYC has an apartment the size of my storage room and pays a fortune to live there…



Wow, this brings back memories… what ‘mgt’ (first commentor) said is so true – I can clearly remember that smell!!
I’m pretty sure that I still have my stack of Partridge Family (ha!!) cards somewhere… I too have boxes in the basement that haven’t been touched since our last move (1990)!


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I haven’t seen those Charlie’s Angels cards since I coveted my own collection back in about 1978. Was it really 30-something years ago?



    Yes it was *mumble* nineteen seventy *mumble* 🙂


I never was into trading cards. Recently I found a memory box that I had made when I was a kid and I am sad to say I couldn’t remember why I had kept the items.


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I never had trading cards, but I remember my brother having a ton of them. I think they were sci-fi related in some way, but I can’t remember exactly what.



Congrats on the new gig! I had to laugh looking at your pictures – I had the very same cards 🙂


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hey I have this same set. why did I keep it? who knows. Anybody know if they are worth anything?



I don’t even know what to say about those cards 😉

I collected hockey cards as a kid – everyone did. But really, I just wanted the Eric Lindros card with his shirt off sitting in the locker room 😉

now we have boxes of baseball/hockey cards that my husband collected but I’m not allowed to get rid of 😉


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